Even after one of the most expensive divorces in history, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos remains the world’s richest man. He’s wealthy enough that unfounded rumors of him owning a $400 million yacht are virally plausible. As such, it’s important that he seem like a relatable, average, human entity now and then. So whereas we mortals are on Instagram to flex, Jeff often tries to normalize himself there. Sometimes it’s as simple as Boomerposting about the troops.
Elsewhere, he’s posing in front of the poster for a goofy Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson action vehicle based on an old arcade game. Exactly what you or I would do at the movies. Cool.
And if he’s feeling particularly man-of-the-people? Then he might cop to a junk food habit.
Except… what the fuck? This photo stopped me mid-scroll because it’s a weird-ass thing to post, like an alien trying to blend in with the rest of us. But shortly after I shared it on Twitter, I noticed what many in the replies were already pointing out: Cheeto dust on all five fingers.
This, if you aren’t personally familiar with Cheetos (and get your ass down to 7-Eleven if not), isn’t the ordinary condition of one’s fingers after indulging in the popular snack. For comparison:
Cheetos being coated in a neon orange flavor powder — more on the reddish side if they’re Flamin’ Hot, though Bezos appears to prefer the milder classic formula — means that this residue tends to accumulate on your fingers as you indulge. In that sense, the Instagram pic is a canny play for “commoner” status. And for just a moment, the fact that Jeff appears to be in a car’s passenger seat, taking a ride into the middle of the desert, probably to check on his collection of space toys (or maybe to visit Jeffrey Epstein’s baby ranch?) is enough to distract you from the hand itself. But sooner or later, you run into the matter of that sticky Cheetos dust, or what my high school buddies used to call “chuzz.”
Would a man who truly loved this cornmeal treat not realize he can remove Cheetos from the bag with only three, or even two of his manual digits, as to avoid dirtying the entire set? Absurd. This lends credence to a theory that the scene is totally staged.
And yet, Bezos is an oddball. He’s also no stranger to unusual food consumption: supposedly he ate a whole can of Pillsbury biscuits every day in the 1990s — and didn’t quit until he got married, at which point his wife MacKenzie intervened. Although he’s wearing his wedding ring in the Cheetos pic, it dates to six months before they announced their divorce, so there’s a good chance he’d already reverted to a bachelor diet. That leaves us to explain how, exactly, he got chuzz on his ring and pinky fingers in addition to his index finger, middle finger and thumb. The obvious guess is that they all came together to pinch the Cheetos like prizes in a claw machine.
That’s a strange enough technique, but the questions don’t end there. Look again at Bezos’ hand and the tweet from the person who eats Cheetos with her thumb and forefinger, as is customary. You’ll notice that whereas her fingers are stained, Jeff’s are textured with chuzz, as if he is gripping the Cheetos too hard, causing extra transference of the powder. A certain delicacy of touch is all that’s required to largely avoid this caking effect.
Clearly, he doesn’t bother to modulate the force of his pincer move, meaning not only does he involve extraneous fingers, he’s applying undue pressure with them. Disturbingly, meanwhile, his thumb, where you expect to see a majority of Cheeto color, is the least orange. It’s possible he had sucked or licked it, and it alone, prior to snapping the picture, but I propose the most appalling solution: Jeff Bezos tries to eat Cheetos with every finger except his thumb, perhaps in order to keep it clean for unlocking his phone and other devices with biometric security. This would also illuminate the need to employ his pinky and ring fingers — to compensate for the absent thumb.
Is this an insane amount of speculation over a single cursed Instagram post? Yes.
Does it make any difference in our lives to understand what’s going on there? No.
Am I correct about how Jeff Bezos gets Cheetos from the bag to his mouth? Definitely.
I am, in essence, the Sherlock Holmes of munchies. And honestly, I’m a little surprised that Bezos — who may be a worker-exploiting proponent of state terror, though surely no dummy — hasn’t figured out a better way to satisfy his craving. The man has access to an unprecedented amount of data on human behavior, and he still doesn’t know that Oscar Isaac cracked this dilemma years ago.
Jeff, believe me: You’ll never get to Mars if you keep using the claw-hand instead of chopsticks.