Sunscream Part II

Now and then I find myself daydreaming and in the midst of these daydreams, hitting upon a million dollar idea that is going to make me rich.  I’ve read a fair amount about innovation and staring off into space is foundational.  That said, intellectual property management is also foundational and so clearly I’m not going to record my ideas here as I don’t want you stealing my phone headset management or soccer shinguard brilliance.

Nonna is my chief innovation consultant.  She has a fine-tuned sense of what could make it big and turn into a perpetual annuity.  Crazed Christmas shoppers are a critical target audience.  In contrast, my mind gravitates toward smaller niche markets and often mundane problem-solvers.  For example, I just found out that my brother’s college friend’s parents invented the pump bottle.  As in every time you pump soap into your hand at the sink they hear cha-ching, cha-ching and money washes right down your drain and into their bank account.

Another example is one of our neighbors.  She’s into tattoos.  So she invented a giant Band-aid-like bandage that you can use to cover that enormous Old English text you’ve indelibly placed across your shoulder blades until it heals.  I can almost hear the wheels in Nonna’s head spinning right now.

And that finally brings me to my point.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I LOVE spray-on sunscreen.  LOVE it.  You can put it on in the blink of an eye.  It provides almost perfect coverage.  You don’t have to rub it in.  You’re never left with giant white patches all over you, or big hand marks across your sunburned midriff.  Your hands aren’t left permanently sticky and waterproofed, despite using the pump-bottle soap five times (cha-ching, cha-ching).

There is only one thing that would make spray-on sunscreen better.  (Well, later on in this story there may be two.).  That one thing?  Make it warm.  That’s right: warm.  There must be some way chemical engineers could develop warm aerosol spray.  Or some trick that just makes it feel warm, like adding Tiger Balm.  Warm spray-on sunscreen is the miracle that could silence the insane whining and fidgeting and ridiculous poolside sunscreaming we bear in the name of preventing cancer and premature aging.

So this idea has been percolating.  How can I get the attention of Coppertone?  Or Neutrogena?  What chemical engineers do I know?  The next great advance in sunscreen technology is now.  American consumers cannot wait.

But then, then late last week I was surfing the Facebook when I saw some clip of text warning all parents about the dangers of spray sunscreen.  I couldn’t bear to click through.  Don’t let innocent children breathe it in.  The FDA.  Blah blah blah.  Hopefully it’s just some dust-up on social media.  Nothing to be alarmed about.  I always tell my kids to hold their breath anyway and rub it on their faces with my hands.  That incident when we turned the floor of our Hawaiian terrace into a dangerous Slip ‘n Slide over the course of five days via spray-on sunscreen?  Totally coincidence.  What’s next?  Hairspray?

Then we got a stern letter from preschool saying we must bring in lotion sunscreen to replace any poison they’ve been unknowingly spraying on our precious children.  And *poof,* my million dollar idea has now gone up in smoke.

Scratch that: spray.


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