From the Argives: Student Caught “Tanning”

That almost-mythical not-corner of Olin 3A.

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Back in 1985, being spotted exiting a Middletown tanning salon was evidently enough to land you on the front page of The Argus. On Friday, 6th November 1985, the front-page headline quite seriously pronounced “Winter break to be shortened by two weeks,” and vaulted into rote Argus material. Just below that, however, still on the front page, Argus ran one of the most bizarre articles my eyes have ever traipsed across in the great (worthwhile) time-suck that is the Argives. The headline: “Wesleyan student spotted in downtown tanning salon.”

So goes the story: one particular freshman had a crush. To look good for his crush, he wanted a tan. But it was almost winter, and the Connecticut sun was rapidly retreating to the Southern hemisphere. So he went to a local tanning salon a few times. After one fateful zap-session, a group of girls — crush included! — spotted him leaving the establishment, at which point he looked away and walked off as quick as he could. And everyone, except the freshman himself of course, that the whole affair was uproariously funny. A Wesleyan student! In a tanning salon! How preposterous! (Oh, the huge manatee!)

The author proceeds to quote the crush (who thought it was funny, and was flattered, but felt objectified), the crush’s friend (who couldn’t stop laughing), the freshman’s roommate (who felt for his roomie), the freshman’s mother (who wondered if she could take a message), the freshman’s RA (who sympathized), and the owner of the tanning salon (who worried that the freshman’s tan was still at a delicate stage).

Seriously, this must have been a joke issue. Subsequent pages, detailing an argument between the Editor and Staff about drinking on the job, seem to support this hypothesis. Any 1985 Argus staffers want to weigh in, in the comments? Author Chris Chester ’86? Editor Aaron Schloff ’87, perhaps?

Article text (and subsequent pages) post-jump.