Seen in the Desert

Seen in the Desert

While getting my hair cut in a hair salon that also happens to be a museum about hair, three Gen Z'ers walked in to peruse the shop's various bits and baubles, because that phrase was actually made for the things in this place.

The young women were hip, fashionable, and one of them was completely intrigued by a curling iron that looked to have been made in the 1950's. It had a faded pink plastic handle, and the woman walked around, clutching it, asking her friends if they thought it worked.

The proprietor of the store, a man in a sweater vest with a perm he'd shaved into a mullet on top and a buzz on the sides, complete with lighting bolts etched into the buzz, told the girl to plug it in around the corner.

So she came around the corner, and I watched her gently unwind the ancient cord and plug it in, and joke that it was going to electrocute her. She even made a sizzling electric noise which her friends did not think was funny.

Now plugged in, her two friends crowded around her and all three looked at the curling iron expectantly.

"How do I turn it on?"
"Is there not a button?" One of them asked.

All three gasped.

"It doesn't even have a button!"

They stared at it.

"So, it's just, like, on?"

The one who'd plugged it in pressed the handle and stuck a piece of her hair into it. She wrapped the hair around and waited for it to curl. One of her friends put her hand near it.

"It's not hot."

They looked at each other with incredulity. It had been plugged in for approximately twenty-seven seconds at this point.

"You think I might need to wait?" The one with it wrapped in her hair asked. "Maybe like, ten? Minutes?"
Another one gasped. "What if it's thirty?"
"Can you imagine. This was how it used to be," one of the said.

All three shook their heads.

The woman unwound her hair from the iron and unplugged it. She re-wrapped the cord and put it back on the shelf.

They left with out buying it.

Little do they know, in 2093, their granddaughters will be mortified by the curling irons of 2023.