Nudes in Spring
Spring weather is good news for baseball players, hikers, cyclists, gardeners and barbecue fans.
Warmer temperatures bring everyone back to their favorite pastimes. Nudists have been waiting to take off their clothes and hang out in the sun since October, when they generally end their seasons outdoors and climb back into flannel, denim and cotton.
I was in the nudists’ camp for exactly one day, during the summer of 2000. And I was on the job for the old Gazette at the time. Still, the American Association for Nude Recreation has seen fit to keep me abreast — there is no better word — of happenings in the world of no shorts, no socks, no shirts, no skirts.
The association has sent me its 2010 recruitment pitch, perhaps thinking I will once again take a walk on the wild side — without shoes — at that famous nudist camp in Massachusetts. A sequel is doubtful. Extremely doubtful.
The group said one of its biggest take-offs will be Saturday, July 10, when the second annual “Largest Skinny-Dip Across North America” will be held at 3 p.m. eastern time. There’s no set pond or pool involved; nudists are just supposed to take off their clothes and go for a swim. Last year, supposedly, 13,400 participants in over 120 locations participated in the simultaneous swim. I didn’t see a one, and that’s something I would have remembered.
The gang is also trying to win over the green crowd. The Earth Day argument goes something like this: For nudists, everyday is Earth Day — a typical electric clothes washers and dryers generates five pounds of carbon dioxide for every washer-dryer cycle. At four times a week, that’s 20 pounds of C02 a week, 80 pounds a month, 960 pounds a year. The typical nudist family uses the washer and dryer enough times to generate about half those numbers.
As for flying, and airlines charging for checked luggage, the association is pushing for “nakations.”
“This type of pleasure trip also eliminates the potential hassle of lost luggage, and there’s no investment in a vacation wardrobe!” say the nudists thinking up all these neat convincers. “Most importantly, when the clothes are shed, so are the stresses of the everyday world, including current economic woes.”
I don’t know about that. Seems a little stress comes when you’re walking around in the all-together with a bunch of people you don’t know. And I’ll bet there are relatively few spots for a “nakation.” I wouldn’t be able to hit Fenway Park, Lake George or Montreal without my polo shirts and summer shorts.
The association is nothing if not creative. The gang is trying to hitch the clothes-free way of life to the recently completed Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Olympics are supposed to celebrate the robust ways of the ancient Greeks, who performed feats of strength and skill without any gear. “The first Olympics was the earliest documented form of, you guessed it, nude recreation,” says the association. “In the ancient city of Olympia, the site of these first Olympics, the athletes always competed in the nude.”
Maybe in the summer. But Winter Olympics? Without clothing? I doubt anyone would want to ski, skate, sled or play hockey in the nude. The ice burns would be fierce.
Carolyn Hawkins, the association’s public relations contact, said naked membership is now at 213,000. And while I credit Carolyn for a clever news release, I think she’ll have to send along a few more persuasive arguments if she wants to make the number 213,001.
And maybe some pictures, too.