Girth control


People who worry that Filipinos are losing their competitive edge in English should just go and buy an abdominal binder. And I recommend this medical supply shop in front of Chong Hua Hospital.

I know. I didn’t know there was such a device myself. Never thought you could grab your flab, tuck your tummy in and hold it all together with Velcro. What a remarkable feat of girth control. Such solid waist management.

Last week, I bought one for someone who had just delivered a 7-pound girl. That 7-pound girl filled this world in such a big way she must have left a big void where she came from. Hence the need to pack the slack and put it all back.

Best of all, it’s from Korea.

At least the one I bought was. Nice, unintelligible characters on the packaging. A picture of a slim Caucasian model who looked like she only needed the abdominal binder to make her waistline look bigger.

Then, a smart looking trademark of a Korean orthopedic company that boasted, in English: “Special in Health Care and Orthopedic Soft Good.”

So there you go. I had purchased not a mere abdominal binder. I had, in my hands, a special “orthopedic soft good”.

So you can understand the complex literature that not surprisingly came with this intricate product. Apparently, for products like this, it is not sufficient to say it is for women who had just given birth. “To use the belly getting weak from numerous pregnancy” is, I guess, more appropriate to the magnitude of this invention.

I read on. “Due to flexible support pad of the product is curved by your body shape, the product makes you be convenient.” I know. You have to read it maybe three times. But I just know that in that purgatory where Korean characters wait to be transported into English, that statement would sound comforting.

Besides, it “protects from rolling for continuous clean.” And it is made of high density sponge, “which is different with general sponge don’t grow its shape smaller or shrink.” And because of that, it contains “fibrils which make air circulate well supply the belly region a suitable compression with itself elastic materials.”

That — you would have to agree — certainly makes up for whatever linguistic difficulties you’ve had to contend with so far.

And the possibilities hardly end there. The abdominal binder works “to make warm getting cold in your belly.” “And”, it continues, “also it keeps beautiful silhouette of your body.” How it achieves that without a lot of backlighting, it doesn’t say. Effects not included.

The amazing thing, of course, is that the abdominal binder does this without losing sight of its main objective. Which is – and you will have to bear with the technical language involved here – “to make normalization your belly hanging down more than the other persons.”

So you hand this abdominal binder to its intended recipient. She reads the packaging. You ask: “How’s it hanging?” And she says: “I guess, more than the other persons.”

And you both get a good laugh. A good belly laugh. Such a deep belly laugh your belly hurts from all that laughing.

And then it hits you. Aha. So that’s how this whole thing works.

SunStar Cebu
11 November 2004

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