I hope this post finds you well and that you are enjoying the sun. Today isn’t about vegetarianism but it is related to health: the health of your skin.
I nag people about their health. I nag people for taking too many headache tablets or for not getting their prescription regularly checked for the glasses they wear. I nag people about what food they should and shouldn’t eat — I have the nickname ‘food police’. I nag people about smoking and taking drugs.
Now that the British sun is out, it is time for me to nag about it. I am pale and I am proud. If I am on holiday I will sunbathe, but once the tan has faded I get on with my life as Casper the friendly ghost. There are nights out when I might rub some instant tan into my pasty legs. I love expensive beauty products, but when it comes to tanning I care so little that the most I’ll splurge is around £4 for Primark or Rimmel’s bronze offerings. I banned Mother Asparagus from sun beds many years ago, and get annoyed by teenage girls who go on them regularly. I can’t imagine anyone wanting cancer, but if you have sun beds you are literally asking ‘The Big C’ to pay you a visit. Tanning has taken the spotlight of the press once again in the last few weeks because of Patricia Krentcil. Patricia is the ‘tanorexic’ mum who allegedly took her five year old daughter into a tanning booth with her.
When I was about 14, I went on a school trip to Italy. With no parents around, I knew that I could tan to my hearts content. This resulted in me getting a very nasty black blister on my shoulder. I was saved by a classmate who offered his Factor 100 Sunblock. From then on, I have been sensible with the sun. I know a lot about the effects of the sun, tanning and melanoma. Yet, as I write this article, my skin is literally burning. Sometimes, we are all a little silly and ignore what we know. Today, I have sunstroke and have had to delay my return back to university. My face is red and puffy, my arms sting when I move them. No amount of aftersun or Ben and Jerry’s is making me feel better. Yesterday I sat outside and mocked the British sun. I am part Maltese and decided that if I didn’t get burned in Egypt, I would be perfectly fine in my English garden. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The fact I added a few drops of baby oil to the equation makes the situation even more silly.
The laughter and puns that the parent asparagus are making each time they see my “beetroot” “Tommy tomato” face are not helping, and are discouraging me from ever being seen in public again.
After 21years of nagging people, I feel stupid. You may think I am stupid too, which is fine. If you want to sit there, all self-righteous, saying that you would never do the same thing then that’s fine too. However, from the amount of photos my Facebook and Twitter friends are uploading, I know that I am not the only burns victim of the last few days.
I am too embarrassed to post photographs of myself, so I will leave you with this retro YouTube video:
In a few days, I will be golden brown. A few days after that I will be pale again. In future, I will wear sun cream and be careful. I do not want melanoma.
Dear Asparagus followers, don’t be silly, be sensible. Please do not estimate the power of the sun. It’s hot.
The Temporary Tomato