Beauty Shop Talk: It's a Wrap

Next week the horsey set will enjoy the hair of the dog that bit them at the Fur for Dessert charity gala and fashion show presented by Nemo's department store. It conjures up memories of the morning I awoke to discover Stormy's hamster dead in a bowl of melted ice cream. As anyone who has ever shared chocolate mousse with a German shepherd can attest, fur and pudding don't mix. Besides the obviously noble motives of fund-raising and giving people a reason to change out of their bathrobes, what's behind the odd alliance of food and fuzz? "We want everyone to know fur is back -- with a vengeance," said marketing director Jack Butcher. "And not just all that dyed crap we had last year. What better time to show off erstwhile critters than when folks are munching bunny-shaped hunks of chocolate in raspberry sauce?" Ivana Tubbs, fashion editor for the Axel Rattler, agreed. "These are in-your-face furs. Furs that scream, 'Keep your distance if you're wearing inanimate objects.'""You don't have to be embarrassed to wear fur," Butcher said. "In fact, our new ad campaign is built around the slogan Death Be Proud." As if local socialites, who covet big cars, big chests, and foot high hair-dos, ever realized fur was out. Just last week Axel's grand dame, Minnie Ledbetter, had to be rushed to the hospital with heat prostration after wearing her mink to the supermarket in 85 degree heat. Surgeons are gearing up for football season when roving packs of coyotes attack women leaving high school games in pelts that make them resemble weak and aged animals. These are the easy prey Nemo's hopes to snare. And who is more deserving of attention? Axel's leading citizens have dwelled for too long in a fashion backwater of appliqued sweatshirts and stretch pants. Scorned in ports-of-call around the world for ready-to-wear cocktail dresses and last year's hemlines, they look forward to vindication.Rejection was such a bewildering experience for wearers of our fine furry friends."It was awful when we went some place like Aspen," said my girlfriend Brandi, who used to be married to a cardiologist. "The only place I could wear my lynx was in bed with Lance. Now I wish I hadn't sold it at Trader's Village." By the looks of it, Hollywood is hot on the heels of Axel fashion mavens. Even supermodels and movie stars who posed exposed for animal rights are trading skin for skins."I know it's naughty but I just can't help myself," said fashion designer Rudy Slaughter. "Fur, fast food, hand-cuffs -- all the bad stuff. It's so trendy." Across the nation, Republican Women's Club members and DAR dowagers sporting mutilated beasts are hip as heroin chic. What's next? Pierced nipples at the bridge table? Tattooed Shriner's wives? Domino-playing dominatrixes?Is any creature safe? I have a dog and I need to know. "The worst is yet to come," said cultural anthropologist Emily Zinfrang who theorizes that Americans are re-cycling 50's morality. "It's the white bread utopia thing."Dr. Zinfrang says we can look forward to dangling fox heads, coonskin caps, entire birds affixed to headgear. Fuzzy cat houseshoes made from real cats. Poodle skirts embellished with canine anatomy. Chattering teeth from the mouths of caged primates. I bought a ticket to the gala. The only upside is the dessert. If I don't lose my appetite.

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