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.