Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/7/2018 (390 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What with the mini-heat wave we have been basking in this month, it seems like the perfect time to sit in the shade with a cold glass of lemonade and enjoy another instalment of a semi-recurring feature we like to call Naked People in the News.
Despite having no visible means of support, we expect this revealing feature to win several major journalism awards because science has proven that the more times you type the word NAKED in big, block letters, the more internet hits you will get from bored office workers and the more respect you will earn from editors who desperately want newspaper columns to go viral.
Our first NAKED newsmaker is a mysterious individual in New Zealand whose unclad, by which I mean NAKED, antics appeared in a news report under this compelling headline: Cock-a-doodle-who? Naked rooster-chucker still at large.
This report in the Otago Daily News — "If it’s naked, we’ll cover it!" — stated that a NAKED man who threw a live rooster into a health science lecture theatre at the University of Otago earlier this month remains at large.
"Campus Watch staff were notified immediately and came and put the rooster in a box," a university spokesman crowed. "A staff member found a safe home for the rooster later that day."
Whew! What a relief! I’m guessing the main concern for most of us, when reading a story of such NAKED savagery, is whether the rooster involved was placed in a safe, welcoming environment. After all, being thrown into a university lecture for which you are unprepared can be extremely stressful.
We promise to update you on the results of the manhunt for the NAKED rooster-tosser unless we forget, but now we need to move on to our next NAKED newsmaker, a 63-year-old landlord in Wheatley, Ont., who is facing charges for breaking into an apartment and sitting on the couch.
Yes, as most of you have already deduced, the landlord was sitting on the couch NAKED when the tenants returned home and found their door had been taken off its hinges. The landlord was arrested and we hope and pray the couch involved in this incident was protected by those old-school vinyl coverings.
As much as we’d like to spend time fretting over the NAKED landlord, we have to expend our mental energy on two other men who received maximum exposure in the world’s news media for visiting famous franchises and engaging in pants-free activities.
For starters, we need to talk about the NAKED man who police found doing jumping jacks in the women’s bathroom at a McDonald’s outlet in Nashville, Tenn.
According to a patrolman who responded to the call, the inappropriate exerciser "was indeed naked" and was "erratic and doing jumping jacks and hitting the wall."
The guy is, of course, facing a variety of charges, but how do you not give some credit to anyone who is willing to squeeze in a workout before ordering a calorie-intensive Big Mac? Sadly, the fast-food chain’s managers clearly weren’t loving it.
(Here’s a genius idea for a new diet plan: eat all your meals at McDonald’s in the company of NAKED people, because that will definitely kill your appetite.)
Anyway, a far more appropriate place to do your jumping jacks would be a Planet Fitness gym, such as the one in New Hampshire where a 34-year-old man was charged after taking off his clothes at the front desk and exercising NAKED.
"When officers arrived, they found him there, completely nude: on his knees in a yoga-type position," police Capt. Brett Morgan told the Boston Globe. "He walked into the gym, stripped down at the door, then proceeded to walk back and forth a couple of times before settling in on the yoga mats.
"The only statement that he made was that he thought it was a ‘judgment-free zone’ — apparently referencing the chain’s slogan."
What with being an overweight newspaper columnist, I certainly am not going to pass judgment on anyone who is willing to drag their butt — even without pants — to a gym. My only hope is that the NAKED yoga master was not practising the downward dog at the time of his arrest.
Sadly, we are almost out of space for today, which means I can only squeeze in one more NAKED item — namely an NBC News report about the hottest new trend in the travel industry, the "nakation," which, as you have already deduced, is a NAKED vacation.
According to NBC, there are big bucks to be made by offering travellers an opportunity to engage in recreational activities without the benefit of clothing. Several big-shot psychologists told the network that vacationing in the nude gives tourists a chance to escape their humdrum lives and be judged for what they really are.
"Our clothing tells people who we are. They can make assumptions about what we do for a living, where we may live, just by observing what we are wearing," Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York City neuropsychologist, told NBC.
"If a man is in a suit and tie you’ll think he’s a corporate guy, stiff and buttoned up. Take that same guy fully naked and he’s just a human. Put him in a nudist vacation with others who are nude and he’ll feel confident and able to just be himself without the armour of clothing. When you can walk around naked in all of your truth there’s power in that for people."
As we have already said, this column is a judgment-free zone, so if you want to take a NAKED vacation, more power to you. On a personal level, I will not be joining you because there isn’t enough sunscreen in the world to protect a body that has come to resemble Jabba the Hutt on a bad day.
Still, as a crusading journalist in a rapidly changing social-media universe, I am moved to leave you with these heartfelt words: "NAKED! NAKED! NAKED!" Please, don’t thank me. I’m just doing my job.
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.