As tans fade for Oregonians, risk of being mistaken for corpse increases

image Before long, those of us who live here in the great Northwest are going to change. And when I say “change,” I don’t mean for the betterment of mankind. I mean from a healthy tan to having a skin tone similar to tofu. That’s because, in a matter of weeks, the only sunshine we’ll see for the next six months is going to be on Bachelor in Paradise. For Oregonians, this is the time of year when we cover our firewood, weatherproof the house, and promise to stay in touch with new friends made during the summer who, by late October, have decided to move back to El Ranchito, Calif.

But for those who stick it out (or those without four-wheel drive who are simply stuck), it means finding an alternative to the sun so that we can retain at least some semblance of a tan. And let me just say that it has absolutely nothing to do with vanity. It does, however, have everything to do with a collective fear shared by all Oregonians — which is of drinking too many cocktails on a flight to Portland, passing out, missing the connection, then getting buried alive after being mistaken for a corpse by a Miami Customs official.

Hey, it could happen.

Therefore, I thought this would be a good time to provide some helpful information about sunless tanning. To begin with, there are a lot of products to choose from. Many will give you a nice, brownish tone. At the same time, there are just as many that will turn your skin orange and leave you resembling a giant, walking carrot. So unless you are familiar with the lotion you plan to use, I would suggest that you first apply a small amount to a less visible area of skin, such as that of an unsuspecting co-worker. This can be achieved by simply pretending to sneeze on the back of their neck.

If orange splotches appear, return the lotion for a full refund. (Note: Depending on how well acquainted you are with your co-worker/test subject, at some point you might let them know the “virus” you have isn’t lethal. Try to be sensitive and remember that this whole Ebola thing has everyone a little on edge. Especially if you happen to work at the CDC.)

Next, once you’ve found a lotion you like, it’s time to apply it evenly over your entire body.

Why not just the extremities and facial areas?

Because for those of you in a relationship, the last thing you want is to come to bed looking like you’re wearing a white bulletproof vest.

If all of that sounds like too much of a hassle, a tanning bed might be the thing for you. There’s no special lotion, no need for deception. That’s because tanning beds work by surrounding your body with light from special ultra-violet bulbs that use low-level radiation to brown the skin. Now, this may sound alarming, but it’s actually LESS alarming than the slogan for the National Tanning Institute, which is (and I’m not making this up): Giving Our Clients That Natural Glow!

I’m pretty sure that was the same slogan used by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Company.

To be honest, after researching this stuff, I’m having second thoughts about keeping my tan this winter. True, the threat of being buried alive somewhere in Miami is still in the back of my mind, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to retain my own all-natural glow.

Which, in a few months, should be approaching a nice off-white.

However, if I do fly anywhere between now and July, I would appreciate any readers living in Florida to vouch for me should word of a pale, presumably deceased man from the Northwest arrive in Miami.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

57 thoughts on “As tans fade for Oregonians, risk of being mistaken for corpse increases”

  1. Okay first ewww on the pics! lol
    Second:Make sure you have a bell for your grave in case you’re buried alive.
    Third: Try living where I live In Northern Ab. We’ve already had 3 days of snow. Our winters last about 8 months.
    Fourth: Just cover up everything and then you don’t need to worry about blinding anyone. 😉

    1. Haha! I couldn’t help throwing in the gif of the guy putting lotion on. I think he was on The Bachelor, right? I will definitely place my order for a coffin with an inter-com or built-in train whistle. And while I can’t imagine living in snow 8 months out of the year, at at least you don’t have to worry mushrooms growing on anything you leave outside. And I’m not talking chanterelles. Ech!

      1. Yeah thanks for lotion guy! ha! Was he on Bachelor? I don’t know.
        An inter-com now that’s a great idea. You could scare the holy hell out of people!
        I’ll take mushrooms over snow. I would have to shovel mushroom or have frozen snot!

  2. Love the testing-on-a-coworker idea. Perhaps we could expand that to other things too. Like a new hairspray to see if it burns the eyes or a new drug slipped into their tea to see if hairloss really is a side effect. You are a genius!

    Hilarious post. I hope it ends up in another book some day. 🙂

  3. Just don’t accidentally grab anyone’s glitter-glue instead of lotion or you could be mistaken for the vampire variety of corpse.

  4. I, for one, think it would be cool to look like a vampire. A REAL vampire, not one of those glittery atrocities. Of course, I also like staying up all night and hate the sun, so I could be biased…

  5. The “application” is going to give me nightmares!! And I’m one step ahead of you. Because I work in hospitality, I never have the time to tan in the summer so, I already have that pasty opaque hue of “natural” skin color. I’ll meet you in Miami!!

  6. In Canada, we continue to work on our tans all year ’round.

    And while we may not achieve anything approaching “tan” in the winter, we find that after a few hours in the blistering -40 degree tundra, there are some signs of colour.

    Usually it is soothing charcoal black of frost bite, but it’s colour.

  7. Your fellow Oregonians appreciate your PSA and hope the rest of the country will be on the lookout for white, very white people who look like they have been in the bath for a long time but the wrinkling is just due to the rain.

  8. Hehe I spent one year in Oregon and can attest to this post. Also, don’t forget to take your Vitamin D supplement daily. I went from healthy to a very low 4 on my Vit D test while living in Oregon. Healthy is in the 30’s. I was one step from vampire.

  9. Okay I laughed myself silly at your gifs. Very cool.
    The state that I live in is called the Sunshine State. We are constantly reminded of the dangers of skin cancer and the use of tanning beds (or solariums) has actually been stopped in the state due to the high risks associated with them.
    Me? I like to stay inside mostly. Sheesh I got sunburned the other day out in the sun for a couple of hours between 8am and 10am. And it’s not even summer yet.

  10. Haha, excellent advice. Nowadays, people are so paranoid about the zombie apocalypse that the last thing you want is some gun nut thinking he’s got a free shot at your forehead because you’re the shade of milk and are all hungover staggering around looking the part. This joke got away from me, but I’m pressing post anyways. Fuck it. Lol.

  11. Up here in the great white north (Alberta) turning the unenviable shade of white winter brings can get you ignored when you fall down because people think you’re just another part of the snowbank!

No one is watching, I swear...

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