Leona Helmsley, Wearing her Non-Explosive Shade 505 Lipstick
Written 8-10 July, 2008
A Three-Donut Vacation
XXIV: Lipstick Bomb
With all the Divas out of the way, it was time to complete our mission. Carrying eight fried and glazed heads (yes, yes, eight heads in a book bag!) we made our way to the elevator, bumped and shook all the way back down to TSA headquarters, and raced to the Teleport Tom Communications and Control Center. There, Sweetie held one of the Diva heads up to the scanner and swiped a key card we found on one of the bodies (Sweetie was convinced that one was the original ImSoNotADiva Bartlett). The door opened and we made our way inside.
“Wow” I said. “Look at all this stuff!”
“Yeah!” said “Sweetie. Those TSA guys are major geeks.”
“Look at this concurrency counter,” I said. “Why is it reading 47? There are usually at least 45,000 people on line.”
“This is a special counter,” Sweetie said. “It shows how many of the inner circle of the Executive Branch are in world . See that light there? That means the President himself is here.”
“It’s lit!” I said.
“Yeah. The buzz on FLICKR is the President and Vice-President and pretty much the whole Cabinet are in Gor, in their second week of training to be kajirae slave girls. Except Condoleeza Rice. They’re making Condi play one of those nonspeaking animals. An ass, I think.”
“What’s this red button?” I asked.
“DON’T TOUCH THAT!” Sweetie cried. “It might still be hooked up!”
“Okay, okay, don’t bite my head off!”
“Sorry to yell. That’s a launch button. If you had pressed it, and if it’s still functional, deadly donut intercontinental missiles would be on their way to every major city in the world.”
“Worse. Doneutron bombs. They’re fine-tuned to destroy every possible competitor to the donut.”
“So no more bagels, beignets, croissants, blintzes, scones, or crumpets?” I said. “No more turnovers, cream puffs, tarts, stollen, baklava, cinnamon rolls, or muffins?”
“Not only that, no more of the ethnic donut workalikes most people have never heard of. No more Argentinean facturas, Viennese krapfen, Dutch oliebollen, Croatian krofna, Grecian loukoumas, Icelandic kleinuhringir, Indian vadas, Lithuanian spurgos, South African vetkoek, Hawaiian malasadas, Polish pacszis, and of course, no more Berliners.”
“Those evil bastards!” I said. “A world without pacszis would be no world at all!”
“We’re going to take out this control room,” said Sweetie,. “but most of the missiles have already been dismantled.”
“Why would the TSA do that?”
“Because of their new secret weapon.”
“/me wishes you would tell her what the hell our mission is!”
“I’ll tell you in a moment,” Sweetie said. “Give me one of Diva’s heads.”
I reached in the bag and pulled out a sticky glazed Diva head and handed it to Sweetie. Then I licked my fingers. MMMM, glaze!
“Ewww!” said Sweetie.
“I’m hungry!” I said defensively. “We came into this place and I ordered donuts, what, eight hours ago, and my bag of assorted flavors is still sitting on the counter! What ARE you doing with that head?”
“Just shush and hand me another,” Sweetie said. She had removed a panel from the wall and was stuffing the head inside.
“Ouch! This is hot!” I said. The second head was too hot to hold.
“Good,” said Sweetie. “That means the reaction has started.”
“What reaction?” I asked with suspicion.
“Leona Helmsley Shade 502 lipstick wasn’t discontinued because it was unpopular,” Sweetie said.
“God, Sweetie. You know I aspire to be a platinum fashionista like you, but is this really the time to talk cosmetics?”
“Shush up and listen. Shade 502 was dropped because there was a class action lawsuit. It seems quite a few customers combusted while wearing the product. And, specifically, while wearing it and eating glazed donuts. It was eventually determined a chemical in the lipstick reacted violently to confectioner’s glaze—to sugar. The Helmsley corporation chemists tried to modify 502, and in fact succeeded in slowing the reaction, but couldn’t stop it. And so, Leona, greedy moneygrubber that she was, finally ordered the discontinuation of Shade 502. And because she's so cheap, the continues to wear it, and will until the supply runs out.”
“Oh!” I said. “Yes! I remember you mentioned Shade 502 in your interview in The Whimsical Times. ”
“ImSoNotADiva must have obtained a quantity of 502 before it disappeared from the shelves,” said Sweetie. “Or maybe she just hadn’t finished her last tube and the clones were sharing it.”
“Ewww!” I said.
“We can surmise this isn’t the original highly volatile 502, but the modified version, because if it had been the original there would have been an explosion in the donut room. But these heads are far from safe. Any single one would eventually burst into flames, but together they create a critical mass. I wouldn’t want to be around when they go off.”
One by one I handed the Diva heads to Sweetie, who stacked them into a neat pyramid in the hollow inside the wall. I handed her the panel, but she shook her head.
“We need a countdown script,” she said. “What kind of bomb would this be without a countdown script?” And so I rezzed a prim and quickly wrote a script that would send us popup menu boxes us as it counted down to detonation. Only when I had finished and put the prim inside the wall did Sweetie screw the panel into place.
A blue box popped up on the upper right hand corner of my screen. It read “This bomb will detonate in two minutes.”
“Run like hell!” Sweetie said.