The Weekend Australian - Review - - Rear View - JANE FRASER

WHILE you’re about the Sisyphean toil of body en­hance­ment in or­der to stave off old age, be warned; you can’t do any­thing about im­prov­ing your hands, un­less you want to have lit­tle claws just like a mon­key. Oh, and I think there may be a bit of a prob­lem with the knees, al­though I know a doyen of smart­ness who did have th­ese lifted. I think they’ve re­placed her hips, which are now her shoul­ders. As a mat­ter of fact ev­ery­thing about her is el­e­vated, start­ing with her fore­head and end­ing with her toes and she looks bloody good if you re­ally think about it.

There’s just a small glitch; you can’t re­ally un­der­stand what she’s say­ing when she opens her mouth; her mouth opens and closes, but she may as well be talk­ing from the deep end of a swim­ming pool. Con­sen­sus is that her voice box has been lifted from her throat and is gath­ered up like a small pony­tail on the top of her head. Oh, and her hair has fallen out, so she wears a wig, which is some­times on back­wards.

We saw her din­ing with a sim­i­larly re­con­structed friend at a posh and private club re­cently; the av­er­age age of those in the din­ing room was about 150, so it was a bit like visit­ing Madame Tus­sauds, only more scary.

The wo­man whose voice box is a pony­tail is a model of deco­rum and good old- fash­ioned ways. She has a gen­tle­man walker who minces along at her side, be­ing metic­u­lous in his chivalry, con­stantly do­ing lit­tle hops around her so he is al­ways in the po­si­tion of be­ing near­est the road­side and thus able to pro­tect her from bolt­ing horses and car­riages whose wooden wheels keep fall­ing off and plough­ing into pedes­tri­ans.

Her hus­band, now late, was a tee­to­taller. Those were the days when women fol­lowed men’s ex­am­ples, not hav­ing yet fallen into the habit of ha­rass­ing them, so, in or­der not to be con­sid­ered re­cal­ci­trant, she hid bot­tles in the gar­den and popped out of the house ev­ery now and then to top her­self up. Old habits die hard and you can still see her most evenings, even when it’s rain­ing cats and prover­bial dogs, wa­ter­ing the plants, and ev­ery now and then duck­ing down into the ferns, os­ten­si­bly to save a way­ward slug from drown­ing.

Some peo­ple are madly averse to the very idea of private clubs, con­sid­er­ing them anachro­nis­tic and com­pris­ing those who, in their late 70s, still re­fer to their par­ents as mummy and daddy, who would be turn­ing in their graves at all the new- fan­gled changes in the world.

But I love private clubs; they make you feel, just for one brief minute, vastly smart.

But back to the body un­beau­ti­ful. This is the latest bul­letin. The pearly whites are now in the spot­light and teeth trans­plants are all the go. It all be­gan in Amer­ica and we all know how the Amer­i­cans like their teeth; the whiter and big­ger, the bet­ter. Just like a mouth full of tomb­stones. What a rip­per.

fraserj@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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