Pro tip: If you go back to a guy’s place and there are dinosaur skulls everywhere, don’t fuck him.
I issue this warning because owning preserved dinosaur bits is coming into fashion among middle-aged Hollywood actors and there’s something a little … off about it. The latest reminder that possessing extremely dead shit is a live trend came embedded in a conversation between the New York Times’ David Marchese and actor Nicolas Cage. In the interview, published Wednesday, Cage is asked about his spending habits (notoriously, he is out of money), which quickly turns to a meditation on why he had to relinquish a dinosaur skull he bought in 2007.
The dinosaur skull was an unfortunate thing, because I did spend $276,000 on that. I bought it at a legitimate auction and found out it was abducted from Mongolia illegally, and then I had to give it back. Of course it should be awarded to its country of origin. But who knew? Plus, I never got my money back. So that stank.
This pyrrhic victory at auction was only consummated once Cage outbid fellow fossil enthusiast Leonardo DiCaprio. Not one to be deterred from getting what he wants, DiCaprio was spotted inquiring about some dinosaur bones at Art Miami last year. Russell Crowe is also a part of this. In 2018 his Divorce Auction contained a dinosaur skull which he’d purchased from — you already know — Leonardo DiCaprio.
I have my theories as to why this is happening, all of them related to obsession over aging. For one, ownership of a dinosaur skull heads off ribbing about one’s advanced age (“the last time I heard that joke I fell off my dinosaur,” etc.), because the skull (a) is intimidating, and (b) literally was (is?) a dinosaur. Second, compared to a dinosaur that’s been dead millions of years, you are going to come off as young and vibrant. If you’ve dated a string of 20-somethings your entire life, as DiCaprio has, this thought might occur to you. Then there is a way in which owning something so old is a bit like mastering time itself. And to sip expensive whiskey while staring into the emptied eye sockets of a hyperpredator would lend assurance that one’s own legacy will endure.
In conclusion, a man with a giant dinosaur skull worth a fortune is probably compensating for some other lack. And it is not the lack that is unattractive so much as the hardcore show of superiority. This type is a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood fanatic, a CEO who “crushes it” daily, a blogger whose basement apartment is the exact length of his Brachiosaurus spine. Do not miss out on the profound pleasure of rejecting him.
You can also just use common sense. Do I really need to explain this? Avoiding these guys is a kind of ancient, preprogrammed knowledge that spans all demographics, like nightmares about snakes or finding Adam Driver attractive.