July 26, 1998
No nudes is good nudes.
At least that's what most Canadians seem to
think for ten months of the year.
Forget for a minute our basically prudish
nature. Canada is not a country built for nudism.
For three of our four seasons (also known as Cold,
Freezing, and You Have to Be Kidding) any visible
skin turns blue and immediately falls off.
If you're lucky, it's just a finger.
Not exactly something that gets you ready for a
I have just two words for you - Jack Frost. And
you thought it was bad getting your tongue stuck to
a metal pole.
When I'm scarping the freezing rain off my
windshield for the fourth time in a single day, I
for one am not thinking: "Boy, I'd love to strip
off this parka and run around as God intended."
If I did, I'm sure I'd be introduced to God in a
Likewise, nudist frolics are the furthest from
most couple's minds first thing on a winter's
morning. You usually spend the first twenty
minutes of the day arguing who's going to get out
of bed to turn on the furnace.
Just like there are no atheists in foxholes,
there are even fewer nudists in Canada.
That's in spite of the fact it's legal to go
topless in Ontario thanks to a judge who didn't
believe women's chests were any different than
It kind of makes you wonder who the judge hung
Nonetheless, every year intrepid journalists
seek out the handful of elusive Canadian nudists
for a story.
And every year they come back with TV
interviews, carefully filmed with strategically
placed picnic baskets and beach balls.
At least, I hope they're beach balls. If not
they should be seeing a doctor. Quickly.
Looking at our home-grown nudists, I always
think the same thing: Why do they always look like
There's never one who looks like Liv Tyler (or
George Clooney for the ladies).
They bear more resemblance to Ma and Pa Kettle.
Or those saviors of the Federal Conservative Party,
the pot-smoking leadership hopefuls, the Rev.
Brothers Baldasaro and Tucker.
I know nudism is about being comfortable with
your body and not about looks.
I just wish they wouldn't go out of their way to
No doubt I'll get letters from nudists (an awful
thought - where do they keep their pens?) saying
don't knock it if you haven't tried it.
O, ye of little faith. You doubt your humble
Let me tell you about the summer of '78. I was
18 and backpacking in Greece. In my physical
I went to a nude beach and sat in my bathing
suit among a United Nations of nakedness.
As one of the few people in a bathing suit, I
found people were staring at me.
After a short while, I got tired of being looked
at as an outsider, and finally got the courage to
peel it off.
And what happened? Absolutely nothing. Not a
single person stared at me.
I was never so insulted in my life.