Every year, thousands of residents of the Grand Duchy suffer from confusion, fear, and physical injury when something commonly known as “the sun” briefly appears in the sky. Follow these tips to stay safe.
Is there a giant ball of fire in the sky? Yes. But does that mean it’s the end of the world? No. (Correction: yes, but not for many more years.) Relax. While this phenomenon is rare in Luxembourg, people in other parts of the world live with the sun for days or even weeks at a time. Also, plenty of resources are available to offer emotional support. Therapists, meteorology experts, and friends who live in Australia or Greece can help you to understand what’s going on.
If you feel yourself succumbing to a sun-induced panic attack and you don’t have time to call for help, you can always run into an empty room, close the blinds, pour a glass of water on your head, and on your smartphone watch videos of falling rain. Ahh, relief.
While many people in Luxembourg are afraid of the sun, others fall into a hypnotic state, displaying bizarre or even dangerous behavior such as removing layers of clothing including jackets, sweaters, and in extreme cases, scarves. Don’t do this.
As many of us learned in school or while on camping trips, fire is extremely hot, and hot things can burn you. Rather than expose your skin to extreme heat and UV rays, it’s safer to cover up. Follow the example of the desert-dwelling Bedouin who have been living under the sun for thousands of years. Before venturing out, wrap yourself from head to toe with a spare bed sheet. For added fun, cut out two eye holes and if other bus passengers look at you funny, tell them you’re a ghost.
Protect your eyes
Since antiquity, our gazes have been drawn to the allure of fire and other bright things. Sure, the sun is pretty to look at and if you stare at it for 30 seconds, you start to hallucinate and see golden winged poodles flying in circles and other fun stuff, but you could become blind in the process.
A safer way to enjoy the sun is to only look at it while wearing a welding mask with industrial-strength tinted lenses no less than 1.5 centimeters thick. Sure, a welding mask might be heavy and uncomfortable, and your colleagues will mistake you for a bug exterminator or an assassin sent from the future, but at least you’ll be safe.
Alternatively, if you can find a shop that sells them in this part of Europe, you might be able to purchase an item called “sunglasses.” However, these are more of a fashion accessory than something that will really protect your eyes from a ball of plasma and gas that’s burning at a few million degrees.
So now you’re ready to face the sun, but what about everyone else? Sadly, many people in the Grand Duchy won’t be prepared, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them.
Carry around a bottle of aloe vera, and if you see someone with bare skin who has been outside, throw them on the ground, roll them around to extinguish any flames, and cover their entire body with the soothing gel. They may not like it now, and they may even try to fight you off, but they’ll thank you later.
Similarly, if you notice someone looking toward the sun, don’t waste any time. Immediately use your fingers to poke them in the eyes, which will keep them closed long enough to get the victim into a safe darkened area. Sure, their eyes may hurt for a few days, but at least their vision will eventually return — which would not be the case if they had kept looking at that blazing orb.
In Luxembourg, you can never be sure which language strangers understand, so when you issue warnings to crowds of potential victims, it’s better to use simple gestures and onomatopoeic noises.
If you notice that it’s sunny, put on your bed sheet and welding mask, and go to a crowded area at lunchtime, perhaps Avenue de la Gare or outside in front of Auchan. Yell to get everyone’s attention, point toward the sky, pretend that your finger has been burned, mimic the sound of bacon being fried, and then fall to the ground, writhing and moaning like the Wicked Witch of the West while she’s melting. It’s possible this behavior will earn you an evaluation by a psychologist, but at least you’ll know you’re a good person who looks out for others.