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THE PROBOSCIS MONKEY

    Once a proboscis monkey went to a plastic surgeon.
    The surgeon took one look at the monkey and thought it had come for a nose job.	
    “No,” the monkey answered with a miffed tone. “This nose is my best feature, I’ll have you know. I’m here to find out what you can do about the rest of my face.”
    “The rest of your face? It appears fine to me just the way it is.”
    “You think so?” the monkey replied, peering down its bulbous nose as if wondering what level of cosmetic enhancement expert it was dealing with. “That’s only because you don’t have to live with these looks.”
    “True,” the surgeon conceded. “But what is it that you want to change about your face? It all goes very naturally with your nose.”
    “Not this low forehead. It makes me look like a dime-a-dozen Neanderthal, and I can’t have that, not with the circles I move in. Is it possible to raise it a few inches?”
    The surgeon said it was possible, and an appointment was made to stretch the monkey’s forehead. All went well, but a week later the monkey returned with a stack of glamour magazines and a few new requests.
    “I’ve decided the high forehead actually reduces the prominence of my nose.”
    The surgeon thought the nose actually looked larger and more fleshy with the scalp pulled back, but the monkey wasn’t in the mood to be contradicted. It pointed to a face on the cover of one of the magazines and arched an eyebrow as if nothing more needed to be said.
    “Well, I can remove some of the hair around your cheeks with electrolysis, if you wish.”
    “Can you do it today?”
    The surgeon removed the monkey’s facial hair, but the result left it even less satisfied. “Now look at me,” it sniffed as it studied the hand mirror the surgeon had given it. “I never knew I had so many wrinkles! You’ve simply got to get rid of them before anybody sees me!”
    The bare skin, the doctor replied, actually accentuated the monkey’s nose to the point it must draw stares now, perhaps even stop traffic, but the monkey wasn’t persuaded. “What about Botox?” it asked.
    Botox injections also left it disappointed, however, again despite the doctor’s assertions that the nose was looking even larger by comparison with the now smoothed areas around it.
    “How about flesh-eating bacteria?” the monkey wanted to know.
    “That treatment is still experimental, you realize.”
    “So what? It’s my face, isn’t it?”
    “Why not simply tuck your ears back a little?”
    “That too, while you’re at it. Just don’t touch my nose!”
    The nose didn’t need to be touched in the slightest, for the combination of ear-tucking and flesh-eating bacteria and Botox and forehead-stretching left the monkey’s head resembling a knife blade driven into the back of a yam-sized schnozzola, the surgeon declared.
    “Finally I’m getting what I paid for!” the monkey exulted before the mirror. It could hardly wait to reveal “the new me” to the world. When it strode into a luncheon engagement a few hours later, though, the reaction among its social set was a combined gasp and the question:
    “What in the world happened to your nose, darling?”