For the Patricia Krentcil tanning booth scandal/debacle, I chose Brian Eno’s Small Craft on a Milk Sea for fodder to urge on a slumberous muse. The ambient music is science fiction-esque and suggests the sensation one might feel (or how I care to imagine it) when burning under the ultraviolet hot lamps of, say City Tropics Salon in Nutley, New Jersey. Patricia Krentcil has been charged with second-degree child endangerment, but the charges are weak when we hear her entire account.
I needed to get a second gander at Patricia after seeing her on the news. It was unreal how mocha charred the Bronze Mom’s face appeared, baked to a crispy, golden brown chocolate. One wonders how many visits to City Tropics it would take to achieve this look, which is perhaps more appropriate for a Freak Show pup tent at the New Jersey State Fair (if New Jersey has a state fair)? Well, I’ll not make fun of Ms Krentcil; all of us have our obsessions and/or addictions.
Her 5-year-old daughter complained of a sunburn at school, so the school must have called the police on Patricia. However, an Associated Press article published in the LA Daily News has provided some corroboration for Krentcil that bespeaks of her innocence. The owner of City Tropics Salon, whose name is Anthony, says that fellow tanning employees saw the little girl with her father and brother, while Patricia did her duty for darker skin.
It is against the law for anyone under the age of 14 to engage in this reckless hobby. I assume it can cause skin cancer. I would think it causes cancer for those over 14 as well, so why do these people indulge in this marginal sport? Having a good tan is a stepping stone of prestige in our society, but baking oneself into the nether regions, until you look like a burned batch of blonde marijuana brownies is a little over the top, I’ll pipe in!
Krentcil’s face looks like it’s been coated with a thick, sticky mud goop, lifted from a silt deposit left by the ye-old Mississippi River at one of her millions of tributaries. The color is almost ochre, and doesn’t look in the least bit natural, as we see in so many marvelously tanned movie stars, such as Sophia Loren or the late Elizabeth Taylor. Patricia looks leathery, toasted like a crispy critter, and could easily boost the ratings of Jersey Shores, if she were to make a guest appearance some time.
But getting busted may be a blessing in disguise for the Bronze Mom! It’s her ticket to fame and fortune! Now she can make the rounds of talk shows and hype her habit for what it’s worth. Pat will take some heat, but she may be able to elicit some sympathy for other tanning addicts, who just can’t resist baking themselves into oblivion, in some sundry tanning salons that dot our urban landscapes (or crumbling strip malls that are eye sores for those of us who remember a better yesterday).
One or two more visits to City Tropics may preserve poor PK into an Egyptian mummy (see Ramsees II), as pickled as an apricot, skin as chapped as hard tack chewed on the Chisholm Trail by cowboys ‘ongry for New Jersey beef jerky. I hope Pat gets off, but I hope she gets some help for her addiction too. Her tan is beyond the fringe! To say it doesn’t look natural, is to state the obvious. The ultraviolet lamps need some tweaking, away from yellow and towards tan on the color spectrum. As is, she can look forward to a chapter in Ripleys Believe it or Not! with no problem. Tanorexic Freak of the Century!