The funny disease.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sunburn Free Since '93

Dear Sunscreen Industry,

I have a deep regard and respect for your products. Despite living in Arizona my skin is so pale, that if they ever decide to have Halloween in July I could be a frightening vampire goth chick with a black dress and little or no make-up. I am fully confident that the only set of matched alligator skin luggage that I’ll own by the time I’m forty, is the ones I will have purchased by then (that is, it would be, if I didn’t think it was wrong to kill and skin alligators expressly to fulfill my travel needs).

I do wonder, however, why the majority of your lines of sunscreen seem to have delved far and wide into the heady musk of tropical smells, wandered into the rankest part of the deep, dark jungle, turned around and realized they were hopelessly lost forever. I find it painfully embarrassing to leave the house smelling somewhere between beach bum and French bordello with the merest hint of pineapple. You seem to be under the delusion that everyone wants to carry the overpowering scent of passion fruit and coconut everywhere for the whole summer. And in my case for the entire year.

I have noticed that many retailers are confused about the temperature here during “winter” but, honestly, it is like summer all year round in Arizona. We really do have a need for grilling accessories and garden tools all year, and no, we don’t really need angora sweaters and snow boots. Although apparently on occasion, we do need ice scrapers if it is a cold “winter” and we don’t have a parking spot in the sun.

I, like many people, have paid dearly for particular brand of perfume I have found pleasing. It seems that since I’ve moved to Arizona, land of sunburns and carjackings, I’ve had precious few occasions to smell like something other than a committee’s idea of a tropical orchid and with the underlying fruitiness of guava, in a formulation that can be mass produced as cheaply as possible and doesn’t permanently blind the lab rabbits. Furthermore, if I wanted to attract every insect within a five-mile radius I would strap on a fanny pack filled with dog feces.

I have been a faithful customer, ever since the notorious sunburn of the summer of '93. Where I believe I had just a little touch of sunstroke because I began to think that I was in the midst of morphing into a giant lobster. I not only slather my skin daily with SPF 30, I force Sweetface to endure grease-induced heebie jeebies, so that he won’t wake up one day to find a cancerous mole on his left arm the size of a kiwi fruit. He tolerates the floral scents so powerful they could be used to gas Al Qaeda members out of their hidey-holes, because he loves me and is tired of the nagging.

I did find one kind of sunscreen for sensitive skin without fragrance. Unfortunately, it absorbed into my skin like wallpaper paste. I would have been better off with a bucket of zinc oxide and a brush, because at least then my legs would have been completely white and not splotchy white.

Please, please, offer your consumers alternatives to smelling like co-eds gone wild who have had 5 too many piña coladas on Spring Break. If people want to smell like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton that is their business. If they want to be pale and skin cancer free, that is your business. Who are you to dictate the overwhelming fragrance that will hover poolside all over the country this summer?

Your Loyal and Ghostly Customer,
Sarah Letnes
Cursed Tongue

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Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

I happen to have a surplus of dog feces and I am willing to bet there is a fanny pack in the garage if you are really interested in attracting bugs.

Tough to be a real man when you smell like fruit.

4/25/2006 6:05 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Thanks, for the offer, but I'm not in need of any insect attracting odors at the moment.

Tell me about it. I have sunscreen that says "Sport" on the bottle, but it is the fruitiest most flowery scent ever.

4/25/2006 6:13 PM

Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

You are right about the scent - reminds me of a good old fashioned perfume fight in the makeup section of Penny's.

4/26/2006 12:06 AM

Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Given how many people have allergies to scents and fragrances, you'd think there would be more without them.

As for the fruity smells to the sporty or manly appearing products... perhaps the manufacturers are secretly mocking them?

I know; I'm very weevil. ;-)

4/29/2006 12:38 PM

Blogger Fuff said...

Over this side of the pond, most sunscreens smell ok, but when used on the face (esp forehead), they have an uncanny knack of making their way into your eyes and sting, a lot.

4/30/2006 9:55 AM


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