No surprise that researchers in Scotland have come up with an early warning system for sunburn. The country has the highest proportion of redheads in Europe – 13% of the population according to the site that knows everything. In Ireland, we’re not far behind in terms of redhead ratio so this development is of great interest, but will it do any good?
Keen observers of Irish people on holiday will know that in an attempt to gain maximum value for the few days away in the sun, the average Irish milk bottle will rise at dawn and take up position by the pool. Once there, they will continue to roast themselves until the alcohol from the night before has well and truly evaporated. Given that the average alcohol consumption would fit in the petrol tank of a Land Rover, a good number of hours are needed for the task to be complete. There is just no way he or she is returning home without some evidence of having “got a bit of colour”. Better to have a sunburn story than none at all. There is no greater shame for an Irish person to return home from 2 weeks in the sun looking the same as they went away. It’s just not worth the slagging about spending a lot of time indoors.
We could see the result of this research on the shelves by October in the form of plasters but honestly, is anyone likely to use them? Don’t think so. Everyone knows the dangers and suffers the consequences in a very real and painful way after the event. How many of us can say, “Oh, I got sunburn once – but learned my lesson and it hasn’t happened since”? – very few I would think. Or maybe I’m unique in getting two bad cases of sunburn in one summer season – one that left me virtually unable to walk for a week. There is no solution for the stupidity of going on a 6 hour trek in the mountains on a hot summers day – IN SHORTS, WITHOUT ANY SUNSCREEN.
Basically, this type of research is trying to create a plaster for stupidity and irrationality and in my view, there ain’t no solution for that yet, just ask Kim Kardassion who Twittered about getting burnt during the week. And look, she’s not even blonde