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Jewish World Review August 2, 2004 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5764

Lenore Skenazy

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Consumer Reports

Prediction: If it's a trend, I'll miss it | Tongue studs.

I really missed the boat on that one. I just couldn't imagine swarms of kids demanding more metal in their mouths, considering most of them had just gotten out of braces.

But, as those with tongue studs say: I wath wong. And by now I have been wrong so many, many times ("Sushi? Who's gonna eat raw fish?" "Why are they putting music on TV?" "Since when do guys go for lesbians?") that perhaps my old boss was right to fire me from my position as, yes, trend spotter.

Like, okay, once I was sent to interview the as-yet-unsigned Beastie Boys. I returned and announced, "Sorry - those guys aren't going anywhere."

Except, of course, to the top of the charts.

In my defense, they only stayed there for two decades.

Something similar happened with the Blue Man Group, for whom I predicted a quick Off-Broadway death. Manhattan rents? "I'm sure they'll come down soon!" And, of course, bottled water: "Who's gonna pay for something they can get free?"

On the other hand, maybe I am a perfect bellwether. Because pretty much everything I initially think sounds insane ($3 for coffee), icky (thong undies) or just plain unfathomable ("Reagan? Who'd vote for him?"), usually turns out to be incredibly popular.

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Which means that these trends just may be the next "Survivor."

RAW FOOD: Ugh. Slimy and gross. Raw foodies won't touch anything cooked, like bread or chicken, so they substitute things like paper-thin turnip slices for pasta. Real nutritionists say any health benefits are bunk. In fact, the movement's basic tenet - that cooking food destroys its "life essence" - is so silly it reminds me of yoga. Which reminds me of -

YOGA! I know. Already established. But once they're selling yoga shoes even though you're supposed to do yoga WITHOUT shoes, it should be over, right?

CUDDLE PARTIES: Parties where strangers in their p.j.'s get together for a big group hug. Think slumber party + orgy - anonymous sex - ghost stories. Lose/lose.

MEAT HOOK HANGING: According to this very paper, Florida kids are spending their carefree summer days dangling from meat hooks inserted into their shoulders. While one should never underestimate the desire to appall one's parents, this still seems so sick it almost makes me see the appeal of -

KNUCKLE REDUCTION: Supposedly the latest thing: Slicing a joint off one's fingers to look cool. Mothers everywhere are begging, "Oh, honey, why can't you do something nice, like pierce your tongue?"

MINI-MOTORCYCLES: Also known as pocket bikes, these are 18-inch motorized versions of real hogs, upon which hip, happenin' adults crouch, zoom and get run over. Perhaps on their way to a cuddle party.

Serves 'em right.

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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