There are some people of means who are desperate for everyone to know they are people of means.
They (men and women) wear gold chains to adorn their leathery necks. They (men and women) wear earrings that sparkle like the eyes of an orgiastic llama. And they (men and women) have the undoubtedly enterprising Austrian jewelry designer Peter Aloisson to make gadgets that might remind lesser beings of trinkets from the artist formerly known as Saddam Hussein.
The latest of Mr. Aloisson's creations is a $2.5 million iPhone. May I quote some of the forbiddingly florid language from Mr. Aloisson's alluring Web site: "Made of solid 18-carat yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. A fabulous combination. The white gold line is encrusted with a total of 138 brilliant cut diamonds of the best quality."
But wait, this touching work of art has a unique feature. No, it does not polish your shoes while you talk on the phone. And no, it doesn't have a built-in vibrator to massage your ear. It does, however, have a "home button" that carries a rare 6.6-carat diamond.
The Web site gushes that this button is "integrated in the design, as if this diamond has been made for 'taking you home.'" In order to make you understand that this phone is probably not for you, Mr. Aloisson has dubbed the device the "Apple iPhone 3G Kings Button."
I accept that many things are not for me. A Bentley, for example. When I see one floating down the street, I think to myself: "Hmm, well, the driver's dyed his hair out of a bottle, but that's a tastefully designed vehicle."
However, when I look at the iPhone 3G Kings Button, I think: "Wears shoes from a crocodile, smiles like a reptile, and makes love like a cockroach. Oh, and dons Aramis cologne."
Who knows why I think this? Taste is a highly subjective thing. And you might think that Mr. Aloisson was having an off-day when he designed this homage to catatonia.… Read more