Busting out for God
WHEN last we bumped into Sister Mary Ignatius Blogg, she had just been commenced on the Pill.
As if this in itself were not pressure enough on Vatican II, imagine my surprise when she presented with the following request: “Doc, I want a boob job.”
I beg your pardon?
“These babies. I want them toned and perky.” She pointed in the general direction of the massive, shapeless habit that camouflaged her tiny frame.
I hardly think anyone’s going to notice.
“It’s for him.”
My eyes panned slowly upward. You mean..?
“No – not Him! Nigel.”
Who is Nigel?
“He’s the one paying for this extravaganza.” She leaned forward, a conspiratorial smile on her lips. “After all these years, I finally found myself a sugar padre!”
As it turned out, Sister Blogg had encountered her sugar padre – or Father Erasmus, as he was known to his parishioners – at a meeting of the local chapter of Nuns Who Want to be Women, an organisation dedicated to the ongoing inequality of the Brides of Christ. At a plenary session on the final afternoon of the retreat, the good padre had addressed the assemblage on ‘The Miracle of Plastic Surgery’.
An extract from the Archive of Facial and Plastic Surgery was tossed onto my desk.
“For those who doubt the miracle.” She seemed unduly smug for a servant of the Lord. “According to this study, patients who undergo plastic surgery end up looking 8.9 years younger than their chronological age.”
She displayed before me a series of ‘after’ photographs of unexpectedly youthful converts.
“I think I can serve God far more efficiently if I have youth on my side, don’t you?”
You realise the surgery doesn’t actually make you younger – it just makes you look younger.
The poor woman looked so crestfallen at my words that I retracted them, passing them off as ill-judged religious irony.
“They say those who undergo the surgery die under the knife and are reborn as their younger selves.” Her voice is hushed, her eyes shining with the rapture of devotion.
Why are they only reborn to the tune of 8.9 years, then? Why not go the whole hog?
“It’s people like you who denied Christ.”
Well... I am Jewish. Kinda goes with the territory.
Sister Blogg left in a huff.
A fortnight later, Father Erasmus was arraigned on charges of medical fraud.
The ‘after’ photos, it seems, were taken as the subjects were being shown the bill for their procedure. The 8.9 years, alas, represented nothing more than wide-eyed horror.