Summer is upon us. Long days, cheap Sav and 56 outdoor weddings to attend over the next three months. The sun, who has been a bit half-hearted about his duties in the southern hemisphere, is preparing to come out in full force, ready to make up for lost time like an estranged father. He’s desperate to win back our failing affections and show he’s not playing favourites with the other side of the planet by bombarding us with his laser-like rays. Cue the inevitably crispy skin that only holey Antipodean ozone can provide.
If the sun was my son, I would want to have a few words with him. “Easy does it, sunny boy,” I would say, “no need for the melanoma.” I would clutch him to my chest and make soothing noises in a bid to find the root cause of his megalomaniac tendencies.
The sun has got us in a bit of a chokehold. We need him to survive. We need him to be able to see during the day without the aid of the torch application on our phone. My tomato plants need the sun to grow and planet Earth needs him to prevent another ice age (as fun as those movies were, I do not want a moody mammoth as a pet).
Though, as much as we need this star, too much of him and we end up with chunks of flesh chopped out on a good day, or cancerous cells road-tripping to our liver on a bad one. After a couple of nasty sunburns and 200 extra freckles, it doesn’t take long for us to be grateful that we share access to this fine-in-small-doses monster with the humans on the other side of the planet. Thanks to the sun, I have a brutish scar on my shoulder that I prefer to attribute to a scrappy brawl with a crack addict.
What do you want from us, sunny boy? How can we appease you? We look hot with a summer tan, but not so when our skin turns to leather! Why do you tease us so?
Sun, we spend our lives orbiting around you. You are indeed the centre of our universe. We know it. You know it. Do you expect us to return to our paganistic past and give you the rampant praise you once received? Do you want salutations? Sacrifices? Orgies? Grow up! We have jobs! And kids! And stuff to do!
What kind of big-ball-of-hydrogen-and-helium-gas are you if you need the prayers and rituals of minuscule beings, millions of kilometres away, in order to feel good about yourself? Find self-love; then the adulation of others will not be needed in order to make yourself feel whole. Watch Oprah. Read Eat, Pray, Love. Learn to meditate.
Giving someone melanoma is a big call, mate. Is it necessary to do this? Are you in some way morally against the empowerment of topless humans? Please do not make me open that can of worms. Because I will go there. And you will get bored. And I will contradict myself several times.
Perhaps the sun just needs some positive reinforcement. Let’s start praising him for his good work, and ignoring the cranky-pants stuff! Let’s add him to our Christmas card list for stimulating adequate vitamin D production, but not invite him to our birthday parties for the crow’s feet and the dodgy moles. Or, if actively engaging with an inanimate ball of burning gas makes you feel self-conscious and insane, you could always wear a hat and broad-spectrum sunscreen.