Cosmetic Changes

May. 7, 2008
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Many of my young patients think about getting plastic surgery the way they’d think about getting their hair done,” said Dr. David Alessi of Beverly Hills, Calif. Alessi said he is amazed at women’s willingness to endure extreme cosmetic alterations, including “vaginal rejuvenation” (labiaplasty), “forehead implants,” ankle and shoulder liposuction, the breaking and resetting of jaws to tweak smiles, and lengthening or shortening toes.

Alessi told a Glamour magazine writer for an April story that one 25-year-old woman recently asked him to remove her navel (whereas most umbilicoplasty patients merely request reshaping). “There’s some consensus about what makes for an attractive, well-proportioned face, but we have no definition of the ideal navel,” said a bemused colleague.

Cumberland County (Pa.) Republican Commissioner Bruce Barclay resigned in April after it was disclosed that he had built a hidden video system in his home and recorded as many as 500 sexual episodes with unknowing men. While the videos may have violated state law— an investigation is underway—one of the videos has exonerated Barclay of a separate rape charge filed by a 20-year-old man, in that the video evidenced a consensual relationship. (The young man has been charged with making a false police report.)

In March in Leesburg, Va., during a test to earn a driver’s license, the examiner told Nita Sureka to park beside the Department of Motor Vehicles building. Sureka accidentally crashed into it, tearing a hole in the wall and forcing the department to close for the day.

Compelling Explanations
(1) In March, Gene Morrill, 57, hoping for a shorter sentence after his conviction for soliciting sex from teenage boys over the Internet, told a court in Fredericksburg, Va., about his rough life as a child, beginning with the time he was sexually molested by Bigfoot. (2) A 26-year-old driver was arrested in Bay County, Fla., in April after being spotted masturbating on the side of a road. According to the police report, the man said “he had just left work and explained that he needed some personal time with himself that he could not have at home.”

Parental Support
Astrid Literski, in prison after pleading guilty to murdering her 4-year-old daughter in 2003, is due in tax court in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in May. Literski, who was wrongly paid tax benefits for the child during 2002, is set to argue that she should not have to give back the $1,296 in benefits. The girl was living with her father at the time, but Literski says she deserved the tax benefits anyway, because she provided “emotional” support.

People Different From Us
“This is heaven on Earth,” said one resident living on burned-out lava rocks about a mile from the oozing Kilauea volcano near Kalapana, Hawaii. He and his neighbors have built houses by hand, collected rainwater to drink, installed solar panels for power and planted vegetables between the rocks for food. According to an Associated Press report in March, one of the residents proclaimed, “I’m more scared of people than I am a volcano.”

Recurring Themes
Least Competent Criminals: (1) In March, Christopher Koch, 28, became the latest person to wait outside a bank while trying to build up the nerve to rob it. By the time Koch finally put on a ski mask and walked up to the front door of the Citizens & Northern Bank in Liberty, Pa., it was 12:01 p.m., and the bank closed at noon. (Employees got Koch’s license plate number.) (2) In March, Angelo Trujillo, 20, became the latest to attempt to rob someone who was pumping gas (at a Smith’s store in Santa Fe, N.M.). The customer, Ms. Bernie Garcia, 83, calmly sprayed Trujillo with gasoline and fought him off long enough for a witness to intervene. (Trujillo was soon arrested.)

Armed and Clumsy (all-new)
More people who accidentally shot themselves recently: Mr. Roland Scott, the victim of a street robbery, took away the perp’s shotgun and started beating him with it. But one of the strikes jarred the trigger and it fired, fatally hitting Scott in the stomach (Baltimore, March). A 31-year-old man, who was fleeing police after a “pump and run” at a gas station, lost control of his car. The ensuing collision jarred his gun, firing a shot into his abdomen (Morgan County, Colo., March). A 20-year-old man shot himself in the groin when he stuffed a shotgun (that he had allegedly just stolen) inside his pants (Seattle, April). A 44-year-old woman recanted her assault claims, admitting that she shot herself in the knee while reaching for a flashlight (Springfield, Mo., December).

2008 Chuck Shepherd


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