To quote Kenny Rogers' and Dolly Parton's seminal 1980s Christmas masterpiece, the holiday Holy Grail of my life, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS (Amazon.com, $6.99): "I believe there's always hope when all seems lost, 'cuz I believe in Santa Claus." But with age, significant age, comes the gift of reinterpretation. It's not so much that I believe in Santa Claus himself as I do a gaggle of overweight bears bearing his resemblance lined up hairy and shirtless along The Parliament House bar on Christmas Eve. I believe they're there, because I've seen it. Some with red noses. Oh, Rudolph. Anyway, this year I send my holiday wish list not to them, not to my own suspiciously holiday-wary boyfriend, nor to Jesus on the cross. No, this year my wish list goes out to the crowd who know their way around an operating table with two scalpels in their hands and blood on their brow. While in previous years Christmas may have come from within, today I'm sending a simple prayer to send it right back where it came from: inside of me. Sort of like a holiday NIP/TUCK special (Complete First Season, $19.97; Complete Second Season, $41.99, Amazon.com), I've got sinister designs on Christmas 2005. I'm building the perfect beast, piece by piece, and I need your help. You can keep your iPod Nanos, your hybrid vehicles, your Spiegel situations involving tweed or pewter. I don't want them.
Instead, let's start with this: A LIVER TRANSPLANT (average cost $200,000, plus follow-up care). Not that my liver is that screwed up, a fact I still don't really believe, but I and it should by now have an understanding that it might be best for both of us if we parted ways and got fresh starts me with a new one, it in a hazmat cooler. It's relatively standard, really, considering that we've been together 33 years. We've had a good life, surfing the hepatic extremes of human overindulgence and typically landing on our shared feet. I couldn't have asked for a better friend. But with Christmas comes the want for new things. And I want a new liver.
I also want A NEW KIDNEY (first year, average cost $116,000), just to be safe. I'm not being greedy and asking for two, considering that recent renal tests showed little to be concerned about in my bean-shaped paths. But if I get a new liver, I don't want it to be lonely. That would just be like getting a new hamster without getting a new rabbit, and it's not like I'm asking for a pony. Although, daddy, I do want a pony (approximately $200-$10,000).
And with my new artificial inner strength, assuming that the transplants are not rejected (God, I hate rejection!), I'll naturally need to address the superficial situation that continues to make me turn away from mirrors not covered in white powder ($50 per gram, various sources). I'm talking about A FULL OVERHAUL, here. I want to move from bungalow rib cage to palatial hard-body, and I want to do it faster than I can sneeze out the words "circuit party."
We'll begin with the top the top of my head. Following years of peroxide abuse and sundry inherited follicular misfortunes, my particular brand of punk-rock-combover-cum-faux-hawk has been leaning sadly to the side lately and exposing way too much scalp. To remedy this, A SERIES OF HAIR TRANSPLANTS (approximately $5,000) will be necessary, although I'm told, cryptically and disgustingly, to avoid "per graft" pricing. So, doctor, I'll necessarily be a graft-dodger.
A litany of implants to assuage my general laziness and gym-retardation should follow. Pectoral implants ($4,000) not, I repeat NOT, breast implants would be quite helpful. I've seen the before and afters, and I'm satisfied that I'm the perfect candidate for man boobs. While BUTTOCK IMPLANTS (aka gluteal augmentation, $7,000) might be nice, I'd be willing to settle for BUTTOCK FAT INJECTIONS ($4,000), especially because the decreased severity implies a lower likelihood that my special place will be difficult to reach in well-lubricated situations. Nothing stands in the way of my special place.
BICEP AND TRICEP IMPLANTS ($7,000 each) might help offset my "moobs," and calf implants ($4000) should help to ensure that I'm not too top-heavy or likely to topple in those unforgiving Florida summer winds.
Somewhere betwixt all of this muscle-aug, there exists a touchy (and frequently touched) area of interest. PENIS ENLARGEMENT though I swear to you it is unnecessary and that I'm just trying to match the swelling of the other four corners of my body might be something to consider. At $3,000, the industry leading method of "Alloderm" (a process I don't even want to talk about) may be a bit pricey. Especially because I don't even need it. I mean, really, I don't need it. Also, I'm sure I can find something suitably misspelled in my bulk mail inbox that could achieve the same effects for considerably less. But we can skip this one, because I don't need it.
What I do need, however, is the LONG-PULSE DIODE LASER HAIR REMOVAL MACHINE; THE DMD 1000 ($19.95, www.hair-free-skin.com) seems the perfect alternative to a pricey $5,000 electrolysis regimen for my unattractively furry chest. And since laser surgery even home laser surgery is "exempt" from local health codes, I won't have to worry about the white coats walking in during an embarrassing shearing of my taint.
To dress up the whole mess appropriately, I'd also like the following items from the forever tasteful International Male catalog: THE METAL MESH KEYHOLE KNIT SHIRT ($39.99, www.internationalmale.com) and the white SIDE-SPLIT DENIM SHORT ($34.99), because it's almost like a slutty skirt had a run-in with some hotpants. And if you could go to Shoes.com and pick up a pair of the the NAUGHTY MONKEY WOMEN'S ESKIMO BOOTS ($122.99) in white, too, that would be fantastic. They've got little white poofballs hanging off the side lacing and a fuzzy body, and I think they're perfect. And then so will I be.
Except, most likely, I won't. Whether I hemorrhage from infections, reject organs or am simply fag-bashed for my poofballs, I can only expect the ultimate gift from this list to be my eventual death. That considered, I have one last request: I want ELTON JOHN TO PLAY MY FUNERAL RECEPTION. Seem unlikely? Well look again, Santastein. For a mere $1.5 million (www.neimanmarcus.com), Sir John will show up and play for up to 500 of my closest, mourning friends on a red baby grand piano. You'll have to pick up the travel costs, but I'm sure you can afford it. Y'know it does seem to me that I've lived my life like a candle in the wind. It really does.
Merry Christmas. I'll see you in firstname.lastname@example.org