Saturday, November 13, 2004


So imagine you're a Japanese teenager going to college in the US. It's Veterans' Day and you spend your holiday spending on Melrose Avenue. Melrose is famous, so when you go intoThe Melrose Gift Collection and see a Chrome Hearts silver necklace just like the Japanese pop stars wear for a price you can actually afford (in the hundreds, not the thousands), you get excited. It's in a shop on Melrose for Pete's sake, so it must be real. You and your friends buy 4 of the exclusive stash of 8 the saleslady says she has. She shows you a picture of herself and the pop star, Hamasaki Ayumi. You are in Nihon heaven.

Later, over latte, you notice you a mistake on one of the totals. You go back, and see more than twenty Chrome Hearts necklaces now on display. Having gotten your education in Japan, you are good with addition and subtraction, and so you are pretty confident that eight minus four does not equal twenty. Either math is different in the US or those Chrome Hearts pendants are knock-offs and you and your pals have just been had for over a thousand dollars.

An American friend tries to get you a refund, but small shops are exempt from the refund laws. She checks with Chrome Hearts itself, just to make sure, and the director of sales confirms the sad facts - you bought phony jewelry.

Now, I'm a sweet-tempered girl, but this has me mad. Lying and cheating about oil and taxes and cronyism is one thing. Lying about jewelry strikes at the heart of civilization.

This is where you, the real you, comes in. I'm the beauty; you're the brains. Give me some ideas at how to strike a blow for Truth, Justice and the American Way of the Consumer.