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"The Great Liechtenstein Plastic Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit"

George "Gentle Ben" Ballooni

Ballooni's first job when he was fresh out of art school was as a private court witness. He would be called in to provide graphic evidence in cases of mutilation, mayhem, malicious wounding, freelance surgery or willful bust-ass to whichever side in a lawsuit paid him the most. 

This case, the celebrated suit against the noted Italian plastic surgeon Giuseppe Artsyboldchinsi by Catarina Corleone, Duchess-in-Waiting to the Marchesa Minnie Theodolite of Liechtenstein, was a tabloid sensation for months. The Marchesa had taken pity on her royal attendant, granting her a purse of gold florins from her household account and setting up an appointment with her own specialist Artsyboldchinsi, with the instructions to "lose the lard," so that the Marchesa would no longer be distracted at palace functions by the sound of Catarina's jowls bouncing and seams splitting.

The liposuction surgery actually went quite well. The greedy Duchess, however, thought she could extort a boob job and a butt tuck out of the good doctor by claiming that the initial surgery left her irreparably disfigured. He, however, indignantly refused. So she hired Ballooni to make sure she won her case by providing dramatic evidence of the surgeon's alleged misfeasance. In the interim she took to wearing a heavy black veil in public to conceal her features.Ballooni earned his money, producing so horrifying a visage in his "After" version of the two portraits that the jury was immediately swayed and the Duchess won her case. As fate would have it she was so elated by the decision that, forgetting she was wearing her heavy veil, she dashed blindly out of the courtroom into the street, where she tumbled head-first into a sidewalk vendor's deep fat fryer and ended up looking like the surf 'n' turf special — which was where Ballooni had gotten his inspiration for the "After" portrait in the first place.


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