Turning the Other Cheek

It was a spectacularly spectacular weekend in Ottawa. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the temperatures hovered around the mid-20s (mid 70s F). This all required an abrupt change in almost every aspect of our lives. From last week, when we were in the sub-zeros bundled up in our winter gear, firmly ensconced indoors, to digging out our skimpier clothing, stripping down and spending as much time as possible outdoors doing summer stuff.

This rapid, headlong plunge into summer was a little frightening. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but strange things happen to the human body over several months of being swaddled in wool and down. For one thing, it becomes very pale and pasty-looking. Human bodies also tend to soften significantly and expand exponentially when not exposed to air on a regular basis. Let’s call this the Bread Dough Effect (BDE).

This was evident over the weekend when all and sundry squeezed into their shorts and tank tops and jiggled and wobbled their pallid, razor-burned selves around town and sprawled themselves across parks, beaches and patios all over the city.

Nature did not intend for us to see ourselves and especially not others in this globulesque state. We’re supposed to slowly shed our winter layers, exposing first the forearms, then maybe the lower legs. When we’ve grown accustomed to seeing those out in public, the temperatures rise just enough to perhaps reveal a bit of the upper arm – not enough to get the Full Bingo-Arm Monty – just enough to realize some work needs to be done before that happens.

Anyway, by the time the end of June or early July rolls around, many of us have used the transitional spring months to whip ourselves into some sort of presentable shape; we’ve acquired a bit of colour; and, we’ve become more or less desensitized to the sight of naked human flesh en masse.

That ain’t gonna happen this year by the looks of things. I’m sure young children and the elderly are going to suffer some sort of post-traumatic stress down the road from the shock of this sudden, in-your-face disrobing. We need to prepare. Have counselors standing by; organize treatment centers and such. And we need to find ways to prevent this from ever happening again.

Those less vulnerable should start some contingency planning for the future as global warming makes for ever more erratic weather patterns.  To being with, we all obviously need to spend a great deal more time naked, or at least semi-naked) in public to minimize BDE.

Being naked in public will, at the very least, prod us into sucking in our guts more often, thereby keeping our abdominal muscles more toned. At best, it will allow us to watch our weight (literally) instead of hiding it away under layers of clothes and ignoring it for months only to be surprised by it when we can’t do up our shorts.

We’ll also eat less if we’re  naked more as we become aware of the unsightliness of our bodies bloated with too much dinner. Not to mention the appetite-suppressing qualities of eating with a bunch of naked people.

And finally, being naked a lot will keep us active. Sitting around naked or standing still naked will give people too much time to notice all our flaws. As long as we keep moving, we’ll just present a fleshy blur to the public eye and this is generally a good thing. Remember the streaking fad of the 1970s? Streakers didn’t lounge around in front of the TV or hang around eating donuts at Tim Hortons. No! They ran. Because that’s what you do when you’re naked in public — run. It’s a natural instinct. 

In summary, get naked and get fit.

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10 responses to “Turning the Other Cheek

  1. Evidence to the contrary on any nude beach that I’ve been to. Sorry.
    But I like the idea!

  2. Nakedness would sure cure some of the BDE. Have you considered running for Mayor? I was so distracted by the gnarly disgusting feet I saw this weekend I took less notice of the pasty/bloated/razor/burned skin. Is it that hard to trim toenails and use lotion…maybe a pumice? Geesh.

  3. @Lebowski: I have seen some pretty unappealing bodies on nude beaches.

    I was actually surprised at the number of people who couldn’t quite bring themselves to shed a few layers of clothing – as if they didn’t believe it was actually as warm as the thermometer, or the hot sun, indicated. They seemed… a little lost and confused.

  4. Lebowski – I’ve got a good theory going here. We don’t want to dilute it with any contradictory evidence, do we? Work with me.

    Jazz – It might be a bit scary at first, but then so was long hair on men and bell-bottoms. We all got used to them eventually, didn’t we?

    MM – Feet are not people’s best features, in my opinion. Very few people actually have attractive feet and really horrible stuff happens to feet – mutations, lumps, thick nasty skin, misshapen toes and toe nails. I could go on, but I just had lunch.

    Violetsky – YES! That was weird. There were still people in winter coats. It was all too bizarre and unexpected, I think. Even I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house without a light sweater – “just in case”.

    Dr. Monkey – Hmmmm. Okaaaay.

    Glen – I see. Yes, a good hypothesis. That way they never have to undress beyond maybe short sleeves.

  5. Hey don’t get me wrong – I’m all for public nudity. Especially at weddings. Then there’s no mystery who the “best man” is.
    I am certain that I would be much more svelte if I wasn’t able to hide it under a couple of layers of clothing 🙂

  6. Weird timing because I went out in shorts today for the first time this year. It felt weird at first, but when I looked in the mirror and saw the legs that I had baked for 5 days in a row, I knew I was going to be okay. As far as everyone being nude? I think I’d be more concerned about germs and those little purel bottles only go so far. And where would you put your stuff? The best part about clothes is the pockets.