Magpie Tales: Minding the Manns

potato altered

We visit a secret Island in the Pacific with this Magpie Tale

“Mann Empire Heir Found Dead in West Vurgonzia” read the 72 point headline in the New York Post. 

Otto Mann IV, 32, heir to the Mann Financial Services and part-time Abercombie Fitch model was found dead in the jungles of West Vurgonzia where his family owns half of the island.  Details of his death are still unclear, but early speculation suggests that he was in search of the fabled Golden Spuds of West Vurgonzia that Amelia Earhart was searching for when she disappeared in the Pacific.

For decades West Vurgonzia had been the playground of the ultra-rich.  With beaches more pristine than Bali and perfect weather, this South Pacific playground was so exclusive that it appears on no maps. Attempts to book travel there online will cause one’s computer to involuntary download Otto-Pay, the bill-paying app of Mann Financial Services.  So it was no surprise that just as Otto Mann III was poised to buy all of West Vurgnonzia that his son would perish while trying to grab the golden spuds that had long been fabled and had been the demise of many an adventurer.

It was also no surprise that Otto IV was vying to force his father into early retirement in order take over the Otto Mann empire.  Vain to a fault, Otto IV knew that his days as an Abercombie model were limited, and he would have been devastated to see his obituary list his real age instead of his press release age of 24.  Known for showing up shirtless at black tie affairs, he embodied the unorthodox and ruthless tradition of the Mann men.  And women.

Otto I came to the U.S. in 1902 working in the garment industry, running the worst sweat shops on the Lower East Side and paying his under age workers peanuts.  Literally.  For an 18-hour work day he gave them a cup and a half of unshelled peanuts.  Otto II continued the tradition until finding that he could pay children in the Philippines half a cup of peanuts and decided to offshore the whole operation.  That was when the family discovered West Vergonzia after they were invited there by Howard Hughes.

In 1972 Otto III launched the nation’s largest check cashing stores, introducing the drive through option for faster serves albeit with a 75% fee.  In 1991, as the internet was taking hold, Mann introduced “Otto-Pay” which charged a 37% fee that was hidden in the ads and disclaimers.  People were so charmed by the singing raccoon sock puppet that was the mascot that they didn’t seem to care.

“Otto-pay for all those bills you oughta pay” the raccoon sang.

In early 2009, a scathing article in the Times business section titled “The Manns: Meaner Than the Madoffs” did not hurt their fortunes. They became the beloved scapegoats for corporate greed.  Otto’s wife Marilyn was quoted in the article as listing Marie Antoinette as her patron saint and Leona Helmsley as a mentor.  She was dubbed the Vixen of Excess in the New Recession.  She even cribbed Helmsley’s adage by saying, “Only the stupid people pay taxes” and had no problem wearing mink in the depths of the New Recession.

When Otto sued Marilyn for divorce that Christmas, Marilyn made lemonade from the bitter fruit handed her.  Minding the Manns premiered New Year’s Day 2010 on Bravo and followed Marilyn and her three daughters — MeMe, mOhn-IkkA, and Mad-Iss-Sun — around their Park Avenue apartment, Montauk retreat, Westchester estate, and Jackson Hole winter home.  Otto IV appeared in a few episodes, mainly if their was a chance for him to appear shirtless.

Even Marilyn’s loyal assistant Adele was taken back a bit when news of Otto IV’s death arrived.  “Damn, why did you have to tell me this when the camera crew is away?” Marilyn asked “We’ll just have to re-enact it this afternoon.  Call Andy Cohen pronto to get someone to script it.”

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3 responses to “Magpie Tales: Minding the Manns

  1. OMG ~~~ this is epic!

  2. I suspected that there was more skullduggery going on than would naturally meet the eye, but I had no idea that there was so much! Thank you for this piece of intrepid reporting.

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