Pet Peeves

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Under Our Skin

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

If residents are mad at Haagen pricing, then I say residents are apoplectic at Oceane Skin Care sales tactics. Residents are all red faced and hot under the collar at their high-pressure salespeople. Definitely this business has gotten under our collective skin and the city council has rushed in to do something about correcting the red blotches that Oceane has left on its city Specific Business Plan.

I don’t know diddly squat about skin or skincare products. It’s hard to be peeved about something you know so little about. Then I looked in the mirror. What looked back at me was missing. Where did I go? So, I dragged over the step stool for a better look. That’s when a cold-cream realization struck me hard in the face. My face was sagging inches lower than the last time I had given it any serious notice. Yikes, I might have to undergo a remedial skincare treatment, just when the city council revokes Oceane’s conditional use permit. Damn gravity and the forever-young looking Sandra Bollock.

There must be an alternative course of action that I could take. I know. I’ll become a vampire. Those guys never age. Maybe they’re a little pale in the face from hanging out nights rather than days. But the nail in that coffin is that it is better than being cooked sick by a relentless Laguna sun. Of course, I’d have to learn to suck blood. Geez, it sounds awful, but I know it’s no worse than the bloodletting done to credit cards across the country to do facials and Botox injections. Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize it’s only the first bite that’s sucks because all bites thereafter are on someone else trying to keep up appearances, too. If I do it right, I’ll turn it into a humanitarian cause. I’ll bite only old people over at the Susi Q Center. My charitable actions will add years to their lives. They’ll be so grateful that they’ll let me win at bingo, scrabble, cribbage, mahjong, and all other board games I can’t think of right now because I’m aging before someone bites me.

But wait. Muzzle those incisors. If I get bitten now and do unto others at the Susi Q, then we will always look like the old people we are now. Oops, I’d end up more hated than a Kenny Rogers makeover. Scratch the vampire remedy. No, don’t even scratch me. I don’t want to be a vampire.

Damn my mirror. Then upon reflection, I found the answer. I’d make a deal with the Coastal Commission, instead of, the Good Samaritan city council. In exchange for coveted parking spaces, I would receive a carryout use permit for a magic mirror store. There would be no high-pressure sales tactics because the mirrors will sell themselves. One look into the mirror would halt the customer from aging. Only the mirror would reflect and record the user’s true age. Residents will be forever young and free of social constraints to pursue all their southern California passions and interests.

And I have the perfect business partner in mind to share the rent with, my dear friend Dorian Gray.


Mark and Dorian plan to expand the magic mirror merchandise to include fun house mirrors that will gain weight for you and relieves customers of the annoyances of having to make and stick to New Year resolutions to lose those unwanted pounds.






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