Larry Ellison Wags His Cock At San FranciscoS

SAN FRANCISCO—Larry's cock is 13 stories high, which is odd because most buildings don't have 13 stories because it's bad luck, but Larry doesn't have to worry about bad luck, because he is the fifth-richest man in the world. He's so rich and so weird that people write more about how rich and weird he is than about what his company actually does, which is unclear to the majority of citizens. And since it's not nearly as much fun being rich if no one knows or appreciates what you did to get rich, every now and then you need to whip out your cock and wave it around the face of an entire city, which is what Larry Ellison and his crew did on Wednesday. Call it civic bukkake.

In addition to its impressive height, the catamaran weighs seven tons. It was a sight to behold on Wednesday—Larry's cock was legitimately majestic, "flying above water" via feats of nautical engineering. Tens of thousands had come out to see the thing for themselves, including at least a thousand Oracle employees, by one salesman's estimate at least. The company was abuzz. The employees were all psyched, explained the salesmen, and even the naysayers, the ones who'd given up when Larry's cock was down eight races to one, had rallied.

"Welcome to the drama we call the 34th America's Cup!" the PA announcer said.

"Time to finish the job or the comeback means nothing!" the PA announcer said.

"This is the race of the century!" the PA announcer said.

The theater set up for the admiration of Larry's cock was the America's Cup Pavilion, an outdoor mall containing bars, restaurants, sponsored booths, a concert venue (performers include Fall Out Boy, Steely Dan, and of course Train), tens of thousands of spectacle enthusiasts, and possibly even a few folks who could explain what jibing is. I came here on Wednesday to see the conclusion of an event that had dominated the city, in ways both physical and psychological. Oracle was everywhere. Not far from the Pavilion was Oracle Open World, the annual confab between Oracle, its customers, and its acolytes that takes over two city blocks around San Francisco's Moscone Center. Between the America's Cup Pavilion and the Open World conference, Larry had spread himself over a sizable chunk of the city. This wasn't an event; this was an occupation, the kind of thing that typically requires guns and tanks to pull off.

Larry Ellison Wags His Cock At San FranciscoS

Watching a sailboat race is a bit like watching a horse race, if instead of running in a circle the horses just ran in a straight line for a few miles, then came back, then ran away again, then came back. Instead of betting, you can purchase $11 Pinot Grigio. Instead of fun, you can have something else, which is the thrill of being an extra in some megalomaniac's fever dream.

That latter feeling will be familiar to anyone who has lived in San Francisco in recent years, during which time the city has become a sort of multi-company company town, in thrall to the tech industry and its gods. The GoogleAppleFacebook shuttles course through the city like cholesterol; soon they'll be driven by robots. You hear people in coffee shops referring to "Larry and Sergey," as if they're talking about their cousins. Zuck just bought a house in the Mission, an erstwhile barrio where today only people like Zuck can afford to live. Twitter gets tax breaks. And for 12 weeks Larry Ellison gets to turn the city into a monument to himself.

All the sailors were mic'd, and in the Pavilion their orders and imprecations were amplified via PA, along with the sounds of the boats themselves, which resemble braying seals. For an up-close view, you could watch the race unfold on big-screen TVs, which doesn't offer the same thrill as spying one of the boats with your own eyes from the edge of a pier, but hey, there are bean-bag chairs.

Toward the middle of the race, as the boats steered around the nautical equivalent of a road cone—"rounding the marks," they call it—I was pretty sure Larry's cock was losing, but it turned out to be the opposite: the thing was 162 meters ahead of the cock behind it (that would be New Zealand's cock, sponsored by the lowly New Zealand government, Lord of the Rings apparently having run its course in terms of national brand recognition). "Boat speed, boat speed, boat speed—a tactician's best friend," said the PA announcer. A few minutes later Oracle Team USA won.

Upon winning, a fireboat spurted water high up into the bay, and Larry's boat did victory laps around the pier for all to see. Chants of "USA! USA!" ensued. A small boy asked if anyone had seen his little sister.

Larry Ellison Wags His Cock At San FranciscoS

I saw a lady who'd traveled with her husband from the suburb of Fremont to watch the race. She was impressed by the Oracle salesman's affiliation, eager to ask him questions.

"What do you sell?" she asked.

"Ummm," said the salesman, launching into a futile explanation of the cloud before moving on to the news of the moment: "This is the greatest comeback in sports history!"

I asked him what Larry would think of his playing hooky from Oracle Open World to watch the race. In retrospect, it was a silly question. The sailboat race wasn't a recreational diversion; it was the logical extension of everything else Oracle was doing. All of San Francisco was just a mark for Larry Ellison to round.

The salesman smiled. "Larry would say, 'Now get back there and close the deal.'"

The trophy ceremony was about to start. Larry's cock pulled up to the dock; the sailors came running out.


Garrett Kamps is a writer living in San Francisco. He's @gkamps on Twitter. Email him at thegarrett@gmail.com.