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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Rich Fictional Characters

Once a year, Forbes Magazine compiles a list of the richest people in the world. In January of 2006, they published a list of the 15 richest fictional characters. If this is important to you, you need to get a new life.

1) Santa Claus -- This fat, jolly toy maker lives at the North Pole with a wife, a bunch of elves and some flying reindeer. He is believed to be 1,651 years old with an unlimited surplus of wealth. He spends an entire year making toys; then distributes them in a single evening, via unlawful entry, to children throughout the planet. He also conducts covert surveillance on every boy and girl on the planet to determine who has been naughty or nice.

2) Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks -- Age 52, net worth: $27.3 billion. He's a defense contractor from New York City who is rarely seen in public. Although he's divorced, he adopted an orphan named Annie and her Airedale terrier named Sandy. He has two bodyguards, Punjab and Asp, who have mystical powers and great strength.

3) Richie Rich -- Age 10, net worth: $17 billion. This poor little rich kid inherited his father's fortune. He attends Richville Elementary School in Richville (U.S.A.). While sharing his fortune with underprivileged kids, his more sinister escapades include genetic engineering of "dollarmation" dogs and excessive use of robotic maids.

4) Lex Luther -- Age 36, net worth: $10.1 billion. He's the CEO of LexCorp (defense contracts, computer software and real estate). As a resident of Metropolis (U.S.A.), he's often peeved at a Daily Planet newspaper reporter named Clark Kent. Although generally mild-mannered, Kent occasionally cross-dresses into an outfit of blue tights with a red cape whereupon he fights for freedom, justice and the American way.

5) Charles Montgomery Burns -- Age 104, net worth: $8.4 billion. As owner/operator of a nuclear plant in Springfield (U.S.A.), he has every disease known to man. The diseases counteract one another, allowing him to live a long life. He credits his longevity to Satan. One of his employees is a fellow named Homer Simpson.

6) Scrooge McDuck -- Age 80, net worth: $8.2 billion. He lives in the world's largest repository of gold coins, a five-story tower in Duckburg (U.S.A.). He amassed his fortune in gold and copper, and spends his free time swimming in money. His heirs include his nephew Donald, and grand-nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

7) Jed Clampett -- Age 51, net worth: $6.6 billion. As a hillbilly in Tennessee, he accidentally stumbled upon a huge oil deposit that made him rich. So he moved his mother (Granny), his cousin (Jethro) and his daughter (Elly May) to Beverly Hills where they scared the neighbors and got even richer through banking.

8) Bruce Wayne -- Age 32, net worth: $6.5 billion. He's a wealthy playboy who inherited the family business. His stately mansion near Gotham City (U.S.A.) sits atop a complex of bat caves. He has a fetish for thwarting criminals by dressing up as a winged rodent (a bat) and putting an end to their dastardly deeds.

9) Thurston Howell III -- Age 60, net worth: $5.7 billion. A Harvard man with a snooty attitude toward commonness, he founded Howell Industries (plastic and chemicals). He and his wife went on a three-hour boat tour and never returned. He is thought to be in seclusion on a private island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

10) Willy Wonka -- Age 57, net worth: $2.3 billion. He lives in Kent, England, and owns a chocolate factory. Apparently, he was the son of a dentist and forbidden to eat chocolate as a child. Dentists can be very cruel.

Rounding out the top 15 richest fictional characters in the world are Arthur Bach (womanizing playboy, drunkard), Ebenezer Scrooge (rich miser, haunted by ghosts), Lara Croft (daughter of wealth, archeologist), Cruella De Vil (fashions fur coats from 99 Dalmatians) and Lucius Malfoy (wizard, enemy of Harry Potter).

Rich characters, fictional or otherwise, are just like the rest of us -- they're often a bit weird. The only difference is that regular weirdos are considered to be unbalanced while rich weirdos are merely eccentric.

I always thought Donald Trump was one of the richest fictional characters in the world, but I was wrong.

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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at bret@centurytel.net.