It's both not what you think it is and exactly what you think it is.
Over at the Chronicle, reporter Steve Rubenstein was slapped in the name of journalism by a Bangkok-born masseuse named Tata, who claims her "ancient Thai art of face slapping" is a surgery-free way to improve our saggy, puffy mugs. We're not exactly sure how, since the "art form" is described thusly in the article: "WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!" but we imagine it has something to do with startling the wrinkles off your face.
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For the service of hitting you in the face, Tata is also hitting you another place where it hurts: Your wallet. She's asking $350 for a 15-minute session or $1,000 for four sessions. As San Franciscans, we're used to paying exorbitant fees for the privilege of getting bitch-slapped, but this, the article implies, is neither sexual nor bureaucratic.
"Face slapping is not hitting," said Tata. "If you want someone to hit you, go on Craigslist."
Tata will be opening her face-slapping parlor later this month at 5000 Geary. Rubenstein asserted that it didn't hurt "very much" but that he also saw no evidence of improvement:
After about 10 minutes, it was all over. Tata and her husband said the slapping had been a great success and held up the "before" and "after" pictures they had taken of this reporter's face. The photos looked exactly the same, not for lack of effort.
Color us shocked. We're so startled, actually, that we just reverse-aged by two years. We're now thinking of starting a similar service whereby customers pay us $5,000 to send them articles so outlandish that reading them will cause all their unwanted cellulite to spontaneously rage-quit their body. We're currently accepting backers for this innovative and necessary health service.
But wait, there's more!
If the face-slapping enterprise really takes off, Tata plans to "return to Bangkok next year and study the ancient art of Thai butt punching. It's good for you, too. Like face slapping, it's therapy and not corporal punishment."
Thai butt punching -- now that's something I think we can all can get behind.