Nature, in its infinite wisdom, has seen to it that none of the 2.2 million mailing lists that have my name and address have ever been sold, leased, licensed or otherwise lent to Victoria's Secret. Only once have I ever even seen a VS catalogue, and the circumstances were not exactly delightful: it arrived at the workplace, addressed to someone in upper management whom I would just as soon not imagine wearing this stuff.

So we're sitting in Nova's living room, insulting the usual targets, when suddenly she pops up with "Did you see that twelve-million-dollar bra?" I gave my standard Look of Utter Blankness, and she darted into another room, returning with this year's VS Christmas book. "Page three," she said.

I looked, and there it was: the Heavenly Star, created by Mouawad exclusively for VS, which appears to be a bra made up entirely of precious stones: about thirty-five hundred of them, set in platinum (of course), with an enormous emerald-cut diamond at the center clasp (does it even clasp?), priced at $12.5 million. No typo: twelve and a half million American dollars. (The matching panty is $750,000, which seems almost like an afterthought.)

Now I belong to the school of thought that says that expensive lingerie is good for show, not so good in actual use: Harvey, caught up in the sheer passion of it all, suddenly rips off Sheila's antique lace, and Sheila, instead of thinking, "Oh, yes, take me, take me now," is thinking "You miserable son of a bitch, I paid eighty-nine fifty for that." To say the least, this is not the sort of thing that strengthens a relationship. I don't even want to imagine Sheila's response to a garment that costs as much as Bill Gates' guest house.

And a few other things bothered me. I mean, surely a 100-percent-mineral panty can't be particularly hygienic. It shouldn't turn your skin green or anything, but still, there's something disconcerting about it, especially if for some reason you have to sit down. Everything you ever hated about thongs will be multiplied, oh, seven hundred fifty thousand times or so.

"And some fool will undoubtely buy this thing," I snorted. Nova reported that it had already been sold, to erstwhile King of the World Leonardo DiCaprio. It can't be much of a surprise for the recipient, though; since this is hardly an off-the-rack item, it would have to be fitted to the young lady's own exquisite form, a task which will require either her presence and the laying-on of hands (by a jeweler?), or a capacity for description that far exceeds anything anyone could reasonably expect from the likes of DiCaprio.

I need hardly point out that everything else in the catalogue combined doesn't come close to the price of the Heavenly Star; most of the items offered by VS appear to be affordable by mere mortals. And it's probably just as well that I'm not on their mailing list, either. If the doctor told me that I have to go vegetarian or die within six months, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be getting flyers from Omaha Steaks.

The Vent

17 November 2001

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 Copyright © 2001 by Charles G. Hill