February 2000
s m u g
compulsion
by Leslie Harpold

Smoke and Mirrors

Picture one of those plasma lights, where the small streaks of lightning inside respond to motion outside the glass. Now shrink it down to wand size, and this tiny hand held zapper, with a half sphered head and a cord coming out like an old fashioned electric toothbrush. Now that you have the image in your head imagine that wand glowing blue and purple and yellow, full of tiny little lightning bolts, and that the Rumanian woman standing over you promises that it will prevent bacteria from getting into your pores.

From a distance, it sounds unlikely, I know, but in the last quarter of a 90 minute facial, after laying in a dark room and listening to the soothing rain forest muzak while swathed in a super thick cotton robe and after a half hour of reflexology, it seems totally plausible. I don't know how or why it works, and I'm not asking. She takes this mini bug zapper light and it hisses and pops and sends tiny shocks into my skin. I feel purified.

Since my brain strives for homeostasis and logic in all things I am convinced when I leave that there is a part of my face near my nose that I can no longer feel. The other half of my brain which seeks chaos and randomness, is sure that is the most pure part of my skin. Within 20 minutes, my face feels normal again, better than normal, pure, fresh and radiant.

In my career as a beauty consumer, I have been creamed sloughed, exfoliated, treated with various acids, prescription and non prescription potions, and in the most dire situations, used Preparation H to reduce under eye swelling. Yes, really. (It works, too.) However, this wand, the latest thing introduced into my repertoire scares and amazes me at the same time. I want to know what it is and how it works yet I can never bring myself to ask. There is something inside me that knows the illogic of it all is what makes it sing to me.

I now fantasize about having one at home, installing it at my vanity so I can plug in at any time and be germ free, recapture some of that luminescence without having to shell out eighty bucks for the whole day spa treatment. Just the cleanliness, the purification light, that's all I want. I'm sure though if they ever sell a home model it won't be long until I'm found shaking on the floor, the muscles in my face twitching in perpetuity like a Chihuahua, mumbling "I may look awful, but my skin is very clean!"

I fear the day that the tell all shows up in Allure, exposing the shame of this instrument, I don't even know it's name. Or worst case scenario, the recalls where it turns out this space age tool was really just another way for the government to steal y ideas, some sort of alien probing mechanism, but for now, I'm just going to enjoy the small pores and the lie that this is somehow helping me.

leslie@smug.com

back to the junk drawer

feature car
net
worth
chair
bumping
uglies
gun
smoking
jacket
barcode
field
recordings
pie
feed
hollywood
lock
target
audience
scissors
three
dollar
bill
dice
compulsion vise
posedown cheese
the
biswick
files
toothbrush
mystery
date
wheelbarrow
and such
and such
hat
blab fan
kissing
booth
martini











     
feature net worth bumping uglies smoking jacket ear candy feed Hollywood target audience three dollar bill compulsion posedown the biswick files mystery date and such and such blab kissing booth


contents freakshow fan club junk drawer



copyright 1996, 1997 fearless media