Tuesday, August 21, 2007


by Lois Greiman

Let’s talk about being naked. Or streaking…

You remember streaking. At least, if you were around during the ‘60s and ‘70s you do. Maybe you heard of someone dashing naked through a super market grand opening. Or, perhaps, if you were a rebel, you even paid someone to zip through your high school commencement ceremony.

Remember the scandal? The excitement? ‘Oh my gosh, someone’s NAKED.’

And isn’t that strange? I mean, nudity is, after all, our natural state. Nevertheless, people get really worked up about it. In fact, I’m told it’s one of our most common nightmares. What’s that all about? Makes you wonder huh?

So I’m asking you (as I’ve asked innumerable other people--it’s one of my favorite parlor questions) what would it take to convince you to run naked across, say, the parking lot of your local shopping mall. Okay, I know, you’re going to say, ‘there’s no way I would do that. Not for love or money.’

But really? Seriously? Let’s just think about this. What if there were a million dollars at stake. You could buy pretty much any property your little heart desired for that kind of cash. Or…what if I were standing here offering you, say, a hundred grand for a few minutes of public nudity? What then? A hundred thousand’s a lot of money. It could probably pay off the mortgage, cover any foolish credit card debt you’ve incurred, and maybe still give you a little walking-around money. Then again, to me, five thousand’s practically a fortune. Would you do it for five thousand actual, in-your-hand dollars?

What if the location changed? What if you could be assured no one would recognize you? What if you could wear a ski mask? I asked my horseshoer that question--granted--strange question--but I spend a lot of boring hours with my horseshoer. Anyway, he said if he could have a mask he wouldn’t be wearing it on his head. He also said that, years ago, he would have done it for a six pack and a ten dollar bill. But he couldn’t run as fast anymore.

So, what about you? If you could cover your face, would you do it? Would you have done it ten/twenty years ago but not today? Would it be preferable to be seen naked by people you know or by people you don’t? Would family be better or worse? Maybe if your loved ones got a cut of the cash, they’d be willing to keep the car running while you careen through the parking lot in your birthday suit. Or would you be in danger of being disowned? On the other hand, maybe they wouldn’t have to disown you--maybe you’d drop dead of embarrassment before you ever saw them again.

How bad would it be? I mean really, we just wear clothes because everyone else does, don’t we? Or is it the fear of sticking to vinyl that keeps the garment industry hustling?


Betina Krahn said...

In my twenties --when there was a craze for streaking-- I would never have shed clothes for money. But I think my principles must have have sagged along with everything else. If someone had $100,000 cold hard cash in hand, I'd probably take a turn through the mall parking lot sans clothing.

I mean, sheesh, we've all got the same equipment. Mine just as a few more miles on it.

And as to why we wear clothes, I think it has more to do with status and transforming our shapes into acceptable modes. Also. . . that not sticking to vinyl stuff is important, especially down here in FL-land. These days, I wear clothes for protection as much as anything. . . from the sun and from spatters when I'm frying bacon.

lois greiman said...

Bacon, yeah, good point.

But do you think a time will come when we no longer wear clothes? When they'll seem passe and silly?

flip said...

Sadly, I haven't an ounce of modesty. The thing keeping my cloths on is my vanity. The old grey mare isn't what she used to be. Plus, people's senses of humor are lacking these days. They taser a streaker at the Jackson Wy fairgrounds. Tell me what would be more traumatic for a child, seeing someone's skinny naked butt or seeing someone shot with a bolt of electricity.

Helen Brenna said...

Sorry to disappoint, Lois, but I'm afraid clothing is here to stay. No matter how little of it the teenaged girls seem to wear, it's still there!

When I was younger, I might have streaked, given the right mixture of cocktails, for nothing, sans mask.

These days, a mask (yes, over the head) and, oh, anything over $50,000 cash would probably do the trick. I'd be more worried about getting caught than anyone I know seeing me. LOL

Lois, you buying?

lois greiman said...

Flip, you made me laugh. Good point, people sometimes fail to see the humor.

As for me, Helen, $100,000 would buy a lot of horse feed. Then again, so would $5000 :) Still, can you imagine how nerve-wracking it would be?

Tasered? That's just mean-spirited.

Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Promise me 100K and that I won't be arrested and my chubby butt is zooming around that parking lot. :) I don't know those people. They don't pay my mortgage. And my husband is an excellent driver and has seen me naked. If I gave my sister a cut of the money she'd be holding the door open and we'd never speak of this again. (g)

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, yeah. I could do it for money. I'm a lot less modest than I used to be.

The person wearing a mask/bag over his head would definely have to be Son 2, though. We were talking about this year's Parent Shadow Day at his school and he looked horrified. "You definitely wouldn't wear =that= would you?" he asked.

They were yoga pants and a T-shirt! I told him that no, I had a beautiful thong bikini I was saving for the occasion.

Very young teens are very judgemental.

lois greiman said...

LOL I like you guys. But Deb, I'm really not sure my husband would be willing to let me do this even for a share of the cash.

And Christie, I think all teens are judgemental.And still so modest...at least if my daughter is any indication. Noooooooo idea where she got it from.

Candace said...

If I could wear a mask and be guaran-damned-teed no one would recognize me, I'd do it for $100,000. Maybe even without a mask...

No, not without a mask. I'd be too afraid someone I work with or might work with would see me. And how could they ever take me seriously again if they saw me naked? Running. With all the jiggly bits jiggling. It would blow my image as a calm, rational professional all to hell.

Now, for a million dollars, well...I wouldn't ever have to work with anyone who might see me, would I?

As for clothes staying around...I think they'll be here forever. Although we need them, as Betina said, to protect against sunburn and sizzling bacon grease, I think we wear them more to proclaim who we are...to show we belong to a particular group...to show others that we're smart or sexy or rich...or just to assert our individuality. Naked doesn't give anyone any clues about who we are.

MsHellion said...

In my 20s, I wouldn't have done it for love or money, but now I've taken to sleeping naked (TMI, I'm sure), but the thing is, the more time I spend naked, the more I like it and the more glimpses I catch in the mirror, the more I realize I'm not cracking them at every turn.

So for a million dollars...sure, I'd streak naked, somewhere--probably not through my church--but somewhere. Not sure if I'd do it for $100,000 though...it wouldn't buy me a house like the million would...and if I was going to do that, I'd want to buy a house I could roam around naked in....