One recent sunny Saturday morning we went to our corner coffeeshop for a quick bite and then to the garage to get the car for our weekend drive to Connecticut.

My fair-skinned husband put the convertible top down and following doctor’s orders,  rubbed sunscreen on his face. Noticing he had missed a dab on his earlobe  I reached over and rubbed it in for him.

We pulled out of the garage and as he drove I found myself scrutinizing my husband’s profile, as wives in passenger seats are prone to do.

Then I noticed another white blob on his shirt collar.  I stared at that blob wondering what it was.  It seems I completely forgot that minutes before I had ministered to a dab of suntan lotion on his ear.

Rather,  I remembered that at the coffeeshop he’d complained there was too much mayo in his egg salad.   Now I assumed a drop of that egg salad had gotten on his collar.

There were no tissues handy so I swiped at the white blob with a finger and then put the finger in my mouth.  Of course it wasn’t egg salad but another stray bit of sunscreen,  and it was bitter!

I grabbed the Coppertone tube and read the dire warning –  FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY,  DO NOT INGEST.

“I’ve just poisoned myself,  drive me straight to the hospital, I have to have my stomach pumped!”,  I cried to my husband in mounting panic.

“Calm down,  take out your phone and call Coppertone.”,  said my level-headed husband.

Sure enough beneath the dire warning on the sunscreen tube was a toll-free customer service number.

The Coppertone rep listened to my tale and asked some pertinent questions – my age and relative health,  what meds I take, and how much suntan lotion I have ingested.

“Not to worry.”,  he said after hearing it was just a dab.

I thanked him and added somewhat sheepishly,  “I’m sorry if my story sounded a bit crazy,  but believe me it was all true!”

“Oh,  I believe you lady”,  he said,  “you can’t make this stuff up.”

I didn’t tell him it would soon be on my blog.

Dana Susan Lehrman



  • This post is full of valuable information about tasting unknown substances, the safety of tasting sunblock, and the perils of actually looking at your husband.

  • We had this habit, my mom and I. When watching TV on our old round screen Zenth, she would sit on one end of the couch and I would lie down on the other end and put my feet on her lap.I had a habit of peeling off nail polish. I didn't realize I was dropping the peeled off red polish bits on the bare spot on my stomach between the bottom of the halter I was wearing and the top of my shorts. At the time I was having my my second period and was still getting over the shock of realizing that this was not a one time event.All off a sudden, I saw these red spots on bare mid drift and thought that somehow blood from my period was leaking out onto my stomach. I screamed, my mother jumped up – and as she did the polish bits scattered to the floor. When we both calmed down I got another lesson in anatomy. "No", mom said. "you can't bleed out of your stomach. It just nail polish. "But from now on don't peel off your nail polish; take it off with polish remover." Fast forward to years later when my own daughter experienced her first period. I thought I was a modern, up to date mom. I had explained periods, and and explained that she was now capable of becoming pregnant. I thought I was just about the most modern, up to date mom ever. But she was staring at me wide-eyed after the birds and bees lecture. She said, eyes tearing, "You mean I'm going to get a period again?" "Yes, every month," I answered. "Gee, becoming a woman sure isn't easy." She was right about that.

  • So I presume this is Danny's new coffee shop order: “Egg-salad on rye – Hold the Coppertone!”

    • Thanx Angela but did you mean this comment for my January blog post TIME AND THE TAXI MAN? If so, note that it landed with my July SUNBURN blog post!
      In any case, as I've told you before, you're a writer and you should be blogging too!

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