Flip and Flop Meet The O'Melans (A Lesson in Suntans and Sunscreens)

Flip and Flop Meet the O’Melans


A Lesson About Suntans and Sunscreens


Written By Karen Lackey


Published at Shakespir

Copyright 2016 Karen Lackey


Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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A Quick Preview



Friends Flip and Flop go to Sandalwood High

They met one day during a hot July.


A field trip today to a place far away

They hurry to school they mustn’t delay.


With school friends nearby they fly through the sky

The place where they land is hot and dry.


A jolly round man greets the class

He is wearing a badge made of glass.


His name is O’Melan and their tour guide

His family works hard he proudly confides.


“Our town is protected with thick purple walls

Let us go inside and walk the halls.”


They go inside; his family is found

His family is busy with pails all around.



O’Melan’s family makes large purple pails

That hang on the walls with long strong nails.


Clear stinky ink is caught in the pails

Without the pails the town could fail.


The clear stinky ink could damage the town

It will flood the streets and shut them down.

The pale purple wall that surrounds the town

Keeps everyone inside safe and sound.


The clear stinky ink comes from creatures nearby

It’s a game they play and we don’t know why.


The Ultra V Family is their strange name

They use two sprayers while playing their games.


Sprayer A is long and so is its spray

Deep in our wall the ink does it stray.


Sprayer B is short and so is its spray

To the surface it goes and there it stays.


So the clear stinky ink is collected in pails

Then they’re hung on the wall with long strong nails.


When the pails are full and filled to the top

We make more pails ‘till we are told to stop.


Each added pail will darken the wall

They are nailed on tight so none will fall.


The O’Melans work as fast as they can

But making so many wasn’t the plan.


The ink coming in must now be stopped

The pails pile up in their large workshop.


The town officials know what to do

To protect the wall they need special goo.


The goo will stop the ink coming in

So less pails are needed he says with a grin.


The officials paint the wall with the goo

Less pails are needed when they are through.


The goo sticks tightly to the outside walls

When the ink hits the wall it quickly falls.


The ink will fall down and fade away

The walls will be safe but just for a day.


So the goo is applied now every day

To keep the creatures ink away.


The official goo protects the walls

Less pails that are made is best for all.


‘cause too many pails mean damage was done

And long term problems may have just begun.


If damage is done to the thick purple walls

Over time the wall could possibly fall.


The goal is to keep few pails on the wall

The number of pails should be quite small.

The ink was stopped by the sticky goo

The goo helps the wall look shiny and new.

Now the O’Melans can sit and rest

They say good-bye to their Sandalwood guests.


The tour is over its time to go

They fly home fast in a single row.



Summary of the Story


The town’s people, homes and businesses are protected by a purple wall.

Our body’s internal organs are protected by our skin.


The O’Melan family makes pails to collect the ink from Sprayer A and Sprayer B.

Cells (melanocytes) in the skin make melanin that absorbs the ultraviolet rays from the sun.



The O’Melan Family increases pail productions to collect the increasing amount of ink from Sprayer A and Sprayer B. More pails create a darker color wall.

Cells in the body increases melanin production to absorb an increased exposure to ultraviolet rays. The skin darkens due to the increase in melanin.



The Ultra V Family has two sprayers, Sprayer A and Sprayer B.

Sprayer A sprays farther and deep in to the wall.

Sprayer B sprays a shorter distance and the spray stays near the surface.


There are two main types of UV light (ultraviolet light) that penetrates our skin.

UVA goes deeper into the skin. The ray is steady all day long.

UVB does not go far in to the skin. It is strongest between 10a.m. and 4p.m.



The goo applied to the wall blocks most of the sprayer’s ink from going into the wall.

Sunscreen helps stop the ultraviolet light from penetrating the skin.

Broad Spectrum sunscreens work against both UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Pediatrics has special recommendations for infants under 6 months old. Please refer to their website.




Note to parents

The illustrations in this book are very simplistic and not intended to give medical advice or a diagnosis. The exact mechanism of how the skin protects the body from ultraviolet light is complex. This book gives a general idea of what is happening and is just a way to help explain a very complex procedure.


For more precise and in depth understanding of your skin and sun screens consult your health care professional or check out resources online or at your local library.


Upcoming Book Topics

Influenza (flu)



Other topics by this Author

Type I Diabetes

Ear Infection




About the author


Karen is a healthcare professional that currently works in the pharmaceutical industry. She graduated from Purdue University.


Connect with Karen at her website and twitter




Flip and Flop Meet The O'Melans (A Lesson in Suntans and Sunscreens)

This story gives a non-scientific overview about suntans and sunscreens by paralleling the process in a make believe story. This story is about two friends, Flip and Flop, who go on a school field trip. They fly to a distance place and meet the O’Melan Family. The O’Melan Family lives in their town’s wall. This wall surrounds the town and protects the town from outside invaders. Their job is to make purple pails. Living just outside their town is the Ultra V Family. The Ultra V Family plays games with two sprayers and sprays stinky ink on the O’Melans town wall. The ink penetrates the wall. Over time the wall will break down and the stinky ink will get into their town and ruin the town. So to prevent damage to the wall the O’Melans make pails to catch the ink. Pail making is hard work. So the town officials create a Special Goo to coat the walls.

  • Author: Karen Lackey
  • Published: 2016-02-01 02:50:10
  • Words: 991
Flip and Flop Meet The O'Melans  (A Lesson in Suntans and Sunscreens) Flip and Flop Meet The O'Melans  (A Lesson in Suntans and Sunscreens)