Oct 4, 2021

Ifs, Ands and Butts: An Uplifting Tale

Brazil may be your destination spot for fatal cosmetic surgery

By Ed Goldman
I‘d like to introduce today’s seminar with a question: Did you hear about the butcher who backed into a meatgrinder and got a little behind in his work?

Yes, you probably did. And the first time you heard it, you probably laughed so hard you fell off your stegosaurus.

Edgy Cartoon

Fender Repair

We begin.

“Butt lifts”—for want of a better term and saner world—are now among the more popular cosmetic surgeries. They’re also now among the deadliest, especially in Brazil. That intel comes from a recent story in the New York Times, whose news bureau in this, the largest country in South America and acknowledged home of the samba, includes extra-wide desk chairs. I’m speculating, of course.

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I’m also curious. Why would someone feel the need to expand one’s gluteus maximus into something the size of Circus Maximus?

I’ve known a number of people, of all available gender orientations, who’ve gone under the knife to reduce the size of various anatomical parts—specifically, derrieres so large they qualified for sphere-of-influence studies.

I also know women who enlarged their breasts and even a few guys—how shall I put this?—who were willing to go to any lengths to increase the size of their membership.

But unless your backside looks like a plywood diptych, why would you want to pump it full of fat (for this is the process)?

As the Times dutifully reported, “It’s unclear how exactly the Brazilian Butt Lift got its name, since technically nothing is being lifted.” In fact, what’s usually done is fat from another part of the body is liposuctioned out and then injected into the glutes—what one might call a blubber transplant, if one were so inclined.

I became aware of the fact that the size of my own rear end was negligible the first time I bought a custom suit. The tailor, an elegant, patriarchal Swiss fellow, was measuring me for the slacks and said, “The Italians have an expression for your particular challenge: “Yuhgoddanoass.” I had driven halfway home before I said that aloud and almost had to pull over because I was laughing so hard. Falling-off-my-stegosaurus hard.

It reminded me of one of my grandfathers, also a tailor, telling me when I was a kid that in his native Russia, they couldn’t park their cars without a “grawjki.” I thought I’d learned a new foreign word until I told my dad about it and he laughed, explaining my grandpa had simply said “garage key” with a deliberately thick, comic accent. I had hoped to get endless mileage out of that in my schoolyard for the next few weeks. However:

ME: What do you need to park your car in Russia?

CLASSMATE: I don’t know. What?

ME: A grawjki!

CLASSMATE (After a pause): I think they’re doing Sloppy Joe’s today in the cafeteria.

ME (Slumping a little): ‘Kay.

I felt like such an ass.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).