Recently, my wife and I had a conversation about tanning salons. They are everywhere. The only person, to my knowledge, I’ve ever known to regularly visit a tanning salon was a sociopath who used to steal from her employers…and may do so to this day. She was a real prize who had absolutely no compunction about stealing, lying, laying blame on others for her misdeeds, etc., etc. And, of course, her skin was deeply tanned. Though she was only about 35, I suspected she would be a wrinkled prune in ten years.
But my intent is not to write about a sociopath. My intent is to write about tanning salons and my suspicion that they may just be money laundries. Money laundries the way a car wash is a money laundry in the television series, Breaking Bad.
The reason for my suspicion is this: there is no good reason for the existence of tanning salons, certainly not in Texas. If a person wants to darken his or her skin while doing irreparable damage to his or her health, if a person is desperate to get skin cancer, there’s a cheaper and easier way to do it: sit in the sun. There’s no need to pay someone to lay on a tanning bed.
But there must be a reason that there are so many tanning salons, right? There must be! And, yes, I think there is. They exist to launder money. Probably drug money, the same money that Walter White needs to launder in Breaking Bad. I did a bit of research to learn whether anyone else thinks tanning salons exist to launder money. Cornell University Law School seems to think beauty salons are commonly used to launder money, but no mention is made of tanning salons; that must be just an oversight. But a British blogger for an organization focused on stopping money laundering seems to agree with my take on tanning salons. And I found an example of tanning salons revealed for what they are: money laundries.
Based on my admittedly quick and dirty research, it appears that there are plenty of people who think tanning salons are not just possible, but likely fronts for laundering money. Why, then, are there so damn many of them?
I want answers. But not badly enough to delve any deeper.