Don't you just hate it when an accessory overpowers the rest of your ensemble? I know I sure do. In fact, this very thing happened to me when I was a Junior in High School! Allow me to set the scene for you: it's the thirtieth century and my buddies and I are in the quad, standing in line to order our class rings. I'm in my Space-Goth phase, rocking a figure-hugging black vinyl number, alternately black-and-white streaked hair that came down to about the middle of my back, and an immaculately trimmed black tailback beard, with heavily-kohled eyes and red contact lenses. I'm feeling fantastic after having just made the most kick-ass handbag in shop class. It's a good day. Little did I know what trials lay ahead...
Polecat: Black and white? Puh-lease. I originated that look, you know.
Me [looking behind me at Polecat]: And I perfected it, Polecrap. The way you do it is so tired, anyway. I don't even know why -- ugh. You know what? Just don't talk to me. And would it kill you to wear some deodorant?
Polecat [sputtering]: I'll have you know this musk is a potent symbol of male sexual power among my proud yet downtrodden people! Don't make me call the Sensitivity Police on your skanky ass!
Me: And don't make me call the Fashion Police! You've got legs like two tubes of extruded space-polenta and you're wearing short-shorts? Honey, 'round these parts that's punishable by lethal injection.
Polecat: "Lethal injection"? Is that what you called it when you gave Fire Lad the space-clap?
Me [fists clenching]: Oh, it is on now, Motherfu--
Ring Salesman: Next!
Polecat [nervously fans himself with his hands, inadvertently wafting more of his stench onto me]: Oh thank God.
Ring Salesman: Have you had a chance to look at the brochure?
Me: Yes, and I know exactly what I want.
Ring Salesman: Which is...?
Me: A dazzle gem.
Ring Salesman: We don't sell rings with dazzle gems in them.
Me: I still want one.
Ring Salesman: Sir, dazzle gems are extremely rare and terribly expensive.
Me: Well, why do you think I want one? Duh! You're not the most powerful laser in the space-drawer, are you?
Ring Salesman: Just choose something else.
Ring Salesman: Again, we don't offer that.
Me: How 'bout Zuunium?
Ring Salesman: No! Did you read the brochure at all?
Me: Yes! But now I don't know what to go with since you don't have anything cool.
Ring Salesman: Here's an idea... what's your birthstone?
Ring Salesman: Fine. And what sort of metal would you like for the setting?
Ring Salesman: Oh, for--! We don't offer that metal because wearing it pretty much guarantees you'll be struck by lighting. Look, you can have gold, silver, platinum, lurium, spectrasite or ultrasite.
Me: Fine, fine. I'll have the lurium with that setting. [points to holo-photo floating over the ring salesman's table]
Ring Salesman [tallying price on refrigerator-sized calculating machine]: Okay! Your total with tax comes to Three thousand, six hundred and ninety-three space-dollars.
Me: What--?! That's insane! Are all your stones priced like that?
Ring Salesman: Most of 'em, yeah.
Me: Let's start over. What's your cheapest stone?
Ring Salesman: That'd be Green Kryptonite. On Earth there's so much of it they use it to cover their driveways.
Me: So how much would that run me?
Ring Salesman: Roughly? About two thousand five. Sorry, there's an import tax.
Me: Shit. That's ten times the amount in my savings.
Ring Salesman [incredulous]: All you kids were told about the class rings last year. Are you telling me you didn't put away anything for today?
Me [sheepish]: I did but then I blew most of it on these hair extensions.
Polecat: I believe that's what's known as "throwing money down an A-hole." [titters annoyingly]
Me [to ring salesman]: Pardon me one second. [whips around and punches Polecat square in the face. He drops like a sack of space-potatoes. Then I address the salesman again.] C'mon, pal. Do me a solid. Don't you have anything I could use in a class ring?
Ring Salesman [digs in pocket]: Well, there is this weird stone I found on the sidewalk this morning.
Me: Lay it on me. [examines stone] Say, it has a spooky monster face inside it! Sweet! Tell you what, I'll have this stone with an ultrasite setting and GREAT PLANETS I'M BEING DRAWN INTO THE JEWEL!!!
[I float in a bizarre Ditko-esque skyscape within the gem. The monster face hovers over me and addresses me in a booming, echoing voice.]
Jewel: Yes! Your petty greed has trapped you behind the facets of my prismatic power! Submit, mortal! Your destiny is no longer your own! I am the master and you are the humble instrument of my dreaded will! BECOME ONE WITH THE STYGIAN STONE!
Me: Yeah, no thanks.
Jewel: Silence, wretched one! You desired infinite power and it shall indeed be yours but at a terrible price: YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL!
Me: I think you have me confused with somebody else. I just wanted an affordable class ring. 'Kay? Bye.
Jewel: THERE IS NO ESCAPING THE STYGIAN STONE! Many have dared to try and all have failed! Feel your willpower DRAIN AWAY as my thoughts become your own!
Me: Nope. Not happening. Tell you what. I'm in a good mood today so you just let me out of here and we'll call it square.
Jewel: Cease your senseless prattle! ALL WHO LIVE WILL BEND TO THE WILL OF THE STYGIAN STONE!
Me: Screw you, asswipe. You don't wanna cooperate? Fine! I'll figure some other way to bust out of this creepy dump.
Jewel: ODD! Mayhap your alien physiognamy has a natural immunity to my thought-warping rays!
Me: Or maybe I'm just that cool, dickweed.
Jewel: NO MATTER! Until the end of days, your fragile form shall remain trapped within my crystalline walls!
Me: Whatever. Talk to the wall. [I turn into a steel wall, which somehow causes the gem to shatter and eject me back into the physical plane. Still in wall-form, I teeter for a moment and then tip over onto the already-prone Polecat who was just then regaining consciousness. I turn back into humanoid form and scramble to my feet.]
Polecat: YEEOW! Uncle already! I don't know what crawled up your ass today, Blockade Boy, but you are acting like a major bitch.
Ring Salesman [digging a sliver of the destroyed jewel out of his eye]: You know, we do offer low-interest financing.
Me [a bit shaken]: Yeah, let's go with that.