Given that Doff de Chonez was unaccustomed to strenuous exercise of the kind that includes the vigorous pedaling of a bicycle, and given that said exercise was doubled by the fact that Bare Glider’s tires were only about half inflated, our hero was exhausted by the time he had traveled the three miles to the old brick home, a quaint bed-and-breakfast on the outskirts of town, which he reached just as the sun was setting. Leaving his helmet hanging from the handlebars, he parked Bare Glider in front of the house. There did not seem to be anyone around. “Why,” Doff de Chonez asked himself, “is there no smiling nudist at the door to meet me, and to assure me that I have found the correct location?”
He strode slowly but deliberately up the front steps to the porch. With a light touch, the front door opened easily, and it rang a small bell as it swung. Doff de Chonez stepped into the vestibule, and soon heard a woman’s voice calling from another room.
“Good evening! I’ll be with you in just a moment!”
“Ah, a fellow nudist!” thought Doff de Chonez, taking heart. But as he moved into the sitting room, assessing its appearance, he began to ask himself, “Why are there no courtesy towels for sitting upon this delicate furniture? Where is the information about the Clothing Optional Home Network, and where are the AANR and TNS brochures? Why do the paintings on the wall depict such heavily dressed subjects?”
At the sound of footsteps, Doff de Chonez turned toward the hall, just in time to see a woman coming around the corner of the sitting room. As to the matter of who shrieked first, or who shrieked louder, there is intense debate among historians, although all sources agree that it was a most awkward encounter.
“Why art thou dressed?” asked Doff de Chonez, after he recovered from his shock.
“I… what… who…,” stammered the woman, shielding her eyes, “what are you doing here?”
“Why, I am seeking lodging, of course. Thy hostel was recommended to me, by a most helpful fellow citizen, as being appropriate for a nudist such as I, although I must say that I am surprised by the lack of nudist literature here in thy reception area.”
“But…” interjected the woman, “you’re nuts! This is not a nudist establishment. There must have been some misunderstanding. Please leave the premises or I’ll call…”
“Beth,” interrupted another woman, who had appeared on the other side of a counter at the far end of the sitting room, “may I speak with you here in the kitchen for just a moment?”
The woman who had been thus summoned harrumphed loudly and returned back down the hall, and from the counter her partner excused them both, begging the patience of our nudist-errant. As he waited, patiently meditating upon the virtue of naked honesty, he could not help but overhear fragments of the conversation between the two women in the kitchen, including the words “underbooked,” “open-minded” and the phrase, “she won’t notice.”
Presently the two women appeared together behind the counter, enthusiastically extolling the comforts of their establishment, and inquiring if the gentleman would be staying more than one evening, and most pressingly, given that he did not appear to have much about his person, how would he be wishing to pay.
“Kind women,” Doff de Chonez began, “I am pleased to consider thy generous offer to stay more than one evening, and truly I regard such unfettered kindness as one of the most exemplary of human qualities, although I must insist, because it behooves me to inquire, once again, as to why, if this be a nudist place of lodging, as ye are now leading me to believe, are ye not then nude yourselves?”
The women looked at each other for a long moment. The woman named Beth coughed and muttered something about hygiene. The second woman, somewhat more knowledgeable regarding trends in the hospitality industry, addressed Doff de Chonez, saying, “Surely a nudist such as yourself has heard of clothing-optional? It’s very much in fashion these days.”
“I know very little of… fashion,” replied Doff de Chonez, “but yes, I have indeed heard of clothing-optional. After all, it is the name ye have given your network of hostels, is it not? But surely, if ye work here, or if ye are, perhaps, the owners, then ye must be more comfortable without your heavy vestments?”
The women, both wearing light cotton sundresses, since it was, as we have established prior, July in central California, were unable to keep several chuckles from escaping their mouths.
|One of the fine homes featured at Clothing Optional Home Network|
“Furthermore,” added our hero, “what I know is that clothing-optional is not at all as preferable, especially for an establishment such as this lovely home of yours, as requiring nudity outright. But, surely ye know this, because nudists, ah…. such as yourselves… are aware that the eminent naturist and resort-owner Stéphane Deschênes has explicated this misconception on numerous occasions.”
Our hero’s intense focus was met with blank stares.
Doff de Chonez cleared his throat. “I hope,” he continued, “that I am not mistaken about the category of your fine hostel, but if I have indeed arrived here in error, then I will beg your forgiveness, and take my leave, and proceed along my way, for I am in search of a fine nudist establishment of the highest quality, where I can arrange to have myself dubbed a card-carrying nudist.”
Once again, the second woman solicited Doff de Chonez’s patience while she and Beth excused themselves and disappeared around the corner of the kitchen. As our hero patiently meditated upon the virtue of nude tolerance, he could not avoid overhearing the following words and phrases from their exchange: “low season,” “high bills,” and “just do it.” These were followed by the sound of ruffling cloth.
Presently, Beth walked out to the counter, naked, with her arms folded across her chest, and stood as close as possible to the desk ledge on her side of the counter, presumably with the intent of hiding all of herself below the waist. Looking straight into our hero’s eyes, she said, “Here at Santa B’s B&B, we are happy to honor your request.”
Doff de Chonez raised an eyebrow. “Thou meanest that thou canst dub me a nudist?”
Beth sighed, pounded the ledge, and spoke from the corner of her mouth, “Cheryl, get over here!”
There followed the sound of more ruffling cloth, and then Cheryl, for this was the name of the second woman, appeared, nude as well, and quickly matched her partner’s stance at the counter. She replied to our hero as follows, “My partner was referring to the fact that we are happy to honor your request for nude lodging. As to the matter of your drubbing, Mr…?”
“…Mr. Dubbing, we… uh… would be honored to provide that service for you for a small additional fee.”
“It is a fine surname, but it is not mine. I must inform ye that I am Doff de Chonez, nudist-errant, on a mission to correct misconceptions about nudity.”
Cheryl blinked and wrote something down, saying “Sure thing, Mr. Chonez.” There ensued a discussion of the nightly rate, the taxes to be assessed, and the options that would be available for breakfast, after which our hero returned to his bicycle, only to realize that in his haste to begin his adventure, which, though it seemed ages ago had only occurred that very morning, he had neglected to include his wallet in his appurtenances. When he returned to relay this information to his hosts, Beth stalked away from the counter, but Cheryl assured him they would work it all out in the morning and, in the meantime, they would make do with references such as he could provide. After relaying his address and that of his friend Dr. Nicholson, Doff de Chonez parked Bare Glider behind the house as indicated, and carried his few items to his room for the night where, no doubt due to his extreme fatigue, he immediately fell asleep.
No sooner had a sonorous snore escaped the flared nostrils of our hero, however, than Beth and Cheryl had procured the phone number of Dr. Nicholson, called him, and narrated to him the odd doings of Doff de Chonez. Dr. Nicholson was shocked to hear their account, and intrigued by the business about requesting to be dubbed a card-carrying nudist. He first apologized on behalf of his friend, and then inquired of the B&B owners if they had been hurt or accosted in any way by their outrageously naked guest. The owners admitted they had suffered neither wound nor abuse, only great astonishment at his out-of-place nudity and highfalutin discourse, and deep concern for his well-being… and for the payment of his room and board. Upon learning that our hero was sleeping soundly, Dr. Nicholson assured the owners that he would come collect him first thing in the morning, and pay his bill.
The owners thanked him, hung up, and sighed deeply. Only then did they perceive their continued state of undress.