I returned to Los Angeles late the following afternoon, and that evening Chlamydia came over with a pound of Peet’s Anniversary Blend and an impressive stack of Nexis printouts and porno magazines, and by this morning we’d put together most of the puzzle.
A few years ago, merkins apparently reappeared as fashion accessories for pornographic entertainers and others who occasionally favor the textural contrast that a merkin lends to certain sheer, clingy dresses but who must, for professional reasons, keep their pubes shaved. Pubes on for real life, pubes off for work. Then, sometime last year, balding members of a porno-video production crew taped discarded merkins to the tops of their heads, just for fun, and correlated certain sex acts to certain colors: yellow = oral sex, orange = straight sex, red = anal sex. Zany antics ensued, and eventually the color coding spread to the prostitutional entertainment business; only in the past few months have middle-aged Vegasmen been observed wearing these yellow, orange and red merkins to signify their interests and predilections, just like back-pocket bandannas on Santa Monica Boulevard.
One bit of information — the “only in the past few months” part — wasn’t from a Nexis printout or a porno mag, but from a handwritten note. I like to be thorough with my fact checking, so I asked Chlamydia where she’d found out about the first sightings.
“You’re not going to like it,” said Chlamydia, trying not to smile.