Snip, snip, snip. Six women in a small room tainted with the scent of pamplemousse and a floor covered in hair.
"It's too bad about Michael. He was sooooo cute." Beaded flip-flops and red toenail polish. Her voice filled the room in a way no hydrating citrus spray could hope to match.
The stylist was using a big round brush, pulling the first woman's tawny hair up, up, up and out. "He was cute!"
"But he's dead, you know."
"Really? Recently?" Red flag No. 1. Angela and I exchange glances in the mirror. The third pair of women, visible only as two pairs of feet, are silent.
"He committed suicide."
One of the pairs of feet speaks up; I'm not sure which. "He strangled himself."
"Oh, that's right! He was doing that, that sex thing and died."
The stylist chimed in. "The owner of The XXX Factor died that way, too."
"Yeah. They found him hanging by a doorknob by his belt. Nitrous and you know don't mix, do they?" She laughed. What was the problem with that word? Angela's pierced eyebrow arches and she snips in silence, Hello Kitty calaveras tat peeping out from under her shirt sleeve.
Red Toenails was gyrating in her chair. "They should put warning labels on the bottles. It's like in the old days when they'd say you'd get hairy palms if you, uh, you know, too much."
Another glance in the mirror. "Masturbation didn't kill Michael Hutchence; I'm sure the belt around his neck had a lot to do with it."
Silence from the corner containing the two pairs of feet.
Bouncing, booming, embarrassed, Red Toenails changed subjects. "Isn't it amazing that those hairy men, the cave-men, what are they called, Janine? Cave, cave, cave..." A shrug from Janine, still brushing in big long strokes and trimming oh so carefully. "All covered in hair, and first they're doing talk-shows and radio and now they have a tv show."
Did Red Toenails see me hang my head in disbelief? I don't know; I was looking down.
"I think they're wearing costumes."
"That's not what they really look like? Are you sure? I think they really look like that."
"Uh," sensing a diminishment in tip Janine backpedaled. "I don't know. But their tv show is good!"
I fled the noise and inanity before I could hear Red Flag No. 3.