Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rah Rah Radula

It was last Thursday 18 months ago that Evangeline van Holsterin (head barmaid at the Old Entomologist) announced an "Invent Your Own Cocktail" night to help dispose of the dozen varieties of novelty Advocaat she had stocked by mistake. Advocaat being a liqueur based on egg-yolk. Or so they say.
Advocaat proved to stimulate the imagination in unpredictable ways. Sadly, such mixed drinks as the 'Premature Ejaculation' and the 'Enormous, Mendacious, Disembodied Anus' and the 'Vast and cool and unsympathetic Intellect' (Another Kiwi's favourite) are lost for posterity, for exact recipes were not recorded in time. But least we still have the "snail facial" story at Riddled -- which was inspired later that night, as a way of tying together a lot of gastropodal images that had been cluttering up the archives and blocking the data-ducts.

Dermabrasion by the radulae of hungry snails may sound more delicate than alternative cosmetic-surgery techniques for replacing wrinkled or pigmented skin with healthy pink scar tissue. In practice it NEVER ENDS WELL.

So what's this?
And a new craze of snail facials — which involves shelled slugs being placed on the face — is expected to arrive at New Zealand beauty parlours soon.
It purports to be the work of Russell Blackstock, "a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday". I wonder if Russell's childhood aspirations were all about growing up and going to Journalism School so that one day he would reach the pinnacle of his profession and be able to sign his name to stuff like this.
The healing and repairing powers of the slime was discovered when snail farmers in Chile, harvesting for the French food market, noticed their hands were extremely soft and smooth, and minor cuts healed quickly.
Laboratory analysis showed a substance called Helix Aspersia Muller produced by the snail to quickly regenerate its shell and skin contains beneficial glycolic acid, collagen, elastin, allantoin, vitamins and minerals.
Actor Katie Holmes, former wife of Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, is said to have taken to the product.
Russell's words betray substantial overlap with an advertorial in the Daily Torygraph from a year ago.* Which is not to accuse him of plagiarising; both churnalists were simply regurging the material they'd been sent by Dr Organic Snail Gel. One searches the textbooks in vain for the laboratory-analysed "Helix Aspersia Muller" for it has no existence outside the solipsistic irreality of advertisement.

Is Riddled in some way responsible for this development, parody inspiring the grifters through the ineluctable workings of Morphogenetic Resonance? More to the point, will we receive credit and royalties? WILL WE BOGROLL.

Shysters should be warned that we will not be fooled a second time. According to Trahison & Clerisy (Solicitors and Commissioners for Blasphemies Oaths), the Riddled legal advisors, our patent for Lamprey Facials and Cyclostome Dermabrasion is unassailable.

* Give the Torygraph credit for creating a 'sponsored/' branch of its website in which to locate its "health/good-life" puff-pieces.
UPDATE: A hint from Alison in the comments leads us to a primary source for the promotional bafflegab: a 2009 paper by Toutsas et al. spruiking a Chilean skin cream as a burn treatment.

Ref (13) is to González et al. (2004) in the Chilean Review of Occupational Terrapins. In fact González et al. do not mention the observant-snail-handler origin story, leading one to suspect that Tsoutsos et al. obtained that corroborative detail (intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative), along with the lab analysis, directly from the suppliers of Elicina®.

Further details would be tedious... so here instead are some Sexy Lamprey Costumes, available now from the Riddled Gifte-Shoppe!


alison said...

The 'Helix' stuff is actually a mis-spelling of the actual old taxonomic name for garden snails: Helix aspersa (Muller).

rhwombat said...

I understand that many Chilean Occupational Therapists have to import serrated hinged terrapin (Pelusios sinuatus) from Africa, because the local diamondbacks were too short tempered to train patients with. They were also useful to terminate radular dermabrasion sessions with extreme prejudice.

Sirius Lunacy said...

Do NOT get a snail facial at any facility that charges by the hour!!!

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

Then there's the ban on pedicure fish because they can't be sanitized between uses. Oh well, it could have been trans-urethral prostate resection candiru.

rhwombat said...

H.R, MB: Personally, I've always thought that one can be too enthusiastic in infection control.