I walked in to the tanning salon and was greeted by the tall, buff guy behind the counter. The kind of guy one would imagine works in a tanning salon - the sleeves of his polo rolled up to show off his guns, a thick silver band on the middle finger of this left hand. A smooth talking gym addict with perfect hair and a glimmer on his pearly white teeth. The stuff of either really bad romance novels or really bad dreams.
"I'm here to get a fake tan," I told him. To his surprise, I was a fake tanning virgin. Even with my pasty white skin, I had never been to such an establishment. After giving Beefy twenty dollars and signing a waiver, he walked me back to the booth where all of my bronzed goddess dreams would come true. In a moment alone in the booth while he fetched my towel, I read the poster on the wall that showed me the "positions." First, facing the spray, arms and legs wide. Second, to the side, one foot in front, one arm up. This was complicated - four different positions and only a few seconds in between to get it right. Beefy returned with my towel, gave me a quick tutorial, and then proceeded with the q & a.
"What's a winky?" I asked. Immediately, I knew I shouldn't have said it. But Beefy was either very dumb or very mature, and explained it as if I hadn't just accidentally used a euphemism for male genitalia in his presence (apparently they are little goggles of some sort, but I didn't receive any).
Beefy left. Now it was showtime. After removing my clothing, I got nervous about the moves so before heading into the booth, I practiced, praying that there were no hidden cameras. After a couple of trial runs, it was time to step in. It was like being in one of those glass things were there's a bunch of money in it and they turn on the air and you have to see how much money you can catch. Except totally different. More like a gas chamber, actually.
I pushed the flashing green button and braced myself for the blast. But I could not have been prepared for the icy spray that shot at my body. Like the first blast from the morning shower before the water is warm, only prolonged. So cold that I wanted to breathe in, but if I breathed in, I'd choke and die. Solution - don't breathe. Position two ... Position three (holding my breath, about to pass out) ... Position four ... Done! Wait, I can't see ... there is mist in my eyeballs. Where the hell is the handle?
And I'm out. Drying. Blotting with the towel that Beefy brought, which is actually more like a washcloth. Holy crap - there are large brown spots all over my body. Those better go away. I will not be forever chronicled as the Oompa Loompa Bridesmaid.
Now I sit here, writing to the Internets, physically sick because of the stench of my own body. At least I'll look good in that dress.