QCOSTA RICA ( By Carol Jean Connolly)– I slathered the cream over all exposed parts before I left the room. My goal was to walk from one end of the beach to the other in my itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie black fringed bikini. The fringe is important for two reasons; to distract from anybody noticing I’ve gotten soft in the middle, plus I was suffering from white-fish belly. Or is it fish-white belly?

sunscreenIn any case, I was looking to accomplish two things on the long beach walk – burn some blubber and get some golden rays on the extra-white parts.

I worked up a good sweat and heart rate, then plopped down on the beach lounge my friends saved for me.

Cathy said.  “I have sun screen. You might want to put some on your tummy,”

“Already have it on, thanks,” I smugly replied.

“Okay, good. Hey, watch our stuff while we go in the water?”

“Sure,” I chirped as she and David trotted off to the perfect waters of Flamingo Bay. I thought it time to replenish the sun protection. I had purposely brought the 35 SPF to screen, but not block entirely. I reached into my bag, grabbed the tube, unscrewed the cap, squeezed some cream into my hand and it hit me!

Wait a minute. This isn’t Panama Jack. This is insect repellent. I grabbed the wrong tube! Both tubes had orange coloring, but clearly the C-Van was not designed to protect from the sun’s harsh burning rays even though it has a palm tree in the logo.

I confessed my blunder to my friends when they returned from the water. David said, “Well you are blonde.” Or did he say blind?

I had to laugh when I realized my error. It reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, “The Intouchables” where the project-dwelling caregiver of the paraplegic is trying to wash his charge’s hair in the shower. In frustration, he complains that the shampoo won’t lather. The wise-cracking patient says,”That’s because you are using my foot-cream.”  Side by side the two tubes looked similar, but in this case, it turns out the guy didn’t know how to read. I have no excuse.

The good news is not one fly tried to land on me all day!


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.