Short Cut

Sunday is the shortest day of the year. Ask any Astronomer. You can find them behind the counters at your local 7-11 or McDonald’s.

It’s the Winter Solstice — the first day of winter, when the sun rises late and sets early. That makes it both literally and figuratively a low point in the year if you’re a sunshine addict, which is why I decide to drop in on Tanya Hyde at the Haulover Beach chapter of Tanorexics Anonymous.

tanTanya is distressed by my appearance. It’s true — I’ve neglected my tan. Between all the hours of computer work and the very uncooperative weather this fall, I’m as pale as Casper’s ass.

But Tanya looks wonderful, as always; bronze as a statue and serene as a swan. She won’t allow photos, of course — that’s her career — so you’ll just have to trust me when I say she has the face, coloring, and structure of the Nordic peoples who conquered the world back when the average Brit was painting himself blue and fucking feral animals for sport.

“We view the day with optimism,” she tells me. “The way we see it, from this day forward, throughout the entire winter, each day is longer than the next, the sun shines a little more and a little stronger, and before you know it summer is here with its fabulous 12 hours of daily sun.”

I love the smell of carcinogens in the morning.

“Silly boy — I know you understand sunshine doesn’t create skin cancer — it’s all in the mind. If you invite those healing rays inside your body, opening each and every pore, it cleanses and purifies. Like prayer, music, and love.”

Don’t forget alcohol.

“Not before noon,” she admonishes. “And it’s best to wait until high tide.” She frowns at me. “I sense stress and distraction — you’re working again, aren’t you?”

I never stopped, Tanya. It’s just that now people are actually paying me. It adds a whole new layer of responsibility.

“Well, you have a responsibility to your body, skin, and pigmentation,” she says firmly. “You need more sun exposure, ideally on the beach or water.”

Will you write me a note? Or better yet, a scrip?

She gives me the dazzling smile that launched a thousand ships with a million warriors whose hoarse bellows rose in joyous prayer on their way to their own demise. “Will that do?” she purrs.

I’m taking the end of the week off. If you want me, I’ll be on the beach.

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8 Responses to Short Cut

  1. Jeff Hansen says:

    nice that would make a good Cahoots column have it in a word doc?

  2. Neil, A Christian Soul says:

    Read your bible! This person you describe is a demon from hell sent by Satan to corrupt human souls. She may appear beautiful, but beneath that disguise there lurks a fiend. To worship the sun as she suggests is to place a false god before you, a sin punishable by eternal condemnation in purgatory. Skin cancer is only the beginning. It’s Christmas on earth — I urge you to repudiate this fiend and return to the Lord. If not, I will pray for you,of course, but you’re going to hell.

  3. Ruh Roh says:

    Funny but sad (and true): I dated a girl who studied to be an astronomer. After earning a degree, then getting a Masters, she hit the job market and found: nothing. Zip. Three years later she gave up in disgust and went into business as an astrologer, where she’s making a decent living. People pay for that.

  4. Ted End says:

    This is all crazy — no one day of the year is any longer than any other. If they weren’t all 24 hours long, you’d you have to reset your wristwatch every day, wouldn’t you? Stupid.

  5. Kent Standit says:

    It’s a toss-up between Neil and Ted.

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