The Pale Pity Party: Tanning Bed Fire Rescue

Because I am not going to put anymore time into this pathetic embarrassing episode of my life and because I already spent my free time for the past week piecing it together I will give you the short version to save you time and share the long version demonstrate a bit of the “Ministry Of Medicority”….I just realized that I coined a new acronym M.O.M.–that is me a walking Ministry of Mediocrity! 

Ok here is the short story–why am I still in bold–ugh. 

I fell asleep in a tanning bed. The Tan Beauties at the front desk could not

A. Wake me by banging on the door

B. Find the key to unlock the door

So they did what beautiful women in distress do–they called a man in uniform for help.

There you have it….the following may bore you to death but it proves that  I can not effectively write during my random mommy time moments and deliver a funny story about a hilarious event–Yes, twelve years later I can truthfully say that being rescued from a tanning bed by a fireman is “laughed so hard I peed my pants” funny–if it happened to you….one of my sisters….my O.B… you understand?


I entered the Tanning Salon with my best friend, Pookie.We were on our break from the local nursing home where we worked as dietary aides. The salon was run by the Tan
Beauty Queen Association. Pookie looked like she could work the front desk. I was… well… shall we say not a Tan Beauty Queen but finally feeling confident that someday my skin would darken I continued exchanging my pay check for fake-baking minutes. Today, I was brave enough to try fifteen minutes in the state of the art “No-Burn” Bed.

I was assigned my fifteen minutes of ultraviolet ray absorption from the bed located in the second room on the left. I entered, tuned the radio to my favorite station and de-robed-folding my scrubs in a tidy stack.

Placing my nude body in the frigid bed, I lowered the lid, tried to block images of my field trip to a funeral home a few weeks prior, and attempted to relax. It was a fifteen minute session, my longest yet—would I walk out of here a red lobster? I listened to the song on the radio, felt the hum of the machine, and warmed from the radiation.

Finally comfortable, I day dreamed about being a member of the T.B.Q.A. I soon drifted from thinking about how good I was going to look to feeling sorry for those girls who were still being humiliated by streaky orange tan-from-a-can stripes. I quickly went
back to imagining my tan future, envisioning my Bronze Skin Debut at Old Shawnee Days in a few weeks. Waving at everyone I knew—

“Hey, Amber, you look really pretty.”

“Amber, look at you–sooo tan.”


“Over hear. Hey you’re looking’ good.”


“AMBERRRR! Can you hear me…?”

“You look Tan-a-rrific.”


“Your blue eyes really pop with your dark skin.”

“AMBERRRR I’M coming to get your TANNED A**! OPEN UP

(Did I mention Pookie could be crude at times–I mean we were
eating dinner with a large group of girls and she was hovered over her egg drop
soup with her arms wrapped around the bowl as if we were going to take it from
her–the girl was not the most refined–I can say that because we were

“Pookie what are you doing in here?”

“Amber are you ok?”

“Yeah, I must have fallen asleep.”

“AMBER! Asleep?
Girl, you’ve been in there over an hour! The Fire Department had to break down
the door so we could get in here–I thought you were dead! Get OUT of there
now–we are late from break. UGH!”

(I could only think of two things–my faded bra and flower printed panties….did I have them hid under my scrubs or dropped on the floor…please, please, please, do not let the firemen and Beauty Queens see my mis-matched undergarments!)

Then came the Fireman, “Ma’am, please do not open the lid of the tanning bed until we put the door back on the hinges.”

(Apparently, Fireman have a fear of blinding whiteness)

So I laid there turning more red by the minute–I had managed not to burn in this tanning bed but my pale skin could not hide the flaming disgrace pulsing through my veins. I was alone lying in that tanning bed, like a person buried alive waiting to be let out, while the firemen put the door back in place. When given the all clear, I slowly peeked out of the bed–just to make sure no one was in the room–shook my head vigorously at myself—AMBER! AMBER! AMBER! How could you fall asleep in here!  Then I smiled—my
underwear and bra were hidden.

The most embarrassing part was left to come–the walk of shame–I took long enough to dress that the fire department had left the scene but The Tan Beauty Queens had called in back-up. (In their search for the missing room keys they called every member of the T.B.Q.A. to assemble for an emergency meeting: a pale girl may have died in one their Tanning Temples.)

Red-faced wearing my blue nursing home scrubs I tried to look cool–like maybe I was an over-worked nurse, doctor, dental hygienist in need of a nap…not a dietary aide. Pookie killed it–she was in the waiting room flipping her keys–preparing to get reamed by our boss—“Dorkhead, get your white butt in my car. We need to get back to the nursing home so we can make dinner.”  My shoulders dropped and I walked through those tanning salon doors never, ever…no matter how much money I had spent in prepaid tanning matter how ghostly my legs would look this summer…never to return.


To my skin’s detriment, I did buy a tanning package across town with my next pay check.

No I do not Fake Bake anymore–I like being cancer free….and I do not care to pretend that I will be a member of the Tan Beauty Queen Association when I am a card-carrying member of M.O.M.



  1. Hahahaha that is too funny!! I must have missed this story before!

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