Posted by: martinworster | May 7, 2008


I was running some errands at Triangle Square in Costa Mesa. It was a gorgeous hot day, piercing blue skies and glowing sun. The sort of light that I’ve only ever experienced in Southern California where everything is really vivid and – when there’s no smog – you can see sharply into the distance.

Then I saw him. A bloke was standing outside a salon with a sign on a giant arrow – FREE TAN – it shouted. I looked up at the sun. ‘Surely that’s a free tan’, I thought to myself. I went over to him and pointed upwards.

“There’s your free tan mate,” I joked. He kind of smiled at me, probably not getting the joke, or just not hearing me as he had earphones on. It really did seem a ridiculous thing. Walking down the street here is a free tan. It’s always sunny. I forget what clouds look like. It’s not like England where when it’s sunny everyone goes doolally and rushes outside. Here I cower indoors to avoid the constant sunny days.

I’ve heard of silly business practices but this seems absurd. I’m moving to Antarctica and starting my free ice service.


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