“The Swan” Episode 4

By: Winter Miller

The doors of the mansion open and in strolls host Ana Recxique. Tonight one woman will make the journey before your eyes from unbearably average to drop-dead gorgeous to be crowned “The Swan.”

Meet the contestant. D’Andrea Milton is a florist from Springfield,
Massachusetts. Deenie would love to look in the mirror and be happy. That dream was far from her experience growing up. She remembers a time in middle school when she was spit on by her peers. Fortunately, Deenie has a boyfriend who loves her for who she is but believes their relationship could be better if she were softer and more graceful. Deenie doesn’t want to feel sorry for herself. She wants to become a Swan.

Enter the experts. Their goal is to transform ugly ducklings into beautiful swans. They’ve got their work cut out!

The panel agrees, Deenie’s got potential. A nip here, a tuck there! Deenie will receive complimentary: chin and legs liposuction, hand amputation, collagen, feather extensions, wing augmentation, Lasik eye surgery, bleaching, brow removal, nose and mouth reconfiguration, beak and webbed-feet formation, tummy tuck and a stomach staple.

As she is escorted to makeover mansion, Deenie makes her first discovery: not only will she be cut off from family and friends, but there are no mirrors.

Let’s meet Deenie’s surgeon, Dr. Ivantew Kelyu. His patented neck extender won the Surgical Prize in 1994 and again in 1996. He has written articles for YM, Yankee Fisherman, and American Cowboy. Deenie’s major liposuction is par for the course, but Dr. Kelyu says, “Creating wingspan is going to be a truly
awesome experience.”

After catching the late-night movie, Marathon Man, Deenie is all nerves over her visit to her reconstructive dentist, Tina Schellbern. But Dr. Schellbern is a real softy. When not making people smile, she goes for walks with her girlfriend Maia and their three dachshunds. Dr. Schellbern admits Deenie will be her first beak. “This seemed like a real challenge, and I thrive under pressure, especially televised pressure. Also, this will be a milestone for the gay community: the first time a lesbian performs beak construction in the U.S.” After surgery, Deenie cries out, possibly in pain, but no one understands her.

Up next is a visit to Dr. Vish Inless, renowned laser-eye-surgery specialist. Deenie’s baby blues will be replaced with small jet-black eyes and her peripheral vision will be reduced. Dr. Inless hails from Johns Hopkins, where he earned three degrees, each more advanced than the former. He is the go-to guy for the Bette Davis Eyez procedure. He has performed surgery live on Regis and Kelly, Montel, and the 2002 PBS telethon.

Deenie comes through just fine, and when the bandages are removed, her eyes are coal-black and her five-foot-six frame is nearly one third the size. But how will Deenie keep the pounds off? Deenie, welcome TaHeill.

Malcolm TaHeill is a fitness guru who has trained CEOs of failed Fortune 500 companies. Known for his bestseller You: Only Less!, Malcolm’s CD of romantic fitness songs, Just Do It: for Love, hits QVC in June. Malcolm’s primary focus is to build wingspan.

Enter nutritionist Debbie Ornadahby. Through a feeding tube, Debbie introduces Deenie to her new diet: arrowhead, pondweeds, sedges, cattail, duckweed, and — an extra treat — water moss. Debbie’s approach is no-nonsense: “If she wants to live to thirty-two, knowing which roots and stems are right for her is essential.”

At last Deenie’s jaw is healed; she is ready for speech therapy with Anuncia Talowdenclehr, of the Academy of Dramatic Arts. She instructs Deenie on maximizing her double-looped windpipe for a deeper call. Deenie takes to it like a pro, and everyone is inspired by her dedication and motivation. Soon she will have a lovely, sonorous cry!

Now it’s time to evaluate Deenie’s mental health. Annette Ifufall is a life coach and therapist who has read tons of Freudian theory. Her audiocassette From Anal, Oral and Back Again with a Sense of Humor is on bookstore shelves. Dr. Ifufall has been featured on A Current Affair, Joe Millionaire, and Good Day Detroit.

Deenie is progressing! But she’s a long way from her goal weight. In fact, the scale claims she’s gained weight. Time to cut back on some of those late-night seed binges.

With a picture of Audrey Hepburn for inspiration, Deenie swings into high gear, and as the pounds shed, what was once a thin layer of downy fur is fast becoming a beautiful coat of feathers.

Annette Ifufall returns for one last coaching session. It’s up to Deenie to decide which side of the V she’ll fly in, the shorter side or the longer side, and whether she’ll be in the middle or near the front. Annette reminds Deenie that mating season is in the summer, and Louis for now means Louis forever, or at least until he dies. After a few last words of wisdom about choosing a wetland with a sufficient breeding population and what to expect from post-hatch moulting, Annette is finally ready to release her charge.

Remember, Deenie has been in seclusion and hasn’t seen herself in seventy-six mentally and physically challenging hours. She’s received text messages from Louis, but she’s been unable to push the buttons to read them.

Time for the reveal!

Deenie weighed in at thirty-five pounds, a mere five pounds over her goal weight! It’s time for Deenie to have a look at her new self. She takes a deep breath. Host Ana urges her toward the mirror.

Deenie sees her gorgeous, white reflection.

“Is that me?” she thinks. She briefly wonders if it’s one of those fake mirrors that make you look like a swan. She looks at herself, and preens. She is thin, beautiful, and the most graceful creature on earth. She is sure when Louis sees her, they will mate for life. She marvels at her snowy white feathers, slender legs, and jet-black feet. Looking closely, she sees Dr. Schellbern’s added touch of a thin orange line on her lower bill. The workouts have had their desired effect: her eight-foot wingspan is toned and glistening and her neck is more beautiful than Audrey Hepburn’s.

Ana has one last surprise for Deenie: Louis is standing behind the curtain.

But wait, there’s more. In front of everyone, Louis gets down on one knee, places Deenie on his other knee and asks to marry her. The look on Deenie’s face tells you all you need to know: she now believes dreams really can come true.

Louis leans in to kiss Deenie, but surprised by his looming silhouette, she squeaks and bites his fleshy cheek. Clutching his bloody jowl, Louis shrugs it off, “She’s got cold feet — my mother and father fought like cats and dogs the day they got engaged.”


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