book reviews

Repost: The Half a Million Pound Girl… should have spent the money on psychotherapy

I am reposting another book review. This one was originally written for Epinions.com on August 21, 2012. I reposted it on the old blog on May 4, 2014, and am posting it as/is again today, because Sarah Burge’s infamous and embarrassing turn on Anderson Cooper came up this morning over breakfast.

Today’s review is dedicated to Epinions’ own vicfar, an Italian American who thinks America is full of “weird-o-rama” people. (I remember Vic got terribly offended when I referred to him as “Italian American”, even though he is both Italian and an American citizen. He doesn’t like being compared to the so-called “guido” stereotypes, I guess.)

A few weeks ago, I happened to catch an episode of Dr. Phil, a pop psychologist whose television show is kind of like a trainwreck.  When I watch Phil McGraw, I often end up yelling at the TV.  However, sometimes watching Dr. Phil is good for book recommendations, especially since I really enjoy reading about people who have “issues”.  And Sarah Burge, who along with Derek Clements authored the book, The Half a Million Pound Girl (2011), certainly qualifies as a person with “issues”.  I have Dr. Phil to thank for introducing me to Burge’s story, which sort of defines the term “charlie foxtrot”.  If you have any ties to the military, I probably don’t have to define what “charlie foxtrot” means.  Since it’s a somewhat profane euphemism, I’ll leave it up to your imagination if you don’t know.

Who is Sarah Burge?

Sarah Burge is a British woman has had lots of cosmetic surgery done.  She is also the sister of the late actor, Trevor Goddard, who had a role on the hit television show, JAG.  Burge was born with ears that stuck out, a defect she had always been ashamed of.  So, since her childhood, she had always wanted plastic surgery.

Burge is also a victim of domestic violence, which was perpetrated at the hands of a man who beat and raped her.  The man beat her so badly that she needed plastic surgery to repair all the damage he did to her face.   Oddly enough, Burge later married this man and bore his daughter, her second child of three by three different men.  She claims she hated him, yet she still married him.  And now their daughter, Hannah, also apparently hates him.

Burge claims that the surgery done after the attack, courtesy of Britain’s National Health Service, wasn’t to her standards; so she visited one of London’s best private plastic surgeons.  Since then, Sarah Burge has made a career out of being “a human Barbie”.  Over the past 20 years, she has had over 100 cosmetic procedures done, many of which were free of charge, as she has served as free advertising for certain British plastic surgeons.  Burge claims that the work she has had done is worth about a half a million British pounds, hence the title of her book.  Burge also serves as a consultant to people who want to have surgery done.  She claims that she is able to point them toward the best person to do the job, as it were, for the money they are able to spend.  Her services are free to those looking for surgery; if they actually follow through and get procedures done, the surgeons supposedly give Burge kickbacks.

Besides showing up on Dr. Phil, Burge has also been on Anderson Cooper.  On a show that aired May 22, 2012, Cooper allegedly told Burge “I try to be really polite to all my guests. I think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore.”  Burge responded by leaving the set.  Burge also made headlines in 2010 because she taught her then six year old daughter, Poppy, how to pole dance.  This year, Burge made headlines for offering the same daughter, now eight, $11,000 worth of plastic surgery for her birthday.

My thoughts

If you’re looking for a “weird-o-rama” story, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a weirder subject to read about than Sarah Burge.  I found her story, which is written in a conversational first person voice, to be alternately shocking and sickening.  She comes across as “barking mad”, as well as more than a bit narcissistic… one of those people who is superficially pleasant and charming, but underneath is entirely fake.

I get the sense that Sarah Burge must have suffered some very severe traumas that have forced her to try to become someone else.  While I could probably muster some pity for her if she weren’t a mother of three, I have to admit that I’m somewhat horrifed for her daughters.  Really, I try to keep an open mind when it comes to people raising their children, but because I am the second wife of someone who was previously married to a nutcase, I have to admit to being biased when I see parents who treat their children like moldable extensions of themselves.

I was truly disgusted to read about how Sarah Burge was raped and beaten to a pulp by her second husband and then chose to marry the man and have his baby.  She later proudly proclaims that her daughter, Hannah, has disowned her father.  While Hannah’s decision is certainly understandable, I can’t wrap my head around why Sarah Burge chose to make a man she claims is a brutal monster the biological father of the child she claims to love.  Seems to me that if you really love your children, you make a concerted effort to find both the best partner for yourself and the best co-parent for them, and then allow that person to be involved in the child’s life.  But anyway, Sarah Burge apparently isn’t concerned about the quality of at least one of her children’s fathers.  Sadly, her daughter has had to pay for it.  Burge has said that most men are not able to keep up with her, but I guess being a rapist and a brute is still, in some way, a turn on for her.

Aside from my shock and dismay over Sarah Burge’s life story, I will admit that The Half a Million Pound Girl is quite readable and, in some ways, even kind of fascinating in a grotesque way.  I think Derek Clements did a good job ghost writing this book.  And, to vicfar, I’d also like to point out that Sarah Burge is a Briton, not an American.

Overall 

I’m not sure if I would like Sarah Burge as a person, but I will admit her story is interesting in a trainwreck/tabloid sort of way.  If you like weird-o-rama stories as much as I do, you might enjoy The Half a Million Pound Girl, though I really think all the time and money Sarah Burge has spent on plastic surgery probably would have been more wisely spent on psychotherapy.  As one commenter wrote on an article about Burge, she is quite “whore-ifying”…

And here’s her clip on Anderson Cooper. Anderson always strikes me as pleasant, fair, and polite, but he’d had enough of Sarah Burge and kicked her off his show!

Yeah… weird-o-rama… and I can see why Anderson Cooper got irritated with her.

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Trump

Clorox and Lysol anal probes? Why not?

Like a lot of people, I was pretty shocked to read about Donald Trump’s musings that we all inject ourselves with Lysol and Clorox and get exposed to more UV rays. I was even more shocked this morning when I saw that many major news outlets, including The New York Times, ran articles imploring people not to follow The Donald’s advice. Alas, they are probably right to make the statement, since there are people out there who are stupid. Seriously stupid. Remember the couple from Arizona who decided to ingest fish tank cleaner because Trump said a cleaning additive called chloroquine phosphate would help cure coronavirus? The wife wound up in critical condition and the husband went into cardiac arrest and died. So, for that reason, it makes sense for newspapers and other media outlets to instruct the public not to inject themselves with bleach and/or Lysol. Some people really do take Trump’s word as gospel. The papers would also do well to remind these folks not to pour sulfuric acid on their genitals, either.

Dude… you don’t even know what you’re talking about. STFU.

By now, it should be pretty clear that Trump doesn’t care much about your health. He cares about your vote and your dollars. And if you’re nice to him, maybe he’ll help you out, but only if you can do something for him. So I wouldn’t take his advice on most matters, but especially those that have to do with health. I have read comments from apologists who say Trump was being “sarcastic” and/or “thinking out loud”, and we should give him a break. My thing is, the orange disaster has been in office now for over three years. He should know that it’s not smart to make unrehearsed statements or discuss things with a hot mike. Decide what you’re going to say before you get on TV and make an ass of yourself… and/or make statements that could seriously harm people.

No, you weren’t being sarcastic, chicken dick. And even if you were, that would have been extraordinarily inappropriate under the circumstances. Why not act like a real leader?

People are still stubbornly championing this guy, though, despite his incredibly asinine comments. They whine about how we haven’t given Trump a chance. Like I said, he’s been in office for three very long years. He’s had a chance, and he’s fucking things up. I’m not surprised, since Trump’s talents mostly involve fucking… either actual fucking with women (and reportedly, girls) or figuratively fucking the people with whom he does business. I have yet to see a single shred of evidence that he cares about the people he’s supposedly serving. I have seen a lot of toddler-esque temper tantrums, blame shifting, passing the buck, and lectures to especially female reporters, demanding that they “calm down” and stop being so “nasty”.

I can barely stand to listen to him myself or look at his mouth, which always looks like a urinal to me… I have never felt this way about any other president in my lifetime. In fact, as much as I dislike Mitt Romney, I think he would be 10,000 times the president Trump is. And I never liked George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, but they are both about 50,000 times better… and Obama is not even in the same league as Trump. I never paid much attention to Obama when he was the president, but now I delight in hearing him speak because he doesn’t sound like an arrogant buffoon with an intellectual disability.

The jokes about Trump’s latest ridiculous suggestions have been fast and furious. One friend shared this photo with me.

Yeah… this is the ticket to health and prosperity!

Another shared this…

*May also kill you… but maybe death would be preferable?

I started thinking about the old jokes about anal probes from aliens. It occurred to me that some people are so brainwashed and lacking in critical thinking skills that if Trump suggested anal probes that were impregnated with Lysol and Clorox, there would be a contingent of people who would happily shove them up their asses. And The New York Times would write more articles warning people not to wear anal probes because Trump said so… but unfortunately, the people who most need that information would not be the type to read The New York Times… or anything else, for that matter.

Cartman probably admires Trump.
But Trump’s anal probes would probably be more like the Kids in the Hall’s version of anal probing…

Anyway… as usual, Trump lies and deflects and passes blame to others… and people still think he’s great. But maybe Trump really is onto something with the Lysol. My friend DeNeil says that Lysol’s original use was douching. Yes, it’s spring, and time for spring cleaning, but I don’t think I want to clean my private parts with Lysol. I guess somewhere along the line, someone came up with the idea that Lysol is better for killing germs on surfaces that aren’t made of flesh and blood.

Yow! The things we do for love!
This seems somewhat gentler…

Well, anyway, I think I’ll keep taking health advice from people who know something about it. But, like Anderson Cooper, I’ll still be shocked by the things Trump says and does… and then denies.

No Trump… you said it. It’s on camera. Own it. Grow up.

I think that’s about all I have the heart to write about today. I hope you’re all staying healthy and not listening to Trump, except maybe to laugh at him. And if he ever does suggest probing your anus with Lysol and Clorox, please turn the channel and debrief yourself. But don’t debrief yourself by taking off your underwear and sticking something caustic up your ass.

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