Brazil’s most eccentric billionaire, Count Chiquinho Scarpa is no stranger to oddity. After the stir he raised when he announced his entire fortune would be willed to his prized cockatoo, you would think that nobody would be surprised by his antics, but his latest stunt has generated quite the buzz in the social media realm. With the idea of death fresh in his thoughts, after developing a superbug while in surgery back in 2009, entering a coma for sixty-three days, and being pronouced dead twice over the course of his fight with the disease, he decided the follow in the footsteps of the Ancient Egyptians.
Scarpa took to Facebook to announce that when he is finished driving his half-million US dollar Bentley, he plans to bury it in his backyard. When interviewed about his decision, he said he was inspired by a documentary he recently watched on Egyptian pharaohs, who buried their treasures, to meet them in the afterlife. Over the next few days, Scarpa posted pictures of his pristine Bentley sitting perfectly juxaposed by a deep, freshly-excavated grave. Needless to say, he had all of Brazil up in arms. Locals took to Facebook to express their discontent, saying that the car should be donated and how Scarpa was a cruel, elitist man. A day after it was posted, the funeral announcement already had over 5000 likes and 6000 shares.
After going viral, every newspaper and televised media outlet hopped on the story. Come the day of the burial, they arrived in droves. News helicopters circled his mansion as the mint, black Bentley proceeded down the ramp into the burial chamber. Before the dirt was laid, he abruptly stopped the the ceremony and invited everyone into his home for a surprise announcement. Scarpa announced that he was in fact not about to bury his beloved car in the ground, and if you were guessing all along that this was just an elaborate, publicity stunt, you’re right, but when you hear the reason behind it, it might just surprise you!
Scarpa told reporters that every day, thousands of people are burying something much more valuable than any car in the ground, donatable organs. Poetic right? He announced his campaign with the Brazillian Association of Organ Transplant and deemed the week Organ Donor Week. Within the following month, the number of registered organ donors had already raised by over 31%! Again, the people of Sao Paolo took to social media to express their opinions. The same people, who, a week ago, cursed Scarpa for his choices, praised his efforts and apologized for their prior judgement. It is truly amazing that in this global age, a simple status update can draw so much attention and actually make a positive impact on our society.