Hal Wastes His Wages Sizzled grizzle

You know the old saying, bad things happen to stupid people… or something like that.

Well, I’m a complete moron because, despite knowing the obvious risk, with one week left in the unofficial summer season, I went out and got myself one hell of a sunburn. As I sit writing this column I feel as though I just wrestled a Portuguese Man O’ War, and I’m pretty sure I lost.

See, I don’t really get out that much. Over the years I’ve cultivated a bit of a disdain for direct sunlight, which is apparent in my hermit/bartender existence. The once vibrant, healthy-hued child that was Christopher Halleron has grown to accept his fate and evolved into a typical balding, bloated, pasty white Irish-American.

The rare occasions that I do emerge from my burrow have given me a rather unremarkable farmer’s tan, and underneath the Guinness polo shirt you’ll normally find a blinding white pillow of pudge topped with two eerily ample bosoms and a patch of hair that once waved proudly atop my head but has since fallen to shabbily coat my breastbone.

Yes, ’tis quite a treat staring back at me when I look in the mirror, and I am gratefully stunned that my girlfriend can see me topless without visibly wincing with revulsion.

But this weekend on a camping trip with the fellas, I felt comfortable enough to share my man-cans with the world as we zipped around the lake on the boat. I figured, what the hell – I don’t know anyone in this part of the country, and with summer almost gone I suppose I could use “a little color.”

And while I thought to put on a bit of sunscreen, I didn’t think it would be worth the effort. I mean, how bad can it be?

Well, I’ll tell you. While I felt nothing at the time, about an hour after getting inside, I began to notice a slight reddening of the upper arm.

Soon after that, I took my shirt off, and it was then I realized my torso was glowing like George Michael’s t-shirt in the “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video.

Sleeping was an ordeal, as I spent that night spinning like a rotisserie chicken trying not to put too much heat on any one side. The ride home was misery, as the seatbelt sanded my shoulder with every bump in the road. And inevitably, that night at the bar, everyone greeted me with a pat on the back.

So now I’m riding it out in my apartment. A quick trip to the grocery store had me lurking in the shadows like some sort of vampire, and apparently every shirt I own is made of fiberglass insulation.

I have found some relief, however, and if I ever have a daughter I might consider naming her Aloe Vera… This is why fall is my favorite season – football, foliage, and less chance of being singed by some bright yellow orb in the sky.

I suppose sunburns are God’s way of telling certain people they shouldn’t be out without a shirt on. Message received, Big Guy, message received…

Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at current@Hudsonreporter.com