Two weeks into my stay here in sunny San Juan the solitude was beginning to become a bit much. So, I took to the multitude of social apps to try and engage with a voice outside of my head.
The short of things is a guy from LA, also here for work, asked if I’d like to grab a drink. Since he wasn’t a million miles away, I recommended an amazing 24-hour dive bar which would probably take each of us ten or so minutes to reach. I walked, he took a cab, not sure why as the cost of cabs here only make sense if you have them take you five or more miles.
Anyway, we sat at the bar, each with a drink in hand and began the usual first encounter conversation. Where are you from, what do you do, etc. He seemed stunned when mentioning he worked for HRC and I didn’t react. First of all, if you don’t say Human Rights Campaign, it’s pretty certain I won’t know what you’re talking about, they’re not my charity of choice, nothing personal.
The conversation continued and I was quickly reaching that point where you know it would be preferable to end things and never see this person again. Me, cynical New Yorker, enjoys making jokes, poking fun and having a good time. This guy, typical LA, set on telling others how they should behave and think, passing judgement on all and claiming to not be judging people in any capacity.
The moment things went wrong; when LA guy brought up skin cancer. He made a joke about my pasty skin, which I added to because, in all honesty, I think only British people who never leave the house are more pale. He then goes on to “inform” me the best way to overcome my skin pigment deficiency.
- Stop wearing sunscreen
- Go outside in small increments each day to let the sun cause a light burn
- Continue this and over time white skin will become immune to sunburn
- Also, look into the sun for short increments – it strengthens the eyes
I honestly, can’t make this up, I wish to be so creative. First of all, this is the description for how to get a tan. When you’re this pasty, getting a tan is nearly impossible, my flesh is white, pink or lobster red, that’s just how it goes. Also, gazing into the sun is idiotic and probably not what the eye doc would recommend doing post Lasik.
After listening to this load of misplaced information, I gave what was intended to be a polite reply but coming off a tad blunt. My response was something to the effect of, that’s a bunch of shit, and having had a chunk of cancer cut from my back due to my teen tanning years, it’s best to stick to sunscreen and the shade.
LA went on to tell me all sunscreen causes cancer, dermatologists are lying to me and I’ve been brainwashed. Oh, he added only natural remedies work. To this, I stood, told him I’d rather get cancer than continue talking to him, I placed a twenty on the bar and walked out. Of course, slamming my drink before leaving, it’s a drink after all.
A few minutes later the pictured text message came across. Seeing as I do know the price of my drinks, two drinks at $6 a piece, I can’t see how he figures $20 was insufficient to cover my share of the bill. However, I hope they did overcharge this fool. he’d clearly be dumb enough to overpay.
This guy more or less has reaffirmed LA stereotypes shoveled down the throats of New Yorkers and ensured my continued distaste for them. I’d rather date someone with foreskin than with no brain, and that’s saying something.