- This small town has a population of only 3,000+ souls;
- 46% of the population is of color, so not likely to be in the market for a tanning salon;
- Women over the age of 20 who were "brought up right" still believe that a lady should glow with only a hint of sun-kissed color, not be brown;
- A good portion of men over the age of 20 work outdoors, have farmer's tans, and could care less about tanning beds;
- The average income in this rural county is $19,111 per working adult; and
- We live a mere 32 miles from the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, where tanning is free.
How then can it be that one small town supports three locations? To be fair, one of them isn't a tanning salon per se; it consists of a couple of tanning beds located in a video rental store (remember rural diversification?). This is a combination I can't fathom: one is supposed to cover the eyes with opaque protection when using a tanning bed, so it's not as if the customer could watch the video playing in the store while absorbing the UV rays...
Perhaps I'm not the insider I thought I was, since I haven't been able to unravel the mystery of this secret vice. Then again...I never see folks around here with that fake, I-got-it-in-a-tanning-bed tan, so perhaps there's another use for the beds that I haven't yet learned?