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The Slice

A sunburn story

As threatened, here is my sunburn story.

During the summer before my junior year of high school in Burlington, Vermont, I spent a few weeks with my older sister's family in Southern California.

Like many 16-year-old boys, I secretly wished that I was a bit cooler and more confident. So one of my goals while I was away from home was to acquire a stunning tan.

I wanted to possess a golden glow that, upon my return to the Green Mountain State, would make people stop and say, “That guy must be from California!”

Ridiculous, I know.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time outdoors during my visit and was probably well on my way to an OK tan. But remember, I was going for mind-blowing. So on a day when we went to a beach shortly before I was to head back East, I pulled out all the stops.

Eschewing any sort of sunscreen, I went for a full roasting there at the ocean's edge.

And, of course, I got a sunburn that made me ill.

I think I started to peel about the time I got on the plane. Soon it appeared that I had a case of the mange.

So my dream didn't quite come true. Upon my return, not one beautiful Vermont girl approached me and said, “Kind sir, I see from your tan that you are from a mystical, romantic place inspired by folk-rock and freeways. Could you tutor me in the ways of love and good vibrations?”

Not one.

If only I had used a few dabs of sunblock.

The next summer, I stayed home. 


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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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