Archive for November 11th, 2010

November 11, 2010

Bubbleboy and Sunscreen

My boy is fair-skinned.  If I go overboard with one thing its sunscreen. At the first sign of sun the 50 SPF lotion comes out and it goes on thick: face, arms, neck, ears, legs – everything exposed and then some. Not too long ago I severely burned my back because I was so focus on getting every last corner of his little white body covered that I forgot that my skin, too, tends to burn to a crisp. It was nasty, my whole body ached, I could barely sleep – never, ever would I want to risk that for the little one.

A good thing about modern times: the sunscreens have gotten so much better since I was a child when a factor 8 seemed like this outlandish number and we generally used something more like a 4. The bad thing: the stuff is still sticky and gooey and nobody likes to apply it .

Where is she going with this, you ask.   See, the latest and greatest idea at after-school revolves around sunscreen. In school it is now considered a medicine. Yes, you heard right, like Vioxx – ooh bad example – or the purple pill, or that stuff they tell you you should use for your restless legs, you know the one that makes your legs crawl just from watching the ad.  So, it has been declared that henceforward sunscreen is considered medicine and will therefore no longer be applied by the teachers.

The rational: to avoid the spread of communicable disease. How lame is that?  Has anybody ever read a story osomebody contracting Dengue fever, Cholera or Chickenpox from sunscreen lotion.  Me neither.  (btw, if you want to check out a list of communicable diseases, here is a link: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/)

The real reason I think: the teachers don’t want to put the gooey stuff on 20 kids.  You know, had they just come out straight and said: “listen, we don’t want to deal with sunscreen, too much hassle, it’s kind of yuck and anyway, we are being paid way too little for this crap.” I would had some sympathy, not a lot, but some.

But communicable diseases?? what it means is that every time (!!) not once a season but every time (!) I want them to put sunscreen on my child I need to fill out a medicine authorization form.  Of course, nobody does that and they got themselves out of the sunscreen-applying business without ever as much as admitting that it is for their convenience but putting the tired old “we-just-want-the-best-for-your-child” cloak around it.  Know what?  It sucks!
Normally fall has me depressed and winter is the time where I browse the Internet for bargain real estate in Mexico but this year – in this one respect – I am glad winter is coming. At least I can postponed the sunscreen hassle for a few more months.

November 11, 2010

Snowball’s chance in hell

This snowball does not stand a chance, pic: http://www.sodahead.com

With winter approaching and dropping temperatures even here in California here is a wintery idiom for you: Snowball’s chance in hell.  The meaning of it is pretty intuitive:  not a chance or at least a very very low chance of success – the chance a snowball has to survive  in a very hot place, like hell.

“A snowball’s chance in hell” is a fairly casual expression and would be misplaced in formal conversation (of which we have very little here) but it is perfectly appropriate in casual conversation and in business conversations.  In the case of business conversations I would use it when speaking to colleagues but necessarily when having a serious discussion with my boss.

The expression is mostly used in the negative sense like “this plan does not have a snowball’s chance in hell.”

Here some more examples:

“What you want to ask Julie out on a date???  You don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, dude.  She is going out with this pro basketball player.”

“We have a a snowball’s chance in hell to finish this project on time and in budget.  So be better start working on some contingencies.”