Wednesday, October 01, 2008

If you want to be a successful plutocrat, you have to perfect the art of the hostess gift.

Edwina Rogers, the wife of Washington lobbyist Ed Rogers, is a master of the form and has developed her own signature specialty. She wraps her thank-yous in sheets of real dollar bills, purchased from the Bureau of Engraving.

In this clip from the pilot episode of “PowerHouse”–a kind of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” show set in Washington and in development for NBC–Mrs. Rogers is shown in her “wrapping room,” a special area of her walk-in closet in her 18,000-square-foot mansion.

She unfurls a roll of dollar bills and starts slicing them up to make the appropriate wrapping sheets. No matter that she slices several dollar bills in half–it is all about lining up the George Washingtons on the front.

“The effect is fabulous, especially for foreigners,” she says. “They love it.”

The host, Mario Correa, quips that he spends “less money on gifts for people than you do on the wrapping paper.”

Mrs. Rogers responds, quite thriftily, that she only wraps small gifts–not large ones–in money (a sheet of 32 $1 bills goes for $55).

Besides, it’s the thought that counts, she says: “I love giving gifts that are wrapped in U.S. dollars.”

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