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"What a vainglorious morning!" exclaimed the imposing figure behind the desk at Dr. Bronzz, the local tanning salon I had avoided for months until I finally decided to heed the advice of my coworker, Rip Simmons, who looked freakin' great in the dead of winter.

I wasn't so sure I could trust Dr. Bronzz. He was an aged, leathery man of Caucasian, Indian, or Mexican descent. A glittering cross about four inches tall, dangling from a silver rope chain, rested upon a gray turtleneck sweater that looked really itchy.

"Come this way, young man. I can see you're interested in becoming...dark." This last word he whispered. I couldn't imagine why he felt the need to be secretive like this, unless he feared I had something to be ashamed of.

But this wasn't an adult video store. Every customer was probably proud to patronize Dr. Bronzz.

"I'm Dr. Bronzz!" he bellowed. His dramatic volume changes were starting to make me a bit jumpy. "Come. Enter room 8 with me. This is the room for you."

Dr. Bronzz failed to knock upon opening the door, but the two people inside didn't seem annoyed or startled by our abrupt entrance.

"Some of our favorite customers!" An orange-colored man and woman offered reluctant smiles. Before they had finished dressing, the pair scurried out of the room. "I love those kids."

I was starting to feel more than a little uneasy when Dr. Bronzz began to remove his pants. "You wanna get a full tan, I'd say. There's no sense in having what we call tan lines." And before I could respond, Bronzz lay supine on the bed, naked from the waist down, but still with sweater and cross. An egg timer covered his genital region.

"You just turn it to 15 minutes, like so."

Part of me wanted to leave, but I had become entranced. This sales technique was working like a charm. I'd be dark as hell in no time.

Date Written: March 29, 2005
Author: Turgid
Average Vote: 4.125

04/7/2005 Partytime (4): Interesting that the elongated first sentence lured me in. I dig this painting man--clear lines.
04/7/2005 Will Disney: wow - i'm impressed that this short manages to hold it together in old Acme style. I will re-assess later today and vote.
04/7/2005 qualcomm: i like the moment dr. bronzz chooses to introduce himself.
04/7/2005 Will Disney: agreed!
04/7/2005 Mr. Pony:
04/7/2005 Mr. Pony (4):
04/7/2005 Klause Muppet (4):
04/7/2005 Litcube (4): Good character work here.
04/7/2005 anonymous: It seems that new votes aren't adjusting my averages. Who wrote these algorithms?!?! (Forsooth)
04/7/2005 The Rid: I really like this short. Ending a little implausible.
04/7/2005 anonymous: Yeah, but he'd be dark as hell in no time.
04/7/2005 Ewan Snow (4): I'd give this 4.5 if only acme supported half stars.
04/7/2005 TheBuyer: That's the spirit!
04/7/2005 Will Disney: new votes don't get counted until after the day of publication, so people can't figure out who you are. also, the statistics module is being fully upgraded jes' as soon as the tournament module is wrapped up.
04/7/2005 anonymous: That's a specious claim, administrator.
04/7/2005 TheBuyer (5): This needs at least one 5. Wanna neck?
04/7/2005 The Rid (4):
04/8/2005 Turgid: The votes have counted toward the quarterly ranking, but my regular and adjusted averages on the stats page haven't moved at all...administrator?
04/8/2005 Will Disney: The votes are in the system. I *promise* you you'll get nice new stats handling functionality - just around the corner. Everything will be great, and you'll be happy!
04/8/2005 anonymous: But my stomach hurts.
04/8/2005 Klause Muppet: Disney, you still haven't voted. "I will re-assess later today and vote"
04/8/2005 Jon Matza (4): 4.29. Esp. liked "He was an aged, leathery man of Caucasian, Indian, or Mexican descent."