Article: 288596 of talk.bizarre
From: (Babs Woods)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: Cindy Crawford's Basic Face (FTSD)
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 1996 11:16:14 -0500
Organization: Our Lady of Perpetual Mirth, Pacifica
Lines: 150
Message-ID: <>

                Cindy Crawford's Basic Face

        The visitor follows the plant manager around carefully, trying to
hear above the din of the machines all around.  They arrive at the vats
towards the middle of the manufacturing floor and stop at one, as
non-descript as any of the others in the huge room.   They pass the 
Paulina Poreshkova vat, the Carol Alt vat, the Donovan Leitch, yngr vat.  
"Ah.  Here."  Says the plant manager.  He is a bit more than just the
plant manager, to be honest, he had been the one to suggest this area of
operation to his brother, the corporate vice president of that division.  
(Family business.)  As such, he had a vested interest in this project, 
so he was usually on call when there were visitors.  This was a young
journalist, so he is especially careful in how he choses his words.

        "See, back when the original Super Models were still homegrown,
some of them consented to being cast and collected and whatnot.  We'd sand
out the bumps and paint it all one color, but eventually we got a few
custom orders.  We have two models of the Cindy Crawfords here for example:
readymade, and even that's a custom job really; and Cindy Crawford's Basic
Face."  He pats the vat wall as if warmly patting someone on the back,
but with a faraway look.  Shaking himself and looking at his visitor, 
"The custom job revolves around that silly mole she supposedly had.  The
original contract states that this model must always have it, so it 
can't be patched in the form and has to be hand-painted when the heads 
are ready."  There is a momentary distraction, while he signs papers 
someone presents him with.  A whistle sounds, he checks his watch, 
signs the last page.

        "Uh, where was I?"  His visitor tells him he had been describing
the custom job on this model.  "Oh.  Well, the part I like the best is 
the real custom work.  The contract still stipulates the mole, of course, 
but usually that's the only thing recognizable as a Cindy Crawford for 
most of the orders."  Leads the visitor to a pallet of boxes marked 
Cindy Crawford II, he reaches into an open box and picks up a Cindy 
Crawford II head to show the visitor.  "This is the finished product."  
Leads the visitor around this area to a taped-in area a few hundred
yards away and around a wall into a suddenly very quiet, large   
room.  No one is there.  "Oh, yes.  Lunch."  They entered the workroom.

        The visitor is startled.  The first three rows of worktables
each have a set of paints in various stages of disarray and signs of 
usage.  What startles him is the object of their work.  On almost every 
desk is the head of Cindy Crawford II, as proclaims a somewhat makeshift 
banner across the top of the back wall of the workroom.  All but a few 
have any features on them, save that mole.  They have the cheekbones, the
chin, all the most basic shapes to them, but no other features as such.
Only one has a nose, for example.  Their skin is otherwise flawlessly
smooth, aside from that mole on the upper left lip.

        "You must excuse the blank stares of our current charges."  The 
visitor is startled anew, at the same moment this lame pun is made, he 
focusses on the rest of the tables.  There is an odd array of noses from 
table to table, or work station to work station.  Some are the expected 
narrow ones from the Cindy Crawford I posters in the room, but many are 
less appetizing, as if the order read that this model was to appeal to a
variety of markets once the model was on display.  "Goodness!", as the 
visitor finally notices the eyes, too.  To his right is a gross of 
them in fact, all carefully arranged so that the topmost ones stare 
directly at the ceiling in something very like eggcrates within a 
display box, but he is certain he'd seen them moving as one a moment 

        Then the visitor sees it, or more precisely, them.  In one 
corner of the room stands a mannequin.  No facial features other than 
a mole, but with the long brown hair of the Cindy Crawford I Basic Model 
Model (tm).  Across from it is the finished Model model, looking oddly 
natural somehow.  The visitor mentally credits the artists involved for 
this.  They are dressed identically, the same faded "skin"-tight hip 
hugger blue jeans, what appears to be a tan silk t-shirt, white keds 
with rubber toes.  The same tan "skin".  It really seems to play up 
well the idea of the identical facelessness of fashion models.  The 
visitor shrugs, thinking "oh well" and continues to look around the room.

        Various tools and paints and putties were arrayed at each table,
with odd, chemically odors to most of them, much like the odd, chemically
odor on the manufacturing floor outside.  Nothing out of place about that.
The visitor thinks briefly that if any of these mannequins were ever 
to catch fire, the resulting fumes and smoke would be instantly deadly.  
He also wonders to himself if any of the supermodels, once ignited, had 
such hidden passion as to burn or even smolder.  He guessed he'd never 
know.  One last look around the room and it is time to go.  His guide 
begins to usher him out of the room, holding the door open for him.  As 
the door closes, a very loud, distinct woman's sneeze can be heard from
inside the room.  Just one.  The journalist pales.  Turning around 
he opens the door quickly and pokes his head into the room.  He is dead
certain the faceless mannequin has moved quickly back into position.  
The plant manager looks as if nothing unusual has happened and hurries 
the shaken visitor along to the next display.

        Around the next corner were the finished Cindy IIs.  They are
arranged in various casual poses, eerily lifelike.  The visitor begins 
to sweat.  "Would you like to see them activated?"  The visitor thinks 
fast.  "Umm."  Gaining courage, he says, "Uh, sure."  His guide moves to 
a console and fiddles with a few settings.  "Ready?"  He asks.  The 
visitor's voice cracks.  "Ok."  They all come to attention and form an 
organized group in rank and file fashion.  They all turn as a unit 
towards the plant manager.  "Hello, Mr. Jameson."  They say as a unit.  
They turn to look straight ahead and all take one step forward, stop.  
Another, stop.  The journalist steps back once, stops.  Three more steps 
in this dance and the young visitor passesd out cold in a heap on the 
floor.  They break ranks.  "Sir, he has fainted," they say as a unit.  
One steps forward and begins to fan the visitor with her hand and is 
handed a notepad to use instead by Mr. Jameson.  "Is it time yet?"  She 
asks.  "Not yet," says Mr. Jameson.  The journalist begins to stir, 
groaning.  The one fanning him moves behind him to help him stand, 
brushing him off with very fluid, lifelike motions.  She guides him to 
a chair to sit.  Jameson quietly sends a .banner factorywide:


"We wait now.  You rest."

        Then the sound of many feet in metronomic rhythm can be heard
coming their way.    And stopping right out of sight.  A pause.  More 
feet.  A pause.  More feet.  A panel slides open behind the Cindy IIs to 
reveal a very large, square box, resembling nothing so much as a huge 
Mu Metal cage.  Glazed, the visitor looks inside from his seat, between 
the Cindys who are still out of formation and standing about causally 

        Jameson, clicks on the PA System.  "Cindy Crawford II"  They
assume strict formation.  Pausing only a moment before he says, "About
Face.  Enter."  And they march into the metal box.  "About Face."  They
turn about.  He toggles a series of small switches, the door slides
closed again.  There is a hum, a light from around the edges of the 
door briefly flashes once.  The door reopens and the cage is empty.  
"Ashley Hamilton".  The procedure is repeated.  "Donovan II", again.  
A chorus of youthful giggles is heard from around the corner.  "Mack 
Culkin."  A small army of mostly blonde-headed boys comes running 
around the corner and skids to a stop at the command, a few 
inadvertantly pig-piling:  "ATTENTION" barks Mr. Jameson over the PA, 
at which point they all fall in in perfect formation, looking suddenly 
very serious and sober.  The lot of them, notes the journalist, cannot 
be but 8 years old, the bee stung upper lips repeated on each small 
face.  The previous procedure is repeated, and the little boys are 
gone, too.  "You have no idea what it took to get permission for him 
at the time.  He later sued his father over this, did you know that?"  
A few more adult groups go by.  The same procedure is repeated.

        "And you thought we just did models."


"Excuse me, while I dance a little jig of despair."