Firemen wax their mustaches at an alarm; walls with mirrors are habitually saved. At the grocery women in line polish their shopping carts. Children too will learn that one buys meat the color of one’s hair, vegetables to complement the eyes. There is no crime in Vanity, Wisconsin. Shoplifters are too proud to admit a need. Punishment, the dismemberment of a favorite snapshot, has never been practiced in modern times. The old are of no use, and once a year at their “debut,” they’re asked t join their reflections in Lake Lablanc. Cheerfully they dive in, vanity teaching them not to float. A visitor is not embarrassed to sparkle here or stand on his hotel balcony, taking pictures of his pictures.
by Maxine Chernoff