“I’ve decided we need a new season.” Tark waved a manicured hand at his chest barber in dismissal, and wiped his newly-shaven belly with a monogrammed towel before dismounting from an uncomfortably tall massage table. He swore they had it raised on purpose before his appointments. It was their only way of feeling superior to a client so great in status, yet short in stature.
“Four just isn’t enough, even with the addition of the cruisewear collections,” he continued. “I mean, even I laughed when they introduced ‘Cruise’ as a separate fashion season, but that was only because they just didn’t go far enough. We need at least twelve different seasons for maximum profit – one for each month of the year. And I’ve decided that Ireland is the perfect place to launch them.”
“Why’s that, darling?”
Mara examined a chip in one gilted talon, frowning as much as an immobile forehead would allow. The only problem with wearing so many diamonds was that when brushing past them, they tended to play havoc with one’s nails. She was going to have to start wearing more emeralds; they were softer.
“Partly because I couldn’t be arsed filthying myself in London for as long as it would take to launch each one… but mainly because the weather here is sure to allow. In Ireland, we can launch the full range of collections all together. Four seasons in one day, you see.”
Mara sniffed. “Seven, in March and April.”
“Exactly. So beginning next week, I will be launching both clothing and footwear lines for our first new season.”
“And what’s that, my love?”
“I’m calling it the Enigma Collection. But what I really mean is uncertainty. I mean, nobody knows what the hell is going to fall out of the Irish sky in April. It’s the perfect opportunity to double apparel revenues. Everything will have to be new – to reflect a new start, obviously. I’m talking colour-block layers, shoes with pull-down suede galoshes which are sure to get ruined in just one rain shower, etcetera. By making sure the clothes are as impractical as possible, we will ensure that an April layer can NEVER be worn later on, during the Irish monsoon.”
“Ingenious. And the next season?”
“Will be called: Futureproof. It’s for May, when everyone thinks it’s warm, but ends up freezing to death. I’ve come up with a range of thermal-lined belts and collars which will perfectly complement our exclusively perishable cobweb hosiery.”
Mara’s eyes widened. Tark could see the need in them. Her desire for unwearable tights was already aflame. Useless accessories always set his wife afire.
“I’ll have them for you soon, my precious prizefighter. I’ve already got the manufacturing contracts lined up. We’re going through 17 shell companies in 3 separate countries, but the labour is dirt cheap, and quite ingeniously untraceable.”
Mara took several rapid intakes of breath, the collar bones over her eminently dressable flat chest standing to attention. “Oh Tark, I do love you so.”
Tark grinned, his demonic eyebrows doing that thing that made Mara feel kind of faint, even on days she’d actually eaten something.
“I know. But you’re going to love me even more when we reap the benefits of a 672% operating profit margin, my beloved bear trap.”