On the other hand, the latest pronouncement by the International Agency for Research on Cancer declaring that tanning beds cause cancer doesn’t worry me. I’ve never been on a tanning bed. Don’t see the point in it. A tanned fat guy is still a fat guy.
I did get an MRI one time. I assume that tanning beds offer a similar experience, except without that banging noise.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. I visited a tanning salon a few years ago to do a segment for my cable access TV show, but I tested out the spray-on tanning booth. This is a high tech version of lathering on the Coppertone QT.
I stripped down to my skivvies, donned a shower cap, and pushed the start button. I was told to keep my eyes shut and hold my breath while the machine puffed out a fine mist of human body stain, aka dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When I emerged from my treatment, I was still the same color, best I could tell. The attendant told me that the “bronzing effect” would take four to six hours.
Sure enough, I changed colors that afternoon. Not exactly to a George Hamilton-like tan. More like the difference between two abutting color samples on those strips you get at the paint store. Subtle is a good description of my transformation.
I’m walking from the car down to the beach carrying my beach towel and sporting a pair of flip flops. I find the perfect spot and spread out the towel. Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale is playing on the radio (clearly a not-so-subtle reference to my milky white skin tone). I lie down, place a cool wet rolled up cloth across my eyes, and wait for my tan to start.
A few minutes later I hear some commotion going on a short distance away. One guy yells “Don’t go near it!” while another one says that he’s calling the Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN). A little girl asks “What is it?” An authoritative sounding woman declares that it’s a rare albino baby right whale.
Pulling the cloth from my eyes, I squint from the sun and peep in the direction of the ado. The CCSN van pulls up and a team of vegetarians jumps out carrying a variety of mammal rescue equipment. Racing towards me, it’s only then that I realize that they’ve mistaken me for the rare albino baby right whale.
I try to get up, but can’t. I try to speak, but can’t. I am helpless on the beach, unable to move. The bevy of skinny, wetsuit clad activists hovers over me discussing alternatives while one of them dumps a bucket of water on me every minute or so.
The group of experts parts, revealing the approach of another man wearing a smock with the word “Euthanist” on the back. About the time he draws his hypodermic needle full of a red serum, I wake up.
Bad dream. And a pretty good reason not to mess up my Gibson Girl complexion.