Stevieslaw: You Look Mahvelous!-My Voices Column for April

You Look Mahvelous!
We had a fine time at Jerome’s Bar Mitzvah reception on Saturday. Jerome is the youngest of cousin Myna’s four sons and has secured a place for himself in the family by being really normal. Around the time of the evening when the band was just hitting its stride—before the youngsters had begun to whine and the teenagers had moved off into mischief elsewhere, before the long-suffering wives or husbands had gently or not so gently removed their drunk-as-skunk spouses for the long drive home, even before Uncle Melvin—in a tradition that predates time, had stolen the silverware—I finally got over to the table where cousins Myron and Annie were seated. To my surprise, they were not plotting to do anything insane; they were simply scrutinizing the folks on the dance floor and keeping score. “No,” said Myron as I walked up, “I’m sure it was a hip.”
Annie and Myron had catalogued the replacements and enhancements the mostly older relatives who occupied the dance floor had had over the years. They came up with an astounding 12 hips, 15 knees, 3 heart valves and a Heart mate 2 ventricular assist device. There had been 17 face-lifts, two or three liposuctions and a bariatric procedure that Jerome’s father Michael—red-faced and popping out of his tux—had found a way around. “And,” continued Annie, “If the amount of Botox employed had been confined to just cans of green beans, it could have easily wiped out the population of a city the size of Minot, ND.”
Just then, the band broke into a lopsided rendition of the Bar Mitzvah favorite—“Forever Young,” and the crowd went moderately crazy. Did you know that Bob Dylan wrote that song? Did you know that it has aged better—as I suppose it would— than the anti-war classic “Masters of War,” or the druggy manifesto “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man?” What was Bobby thinking when he penned “May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung?” Sappy? Yes. Cheesy? Yes. Schmaltzy? Of course. But he was thinking simply and accurately—that this is just what people want—to be young forever. If a sequel to James Hilton’s Lost Horizon would appear today, the Monastery would be on the beach in Maui and all the residents would be 23 forever. And that is the reason, we are pleased to publish: You Look Mahvelous: The Less-intelligent-than-average American Guide to being young forever. In the guide you will learn the secrets of never-aging through:
1. Diet: We have carefully tracked the diets of the longest lived people on the planet—the people, for example, of Barbagia Sardinia, Ikaria Greece, Nicoya Costa Rica, and Okinawa Japan—and found that they eat whatever they can get their hands on. “If it’s not very fast, it goes into the pot,” said one 197 year old resident of Okinawa. We’ve found, however, the common diet elements are Fava Beans, Clotted Cream and Gas-Ex. The guide will provide you with enough recipes to last several normal life-times, although if you stick to the recipes it will appear to be even longer.
2. Supplements: To look good while not aging, you must turn to supplements. We have monitored the recommendations made on the Dr. Oz show for the past 6 seasons. Clearly, to hold back putrefaction, you must consume some 70 pounds of supplements a day—from St. John’s Wort, to Broccoli Sprout Powder, to Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. That’s 7 fortifying pills every 20 seconds over each and every 24 hour period. In the guide, you will learn how to make time to breathe.
3. Stress Reduction: In the guide, we diligently follow in the Bob Newhart tradition of stress reduction—Just Stop It! We will introduce you to several mantras that ward off stress instantly. We also provide you with a dozen signed prescriptions for Valium—for when mantras are not enough.
4. Exercise: You will learn that it is not the exercise, but the equipment and accessories that are essential. Our interactive feature will allow you to keep up with what is hot in headbands, track suits and sneakers—for walking, jogging, climbing, and trekking and for sitting at Starbucks. Use the guide to learn to talk a good game—you sporty guy you.
5. Modern Medical Procedures: Most body parts can and should be replaced regularly. To stay young, you will need to keep up with the latest in hip, knee, spleen and pancreas replacements. The guide will help you to identify the medical professionals in the new specialty of “continuous, replacement improvement” so you can effectively plan your surgeries. The guide will also discuss with you the value of cloning—as it is not just for pets any longer. Learn what it takes to have a few dozen rug-rat knock offs of you running around forever.
6. The Nuclear Option: We introduce you to Dorian Gray, who stayed young and handsome while his portrait aged, by simply promising his soul to the devil. In the guide, we provide you a list of “devil” approved portrait painters, incantations for the sale of your soul, and help in filling out the required legal documents. Places to hang your portrait, so as not to shock friends and relatives are discussed.
Buy the guide and we guarantee the next time you meet Billy Crystal in the hallway of your club he will certainly tell you: “You look mahvelous.”

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