Sunday, October 21, 2012

      Just Me, the Naked People, and the Band

     He was waiting for me at the front gate wearing only sneakers, a major tan, and a smile.
     He was expecting me. I had called a day earlier asking to visit. It's amazing - and fairly awful - what a columnist will do when deadline looms and ideas tarry.
     In desperation I had called the head naked person at a nearby nudist colony. He graciously invited me to drop by, clothing optional. I parked my car and walked with him down a path through a wooded area to a central recreation pavilion. People played volleyball (what is it with nudists and volleyball anyway?) Or they strolled around, or just sat and chatted and listened to the music.
     I had expected full nudal frontity, as Archie Bunker called it. But I had not expected a Mariachi Band.
     They wore traditional Mexican strolling band uniforms with big round hats. They played and sang traditional Mexican strolling band songs, trying not to stare and constantly upping the noise level as they attempted to appear nonchalant, as though they could cover their audience with a cacophony of Aie, yie, yie, yies.
     I wondered if they were expecting tips, since I couldn't see any change on anybody or even any pockets to keep it in.
     I wore shorts, sneakers and a sleeveless blouse. It was the best I could do to fit in with the crowd. I carried my usual big purse and clutched it over the front of me as if to cover the parts expected to be unclothed in this neck of the woods.
     It was my first visit to a nudist hangout (OK that was tacky) but I had seen photos. It would seem that the people anxious to bare all would have beautiful bodies to show off. Nonononono...... Many of them were average and some were really big tan blobs of fat.
     Why? I wanted to ask. Why would you let people see that unless they were medical personnel brandishing bottles of calamine lotion and you had recently stumbled into a bed of poison oak?
     They always swear they aren't exhibitionists and it's really all about the personal freedom that nakedness allows.  Nudity is the great leveler, they explained. You don't have to worry that someone will think your suit is not Adolfo if you aren't wearing one. I couldn't quite believe them. With no disguise, that old "mine's bigger" thing comes sharply into play.
     I do know that the head naked person was a fine specimen of a male, though of course I didn't look.
     There was nothing naughty going on. It was like any social occasion out in the woods with a Mariachi Band, a reporter and thirty or forty naked people. Just a typical Saturday afternoon.
     At last the Mariarchis trooped up the path to the front gate and I followed close behind. It wasn't that I didn't want to be the only one wearing knickers in the place, but I had a deadline as you recall.
     I had not informed my editors of my plan and they were surprised and a little wary of the ensuing column. They accused me of lying about my clothing optional choice. They questioned the  placement of such a column in a family-oriented newspaper. Just ask the head naked person about my attire, I shot back. And I had adhered to the core of good journalism, after all.
     I just wrote the naked truth, and the band played on.

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