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It doesn't matter that I'm an art director with a six-spot reel. It doesn't matter that I've got an English accent. It doesn't matter that I've been a frequent visitor. I'm still not handsome enough to get good service at the Mondrian hotel.

I need whiter teeth. When I smile, people should be blinded by my dental brilliance. Computer simulations reveal that with a mouth like a box of Chiclets, I'd get at least 32 percent faster service at the front desk. I want cheekbones you can open letters with, and hair so healthy it shines. Poolside, a couple of minor adjustments to my physique could really help -- pectoral implants to make my chest look like a flotation device, and a stomach like a Ruffles potato chip would guarantee a bonanza of fluffy towels like a deluge of pressed poodles.

I need a new name. A name that jumps the line. A name that looks good scrawled on an 8x10. Trente de Monte Christo. Lothar von Riktus. Billy Steele. With the right name, you don't have to be interesting. And once you've got the right table, who cares about the food?

I need more white clothes. The staff looks like a group of Klansmen who've discovered a good tailor. Plus, if everything in my closet is white, it really takes the pressure off decision making in the morning.

Why stay at the Mondrian at all? The benefits come when you're not there. When I say, "Oh, yes . . . call me at the Mondrian," I look better. My hair seems fuller. My pores appear smaller. If I'm poorly dressed, people assume it's intentional. And expensive.

Then, of course, there are long-term benefits. White Mondrian pencils and Mondrian notepads litter my apartment like religious artifacts. Friends clutch the Mondrian shampoo bottle as though it were a saint's knucklebone. Women expect me to be better in bed. I receive engraved invitations to black tie events. Mothers introduce me to their daughters.

I've made the pilgrimage to the white palace on the hill. Please tell me I look good.

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