Perfect Hair and Pinkie Rings

L. Van Warren

Grasshoppers do all their tasting with their feet.


Society had come a long way since the late 20th century, and only five years into the new millennium had shown tremendous progress. What had first appeared as the bouffant hairdoo plastic battery people joke how now turned into expected business wear. Now people looked good, 24 hours a day, from top to bottom. They didn't have to worry about weight either since the dingo gene had been put into mass production. Even sex was now high density polyethylene squeaking between consenting couples of various quick deciding persuasions. These plastic body suits were glued directly to the skin, which was shaved smooth, washed with peroxide and exposed to yellow light first. The famous transpiration patent had rendered old-fashioned bathing unnecessary, but some maintainence of the outer plastic was required. Turtle polish and carnuba wax did the trick from bottom to top, including the fixed solid hairdoo. Hair was now under complete control, but little did any of us expect that the pinkie ring was soon to follow.

Strangely it was the collectable phone card craze that led to this stupendous simplification of daily life. One bright supermarket magnate led the way, by letting customers pay for groceries with their shoeboxes of collectable baseball hero phone cards, quite handy for those who at that time had used up their standard plastic credit limit after the sixth black Friday in a row, that famous unified world stock market debacle that covered manhole covers and street curbs from Manhattan to Tokyo with the corpses of freshly ground polymers and hamburger.

When the phone card people saw the grocery thing happening, they went crazy. One especially prolific salesman jokingly quipped that he just wished he could get "those damn cards" jammed in the phi alpha nu ring he ceremonially stroked on his little finger. The rest was history. Pinkie rings for every paying customer and for every consuming man, woman and child were being cranked out with record precision, in record time. They had GPS, so they could tell where you were (took a bite out of crime), plus cellular-two-way if you had the ear-gizmo,they had medical records, organ donation, and driver's license. You could load them up with greeniedough as it came to be called over the vphone, through Term Booths and even at the post office. You could put your homework in them and a last rites and will message to be played in the event of your demise. If you happened to be diabetic, on dialysis or had some other misfortune, they even had a UV Doppler thingie on the underside that could telemeter your vital signs in real time. Rich people would wear one on each hand in case one gave out, which they didn't ... usually. The underprivileged, oppressed and teen social class would rip off the top jewel, which was transparent for show, and wear them through the septum of the nose. This led to a great performances at the grocery store, usually preceded by a feral growling on social injustice before the goods were paid for with a bowing motion over a scanner, which had the contradictory appearance of paying great respects to the checkout personnel. - Van Warren