There's some spooky folks out there.
The "comedian" Carrot Top, baseball commissioner Bud Selig, daytime talk show hosts.
The topper, though, might be a group of people who have their muscles deadened in order to appear younger. This isn't a fairy tale, though.
No, these people are shunning Mary Kay and turning to botulism to make themselves look good.
That's right. Botulism, the bacteria that causes food poisoning and can lead to muscle paralysis, is being used to reduce the signs of aging.
Called Botox, the botulism bacteria that doubles as a biological weapon (which is one of its "benefits", according to the morbidly named Diseaseworld.com) is also being injected into the faces of millions as a wrinkle cure-all.
And according to the Wall Street Journal, a growing number of people in highly visible jobs -- such as sales people, lawyers and bankers -- are using Botox as a way to freeze a pleasant, worry-free expression on their otherwise brow-beaten faces.
How it works is a doctor injects Botox into the muscles in the face that create wrinkles. Those muscles shut down, leaving the face smooth and worry-free. Then the happy Botox recipient goes out into the world with his or her new placated mug and gives children nightmares for weeks, just like clowns do.
It's straight out of a horror movie: A salesman is trying to sell you a car. He seems nice at first, but his expression never changes, even when he tells you, with a hollow look, that to be able to afford such an automobile you'd have to give up a kidney or comparable body part. So you stab him in the foot with a pencil, and though he lets out a yell of agony, he keeps on smiling, his eyelids relaxed but eyes full of pain. You run screaming from the dealership. The salesman is sad that he lost a potential sale. He smiles as he weeps in his office. At least he still looks good.
Sure, a few years of wear and tear might be erased, but there are draw backs with Botox. The effects of it can last for up to six months, the eyelids may droop and those who are injected are no longer able to frown. Not able to frown? What happens when Christina Aguilera and 'N Sync put out new albums? What if Mariah Carey makes another movie?
And what if you and a group of your Botox-riddled friends went out for a walk? Villagers would hunt you down with pitch-forks and clubs and set you on fire, thinking some fancy zombies in Haggar slacks were trying to get into the local bar and grill.
What's wrong with aging gracefully? I had a gray hair once. I wanted to shine it up to a bright silver for all the world to see, but it was plucked out of my head while my attention was turned elsewhere. A sad day indeed. I keep that gray hair in a ring box. The point is that I wanted that gray hair, and I keep a candle-light vigil until my next appears.
Yet, there is some good to come from Botox and its good buddy, botulism. It can be useful in treating cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders.
But to be injected with it only for vanity's sake is crazy. What would Sen. Strom Thurmond think? He's almost 100 years old and he never needed to be rid of his beauty marks. Then again, you could hide a five-pound ham in the folds of the skin on his neck.
Maybe Botox isn't such a bad idea after all.
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