New World Order, A


By Kowalski

Tucker Hicks brought Paul Morton home after work a few nights later.

Sheila was back in town and was coming over for dinner. When the two men walked in the door they heard loud peels of laughter coming from the kitchen. He hadn't heard Cassidy laugh like that in a long time, not since Sheila's last visit. It was the laughter of two lifelong girlfriends who hadn't been together in ages. On the kitchen TV an advertisement for Promade was playing. Tucker and Paul walked into the kitchen but when Tucker tried to interrupt both women shooshed him and called for quiet so they could hear the rest of this hilarious commercial that they had all seen so many times before. The girls spoke the words along with the announcer.

"With Promade, you'll enjoy the full head of hair that nature intended. Reclaim the youthful look and rugged vitality you've been missing.

Enjoy life. Enjoy love. At work... and at PLAY.... Promade keeps you looking ...AND FEELING... faaaantastic!"

The ad featured a second-rate actor posing as a doctor who endorsed the drug. The men in the ad were mostly dim-witted studs combing their thick heads of hair to a searing rock and roll soundtrack, playing basketball with their shirts off, white water rafting. And most hilarious to Cassidy and Sheila were the adoring, big-titted bimbos that these happy men cavorted with wherever they went. Way out of line with what you normally see in television ads, more like something from a porno. Sheila was perhaps laughing most loudly, tears streaming down her pretty face. She wiped her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to collect herself.

"Sheila, you've met Tucker before. And this is Tuck's friend Paul Morton. Paul, this is my best friend in the world Sheila Martin." Cassidy said with an formal and dramatic movement of her boney arm.

Cassidy was acting like she actually knew and liked Paul. This was a first! Cassidy was never this gracious or nice to Tucker's friends or to anybody really. She was obviously in a great mood tonight.

"Nice to meet you Paul", Sheila shook his hand and exchanged smiles with him.

Such a warm inviting sparkle in her eyes. Paul was attracted to her immediately.

"And nice to meet YOU Sheila."

In another day and age he might have made more of a dramatic overture to her, kissing her hand, proclaiming her beauty. That's what he felt like doing, but instead he tried to break the ice with a joke.

"My bald friend and I have come about the Promade?"

Sheila busted out laughing all again. She was fed up with the lingering pain of her recent breakup. It felt so wonderful to laugh and she threw her whole self into it. It was like a tonic for her numb soul. She recovered and hammed it up for this cute friend of Cassidy's.

"Yes sir, step right this way. We've got what you're looking for. What would you like? The travel size? The economy size? Or perhaps you'd like to consider the lifetime supply", she flipped her silky black hair back for emphasis.

Cassidy tried to be funny too. She took down a gleaming, hardly-ever-used frying pan from her well-equipped galley and held it up to her fiancé like a mirror, taking him by the arm. Tucker looked at his reflection and saw his distorted bald head.

"You've come to the right place my friend. It's never too late to start taking Promade. Might I recommend the industrial strength formula for you?"

Cassidy yanked on Tucker's thinning short-cropped curls without mercy.

Her attempt at humor had more than a tinge of domestic cruelty to it. He was angered and rather mortified at the same time. If it all weren't such a huge joke he'd love nothing more than to talk seriously about this drug that his pal Steve was having such spectacular results with. Sheila came to his rescue. Sort of.

"You know, seriously though, I've heard about that stuff. I hear it really does work. It's gene therapy you know. It cures the baldness." Sheila said.

"Yeah, I hear it's been selling like crazy. But it's really expensive.

And if you stop taking it, it stops working. It's a swindle if you ask me."

Paul added.

"Yep. Six hundred bucks a month. Who's gonna shell out that kind of dough for a little bit of hair?" Sheila asked as she mussed up Paul's own healthy head of hair.

"But... if it attracts the kind of lovely young women like they show in the ads, you can bet MEN will spend whatever they're asking for it", she remarked with a sassy cluck.

Tucker knew there was more to Promade than hair growth. A lot more. He was tempted to argue the fact that someone they all knew, Steve Gold, was on Promade and having good success with it, but then he thought better of it. No use starting up with Cassidy right now. She could be such a royal bitch sometimes, when it came to his pal Steve. He laughed impatiently. Cassidy fired a penetrating glance at her soon-to-be fiancée.

"Well, you can bet my Tuck here ain't gonna be spendin' no six hundred bucks a month for no Promade. He's spoken for, aren't you honey." •

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