in Friends

If you wanna be with me, baby there’s a price to pay

“Pro Tan,” I said to my wife, removing the foam sponge brush from the side of the bottle. “Just the thing for Starbuck. It’s what all the bodybuilders use. It contains DHA, which causes your skin to tan by itself, and a rather large quantity of brown food coloring.”

I squirted a sploot of Pro Tan onto the foam brush. It was the color of shoe polish. My skin was still a little red from the visits to the tanning salon. I slathered the brown goop onto my body. Standing in the bathroom, I painted my calves, my shins, my chest with the muddy color. Little dots of brown paint spattered all over the bathroom tile. As I swabbed at the little brown spatters with toilet paper, I realized at that point that I couldn’t color my back. I called to my wife.

“Honey,” I said. “Can you come in here and help Pro Tan me?”

“What?” she said, wandering into the bathroom. Then she gasped, and screamed with laughter. “My God! You’re orange!”

“Half orange,” I corrected.

She painted my back and my neck. “Your ass is really white,” she said.

“What does that have to do with anything?” I said.

“If you turn around for me, I’ll paint your ass,” she said.

“Moof,” I said. Marriage is the most sacred of institutions, in which a man and a woman can paint each other’s asses and call one another orange.

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