Can You Stomach It? When Diets Fail, Head to Staples

Here’s gorgeous news! If you’re 100 pounds overweight-or more-you now have recourse to more than the self-help videos, hugs and teary best wishes of Richard Simmons. I’m talking about stomach stapling! Yes, the operation that shocked and intrigued our increasingly chubby nation when Beach Boy daughter and titian-tressed pop singer Carnie Wilson did it back in 1999 has rapidly become almost as available and commonplace as bunion removal.

According to an ABC 20/20 that aired at the beginning of April, 57,000 people will undergo non-cosmetic weight-reduction surgery this year at a cost per person of $20,000 (insurance companies will usually pay). This same riveting 20/20 segment profiled the Roselle family of New Jersey, which has collectively lost an ankle-crunching 800 pounds. How fab is that?!

Talking of linguini-lovin’ Italians, I can’t help thinking that old Luciano Pavarotti would be the perfect candidate for this operation. The roly-poly vocal legend clearly has a hard time staying away from the osso buco . A few staples in the right place will not only prolong his life, they might even slow his precipitous vocal decline. After the recent cancellation of Mr. Pavarotti’s farewell performance at the Met, vocal coach Gildo Dinunzio told the New York Post of a “terrible catarrh” (translation: mucus!) which was surrounding the tenor’s vocal chords. Sounds like somebody has been inhaling more than his fair share of the ricotta.

Hey, Luciano, you dairy-cravin’ icon! For God’s sake, give Dr. Daniel Herron at Mount Sinai a call at 212-241-3699. He’s performed over 300 gastric-bypass operations (have you done that many Traviata s, signor ?) and will have you in and out in two days. Moreover, he guarantees that you will lose at least half your excess weight in the first year.

But what happens if you binge? Urban myths are already circulating about people popping their staples and sending all manner of international cuisine flying into their body cavities. According to Dr. Herron, that’s just nonsense. “If people eat more than their new pouch can hold,” he said, sounding a bit harried as he conscientiously rushed from one bowel to the next, “they will simply throw up.”

People might even mistake you for a glamorous bulimic!

Further reading: Dr. Louis Flancbaum of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt has just published The Doctor’s Guide to Weight Loss Surgery . More than 15 of his patients-who have collectively lost more than a ton -are attending his book party (low-fat, kosher hors d’oeuvres only).

By the by, this week Staples office supply-one of the great unsung pick-up locations for earnest, self-employed professionals in Manhattan-has a mouthwatering special on those extra-long-reach staplers: You can score a chic chrome 12-incher for $29.45. Bon appetit !