Scallywag

Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go.

~ Margaret Walker ~

White and Quirky

January 27th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 3 mins, 11 secs

It only takes a few minutes to leave me sunny side up.

I like twisting lyrics. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. By twisting Weird Al’s lyrics a bit further with a friend I said, “Look at me. I’m white and quirky.” Then it dawned on me. It’s true. After all, everyone who knows me keeps saying, “Yep, he’s definitely one out of the box.”

But I never meant to be quirky. It just happened that way.

I used to wonder why, when I was born, the nurse slapped my mother rather than my bottom. Either way, we both started crying (I was louder). My mother wondered what they were doing holding a blue doll when they should have been looking after her baby. But it was me! Just born, and already I was doing quirky blue doll impressions. Guess I beat the Blue Man Group by a few decades (and I even did it naturally). Incidentally, I don’t recommend holding your breath that long. It stunts your brain…

As you can see, my quirky career started early.

Being true blue didn’t last long though. Pretty soon, I went back to white and stayed that way. Actually, to say I was white is an understatement. I was so white, you could have said I glowed. Not quite albino, but trying.

Seeing as I was so bright, a friend suggested I climb up, cling onto his utility room ceiling, and if he shoved a current through me, I could light up his laundry life. Guess that’s what friends are for…

Thankfully, I had brighter things to do; even if they were also for other quirky purposes. My bleached abilities made me:

  1. A valuable means for signaling spotter aircraft (no need for a mirror)
  2. A handy way for reducing global overheating (By bouncing light back out to space I reduced the Earth’s temperature by 0.00000000000000000000003 degrees. Okay, I’m exaggerating.)
  3. A convenient alternative to needing a torch when fumbling for door locks in low light.

Despite the quirky uniqueness of these abilities, I admit some people are whiter still. I once knew a girl I worked with who was so pale she was translucent. On a clear day you could almost see through her hands. That was pretty cool. Except every time the dreaded yellow ball appeared in the sky she had to rush for cover. That’s when I had the advantage. Even today I can luxuriate for an entire 5 minutes of sundrenched bliss before I too sizzle to a crisp version of my fair, happy self.

That’s the downside of this special feature: sunburn. Well, not sun burning exactly. More like sun frying. Except no skillet is needed. I only need to stand next to a window and pretty soon, someone starts sniffing and asking, “Can you smell bacon?”

I tried one of those sunbeds once. Humiliated and ashamed for being so white and quirky in a land dominated by bronzed kick-sand-in-your-face Aussies, I felt my all ultra-quirky whiteness had gone a shade too far. So I gave the roaster a go. Sandwiched inside a kind of fluorescent ironing press felt sci-fi weird, like some tacky 1970s spaceship mockup with the staff as aliens. All I kept thinking was, “People of Earth. We mean you no harm.” Boy, did I hope that was true.

Being radiated, I discovered, was the easy part. The worst was yet to come. One hour afterwards, I began feeling like I had surrendered my body for a scientific experiment. Beginning from the inside, my skin started searing. A burning itch, it got me doing a two-hour twist and shout around the house (no wonder I feel uncomfortable hearing Elvis belt out Burning Love). But it was the blotches that really did it for me. Big ones. Ruth may have had hours of fun with a marker playing dot to dot on me, but I wasn’t impressed. Never again!

That was the last time I tried the sunbed dry fry. Ever since that quirky ‘Eighties foray, I’ve slipped, slopped, slapped; having learned to protect and appreciate. No longer does the sight of my white skin give me a fright if I happen to catch myself in the mirror at night. I’m happy enough to accept what I see (well, mostly) and that my skin is just a physical part of me. The rest of being quirky is really much more than what you can see. It’s me, being the real me: original, individual, and ever so slightly eccentric.  Which, when you think about it, is pretty much true for who you are too.

 

 

 

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