Chris Johnson: Here comes the sun, do-do-do … oww!

March 24, 2013 

For months, I've whined, moaned, groaned and complained about cold weather, short days and not enough sunshine. But now that we're back in springtime and daylight-saving time, I've got something totally new to complain about:

The sun.

I mean, there's an awful lot I like about the sun. It makes it so much easier to see where I'm walking at 2 p.m. It'll probably be our main source of electricity in the future. As an earthling, I find it awfully fun to orbit. And I love a good solar storm as much as the next guy.

However, last weekend I was reintroduced to something much less likable from the sun -- sunburn. It was a painful reminder to me that there are dangers involving the sun, and it was a reminder to my wife that she married an extremely white guy, something she didn't know until we got married and she learned my middle name was Frosty.

I thought it was rather disrespectful of the sun to burn me so severely when I spent the whole afternoon in the backyard expanding and improving our patio so that we could give the sun a proper welcome and show it how much it was missed. It should have been a little more appreciative and given me a nice golden glow.

Apparently, they make this stuff called sunscreen that I could have applied to my skin and prevented this tragedy from happening. Perhaps they should put some kind of public service announcement on TV about this stuff:

"A well-applied sunscreen can prevent your skin from becoming burned. For more information, Chris, maybe you should grab one of the six bottles of sunscreen in your pantry."

This is partially my wife's fault for putting the sunscreen in the pantry where I can't find it. It's in a rack on the door near the medicine. I'm a man; I'm not going to look for med

icine. If she wants me to be able to find anything in the pantry, she needs to put it near the Sweet Heat potato chips. Everything else in there is just clutter … like cans of vegetables and bread.

Fortunately, she has shown a lot of sympathy and support for my condition by applying gobs of aloe whenever she can stop laughing about my looking like I'm wearing a white tank top when I'm shirtless. Of course, nearly 20 years ago, my first wife treated my previous worst case of sunburn by rubbing Ben Gay on it. Granted, I asked her to rub Ben Gay on my back because my muscles were sore, and I didn't know I was sunburned back there. But my screaming should have been an clue for her to stop.

Other than looking like I'm still wearing a white tank top when I'm actually shirtless, the other tragedy is that the only way I can sleep comfortably is to sleep standing up, which doesn't work very well, especially with a ceiling fan over the bed. Oh, and the skin cancer I'll probably have in the future.

But I have learned my lesson and will take precaution for my future excursions into the sunshine. I bought some SPF 100, the Frosty special, and put it where I can find it next time -- right next to the Sweet Heat potato chips, which coincidentally are the same color as my arms now.

-- Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. Connect with him at

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