Sunday, 31 December 2006

Red Faces

I never wanted to be boiled alive.

When it came to deaths, I didn't think of it as a pleasant way to go.

That's why I've never envied lobsters (among some other reasons, such as them not having the most amiable expressions I've come across, and their pincers being a bit cumbersome looking).

When the old psychological (or often comedy) test gets wheeled out "Which animal would you like to be if you couldn't be a human?" I've given a variety of answers, but never "lobster". Snake, hippopotamus, giraffe, platypus, kangaroo, aardvark, moose, pterodactyl, butterfly, turtle, komodo dragon - but never lobster.

Unfortunately, recently I discovered the lack of joy inherent in being a lobster.

Yes, foolishly, I went a-wandering recently without full protection from the sun's rays (I knew there was something to global warming!) and came home looking like I'd been swimming in red paint, instead of frolicking innocently and briefly in a park.

'Tis a strange things the sun's rays can be at once so beautiful and yet so insidious. I did not even think of the possibility I had become fried like pork crackling. In fact, when my friend mntioned I looked a little red (an understatement if there ever was any, I later found) my immediate reaction was to wonder if I'd eaten anything that day that I might have had an allergic reaction to.

"I wonder if I've become allergic to chocolate?"

Well, I suppose at least that tragedy at least has been averted, because I'm not sure if life would have been worth living for a chocoholic such as myself.

Instead, I've become some sort of freak fairground attraction, with people stopping to say to me "Darn, what happened to you?" Or, "Looks like you got caught out in the sun! HAHAHAHA!"

It's interesting that people feel at liberty to comment on your abnormal ugly skin in this manner. If I were abnormally obese, I imagine some sort of social protocol would prevent people from walking up to me and giggling, or saying, "Wow, you look fat!" or saying, "Hey, Looks like you got stuck into the chocolates, turkey and pudding at Christmas - HAHAHAHA!"

At any rate, now I empathise with lobsters.

While this strengthens my resolve never to wish to be a lobster again, I will look upon them with more kindness from now on.

Children, this is a moral lesson for you. Bring the sunscreen. And dancing rays of sunlight are often cruel. The most beautiful creatures in the world are those you cannot trust.
You shall have no problem trusting me. Especially now, with this sunburnt skin.


Eileen Dover said...

I feel your pain.

I fry, fry, and fry some more.

I agree. I hate those stupid comments, like when you've had your hair cut off, and people feel the need to say, "Oh? You had a hair cut?"

I suggest you find a rather nice sarcastic response for those worthless inquistors. Like, perhaps, you were testing nuclear arms and were exposed to a little too much radiation. :)


ebbye said...

I tend to do 30+ sunscreen but seem to have run out of applying energy so now have red patches on both sides of my legs and a red stripe down my arm and having to face comments all day about stripes and being out in the sun too long!
Bring on the sarcastic responses!

Apache said...

Is an overweight sunburnt person called a blobster?

TimT said...

Got it. Next time I spot a sunburnt woman, my comment will not be, "Gosh, you look like a lobster! You're fried to a crisp!". Instead, I will simply say, "My, your skin has such a health glow to it... what did you do?"

alexis said...

I'm a tireless advocate of the enormous hat. The enormouser the better. And I await fearfully the revelation ten years hence that sunscreen has some kind of adverse side effect.

I note two posts in a row - on turkeys and lobsters - in which you rhetorically identify with some poor feckless beast who is about to be eaten. If it weren't entirely reckless to play fast and loose with the good ship psychotherapy, I'd diagnose a fear of cannibalism complex.

Maria said...

TimT, your comments will be much appreciated, I'm sure.

Alexis, the hat sounds like a great idea, though I'm still tossing up between which is preferable - the slow agonising pain of being burnt to a crisp, or the uncertainty of (by choice of large hat) knowing you have made yourself an easier target by malevolent marksmen on the third floor. It's a tough choice.

I've sympathised and identified with lobsters and turkeys, and today it's the snake - I've gone through the sunburning stage of shedding the skin.

I wonder how many think of the snake as a yummy beast ready to be eaten?

alexis said...

Ah, yes, the old evil-mongering sniper training his rifle on my hat problem. Oh well. I've got to go somehow.

See you tomorrow, inshallah y'allah.


Maria said...

A quick note to say I took a poster's advice (I actually do read your posts) and invested in a hat. A rather splendid hat, I thought, which cost me a great amount of money, I think about the price of two train tickets or thereabouts which is exorbitant, at Paddy's Markets.

I found my hat attracted attention, comments, warded off the sun and attracted thieves within one night. Good or bad? I'll ponder it in a next post, but that feisty little hat certainly brought more than the makers claimed.