Scientists generally agree that if our planet is not destroyed by another calamity, the death of our Sun will take care of the job at some point. When the Sun does die, Earth will be consumed in a beautiful but tragic heat death.

While I don’t know what the fate of our planet will be, I do understand heat death and I understand it on a personal level.

After a gloriously relaxing day of kayaks and tobacco (see “Paddles”), I faced a woe unlike any I have known before; heat death by sunburn. My legs, nocturnal in nature, were cooked to a degree that would make steak connoisseurs curse in shame.  In hue, my legs resembled a slightly weather-worn fire hydrant. From a moisture standpoint, each leg served as its own small desert, cracked, burned, and devoid of life.

To combat this evil foe, I bathed in a gooey layer of Aloe, but the magical plant was no match for the carnage the central orb of our Solar System had produced. Only time, positive thoughts, and long-suffering would be enough to rise above this near mortal wound.

Just as the wind had challenged my ability to successfully light my pipe, this burn was pressing my fortitude.

Having too much to live for in my wife Brenna, puppy Chester and the next season of “Game of Thrones,” I persevered. I will most likely live to kayak again, albeit soaked in sunscreen before braving the waves this time.

I know not whether humans will be around to see the Sun die gloriously, but I am confident my whitewashed legs will carry me on to fight another day. Learn from my tale of sorrow, and if this burn does best me, please don’t let my story perish in the ashes.- AB


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