Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Slap Away The Years

It seems that every day we are pummeled with products and services claiming to reverse or hide the signs of aging. Wrinkles disappear, turkey-neck is gobbled up, and suddenly your son’s friends are making thinly-veiled references to The Graduate. Most of these are topical solutions contain fabricated ingredients like “elastisis technology” or “rejuvenox extract.”

Others may wish to bypass such over-the-counter remedies and go straight for Botox injections. While this treatment can certainly provide subtle improvements over an extended period of time, impatience invariably gives way to overuse and pretty soon you are unable to convey basic human emotions. So where does that leave someone who wishes to avoid both expensive daily creams and costly injections?

Fortunately there is a new youth restoration technique sweeping the country: face slapping. Based on an ancient Taiwanese tradition, customers pay to have an experienced practitioner wallop away their crow’s feet and frown lines. Currently, the only certified face-slapper in the continental United States is a woman named “Rassameesaitarn New Series World” who San Francisco-based Tata Massage parlor is generating quite a buzz.

According to her website, first time customers must pay a (cash-only) $5 “face-slapping consultation fee” and an additional $350 if they wish to undergo a session. For those whose epidermis requires more intensive healing, there is a $1,000 full-course offered in three distinct styles:

·         Face Slapping to Look Like a Celebrity
·         Face Flapping to Look Younger
·         Face Slapping to Charm Your Significant Other

While I applaud non-chemical holistic treatments for aging, I believe I am going to have to see some science behind this. If getting repeatedly slapped by a woman is the anecdote for aging then I am pretty sure Benny Hill would still be alive and Charlie Sheen would be carded when buying cigarettes. I have to wonder about the screening process behind the $5 consultation fee. Are there certain people too wrinkled to slap? Does she turn a certain number of her rings around based on case severity? The only thing more depressing than realizing you just paid a woman named after a future Flaming Lips album $350 to slap you is realizing that you just gave her $5 to tell you that no one hits hard enough to fix your problem.

I imagine Mrs. Rassa is also going to have to clear up a few misunderstandings in her first year of business. After all, one cannot open a cash-only parlor promising “tata massage” in San Francisco without generating a certain amount of confusion.

Her webpage features subject-verb confusion set against a fluorescent green backdrop and a photo of the proprietor holding a framed certificate that we are to infer was bestowed upon her by the official governing body of face slappery.   

I also have several questions about the “full-course” package. Does the customer get to pick the celebrity or are they chosen at random, because there is a big difference between the George Clooney and the Larry Bird. Also, is there not a way to incorporate all three? If I am going to pay someone $1,000 to give me five-across-the-eyes, I want to walk away looking like a young celebrity that would impress my wife. The last thing that my spouse wants walking through the door is a Lyle Lovett doppelganger that recently drained their joint checking account.

The one product she needs to provide is gift certificates. She could even have a “revenge enhancement” if you wish to give the certificate to someone you loathe. Maybe for an extra C-note she will give them a Goodfellas style once-over under the guise of “wrinkle reduction.” Just imagine how fun it would be to send that goober from marketing down to the Mrs. Rassa knowing you slipped her a little something extra to “put some real stank on it.”

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