This past Saturday, November 6, St. Louisans experienced a confluence of sorts when the Lasik Vision Institute opened in Clayton -- with "live" Lasik procedures, no less! -- and the Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis celebrated Mindfulness Day 2004. To commemorate the occasion, Unreal caught up with refractive surgeon Dean Ellis, M.D., who has performed more than 28,000 laser surgeries.
Unreal: We've all seen the billboards. Tell us what Lasik does.
Dr. Dean Ellis: What you're doing in Lasik surgery is using a very low-intensity, finely calibrated instrument to gently reshape the surface of the cornea in a way that will allow the light rays to focus directly onto the central point of the vision and the retina to clear up any refraction, like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Would it be possible to harness Lasik to turn your eyes into powerful microscopes or telescopes?
[Laughs] Maybe x-ray vision. But if you're thinking about how the eye works, you really wouldn't want your eye to be a telescope. If you had an overly magnified image, you'd lose your field of view. If everything was gigantic, you couldn't really see.
Could you change the natural lenses inside the eye and replace them with rose-colored ones?
You could have your natural lens removed and have it replaced. We use computerized technology to calculate the power of that lens. However, that's a pretty involved procedure.
The day you open, the Buddhist Society of St. Louis celebrates Mindfulness Day. Do you think perfect eyesight allows you to focus more clearly on your inner thoughts?
Sure. I think it enables you to function better in all aspects of life, and spirituality would be no different. People who are nearsighted, for example, always have a bit of a complex. Their whole life they've grown up with glasses. They've been called "four eyes." And I think it does shape your viewpoint on the world. The term "myopic" is used not just optically, but also synonymously for someone who has a limited field of view. And when you remove that, I think it does open up you to a wider range of possibilities.
But you don't yet do any work on the proverbial third eye?
No, but we're working on it. Maybe that will be the next step.
Tricks of the Trade-In
Unreal needed a new sleep. So we took a tip from a knowledgeable neighbor and headed out to see The Bed Guy. We knew what we wanted -- full size, pillow top, 700 bucks or better, please -- but The Bed Guy's lady, formally known as The Bed Gal, suggested we lie down for a test run.
The agenda was empty (naptime aside). We obliged.
And that's when The Bed Guy arrived and got gabbing about his kick-ass delivery service, prices and phenomenal warranties.
You got a problem? You can bring it back, says he.
Yeah! Call me up, I'll come out with my truck and get it, no problem. We'll hook you up with a new mattress. Just as long as the old one isn't....
Like...[shakes his noggin]: This one guy called up and said his mattress was sagging, and I went out to his place. Man! I said, I can't do anything with that, man! It looked like somebody'd been stabbed to death on that sucker!
Oh, no. You wouldn't believe some of the shit we've seen.
Like what else?
Like there was this one lady, she went away for the weekend and her ex-boyfriend went over to her place and took a knife to her mattress -- slashed it, put holes all over it and watched pornos all weekend on it. Man. [Noggin shake.] So I go out there. I go inside, and I'm smelling something funny, and I'm like, "Lady, I can't take this thing back, it's been peed on."
Yeah. Peed on.
Who the hell would do that?
Who the hell would try to get you to take that back?
Like the terms "wigger," "ass goblin," "shitlicker" and "cunt," "fag" is a crass, politically incorrect word that's fun to say out loud. Thankfully, Rochester, New York-based Grayson Fairbanks, Inc., in the words of founder David Christian Hamblin, "has come together to abolish the negative connotation of the word FAG and reposition it to mean Fabulous and Gay."
Cool. Even cooler is that FAG bath and beauty products are now available locally at Cheap Trx on South Grand Boulevard and via online retailer One Girl's Trash (www.onegirlstrash.net/fag.html). And soon Grayson Fairbanks will unveil a stuffed animal named FAGGY and a product line called FAG Pet.
Hamblin agreed to a fagtastic phone interview, for which Unreal fortified ourself with shots of 30 proof Sour Apple Pucker.
David Christian Hamblin: Who's there?
San Francisco. They want their fags back. But seriously, does San Fagcisco deserve to have them all back, or is America a more fagtastic place when fags are prancing across South Fagolina, New Mexifag and all points in between?
Everybody deserves to have a little fag in their life. And if you don't have a fag in your shower, then you need to get some. Because baby, my shower is filled with fags.
This Pucker is fucking fagtastic. Have you ever had Pucker?
I've never had Pucker, but I've heard it's fagtastic.
What is a better religion for fags, Cathofagism or Southern Fabtist?
Oh, Southern Fabtist. Because the South is fabulous, and us fags love to be fabulous.
Better yet, should all fags be fagnostic?
I knew that was coming. That's poor. But no, we have to believe in something. And the only way to believe is through the southern belief, Southern Fabtist.
You claim to not test FAG products on animals. Do you test them on fags?
Of course. I have my own little fag test group.
Mmmmm. This Pucker makes us want to put on a Sade album and jump in a scented bubble bath. Do you ever get that urge yourself?
Fucking every night. I put a little FAG in my bath and I am in fagtopia.
Are mesh tank tops the new black, or are they just super fucking faggy?
They are major fucking faggy.
Are they also the new black?
Nothing can ever take the place of black in a fag world.
Rider on the Storm
A press release the other day from Harley-Davidson brought back fond but very blurry memories from Unreal's carefree youth. But those recollections were of the summertime variety, and Harley was pimping cold-weather riding tips.
Riding a Harley is cool, but riding a Harley in the winter is much, much cooler! Looking to get a better handle on the topic, we placed a call to a local dealer.
Unreal: How cold is too cold to ride a Harley?
"Harlene": It's no different than any outdoor activity. As long as you don't get hypothermia, it's never too cold.
Leather and lace seem to be all the rage with Harley gear. Why not wool?
Leather is a safety material in case you fall. Wool would not provide you protection at all when skidding along the pavement.
In the movie Dumb and Dumber, the main characters become frozen together while riding their moped. Have you ever heard of this phenomenon happening in real life?
No. I think the title of that movie pretty much answers that question.
Which better accessorizes a Harley: gloves or mittens?
Have you ever ridden a motorcycle? Mittens would not do well at all. Riding a motorcycle is akin to flying a jet plane. You need your digits to do things.
Say you're caught in the cold without any winter gear. What type of roadkill provides the best insulate?
What? You do not have my permission to print this article before I read it.
I've heard leather chaps are actually warmer if worn with nothing underneath. Is that true?
I'm going to hang up now.