Forget low-cut dresses. Blow off sport jackets. The trendy look these days at the most exclusive restaurants is a tube hanging from your nose.
That, at any rate, is what they do in Russia.
According to an article in The New York Times, Moscow's hippest denizens aren't as crazy about foie gras or caviar or truffles as they are about a good strong whiff of oxygen. It's breathed through thin tubes that fit inside a diner's nostrils. Or maybe it's just one nostril, I'm not sure. In any event, a tube and a nose are involved.
I should point out that the oxygen flowing through the tube is not just any air. It is flavored air. The oxygen, The Times reports, is "pumped through bottles of water perfumed with fruits and herbs."
See, and you were about to scoff, weren't you? But now that you realize the oxygen is scented, you can see why a person would pay good money at a fancy restaurant to stick a tube up his or her schnoz, can't you? As a salivating Homer Simpson might say, "Mmmmm air."
One of the city's leading restaurateurs and general director of Shizlong, Aleksandr Sokolov, says the oxygen fad is all about style. The Times: "In Moscow, fashion means everything," says Mr. Sokolov, dressed in a suit and seated at a glass table equipped with an oxygen machine. "People like to be surrounded with others who look just like them. We are a fashionable place."
People like to be surrounded with others who look just like them. Especially if they all have tubes hanging from their proboscises.
We are a fashionable place. Undoubtedly! What, after all, could be more fashionable than a tableful of patrons looking like hospital patients?