32-year-old Martin Shkreli became America’s most hated man almost entirely due to his extremely punchable face. We tried to pretend we cared about him raising the price of a drug we’ve never heard of for a disease we’ll never have, but make no mistake, that smug “teacher, you forgot to give us homework” face is the genesis of our vitriol. That face is the human equivalent of a fedora. Don’t get me wrong, we all rightfully and honestly condemned him for his ruthless price gouging, but Chipotle charging $2.50 extra for a shot of guacamole is comparably as deplorable. And at least Martin has never directly caused me to shit my pants.
What’s the man like behind the punchable face?
Shkreli’s opening line:
“I’m that guy who has been in the news lately.”
That comment is dripping with sex. Cryptic yet powerful. This dude just raised his value 5,000%. He’s the best at that.
In order to avoid being catfished, Collier asked for some evidence that the person she was corresponding with was THE pharma douche.
I still thought I was being cat-fished, but we exchanged numbers and he promptly sent me a selfie along with photos of his credit card and driver’s license. I was tempted to ask for the security code on the back of the card, but instead told him that he should probably stop texting pictures of his identification to strangers on the Internet.
Jacklyn agreed to go on a date with Martin and reports that he was very gentlemanly in regards to planning around her schedule/location, even going so far to deem him the “most considerate Tinderfella I have encountered.”
Collier’s first impression of Shkreli veered far from the alpha, burn-it-to-the-ground persona he portrays to the media.
Martin was a lot smaller than I thought he would be, and seemed really nervous. Outside the restaurant, we exchanged an uncomfortable greeting that was somewhere between an overzealous handshake and a halfhearted hug and headed inside.
When they sat down, Martin became more comfortable, taking the opportunity to clear up people’s perception about him.
He said people saying mean stuff didn’t bother him, but he felt that people didn’t understand the pharmaceutical industry. He assured me that no one would go without the drug if they needed it, that it would be given to patients if they couldn’t afford it. I was skeptical that he could guarantee that, but also wasn’t sure that he couldn’t.
The date seemed to go like any middle-of-the-road Tinder date would, with the exception of Martin’s post-dinner purchase.
We finished our food, and Martin flagged down the waitress and ordered the $120 tea.
…When Martin finished his tea, I asked how he liked it. “I’m not really a big tea drinker,” he replied.
What? I thought of all the good I could do with that money — donating it to charity, buying a new winter coat, buying myself 20 Venti iced soy vanilla chai lattes. He might as well have eaten a $100 bill in front of me.
Power moves are invaluable, Jacklyn.
Martin’s driver gave Jacklyn a ride back to his place where he gave her that Pharma D. Just kidding, he drove her home and that was the end of it.
I am not trying to excuse his professional behavior or say he’s a good person. (I can’t really tell from one date and occasional text communication.) But he’s a lot more interesting and complex than I would have imagined.
My only regret is not guzzling a cup of that $120 tea. As far as Tinder dates go, I’d call that a win.
Still want to punch his face, though. Just ‘cuz.
[h/t The Washington Post]