The Buffett Game
Your most recent Intellectual Situation (“Billionaire Follies,” Issue 41) characterizes the billionaire Warren Buffett as “snacking on cheeseburgers and pretending to live in the same house he bought in Omaha for $31,500 in 1958.” Although I can’t speak to the cheeseburgers, I can certainly attest—thanks to a childhood spent in the Omaha suburbs—that Buffett does, in fact, live in his (sort-of) modest Dundee home! In fact, his occupancy was the entire basis of a reliable last-ditch activity: the Buffett Game.
When you were tired of walking around the Old Market or sifting through the same three discount CD bins at Homer’s, when you had visited the smoky Antiquarium for the fourth time that week and fallen asleep watching a Batman marathon in Tyler’s basement, when you had driven up and down Saddle Creek Road blasting the Faint and had grabbed some Village Inn pie but it was still too early for a midnight movie, then it was time for the Buffett Game. To play, you’d bet a dollar that Warren Buffett was home. Then you’d drive by his house in my friend’s 1992 Geo Prizm. If you saw him in the windows, or if there was a nondescript sedan in the driveway, the Buffett Game Dollar was yours. We never saw him in the windows, but I’d say that sedan was parked there a good half of the time. If that wasn’t Buffett’s sedan, then the loss of our precious mall money was for naught.
One time, a mountain lion was reported loose in Omaha, which came close in terms of local excitement. But even the mountain lion was originally from Denver. Let us have Mr. Buffett.