Dr. Lasa`s catalogue of medical services - An ironical gloss


 The television program is again boring, and I am rising up myself out of the small armchair. It is straining because of my corpulence. Finally I get up and toddle into the bath. The pitiless mirror there looks for me, I avoid him. But then a rather accidental sidelong glance reveals the unvarnished truth:

a double chin, crinkliness, thin hair, crows-feet, liver spots, prince Charles sailplane-ears, downward drawn lips (bitterness of old age?) and between the asparagus arms this pot belly.

The mirror seems to hate me. „It must be", I am muttering to myself, and I rush to the computer. After entering the keyword "Cosmetic Surgery Operations, Philippines," in Google, I find this address:


Dr. I. Carlos Lasa will be my rescuer. He studied medicine in the United States has and boasts now his “well-trained and highly skilled” qualification in the field of cosmetic surgeries. Could he bring me in the "world of the beautiful and successful ones"? I know - Dr. Lasa will do it for round about a third of the costs which are required in the States.

 I call for my wife quickly: „We know already - the sun is burning in the Philippines, the sea is mostly blue and bananas crooked. We should make new experiences   ....  For instance - did you or I ever win a beauty competition? Here is the way"!

„Yes, my prince, but consider also the prices”, my cost-conscious wife is replying. - “I don´t find them exorbitant. Look, here is some treatment-offer for men.” I’m answering. Tactically, I start with the cheaper prices:  

Injection Treatment Crow’s feet                                                                   $      230

Mole Removal                                                                                                 $      200

Botox Injection Forehead wrinkles                                                               $      300


Ear Surgery (both ears)                                                                                $   1,200

Forehead lifts                                                                                                 $   1,500

Abdominal Liposuction                                                                                 $   2,300


„And do not forget the axillary hyperhidrosis. All Caucasians are sweating", my wife annotates.

„What is a hyperdrosis? “, I am asking.

„That’s an operation against excessive armpit sweating. Only $ 800 for both armpits.”

The issue grieves me and I rejoinder: „Yes, princessa ...  but then, we should look also something to reduce the over sensitivity of your olfactory nerves, because you smell everything - except your dried fish.”

Later I take my wife’s arm and I ask her in a conciliatory-innocent manner: "Do you want to have perhaps big wide eyes and a more distinctive nose?” My wife wrinkles the forehead, and I continue the reading of more female forms of treatment:  

Both eyelids                                                                                             $ 1,600

Brest Augmentation (China Implant)                                                       $ 2,500

Nasal Bridge Augmentation                                                                      $  800

Nasal Tip Reshaping                                                                                 $  500  

My wife racks her brains, when she is reading "Lip Surgery for "gummy smile” ($ 750). - „You then can smile up to the ears and you don´t need to open your mouth any more. It is something like a frozen Mona-Lisa- Smile", I am responding.  

We ignore intentionally such things like:  

Buttocks Lift Surgery                                                                               $  2,500

Brest Lift   Surgery                                                                                   $  2,400

Breast Nipple Reduction                                                                          $     450  

And there are other tabooed subjects. As well-mannered bourgeois we overlook such awkward remarks like "reconstruction of hymen" or "lengthening and enlargement of penis". It seems not to be proper.

But I am still fantasying: “Your brother can really never become a star in the basketball second division with his 1.57 m. He would need longer legs". But unfortunately Dr. Carlo Lasa offers no stretching board treatment. „My brother goes his own way", my wife responds firmly. Some time passes.

After a while, I clear my throat: “Hmm ... But what should we do with my omnipresent adiposity problems?”

„Stop now", my wife mutters. "Did you add up all your wishes? And do you want to run around like an Egyptian mummy bandaged for weeks?"

 “But I know for sure that we’ll get a quantity discount".  Silence is rising.

Later I go with signs of resignation to bed. While sleeping a nightmare pursues me, however. I found myself in the same operation kitchen, very well described in the novel “Ghosts of Manila” from James Hamilton-Paterson. A surgeon and his helpers are separating my bones from the meat and I hear them speaking: “With these bones we could reconstruct an excellent skeleton for our medical students and the skin we are selling to the Plastinateur Gunther von Hagen. Perhaps he will hang it on the front of Cologne cathedral”.

Covered in sweat I wake up. No, no ... Dr. Lasa, no, you will not get me!


© Wolfgang Bethge, 2006