Former Desert Rat
Many people leave the lush green of the midwest when they reach retirement age and head out to the parched lands of the American west - particularly Arizona. They ago because the winters are warmer (and that's true), and taxes are lower (and that's a big lie). Most wind up in hot little mobile homes which are squeezed in bumper-to-bumper between other dumb asses who rushed west to retire in warmth and comfort. It's just them, neighbors they don't like, scorpions, sagebrush, and regret. They drink heavily and grow more bitter each day as they slowly bake themselves to death. It's far from an idyllic final act.
I went the other direction to retire - away from the God awful heat and lunatics of Arizona and toward the peace and quiet of living in the Ozarks. I have been here almost eight months - and have few regrets.
But I learned this week that I brought and unintended souvenir back from Hellizona: skin cancer. I've had several uglies breaking out on my face - one which resembled an angry wart - and finally my doctor referred me to a dermatologist. He took biopsies from two spots, and I learned yesterday that both were positive for skin cancer. I was driving when the call came and didn't get any specifics other than they will see me next week for treatment. The lady who phoned did not seem overly concerned - of course, it's not her skin!
When the doctor and his assistant were examining me and taking a social history, their heads began nodding as soon as I mentioned that I had recently moved from Arizona. My souvenir from the Scorpion State was beginning to show itself.
Arizona is bad for skin - and I don't care what the lying tourism industry out there says on the subject. If you need proof, just google a photo of the governor, Jan Brewer. Desert Pete ain't got nothing on her!
I have never been a consistent user of sunscreen, but I plan to correct that now. Everyone should wear sunscreen - and they should stay the hell away from Arizona!