The Beer Index: Or, You Know It's A Recession When...

Hemline indexes are so last year — you know, the old saw that the economy rises and falls with skirt length —especially since fashion designers apparently don't read the papers. So without measuring ladies' dresses, how the hell are we supposed to tell what's going on with the economy?! Luckily for you, the Sunday NY Times brought us a whole bunch of maybe-sorta-wholly-unscientific consumer indexes compiled by a bunch of guys with vague titles, from which we were able to compile a definitive Recession What's Hot/What's Not List! Sure a bunch of fussbudgets whom the article quotes might dismiss this kind of Shopper's Almanac soothsaying as so much "econometric imagination.” All we know is, when they start talking sod and suicide, they're finally speaking an economic language everyone can understand!Hot: Beans Not: Lettuce People spring for non-perishables when pinching pennies.
Hot: Tall, bony hags Not: Waifish Lolitas According to Playboys through the years, older, less curvaceous pinups appeal to men looking for a capable partner to till the fields.
Hot: Slow, Thoughtful Songs Not: Bubblegum Pop It should be noted that Britney Spears' "Womanizer" is currently the #1 single.
Hot: Laxatives Not: Deodorant People are stressed out in times of economic hardship, which apparently means constipation. But they don't dance as much, rendering deodorant unnecessary!
Hot: Beer Not: Soda. Nuff said.
Hot: Short Crops Not: Flowing Manes But doesn't short hair need to be trimmed more often? Maybe this is the result of disastrous at-home haircuts, undertaken during misguided fits of frugality, which are then beyond redemption.
Hot: Family Values Not: Eating out. The family dinners induced by straitened circs are good for bonding.
Hot: Grad School Not: Tobacco.
Hot:Suicide Not: Um...good mental health? So far just a few isolated deaths have been reported as a direct result of the markets, but overall suicide rates rise (not shockingly) in difficult times.
Hot: Property Crime Not: Violent Crime Rumors to the contrary, apparently there's no documented correlation between the economic woes and violent crime. (Guess 1970s New York was an outlier.) However, there is a noticeable increase in petty property crime, idle hands being the devil's playground, etc. The Hemline Index, Updated [New York Times]


Erin Gloria Ryan

Hot: Maintaining your current weight so that your clothing will still fit

Not: Diet and exercise to lose weight, as this necessitates a new wardrobe and an even thinner pocketbook