Monday, August 27, 2012

Naked As A Jaybird

The Soviet Premier Khrushchev famously declared in 1956 that the USSR would bury American Imperialism. "We will bury you!"

Actually he said, "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will dig your grave."

The Western press preferred the more threatening 'we will bury you'.

President Kennedy was upset by the USSR thinking America was soft and JFK called the American people to improve their health and fitness. His primary challenge was the 50-mile hike, which Teddy Roosevelt had challenged the Marines to accomplish the feat in 20 hours. In February 1963 JFK and his brother walked the distance in the winter. It was a cold and snowy day. Bobby was wearing leather oxfords. He must have been miserable.

The fifty-mile hike became a national fad by spring and that summer at Boy Scout camp in New Hampshire my older brother and I joined a troop of hikers on a 100 mile hike through the forests of the White Mountains. Our scout leaders drove the phalanx of 12-13 year-olds in 20-mile stages every day. We ran out of food on the second day and pillaged a nearby cornfield for dinner. The farmer caught us red-handed and had us pay for the corn. My brother and I gave him fifty cents. The next morning we woke without breakfast and we set out on a tortuous trudge surrounded by miles of chopped tress. The relentless sun beat us with a solar whip and the leaders promised us a good meal at the end of the trail.

"At Big Man Pond." They said that the crystal-clear lake was 30 miles across from shore to shore.

"Food and water." Hot dogs and hamburgers were cooking on a BBQ with ice cream sodas to chase them down.

We tramped with the first word for the right foot and water for our left.

'Food and water' built a mirage of Big Man Pond and hastened our weary legs.

The reality came as a shock.

Big Man Pond was barely 300 feet in length. One of the boys from South Boston threw a rock across it. There was no food. We groused about the failings of our superiors. The troop leader yelled at us.
,p>"Stop your complaining, This pond is spring-fed. That's our water. The food will be here later. We've marched 60 miles in 3 days. Everyone strip off your clothes."

"Naked?" None of us obeyed his order.

"It's time for a swim. You've earned it.

He led the way and was buck-naked with seconds. We joined him without protest. Boys are age were good at following orders when we were hungry.

"Everyone in formation. Now one quick jog around the pond and then in the water."

We followed the troop leader. Our penises bounced up and down. At the starting point he stopped and pointed to the pond.

"Into the water."

We were robots to his command.

That was the first time that I went skinny-dipping, but not the last.

Since that day I have swum naked on Cape Cod, at Watchic Pond, the Quincy Quarries, Riis Park in New York, Black Beach in San Diego, and Goa in India. I enjoy the kiss of the four elements on my flesh, however most Americans condemn a naked body as a threat to morality whether in a movie, on stage, or swimming at a beach, but especially in the Sea of Galilee as evninced by the GOP Congressional leader excoriated a Kansas congressman for swimming au natural where their savior walked on the water 2000 year ago. The naked plunge took place last year, but Willard Romney and his running mate joined in the pillorization and a few Democrats chucked a few stones for good measure. Personally I applaud the representative's free-style. It sounds like it was fun, as was Prince Harry's evening of fun and games in Las Vegas, until someone took photos of his naked frolics with a beautiful girl and posted them on the internet. A complete wanker and Rupert Murdoch's The Sun published the pictures for their readership. Naked women, Las Vegas, strip billiards. The news of the day, but no one is taking any naked photos of me. Not even myself, for these days I no longer look at my reflection in the mirror. My shadow perhaps, but never my reflection. But I still like being naked. It's a natural thing. ps the expression 'nekkid as a jaybird' supposedly comes from the bird's private being covered by down instead of feathers

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