Cynthia can’t help noticing that FMJ has missed his Vidal Sassoon organic cucumber eye-treatment and Fiji Island laser-guided pedicure. What could be bothering him so much that he would miss a weekly self-focusing ritual like this one?
She lay there on the Corbusier massage table staring up at the Second Empire chandeliers when Free Market Mark comes whisking into the private clinic in a tasteful brown leather shirt and metallic-silver culottes.
Mark: “Cynth, Mary is skipping the trial today to resolve some middle-management ickiness at his Zion Motors affiliate. Apparently… (he looks at his nails) …Caucasia’s newly-elected socialist government wants to nationalize “their” share of our multinational.
We need to figure out how to deal with this heresy. Perhaps a ‘Free Market excommunication’ – wink-wink – might help open their minds to the sacredness of the shareholder-holdee relationship.”
Instantly panicking, Cynthia pulls the cucumber slices off her botoxed eyelids.
Cynth: “Oh,Mark, no! Not another civilian bombing campaign! How can I look the jury in the eyes tomorrow?
We just had FMJ’s favorite astrologist on the stand yesterday as a character witness. You heard what they said, Marcia dear: Saturn-in-Libra is not the right time to seek out new challenges. Guess what? Bombing a foreign country is a new challenge, and Saturn will be in Libra for another four weeks. This is really bad sun-sign karma.”
Mark pauses to grab a canapé from the pewter tray next to the fireplace. As he turns around, his backless shirt reveals a large tattoo at the centre of his back, with the words libido dominandi inscribed in the middle of a rainbow-colored heart.
Mark: “Oh, it’ll be over in a few days, Cynth. Caucasia hasn’t even invented gunpowder yet. Anyway, Zion Motors needs to be saved. No one else still offers 8-passenger chariots at a family price, and if Caucasia nationalizes it, how can we be sure they offer the same Free Market personal luxury vehicles? It could hurt the entire brand.”
Cynthia ties a knot in her Laura Ashley towel while looking around the clinic:
Cynth: “I’m not worried about him winning his war, or getting his motor company back. I’m worried about winning our celebrity trial. What if we lose?
We almost lost his last trial – Remember that, Marsha? Those Druid women smuggled some of his sperm from the Club Zero Health Club, and then tried to sue him for child support to feed a hundred of “his own” children.
Then, in the middle of his trial, FMJ bombed Phoenicia.
We almost ended up signing away a full one percent of his after-tax profits because of that intervention. I know his heart is in the right place, but there is a time to bomb, and there is a time to pose. And this is a time to pose.”
She strikes a pose while clasping a maraschino cherry which has been glued to a whole-wheat cracker with cream cheese.
Mark bites into a piece of roasted broccoli wrapped in bacon and Havarti:
Mark: “Yes, but you won in the end, didn’t you, bitch. If I recall, you even won a counter-suit against those women – for theft. How in the world did you get their welfare boards to pay those massive fines? I didn’t know the Phoenician government even had an extra hundred-trillion sheckles to give away like that. Guess it helps to own their government.”
He swallows the broccoli spear, and then takes a sip of lemon-grass mineral water from a fair-trade bamboo mug.
Cynthia gets up from the table and walks toward the Provençale bay window.
Cynth: “Yeah, it was a lot of money. But we spent half of that settlement on two huge Free Market Pain museums. It was the only way to fight off the bad press. Who would have thought that a couple of photos of CEOs selling their mansions would change public opinion so much.”
Mark: “Never underestimate the power of a good art director, Cynth-Pop.”