The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mistaken Identity

On the occasion of my first visit to an oncologist, this well-meaning doc commented on how nice it was that my daughter could join me that day. Well, in fact it was my wife who’d come along on this merry new adventure. And I’m talking about the original model, not a younger trophy wife version 2.0, and she’s less than a year younger than me. If a somewhat weathered, newly-diagnosed 50-year-old melanoma patient needed one more reason to abandon sun worship and consider using a good moisturizer, this was most certainly it. As you might expect, my wife will never, ever let me forget this incident.

Guys, don’t let this happen to you. Protect the skin you’re in! Since it’s too late for this proud member of the Woodstock Generation to do more than preserve his already-weathered timbers, I’ll leave you with a new version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Wooden Ships”…

Stills: You look pale to me, I don’t understand
'Cause tanning’s something everybody everywhere does
to look like baggage.
Crosby: I can see by your tan, my friend,
you're from the leather side,
There's just one thing I got to know,
Can you tell me please, when’s done?
Stills: Say, can I have some of your UV ray block?
Crosby: Yes, I've been using it for six or seven years now,
haven't got burned once.
Stills: Probably keep us both alive.

Tanning sheep to the slaughter, scary free and easy,
Easy, you know this way’s not supposed to be,
Bronzing people on the shoreline, let it be,
Talkin' 'bout scary free and easy...
Horror grips us as we watch you die,
All we can do is echo your anguished cries,
Stare as all human feelings die,
We are preaching - you won't heed us.

Go, take your children then, by the hand,
lead them away from this tanning band,
Far away, where we might laugh again,
We are preaching - you won't heed us.

And it's a fair skin, pale is norm,
Out in the sun, ‘screen on my shoulders,
Guess I'll hit the course and golf...


  1. Haha!! Your story made me laugh out loud while reading it! And kudos to your wife for NOT letting you forget it (haha!!).
    I really enjoy your versions of these songs - keep them coming - very creative.
    : )

  2. Too funny, yet all too familiar. I had a co-worker come to my desk recently for a request. As I did some research on the computer, she engaged in small talk and asked how old my grandchildren were. Those faces in the photos were my 9 year-old twins. While admittedly I had children late in life (I was approaching 40 when they were born), I hardly thought I cuold be recognized at the kids' grandfather. My response was, "I don't have grand 9 year-olds aren't old enough to have kids yet."

    Your point is well taken. Protect your skin to keep that youthful appearance (and covering the gray might not be a bad idea either...)

  3. HAHA! I like your wife & I don't even know her.