It’s been brutally hot in Columbus the past few days, with the mercury reaching the high side of 90. As a result, I’ve gotten my first sunburn of the season.
There are people who can “lay down a base” without getting burned and gradually get darker and darker, without telltale peeling, as the summer progresses. It’s as if they have special tanning knowledge, passed down from generation to generation like the Rites of Ephesus.
I’m not one of those people. I go directly from winter white to a blazing brick red that quickly peels off in great, sweeping curtains of skin the size of dish towels that you can roll up and toss in the waste basket. After that distasteful condition passes, I’m set for the summer with a permanent ruddy red face.
This happens no matter what I try. Today, for example, I smeared heaping handfuls of Coppertone on head, ears, face and neck in hopes of avoiding the burn. After a few moments in the sun playing golf, however, my sweat glands kicked into high gear and the resulting cascade of sunscreen runoff left me partially blinded and milky eyed. After swabbing the perspiration off with a towel, I may as well have not applied any suntan lotion in the first place.
And now I sit, with that fine, bright burning feeling on my skin, waiting for the peeling to begin. Summer has arrived.
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Posted in America, tagged America, Child Endangerment, Current Events, Government Regulation, New Jersey, News, Patricia Krentcil, Tanning, Tanning Parlors on May 3, 2012 |
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When should people intervene to stop the potentially destructive behavior of another? A New Jersey situation raises that delicate question — on two levels.
The story involves a mother, Patricia Krentcil, who was arrested and charged with second-degree child endangerment. Police claim that she took her fair-skinned, red-haired five-year-old daughter to a tanning parlor, exposed her to a tanning bed, and gave the girl a sunburn as a result. Krentcil denies the charge and says the child got the sunburn playing outside on a warm day. She says she brings her daughter with her to the tanning parlor, but the girl waits nearby while only Krentcil gets into the tanning bed. She suspects that a teacher overheard her five-year-old say that she went to the tanning parlor and reached the wrong conclusion.
In my view, it’s hard to justify the state arresting and charging a mother with child endangerment under such circumstances, which apparently involves just one incident, no pattern of behavior, and a condition — a child’s sunburn — that has an entirely plausible, innocent explanation.
But look at the picture of Ms. Krentcil. She admits to excessive tanning, and judging from the grotesque, leathery appearance of her skin, perhaps she even has an addiction to it. How can the tanning parlor, to say nothing of her husband and her family, continue to allow her to expose herself to UV rays under such circumstances? Shouldn’t tanning parlor attendants, like bartenders, have an obligation to cut people off when they’ve had enough?
Businesses often complain about “unnecessary” government regulations, but businesses can be as responsible for regulatory overload as overzealous bureaucrats. If New Jersey tanning parlors are fine with taking money from misguided folks and then allowing them to tan, tan, tan until they look like an old shoe at the back of the closet, the tanning parlors shouldn’t be heard to complain when the state decides it needs to step in.
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