Nicolas Cage is bad with money

“Can Nic Cage Bounce Back? He’s on the brink of financial ruin. So naturally it’s time to make a blockbuster or two.” – Nov. 27, 2009 Entertainment Weekly headline

“2007: (Cage) outbids Leo DeCaprio in frenzied auction for dinosaur skull. Pays $276,000.” – Nov. 16, 2009 New York magazine

“Good morning, sir,” the robot from “Rocky IV” says as it stands next to Nicolas Cage’s bed, which is not a bed in the traditional sense, but rather an 18-layer bunk bed whose upper half protrudes through what was once a skylight in the roof of Cage’s Bel Air mansion. “Today,” the robot continues, ”is January 28, 2007. It is 10 am. Happy Birthday Paulie.”

“Damn it, robot. I’m not Paulie. Paulie was a character in the movie. The movie ‘Rocky IV.’ I’m Nic. Nic Cage. I purchased you at auction for $50,000. It’s not even my birthday. No more Happy Birthday Paulie.”

“My apologies, sir … Happy Birthday Paulie.”

The robot holds out Cage’s polar bear fur robe. Cage eases his arms into its sleeves. The robe slips over Cage’s back, covering a tattoo of a lizard wearing a top hat and carrying a cane. Cage says, probably for the 50th time that week, “Robot. I. Am not. Paulie. I am Nic. Nic Cage. And you are a dumb robot. I verbally program you to call me Nic from now on. Do. You. Understand? Verbal program ignite.”

“Affirmative, Nic. Happy Birthday Paulie.”

Cage walks down the hallway past a long glass case containing the following items: J.D. Salinger’s autograph, a black orchid, a Bob’s Big Boy statue and a Tibetan wedding dress. He calls this his Patricia Hallway, because all of the items were gathered in a quest to win the heart of actress Patricia Arquette. Cage has been known to whisper to visitors, “This hallway, this is a passage through which all men must voyage on the journey to the union of the soul.”

The Paulie Robot stops, as it does every morning, at the Bob’s Big Boy statue.

“Happy Birthday Paulie.”

Cage grinds his teeth as he fights the urge to destroy the robot with one swift punch, which he totally  could do, because he adheres to the philosophy of Maximum Violence Immediately. The urge passes. Cage sits down at the kitchen table, where he will enjoy his usual breakfast – a croissant sprinkled with edible gold dust, a frittata of eggs, lobster and 12 ounces of sevruga caviar and a cup of Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, which is harvested only after it passes through the digestive tract of an Asian palm civet, a cat-sized mammal found in Southeast Asia. Cage owns four. The robot named each of the civets Happy Birthday Paulie.

Happy Birthday Paulie #3

While eating his breakfast alone, (wife Alice is on vacation in a bubble-shaped hotel on the floor of the ocean off the coast of Dubai), Cage reads the next day’s New York Times, which only 100 people in the world have enough money to subscribe to. Cage is not one of them.

“I am going to lose a lot of money in the market tomorrow,” he says to no one at all, and then lets out a wow-that-sure-is-a-lot whistle. “Well, what can you do?”

Following breakfast, Cage retires to the garage, where he slowly walks past his Rolls Royces. He counts them for the first time. There are nine. He is sure of this. He did not count with the pinkie on his right hand, and he knows this means nine. He looks at a calendar. There are only seven days in a week. He is now angry at himself. Seven! Wasn’t that the original point?

After garage time, it’s work, work, work down by the pool (the swimming pool, not the dolphin pool, which is really more of a cove). Cage is preparing for a role in his next movie, “Bangkok Dangerous.” In this film, Cage will play a hit man who breaks all of his own rules. There’s only one word for a hit man who break all of his own rules – extinct. And that’s why Cage, a method actor, rehearses the entire film inside a dinosaur skull, which he purchased at auction for $276,000.

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