Zack: This kid has a bright future in the penny cleaning industry.

Dr. Thorpe: Her parents are using the science fair to prepare her for the family business, which is running roadside stands where motorists can stop and boil their pennies. Clean pennies, while you wait! It's a slightly less lucrative offshoot of the comb boiling industry.

Zack: Which is itself a development of the massive stamp-steaming industrial complex.

Dr. Thorpe: Which is not to be confused with the Southern tradition of deep-frying Mars Bars.

Zack: I bet the different cleaning agents he used were like Coke, orange juice, water, root beer and penny cleaner.

Dr. Thorpe: Hypothesis: rut beer work beft

Zack: Procedure: put a penny ih mouf widda cleaner and swaller it

Dr. Thorpe: Conclusion: fuck

Zack: By the way, penny cleaner is made out of 20-molar acid.

Dr. Thorpe: This science fair photo is in loving memory of Betty Marie Lancer, 1992-2000.

Zack: "A well-meaning daughter who loved to taste things."

Zack: "Honey, I don't know about that epitaph..." "What?! She was eight years old, she didn't do shit."

Dr. Thorpe: Eventually they settled on "Our curious little angel."

Zack: They buried her in a special graveyard for all of the kids who suffocate in abandoned refrigerators or get their heads stuck in plastic bags.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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