The other night while watching TV I was chilling in too-tight and too-short boxer shorts. Less than 1 percent of my body fat was covered, the rest buck naked in all its grotesque splendor. Ah, the beauty of nudity.
I sport this game uniform all summer long and for all other seasons while lounging in my crib living life to its grandest free of all worries.
Blame or credit this nudish behavior on my region (not my man region) if you don’t approve. The South is the culprit where most days it’s more scalding than a microwave oven nuking Hot Tamales.
In the South, I need to feel cool and unencumbered like those ancient Roman sculpted guys who stood around nude all the time with bulging biceps and flowers decorating their man regions, destined for history museums across Western Europe.
The South breeds nudity. Didn’t Scarlet O’Hara have to become nude at least one night with Rhett Butler in the Southern cinematic classic “Gone With the Wind?” Wasn’t Rhett nude in the wind that night?
Years ago in the South, I streaked quite often at the university where I matriculated. I didn’t get course credits for it. But we do things sometimes for other reasons besides upward mobility.
Maybe streaking wouldn’t have happened so much if I went to one of those frigid institutions such as the University of Maine at Bangor. But it did – and I think the weather played a part in my streaking decisions. Not an excuse, just a reflection.
Now several decades later I try to get as nude as possible as often as socially appropriate without being a nuisance and drawing attention to myself and causing a community stir and having newspaper reporters interview me for lifestyle articles that get me fired and kicked out of the house.
But nudity can get complicated. It drives wedges between friends. A college friend of mine has a wife who’s an artist. Years ago she invited male models over to paint pictures of them sitting in the nude.
My friends said they didn’t invite me because they figured I would be too into it, disrupt the afternoon festivities, and not be mature enough to understand this was about art not me flaunting my nakedness. Friends stripped me of my deepest passion. Nudity fractured our relationship.
But that was in D.C., a colder place weather-wise and interpersonally than in the South where cordiality is more in vogue and relaxation more the day-to-day vibration.
I truly believe the South lends itself better to taking off your clothes and feeling at ease with yourself, shedding hang-ups, and letting things flow as they are without everybody getting all catatonic.
The thing about nudity in the South and elsewhere is that people don’t talk about this natural behavior much which is surprising for something that so many people do so often. Hell, babies get nude all the time and walk around and there must a tens of millions of babies at any given time.
My friend (let’s call him Sonny) says he sleeps in the nude every night. I bet 35 percent of the guys reading this sleep nude at least once in a while and three of them are Ripley, Rudy, and Head. You too, DJ, probably more often than all of us combined.
Which brings this all back to my family tree: My father-in-law’s name was Jude. “My name’s Jude,” he’d say every time he met someone. “It rhymes with nude.”
If my distinguished father-in-law could talk about nudity at cocktail parties and work and everywhere else, then I could be nude wherever I wanted to be whenever I wanted and blog about it to my legions of loyal followers without any unfavorable consequences.
Nudity is an icebreaker, takes us back to ancient times, connects us with Adam and Eve, original sin, and how we all came to be. Without nudity, there would be no life.
Speaking of no life, I need to be rude. I’m in the mood to get nude and eat food.