Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sir, You Left Something in the Pool

It's a cold night in Flagstaff, and I'm in the library dreaming of a sunny beach. I am reminded of a tale. It's no mystery that I enjoy a tan. Before you snarl and cast me aside like some orange, sun (bed) worshiping cast member of the Jersey Shore, keep in mind that even though I may lay in the (real) sun from time to time I do so safely (if there's such a thing). The day I'm about to tell you about is when my love affair with sunscreen began.

After a trip through Sonora, Mexico, a group of friends and I ended up in Phoenix for a couple days of R&R at one of their apartments. One afternoon, relaxed and reading by the pool, we were joined by a feeble old man with a wobbly gait. To our fright the old man disrobed revealing an itty bitty black Speedo and bones draped in paper thin skin; skin draped in shoddily placed Band-Aids; Band-Aids almost hiding open, oozing sores.

"No problem," I thought, "I can handle this." Right? Sure I might be a borderline gerontaphobe, germaphobe, agoraphobe, agliophobe, opensoreaphobe, and publicpoolaphobe but I remained composed. Until, that is, he jumped in the pool and at least one Band-Aid crept its way from the old man's hyde into the water. There in the pool bathed the old man, publicly cleansing the ooze from his mystery wounds. And there poolside, me, cringing, sweating, panicking.

Satisfied, the old man retired. Walking toward his lounge chair, he crossed in front of me, stopped, took note of my UV overdose, reattached a loose Band-Aid, and said, "You'd better be careful or you'll end up looking like me."

Terrified and speechless, I stole Kimmy's bottle of CopperTone SPF 70 and finished the thing off.