So I had a shocking sighting the other day.
Sunday to be exact. Down at the waterfront. Location of the annual Daffodil Marine Regatta.
After day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day after day of cold gray skies, it was a welcomed and blessed sight to see the sun.
And a shock. One surpassed by another sighting. My forearms. Revealed when I pushed up the sleeves of jacket during a brisk, and therefore heat-producing, walk along the waterfront.
I nearly collapsed onto the sidewalk then and there.
Could I look any more British?!?!?!
My god, forearms so pasty and pale and sickly!
Nearly five years here and I’m officially a casualty of the Pacific Northwest climate. I could be Pete Doherty’s sister, clean and sobered up. That’s Pete Doherty of Britain’s Babyshambles.
The fading vestiges of skin tanned from my years in blazing desert climates are still visible. Just barely. A dying population of specks that resemble shrunken brown amoebas.
In short, there’s gang warfare here and it’s happening on my forearms.
Witness the Tan Amoebas. Those itsby-bitsy remnants of skin toasted by the rays. They cry out: No! No! No! We don’t wanna go! We don’t wanna be consumed and overtaken by the Pasty Whites!
The Tan Amobeas are terribly disadvantaged. They lack firepower. The fire of the sun.
Meanwhile, the Pasty Whites have the stronghold and forces on their side. The force of Nature.
Not just that but the Pasty Whites can afford to be lazy. They know that here in the Pacific Northwest, they don’t hafta lift a finger to maintain their dominance or defeat the Tan Amobeas.
They can kick back, shoot down some six-packs, shoot up the drugs (or antidepressants, as the case may be) and channel surf with the TV real real loud. No one’ll confront or challenge them. The law — that’d be the law of nature and its prevailing overcast skies — is on their side.
Yup, that’s how it is. For every Tan Amobea, there’s 10 Pasty Whites circling to swallow them up.
What to do?
Go around without a jacket with arms exposed to beef up the Tan army?
Well, that’s no good! So often when the sun’s out, the air’s cool or cold and damp. So forearms remain covered by jackets and sweaters and long-sleeved shirts. Even through summer. Especially through summer!
Regional residents live by a word: layering. It’s an art. A lifestyle. A forte honed through years of crappy weather and a talent for which they’re famous. Or should be.
Sure, time to time someone appears on a gray cold day in shorts, T-shirt and sandals.
Because that person’s from Minnesota. Or Norway.
And so it goes that the gang of Tan Amobeas haven’t a chance against the Pasty Whites. That group has got the skins, colors and conditions, locked down.
What’s needed is an introduction of foreigners, the Dark Brownies from Arizona and Texas. And a helluva lot more visits from Sir Sol.
And as we wait hopelessly for that busload to arrive, I and my layers of clothing are now taking leave for city hall to put in for a legal change of name.
Wonder how ol’ pasty Pete’ll take to having a new sister.