Chinny Chin Chins

There’s a popular new trend in the cosmetic surgery world of New York City, according to the New York PostMen are going to plastic surgeons in droves to get treated with a new drug that is supposed to get rid of those dreaded double chins.

Ah, the double chin.  That unsightly, flabby slackness of the upper neck that makes you look old and unfit and weak, all at the same time.  It’s an embarrassing feature for any successful man who wants to radiate virility and good health and ruggedness.

But, what to do if you have those worrisome wobbling wattles?  There aren’t exactly neck crunches or other exercises that precisely target that one, flaccid spot.  But now there’s Kybella, a new drug that is supposed to melt that under-chin flab.  Turkey-necked men can go to an approved Kybella practitioner, get multiple injections into their double-chin neck fat in a series of 2 or 4 or 6 treatments — at a price tag of $800 to $1800 a treatment, depending upon how much of the Kybella is needed — and watch the fat cells dissolve and the saggy necks tighten.  Some people might freak out at having a needle repeatedly jabbed into their throat region, but that doesn’t seem to be discouraging too many patients.  In fact, so many people are having the procedures that NYC plastic surgeons have had to increase their office hours.

These days, it seems like there is an injection or surgery or wonder drug for just about every less than perfect physical feature.  If only cancer could be dispatched as easily as fat cells in the neck!  Of course, the cost of Kybella might be more than some vain but loose-necked men can afford.  For those members of the double-chin brigade, there is always the alternative that I selected:  grow a beard and forget about it.

Inexplicable Vanity, And Santorum’s Folly

Last night Mitt Romney won three more primaries, in Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.  He is now even farther ahead in the race for delegates — so far ahead, in fact, that his nearest challenger, Rick Santorum, would need to win 80 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination.  Does anyone — outside of the Santorum family, perhaps — seriously think we are on the brink of the tidal wave of previously undetected support for Rick Santorum needed for that to happen?  Nevertheless, Santorum has vowed to continue the race.

That kind of stubborn and inexplicable vanity, I think, is one thing that distinguishes politicians from normal human beings.  Why does Santorum think that he is so special that he must continue a race that is, for all practical purposes, already ended?  He was crushed in his last general election, when he sought reelection to his Senate seat in Pennsylvania.  He’s now been beaten in the majority of the primaries and caucuses in this 2012 primary season.  Why doesn’t he go gently into that good night?

The problem, I suspect, is that politicians spend most of their time in a cocoon of staffers, supporters, and sycophants.  They go to rallies where people cheer their every word.  Everyone they encounter tells them they are great, and they come to believe it.  And when election results are inconsistent with that belief, the results are rationalized away as the result of unlucky national trends, or being outspent, or ineffective advertising, or other factors that don’t reflect on the politicians themselves.  They cling to the belief that if only voters really knew them and truly understood their positions, they would be elected by acclamation.

I can’t psychoanalyze Rick Santorum.  The same goes for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, who also are continuing their quixotic campaigns.  They all need to realize, however, that they aren’t essential to the future of our republic.  Voters do understand them and their positions and have decided to vote for someone else.

They also need to consider one other point:  voters make judgments not only on the basis of TV commercials and debate blunders, but also because they weigh whether the candidate’s conduct seems to reflect the qualities we think a President should possess.  Being unable to recognize reality isn’t one of them.