Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We’ve all been there, too long without sun.  You put on your favorite shorts and you realize people are putting on their sunglasses to block out the glare from your overly white legs.  Jill Conner Browne,THE Sweet Potato Queen, once wrote that brown fat is much more attractive than white fat, and if you think about it, it is true.  Uncooked bacon is white and gross but cooked bacon is brown , crispy and deliciously attractive.

  So it goes with our friend Gladys.  She too believes brown fat much more attractive but when you’ve been told to stay out of the sun, what’s a girl to do?

Not wishing to be blinding in shorts Gladys decided she would venture into the realm of self-tanners.   She researched and researched to find one that would be A. easy to use and 2. not messy and of course C. didn't stink.  Finally settling on L’OrĂ©al tanning towelettes she read the directions and followed them to a T.  She brushed the dry skin from her body with a horse hair brush,  shaved the hair from her legs, and exfoliated to the point her skin tingled until she finally deemed her skin prepared.  She applied Vaseline to her hands so as not to have orangish palms and started as the directions stated from the bottom wiping upwards in steady and even strokes.  She swiped and wiped and covered all the parts of her transparently white body in the hopes that she would look as if she had just returned from several weeks in St. Tropez.  Then just as the instructions directed Gladys stood naked waiting for it to dry.  Thinking that it would speed up the drying phase of the project she maneuvered her tanning body to the fan in a Frankenstein gait and assumed a crucifixal stance.  She oscillated to dry evenly to make sure that her vacationish tan would be consistent and look “real”.
Gladys waited twenty minutes and looked down at what should now be tan legs.  She inspected her arms but it did not appear anything had happened.  There was no bronze glow.  She did not appear to have spent one minute on a sunny beach in the Caribbean much less a month.  No all she saw was her still blinding white legs and raw chicken colored arms.  

 Disappointed and confused she went back and read the box.  Quick and convenient, smooth and even application it said.  Unique self-tanning formula applies easily and dries quickly.  Surely thirty minutes should be enough drying time she thought.  She opened another packet and withdrew another towelette.  She applied another layer to her arms, legs and torso and because a little is good but more is better she went over her body a second time.  Again she Frankenstein walked to the fan and stood arms outstretched waiting for magic to happen.  Ten minutes passed and she could tell no difference.  Twenty minutes passed and again no change except her skin appeared a little pink but she figured after all the scrubbing, rubbing and shaving it had a right to be pink.  Thirty minutes passed and again she saw no visible results. 

Gladys decided that it must be her skin type.  She tanned beautifully in the sun but must not react to self-tanners.  She gave up and put on her uniform of the day, yoga pants and tank top, and settled into her normal pattern of life, tan-less and vacation-less. 

Several hours later she answered the call of nature and upon washing her hands she noticed a definite change in her coloring.  Excited she stepped into the living room where the light is brighter.  She rolled her Capri up her leg and inspected the now garish orange of her extended leg.  Oh no!  She pulled the other leg up for inspection, it too has turned an Oompa loompa-ish color.  She shucked her clothes and inspected the rest of her once transparently white body.  She let out a disappointed sigh and realizing she was now the color of iodine.  It looked as if she has bathed in Betadine and forgot to rinse it off. 

She put her clothes back on and resigned herself to the fact that the next week maybe two she will be a freakish color of orange which would fade to a freakish babyshit yellow and then  white as snow.  The color is only temporary she told herself.

She propped her feet upon the ottoman as the sun glinted in on her from the window behind.  She looked at her legs and tried to convince herself that it wasn’t really that bad.  Orange is the new black, right?  That’s when she saw it.  There were white lines that traveled up her calf not just one but numerous white streaks and blotches.  OH MY GAWD,  WHITE BLOTCHES in her Oompa LOompa Tan.  It is much too much to handle.  She ripped off her clothes and jumped in the shower complete with Brillo pad and Comet scrubing the ugly orange skin from her body to no avail; all she accomplishes is to come out smelling like a clean toilet with very raw skin. 

Gladys once again read the directions on the box and realized she will just have to admire her orange fat and maybe make application at the candy factory.
In the mean time if you are looking for an Oompa Loompa I happen to know where you can find one. 
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you'll listen to me
What do you get when you try to look tan?
Wiping and swiping with a towlette in your hand
You don’t end up looking like one of the Coppertone Clan?
What do you do next is try to make yourself look bland.

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