When everyone — including you — jokes that you have a secret volcano lair, it’s probably more than likely some other off-colour remarks might find their way out of your mouth. A new book about Elon Musk contains at least two dozen such statements. If even a third of these are true, he’s probably even smarter than we thought.
Ashlee Vance is the author of the superbly well-timed Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, the new book out this week about everyone’s favourite battery-makin’ billionaire. The Washington Post gave it a read and plucked out 22 incredible Musky nuggets from his employees, ex-wives, and parents (who, coincidentally, were worried about how much time he spent staring off into space — space! — and had his adenoid glands thinking it would improve his hearing).
We know Musk has a pretty decent sense of humour, so some of these might be a little tongue-in-cheek. The one story that everyone seems to be sharing right now is the one I kinda do not believe. Musk supposedly berated an employee via email for skipping a work event to be present at the birth of his child (I mean, I assume was a man he got mad at and not a woman?). But a few other stories just sound like typical Musk we’ve come to know and love.
His Ex-Wife Thinks of Him as a Cyborg
“I do think of him as the Terminator. He locks his gaze on to something and says, ‘It shall be mine.’ Bit by bit, he won me over.” — Justine Musk, Elon’s ex-wife [I think that quote is actually attributed to Wayne Campbell, but ok]
He Has a Great Pickup Line
“I believe the second sentence out of his mouth was, ‘I think a lot about electric cars.’ And then he turned to me and said, ‘Do you think about electric cars?’ ” — Christie Nicholson, who met Musk at a party
He’s a Billionaire Hobo
“He’s kind of homeless, which I think is sort of funny. He’ll e-mail and say, ‘I don’t know where to stay tonight. Can I come over?’ I haven’t given him a key or anything yet.” — Google’s Larry Page
He Wants to Put a Roller Coaster in Tesla’s Factory
“Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it.” — Elon Musk
He Let a Knife Thrower Chuck Knives at Balloons Held Between His Legs
“I’d seen him before, but did worry that maybe he could have an off day. Still, I thought, he would maybe hit one gonad but not both.” — Elon Musk
What do you think? Were his words taken out of context or is this the Real Musk™? Head on over to read the rest and let us know.
Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP