Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Senator, I feel your stain

Much is being made of John Kerry's sudden change of skin color. He turned up with an orange face the other day, which sent the blogosphere spinning with speculation as to the source. A bad spray-on job? Too many carrots and pieces of pumpkin pie?

I sympathize with the Senator. Among many good genes, my late mother also passed on her fair complexion. An old friend from my salad days used to introduce me as "the original white boy from South Carolina!" Original? I'm not that old . . . but I'll freely admit that when the first indigenous person called a European settler a "Paleface," he was looking at a chap with skin tone similar to my own.

In my youth, this was an issue. Tan was in, pale was out. Tan is healthy looking and attractive to girls. Pale is sick and repulsive. Sunning didn't help. I have always gone from fish-belly white to lobster red in about two hours. Even liberal amounts of SPF-5000² only seemed to turn my body into an abstract-looking mozaic of shades of scarlet and hot pink.

So, when the first "tan in a bottle" product came out, I immediately bought some. It was to be applied at night, and would allow me to wake up with a "deep, golden tan." I could almost hear the girls sighing as I slathered it on.

Upon awakening, I found that the promised "deep, golden tan" was actually . . . well, orange. Not burnt orange, or orangish brown, but traffic-cone bright orange. It took a few days for it to wear off, and in the meantime I was the object of much unwanted attention. The girls weren't "ooo-ing" and "ahhhh-ing," they were pointing and giggling. I looked like the comic book character The Thing, or about like John Kerry does now.

I'm afraid I can offer the Senator no advice beyond staying behind locked doors and allowing no cameras near him. Maybe his wife could buy him a chemical peel.

On the bright side - and I don't mean Kerry's face - he could be carving out a place in history. Bill Clinton was famously called our "first Black President;" perhaps if John wins, he will be known as our first Orange President.


UPDATE: Lorie Byrd has a very plausible set of food theories over at Byrd Droppings.

Personally, I suspect it was a case of an illicit sweet potato experiment gone horribly wrong.


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