Buried in a Neon Coffin

I’m going to Cancun in a few weeks, so the wife decided it would be a good idea for me to sign up for some tanning sessions. Something about my “cadaverous whale blubber” or something along those lines. Ok, so I’m really, really white, what can I say. My legs are so pale they’re practically invisible. If I was any whiter I’d be declared my own ethnicity – Achromatic. You get the idea.

Now, I’ve never tanned before in my life. Oh sure I tried laying out when I was in college, but that was always just a ruse to lay alongside skimpy co-eds & pretend I wasn’t ogling them. That never really worked, BTW. Apparently, I do not ‘ogle’ quietly enough.

Anyways, being a ‘tanning virgin’ (as my wife so eloquently introduced me to the hipster behind the counter at our local frying post), I had to have each step explained to me RIGHT AFTER I signed (in blood) several hundred pages of documents where I declare, among other things, I can’t sue them if they accidentally bake my gonads or I develop a third eye or anything else bizarre should happen as a direct result of being exposed to their ‘domestic grade’ radiation. I sign everything (like I have any choice, really?) and the wife is allowed to walk me back to my burial chamber where the Tanning Tomb awaits.

Ok, the whole ‘ritual’ of preparing to be tanned is. . . how to say this gently, GAY. There is nothing even remotely hetero about the posters on the walls, the flowery mirror (which I suspected housed a video camera which was making me the star of my own voyeur pic to be distributed on the internet later that evening), or various oils & spritzers & products that they sell at these places. Do we really need ganja scented oil? I think not. Ok, well maybe on the occasional Friday night. . . but I digress. There’s a quaint little towel to ‘dab’ the sweat if I need to. I don’t sweat in ‘dabs’ incidentally. If I’m a sweatin’, I’m doing it whole hog. Almost Literally.

The wife left the room, the 4 minute countdown begins. 4 minutes to get undressed, and position myself in the Tanning Tomb & lay there not thinking about all the germs from other people that I was now smearing on my naked, pale form. And I waited. Apparently, I may not ‘ogle’ well but I’m pretty slick with the undressing. And I waited. Was that a video camera behind that thermostat? With technology, not sure I could see a camera anyways. Bet they are filming me though. And I waited. . .


On my chin. I’m a bit too long for Tanning Tombs. Shuffle, shuffle. Feet don’t really need tanned do they? Won’t I have shoes on most of the time anyways?

Now, for the next 10 minutes all I can think about while I lay there, simmering, is EVERY stinking horror movie I’ve ever seen where somebody dies in a tanning bed. And with the heat, and the fans blowing shear furnace blasts of more heat onto me, I’m convinced the machine is either malfunctioning or I just heard someone put a lock on the ‘coffin’ to seal me in. My mind works funny that way.

It was a looooonnnnggg 10 minutes of charbroiling but I resisted the urge to open the ‘coffin’ lid. Nope, didn’t even do it once. And when it was FINALLY over (with a ‘ping’ almost as if to say “Fries are up!!”), I took my steaming, tingly carcass & got dressed again. And I felt a bit embarrassed of myself, as if I’d just voted to induct the New Kids on the Block into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. That kind of embarrassed.

And i don’t know which is worse; the fact that after all of that you can barely tell I did anything, or the fact that I have to go back about 5 more times. This trip better be worth it, that’s all I’m sayin’.