A riot broke out in the lobby of the Lucky Star Hotel inShanghai after forty American tourists awoke to discoverthat surgically skilled thieves had stolen their facesduring the night. The distraught tourists, some of themwearing pillowcases over their heads, others with exposedfacial musculature, glittering teeth and glaring eyes,hammered hotel staff senseless as they demanded the returnof their faces. But Chinese authorities claimed that thefaceless Americans were simply due new faces, not thespecific faces that they lost. ?I can?t leave Des Moines anAmerican woman and come back a Chinese man,? one outragedvictim huffed.

Mobius Cruises spokesperson Meir Dagan issued a statementthat ?Mobius Cruises in no way condoned or organized thisside trip. They were on their own.? An apple-bobbing contestplanned for the next leg of the cruise up the Yangtze hasbeen cancelled. A spokesman for the State Department said,?it is our policy not to allow faceless persons to enter thecountry unless their passport picture is also faceless, soif they intend to come in without faces, they must obtainappropriate passports from the embassy in Beijing.?

As face transplantation becomes an easier and more commonprocedure, face theft is also becoming more commonworldwide. Sharon Stone of Interpol?s Surgery and ProstheticSquad says ?it?s the fastest growing surgical crime outthere, especially in Asia where plastic surgery mills paytop dollar for faces. Aside from being illegal, the dangeris that the faces are not properly harvested and will wizenin a few weeks. Of course, by then the clinic is gone.?

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