In light of going to Palm Desert for Coachella in t-minus whatever the countdown clock says, I decided to go tanning. I will be subjecting myself to three 10-hour days in 100 degree weather, so getting a base tan is good idea, right?
I've never been tanning before, so I walked into Ballard's Desert Sun basically clueless. A nice girl at the front desk, who would be identified as "jailbait" in most states, sold me on four tans and gave me a tour.
I first saw the "Conventional" bed. This was described to me as the "original tanning bed," which is really inexpensive to use and low impact. I believe this is the same bed that has served Farah Fawcett's complexion for decades.
The second bed, which I ended up choosing, was the "Medium-High" bed, which mimics the exact UV levels of the sun. I figured that I might as well go for what's closest to the real thing.
The last bed I saw was the "Super-High" bed, which exerts 1.5x the UV rays of the sun, but is supposedly very safe. This bed looks like a cross between what Darth Vader sleeps in and the jelly filled container humans are born into in "The Matrix."
Lastly, I saw the "Mystic Tan" spray booth. I saw that episode of "Friends" where Ross turns orange on one side. No thank you.
After the tour, my jailbait guide left me in the Medium-High bed room to tend to a line that had formed at the front desk. I was left to fend for myself. So, I stripped down to my boxers (Ladies, let your imaginations run wild), hopped in the bed and hit the green button.
What a great experience! I realized, lying there, that my body had not been so warm in months and felt pampered like I was getting a massage. Sure, I could feel tumors begin to form around my kidneys, but it felt great.
My back got slightly pink (an omen to what I'll look like at the end of the weekend) but overall I was very satisfied and am glad I have a few tans I can use when I get back from Palm Desert. I don't plan to invest in any further tanning sessions, however, because I do value my ability to camouflage myself against clouds, paper and white walls most of the year. Oh, yeah, and excessive tanning can cause serious health repercussions.