Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Naked Time

I am a big fan of clothes.

That’s not to say that I enjoy shopping for them or have any inkling of fashion sense, but rather that I staunchly advocate wearing clothing as frequently as possible.

That old stage fright technique of picturing the audience naked has always struck me as horrifyingly bad advice. If you already have a large crowd of potentially intimidating strangers, how could a dose of nudity possibly make anyone involved more comfortable?

The most unsettling thing about the underclothed is the way they tend to crop up unexpectedly, just when I’m feeling safe. One reason I’m fond of winter, along with the increase in available baked goods, is the drastically reduced chance of sudden exposure to Speedos.

Admittedly, I knowingly set myself up for an above-average risk of surprise naked people by belonging to a gym with locker rooms. Then again, this is not the YMCA. The showers all have individual stalls, and there’s a row of little curtained cubbies for changing clothes.

That’s why I was so startled to walk into the room one day and discover a woman lounging against the wall, carrying on a phone conversation while very, very naked.

I suppose conversations like this are the reason that video phones still aren’t very popular. I couldn’t help wondering if the other party knew where this woman was, and I felt a strong urge to help clarify the situation.

What struck me was the mundane nature of her conversation. I’m pretty sure it could have waited, at least for underwear. In the hierarchy of phone call importance, some admittedly rank above clothing, but not the majority. However, perhaps this poor woman does not have an internal gauge for nudity-appropriate conversations. If that’s true, she can use this helpful chart:

For any of you in the UK please substitute “trousers” where appropriate—or don’t, since that kind of pants are also pretty vital to success in the wider world.

Extra Credit: Variations on a theme, old, medium, and new.


  1. Reminds me of the Friends episode when Joey has his new apartment. He proudly shows off his wall-mounted phone next to the toilet. Monica says, "Joey, promise to NEVER call me from THAT phone."

  2. We have no curtained cubicles at my athletic club. Some of the older men would not fit in them anyway. No one phones, but some of them stand naked before the sinks shaving.
    I practice selective viewing.