Thursday, October 18, 2012
better red than dead
My compadre blogger, Felipe, over at Unseen Moon has posted on the baffling resurrection of nostalgia for communism and its related cousins.
There is no doubt where I stand. I have spent my adult life opposing an ideology that is morally indiscernible from Italian and German fascism.
But some red keeps creeping into my life.
For those of you who have met me (or even looked at my profile photograph), I am not overly blessed with melanin. Some of my ancestors came from the Outer Hebrides. There is a good chance Scandinavian raider genes run in my blood.
Whatever the reason, no one has ever called me olive-skinned. I am one of those people who broil rather than tan.
Yesterday I recalled staying at my cousin Danny's house in Myrtle Point when I was nine or so. We had spent a full day at the Bandon beach -- in a time when sun screen was what you put on the front porch.
Trotsky was less red than my back the next morning. But I helped Danny with his paper route by wearing those old paper carriers that looked like a fat-man poncho stuffed with newspapers in front and in back.
It hurt. But there was work to be done.
Looking at today's photograph should be reason enough to explain why that little anecdote popped into my head.
You would think I would have learned -- after sixty-some years -- that going out in the sun means protective gear. At least, a hat.
In fact, Ray asked me that very thing when we started our ATV tour. He just shook his head that I was heading out without a hat or sun protection.
I thought my four years down here would lay down a protective layer against the sun. I forgot one important fact.
For the past eight months I have been traveling to places where long pants are in order. My pudgy thighs have been living in the equivalent of a rabbit warren.
Not surprisingly, you can see the result. My face is a bit red. But it is my thighs that took the brunt of the sun. And just the thighs. That is what comes of sunbathing while sitting down.
And, yes, I am aware of the dangers of sun exposure. But it ranks up there with eating what I want to eat. And fearing being eaten by piranha in the bath tub I do not have.
Oddly, I am not paying the pain dividend for my hubris. Usually a burn like this would present logistical sleeping problems. But it does not even feel warm to the touch. What is the world coming to when I cannot count on Skinnerian aversion therapy.
I am smart enough that I generally stayed out of the sun yesterday.
Today I am having lunch with a reader who participated in the house poll. It will be fun to listen to another property owner's decision-making process.
We may even get around to talking about reds of one type or another.