Skin Deep


            “To wrinkle or not to wrinkle, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous frowning, or to bear Botox against a forehead of troubles and, by injecting, end them.” (Bill Shakespeare, as he perhaps might have penned it today.)


            Yes, Botox is the word of the day, kids—and by kids I mean fellow Babyboomers and upcoming Gen-Xers, who feel aging is for wine and cheese, not for people. That’s why Botox has become the most popular wrinkle remover, surpassing even One Hour Martinizing.


            There are, of course, many advantages to paralyzing your skin so that it can’t form wrinkles. For instance, say you have teenagers. One of their main goals in life is to make you—the parent—age practically before their eyes. But post-treatment, the scene might play like this...


            “I’ve decided to drop out of high school and open a body piercing operation,” she says defiantly.


            “That’s nice, dear, I hear there are always openings,” you respond, fraught with indistinguishable emotion.


            “Didn’t you hear me? I’m going to buy a tent and travel like a gypsy from rock concert to rock concert,” she yells, staring into your unmoving face.


            “Don’t forget to pack extra scarves,” you say, quelling the tears that lie just beneath your frozen facial muscles.


            “Forget it! You want me to go. Instead I’m going to stay right here and study hard and become successful.”


            “Whatever makes you happy,” you say as she storms out, a look of relief not lighting up your face.


            Botox could also be very helpful if you were, say, a professional poker player.


            “You’re bluffing.”


            “Yes, I am.”


            “Aha! So you’re not bluffing.”


            “No, I’m not.”


            “Aha! I mean... Oh bollocks, here, just take my money.”


            Despite these obvious benefits, I had not decided whether I should Botox or whether I should simply let my face continue its slide into my neck. I mean my chest is quickly settling into my groin area and my buttocks are now a lot closer to the backs of my knees than ever, what’s the difference? The final decision came when I called my HMO.


            “Universal Health. One treatment fits all. How can I help you?”


            “I’d like to become timeless.”


            “Sorry. We don’t cover taxidermy.”


            “How about Botox?”


            “I said: ‘We don’t cover taxidermy.’”


            Guess that’s it, then. Although, I do wonder what I would have looked like with a wrinkleless face...


            “Oh...my...God...” my wife said upon her arrival home from work.


            “What do you think?” I asked, pulling the final piece of duct tape tight and sticking it to the back of my neck. “Do I look more appealing?”


            For a few minutes she just stared into my stretched open eyes, then finally she sighed: “I know I have said this before... but you really, really need to get out more.”


            “Okay,” I said, expressionlessly. Although, deep inside, I was frowning.