Welcome to the Poorhouse: Saggy Man Boobs Edition

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Whenever they's a wrinkle eating away at vain people, I'll be there. Whenever they's a cop not doing a double take as a pair of hooters goes by, I'll be there. . . .. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're in a gentleman's club an' I'll be in the way trophy wives laugh when they're gossiping about their nannies' flat butts an' they know their celery, parsley and air lunch's ready. An' when folks smile like the Joker an' can't shut their eyes when they sneeze--why, I'll be there.

To think I thought I had it bad.

As Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blogger Shari Roan recently revealed, demand for cosmetic surgery fell 12 percent in the U.S. last year; nearly every procedure declined in popularity, typically by 10 percent to 20 percent; and even Botox--plucky, confused, misunderstood Botox--fell by 8.4 percent among women in '08.

Goddamn you, Dow Jones!
Roan turned to Dr. Sanjay Grover, a Newport Beach plastic surgeon and past president of the Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons, to get a sense of how ugly things are out there for your friendly neighborhood boobie cutters. It's ugly, indeed: Grover said plastic surgeons are reporting dips in business from 20 percent to 40 percent in the first few months of 2009. ". . . I think people are being more careful about what they're spending money on," confided Grover, and one wonders if he said this with a tear in his eye or if he'd had them filled in surgically because salty tears spur wrinkles.

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Well, gloomy Grover should take his cues from Mr. Sunshine, otherwise known as his cross-town colleague Dr. Michael W. Niccole, founder of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Specialists and -- and his press release will tell you -- one of "America's Top Plastic Surgeons" by the Consumer's Research Council of America and one of the regularly featured surgeons on Discovery Health Channel's Plastic Surgery, Before and After.

Niccole says in tough times like these, don't do something drastic, like choosing to buy your family food over seeing your plastic surgeon. Simply have him or her work the magic they usually work without a knife. Among the inexpensive -- okay, less expensive -- non-surgical treatments out there he cites are Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and laser hair removal or lasers to reduce facial lines and wrinkles.

He does advise against simply going to whoever charges the least to inject poison into your face. Training, experience and safety should always be factors. "The bargain shopping approach can end up costing a pretty penny," he says. "You need to beware of those who may advertise 'too good to be true' fees for surgical and non-surgical procedures, to entice you into something you may not be ready for, financially or emotionally." The good doctor says that since he began his practice in 1982 he has repaired thousands of "surgeries gone wrong" suffered by patients who were motivated by low cost or impulse.

Niccole has a name for this revolutionary approach to cost-conscious and generally totally unnecessary procedures: "Beauty on a Budget." Best of all, the non-surgical route is not permanent. You can take your new face out for a test drive, as you would a new car or husband.

Previously in Welcome to the Poorhouse:

The Fresh and Easy Life

Rich Beotch Edition

Relief Agencies Need Relief

The Rise of the No-Tell Motel

Problem Makers Become "Solvers"

From My Bank to Your Ears

Ring-Ring-Ring!

A New Blog Series
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