Celebrating 15 Years of Naturism in the Amazon

Naturism in Brazil may not yet be a widely held philosophy, but it does at least have a well-established national federation with clubs and parks that have been around for decades, and new groups still forming. Most of these parks and groups are located in southeastern Brazil, where the majority of the population lives, and in southern Brazil, an area with many people of European heritage. Even though northern Brazil has a strong indigenous presence, with its history of native populations wearing little to no clothing, there is not much recognition of naturism in that region. The shining exception, however, is GRAUNA, a naturist group founded by my friend Jorge Bandeira fifteen years ago in Manaus, capital of Brazil’s largest state, Amazonas.

Yours truly with Jorge Bandeira at GRAUNA’s
frequent locale in Amazonas state, July 2011 

GRAUNA stands for Grupo Amazônico União Naturista, and they are a non-landed club with a regular locale for monthly gatherings a short way outside the city. Bandeira is a theater educator and activist who will occasionally plan cultural events promoting naturism in Manaus, one of Brazil’s largest cities. These events have included nude theater performances and happenings, the presentation of poetry and prose on naturism, as well as (clothed) street manifestations. Bandeira has also become a leader not just in Manaus but in Brazil in general in normalizing what naturism means, even while recognizing the irony of having to re-educate a public of considerable indigenous heritage about the benefits of being naked in nature.

Nature-Friendship-Tranquility-Union
-Respect-Equality-Simplicity-Mindfulness-Pride

In late July of this year, to celebrate the group’s fifteenth year going strong, Bandeira and other GRAUNA leaders organized events not only at their Amazon forest locale, but also in the center of Manaus, at the Casarão de Idéias cultural center not far from the city’s landmark Teatro Amazonas.

GRAUNA’s usual location for naturist gatherings,
with the INF definition of naturism in Portuguese
Casarão de Idéias, location for GRAUNA’s
15-Year Commemorative events in Manaus
Ribeiro, Bandeira and other naturists
in front of the iconic Teatro Amazonas

The broadsheet announcing the list of commemorative events, seen below, shows speakers such as Bandeira himself along with Pedro Ribeiro, who is the current president of the Brazilian Naturist Federation as well as a major defender of naturist use of Rio de Janeiro’s Abricó beach and the founder of an online source of naturist information in Portuguese, Jornal Olho Nu. Another speaker was Waldo Andrade, one of the founders of a relatively new naturist space, Ecovila da Mata in Bahia state, a community that functions with as much ecological responsibility and as little environmental impact, as possible. Other events in the impressive line-up included a photo gallery and book display, film viewings, nude theater, and the presentation of a naturist-themed cordel (popular poetry style) and naturist fanzine.

You can see in the photos below, all used by permission, some of the speakers and attendants, and several representations of the group’s logo of a nude couple with the graúna bird, a kind of blackbird native to the area whose name also forms the group’s acronym.

Current GRAUNA president Iva Santos,
founder Jorge Bandeira,
current federation president Pedro Ribeiro
In its fifteen years, GRAUNA has had many members and several presidents, and they have all helped Jorge Bandeira lead the way with his extraordinary energy and dedication to naturism. He is the inspiration for one of the characters, and some of the scenes, in my novel Aglow. I continue to look to Bandeira as a paragon of naturism, whose leadership shows clearly in the impressive organization of this commemorative programming. Congratulations, GRAUNA! Parabéns pelos quinze anos de representação naturista ativa! Here’s to many more years of naturist presence and advocacy!

Modeling the Naturist Park: Bare Oaks

A short time ago on a long road trip, my wife and younger daughter and I took an opportunity to pay a visit to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park north of Toronto, Ontario. While enjoying Niagara Falls, we had the idea to visit Bare Oaks rather spontaneously. I’ve been a listener of The Naturist Living Show podcast for years now, and so of course I knew about the park and its outspoken owner, Stéphane Deschênes, a naturist leader of international stature. So we called the park and were able to reserve the last cabin available for that very evening. During the final stretch of the journey to our destination, we were surprised and delighted to see Bare Oaks listed right alongside other area attractions on the “next exit” highway signs.

We arrived just as the office was closing – thank you, patient and friendly office staff! As first-time visitors, we watched a video about the layout and history of the park, and about the basics of naturism, and we received a folder of written materials including policy statements and maps.

Then, with our wristbands and our passcard, we drove through the gate and along the path to our cabin. The cabin is a very nice space with front porch, recycling bin, table and chairs, ceiling fan, kitchenette (refrigerator and freezer, Keurig with a selection of pods, microwave, cooking utensils), and the back area with four bunk beds (including pillows and sheets, etc.) and a window fan. The cabins do not have running water or a bathroom – for these needs, the facilities are a short walk across the way to a building with indoor and outdoor showers, indoor toilets and sinks, and two outdoor sinks for dish washing. 

The grounds are rustic and lovely, with several ponds and streams, and walkways around and through the residential and camping areas. There is a children’s playground, a miniature golf course, and a beach area along one of the ponds. Something I greatly appreciated about the park’s many green spaces is how folks will just sunbathe out in the middle of a field, or claim some space near the pool but out in the sunlit green areas.

The clubhouse features a store selling a little bit of anything you might need, including – because, yes, they are a *need* – books! No naturist fiction, alas, but a nice selection of books on naturist history and also photography, and issues of N and Going Natural. We purchased Frank Cordelle’s Bodies and Souls: The Century Project and Harvey’s The Spirit of Lady Godiva, both of which are outstanding coffee-table photo essays whose publications were aided by Canadian naturist educator and activist Paul Rapoport. Highly recommended! Actually, there is indeed an example of naturist fiction for sale in the clubhouse store’s book section, and a very fine one at that: Stephen Crowley’s The Koala Bares, a pioneering and delightful naturist comic. Crowley’s work, in fact, pops up in signage all over the Bare Oaks grounds and on some of the park’s written materials as well. (See my 2012 interview with Crowley here; and you can hear his 2009 interview with Stéphane Deschênes on The Naturist Living Show podcast here.)

The clubhouse also includes guest rooms, an equipment rental area, an indoor shower, sauna and hot tub area, and a downstairs lounge area with TV, a kitchen, billiards, and a relatively large library. The saltwater pool is just off the side of the clubhouse, with showers and lounge chairs. The most stellar feature of the clubhouse is the Bare Bistro, which is an actual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating areas. The staff is friendly and efficient, and the food is terrific! They have a selection of tasty sandwiches, burgers and salads, and vegetarian choices. Also on tap is a terrific selection of local beers.

I was hoping to meet Stéphane, the owner, and I did indeed have that opportunity. I introduced myself when I saw him in the store, stocking new books, and we had a quick conversation to be extended later in the afternoon when, as he explained, he would bring a TV out to to the bistro patio to watch that day’s World Cup semifinal. A few hours later, a group of about a dozen or so of us watched the exciting England-Croatia game on the patio while enjoying the Bare Bistro menu – others were watching in the indoor lounge. Amidst the shouts of fans – mostly England’s – Stéphane and I had a pleasant conversation about naturism in general, where the movement is headed, organizations such as the INF, AANR, and TNS, and the good work of our mutual friend Héctor Martínez, new president of the Mexican Naturist Federation (interview here). He told me a bit about business aspects of running the park, such as the decision to contract out the restaurant, which seems to have been a very successful move.

At some point during the match, when my wife and daughter had gone to the indoor lounge to use the computer, Stéphane had to call me aside, to let me know that one of his staff members had reported to him that my 14-year-old was not uncovering herself completely. This, he explained, is problematic especially regarding teens, because if one teen at a naturist park covers up, the rest will do so also. Now, Stéphane’s views on the importance of required nudity at naturist parks, and rejection of clothing-optional policies, are widely known (I even wrote them into a line of dialogue spoken by my naturist Don Quixote figure, Doff de Chonez, in this episode!), and my family and I had of course agreed to the park policy. So I was a tad embarrassed, even though according to me, my daughter had been doing just fine – maybe she had covered up for some reason and I wasn’t there and didn’t know. I apologized and insisted on going to investigate, even though Stéphane told me there was no need for an apology, that he himself, as a father, understood teenage reluctance, and that we should sit back down and continue our conversation. But I did go look for them, couldn’t find them, and when I returned to the patio they were there waiting for me. My daughter was partially covering herself with her wrap, but not completely, and so I let her know what had happened, and in the end it was not a big deal. I did return to conversation with Stéphane, who was happy to know that I would write a review. He suggested a photo to accompany the text, and that suggestion became the two photos with a new Bare Oaks sign that begin and end this post.

Before our visit, I had already known Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park to be exemplary in the naturist world. After having visited, I can affirm that it is a thriving paragon of naturist values maintained by the tireless efforts of its owner, staff, members, and other stakeholders. I hope to make a longer visit soon, and I strongly recommend the same for anyone interested in living a true naturist philosophy.

Owning Naturism: An Interview with Héctor Martínez

“I want to make naturism a normal topic of conversation in Mexico.”


Héctor Martínez, the dynamic young founder of NNG (Naturaleza y Nudismo Guadalajara), has recently been elected president of the Federación Nudista de México, that country’s national naturist organization. Héctor and I have enjoyed a steady dialogue over the past year or so, and we wanted to publish an interview on the heels of this election. This interview is in English, to help supplement the excellent content that Héctor and his team have been producing in Spanish.

The conversation you can read below has to do with Mexico, but Héctor’s excellent ideas pertain to naturism everywhere. Naturists all over the world can apply the successful tactics and strategies described here.

Note: The word “nudista” is used in Spanish, at least in Mexico, because “naturista” has a different connotation. There have been “tiendas naturistas” in Mexico for longer than anyone can remember – these are very common stores that sell natural remedies and organic products but have nothing to do with the social nudity aspect of naturism.

NS: How did you get started in naturism?

HM: It was by accident, in 2013 when I read newspaper coverage of the WNBR (World Naked Bike Ride) in Guadalajara. I had to wait until the next year to participate, in 2014, and when I did, I realized that I had never felt so free, happy, and fulfilled. I had never felt such joy. I decided I couldn’t wait another year for another WNBR, so I started searching for other nudist opportunities. I found the Federación (Nudista de México), contacted them, and they put me in touch with someone who hosts a nudist temazcal [info on what is a temazcal, here and here]. Soon after that, pretty much organically, some close friends and I started organizing nude events in different locations, like a nude baby shower we did once, or birthday parties at people’s homes.

NS: Do you have a favorite naturist location or activity?

HM: No, anyplace is good and any reason is good – it’s more about the people involved. I’d say my favorite is to be with like-minded people where you can express your true self. People who are genuine and open. I’d also say my favorite NNG event so far was this year’s spring festival, because it was a terrific location, there were lots of people, and (laughs) those of us who were organizing weren’t as stressed out that time.

NS: You’ve had, by now, lots of experience getting people involved in naturism, and stellar success. What are good ways to interest people?

HM: Be open and genuine about it. Normally we judge people by their personality traits to assess whether they would be likely to participate in naturism or not, but the thing is, you never know. We have to just speak truth, we have to own it. Also, social media is key, and we have to get rid of anonymity. We have to show our faces, smile, and convey confidence through social media. People see the respect.

NS: Following along those lines, could you contextualize the success that you’ve had with NNG? What’s been the key to success?

HM: The consistent use of social media. When we started NNG, it was hard to find much online other than content written in English. So we created a lot of our own content, podcasts and videos in Spanish, which has been critical. Transparency and creating a real expectation – making the videos as close as possible to reality. People will come to an event and say, I wanted to believe the videos were real, and I’m so glad I did.

NS: I know you’ve had to deal with censorship regarding your videos. Would you add that to the list of keys to success? Social media, transparency, creating a real expectation, creating content, and fighting censorship?

HM: Definitely. The censorship guidelines are ambiguous and the acts of censorship are arbitrary. We had one video censored by YouTube that was not returned to us, and there was nothing for anyone to complain about, we had covered the body parts that some people get upset about. Yet other videos that might have been less carefully covered were returned.

NS: And you’re up to, what, 2000 YouTube subscribers now?

HM: (checks screen): 2143.

NS: That will definitely jump! What would you say has been the most successful event NNG has hosted so far?

HM: It was the spring festival last March that I mentioned earlier. There were 75 people in attendance, which was our largest number yet, plus it was just such a great day.

NS: So now you’re getting started as president of the national federation, and I understand you were elected as the leader of a team of five people who presented a prospectus for what you want to accomplish. What are the main objectives?

Héctor Martínez (center) with (clockwise from top left),
Arturo Gutiérrez, Jacqueline Cuevas,
Candelario Banderas, and Jazmín Baltazar.

HM: We’ve summarized the points on a video, and the text is online too – the video and text are both in Spanish. The objectives are: (1) to consolidate and represent all nudist groups in Mexico; (2) to achieve greater recognition for the organization, and greater cooperation not only with institutes like the tourism office, universities and museums but also human rights organizations; (3) to be an inclusive organization working with groups or individuals not represented by the kinds of institutions above; (4) to publish the first edition, online, of the Atlas Nudista de México; (5) to create at least one more officially recognized nude recreation area similar to Zipolite’s official recognition as a nude beach in 2016; and (6) to have built, by the end of the two-year period, a federation with hundreds of members and many affiliated groups. I would add that I also want to push the federation to be a greater voice internationally, both within Latin America and in the greater world.

NS: It’s a strong platform, and I saw you guys won with a significant percentage of the vote.

HM: It was a margin of about 3 to 1.

NS: So here’s the big question we’ve been leading up to. In your opinion, what is the future of naturism, and how do we get there?

HM: What’s needed is people willing to ‘own’ the lifestyle, to come out of the closet, show faces and show ownership. We need to promote naturism as something powerful that can transform the world by promoting inclusivity, transparency, ownership, and communication. We need to get young people involved in active leadership – and here’s the thing, that’s not a criticism of current leadership. I am absolutely not saying that older people should step aside. It’s just that there needs to be continuity. We need all kinds of people involved, and we need to move forward with new media formats as they continue to be created. New people need to get on board and bring their knowledge.

NS: In the US it’s common to hear or read about older naturists asking where are all the young naturists, and wondering how to get younger naturists to their clubs.

HM: A major flaw I’m seeing is that naturism sometimes seems stuck in formats like magazines and emails that younger people simply don’t read. It’s not that younger people aren’t interested, it’s just that they don’t tend to read these forms of communication, and the result is that the continuity between generations risks being lost.

I’m young, relatively, and the way I see it is that there are pros and cons associated with youth today. The major advantage is that we (younger people) have inherited a more diverse and inclusive society. We have less shame and more ownership of things like saying, ‘I’m a vegetarian,’ or ‘I’m bisexual.’ The new generation not only is not ashamed but is proud to own statements like these. So those of us who are naturists are not ashamed to talk about it, to be up front about it. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that the young generation is at a life stage with little economic stability, very little income to be able to afford things like membership at a nudist club or going on a vacation to a nudist resort.

In fact, at least in the situation I’m looking at, leading naturism is a full-time job with no pay. Not only will I be president of the federation for a two-year term, but also, as it turns out, I’ll be heading a larger Latin American group at the same time, because it had been previously agreed that the president of the Mexican federation would lead the recently created CLANUD (Confederación Latinoamericana de Nudismo)* for two years as well. The only way to make progress in all this is through the support of people who can help, which is why I set up a Patreon account. I want to be able to treat this position with the seriousness it demands, as a full-time job, but the way the federation is set up, according to Mexican tax regulations, there is no budget for a salary.

NS: Smart. Do you have any concluding remarks?

HM: I’m very grateful for your help and the help of many other people who have reached out in dialogue and continue to do so. I’m not going to let people down. I want this to be about generating opportunities. I want to make naturism a normal topic of conversation in Mexico, at dinner tables, in schools, on the street.

NS: Gracias, hermano.

HM: Gracias a ti. Estamos en contacto.

* CLANUD was signed into existence in April 2018 in Brazil, at the ELAN meeting of Latin American naturists.

Barcelona’s Nude Beach

I went to Barcelona recently for a conference, and my spouse traveled with me. Before we left, I read about the city’s attractions – architecture, art, sports, etc. – and also beaches, one of which, Platja de la Mar Bella, is an unofficial nude beach. The name means ‘Beach of the Beautiful Sea’ in Catalan. We found some very nice lodging not far from there, and so after we dropped off our luggage we went to check out the beach on the very first day we arrived!

You can see from maps of Barcelona that the nude beach looks very close to the city. Once we were actually there, we realized just how incredibly close it truly is: the entrance to the nude beach is a ramp off the main beach walkway, where parts of the nude beach are visible to anyone walking by. (And there are lots of people walking by! Only once did I notice someone put her purse up to her face to block her view of the nude beach as she passed it.) There is a skate park maybe 10 yards/9 meters from the entrance to the ramp, although a large growth of tall grass obscures the beach from the skate park area.

From this paved walkway, it’s only a short way down the ramp to the nude beach. The non-paved ramp’s entrance is on the left.

View across from the ramp entrance. Under the palm tree are people enjoying the skate park’s concrete bowls and dips.

This is one of the neatest things about the nude beach, which is also a gay beach (more on that below): it is so easily accessible. Even people not going to the beach walk by it or around it all the time. The fact that Barcelona is a large city, Europe’s most frequented cruise port, a world arts capital and etc., with an open (free use) nude beach as part of its cityscape, is an astoundingly refreshing display of tolerance and acceptance. [This stands in sharp contrast to what my experience was last year along Mexico’s Riviera Maya, where the only non-private nude beach in the Tulum area, El Ultimo Maya, is very far away from most anything, and even after getting there it’s necessary to pay a parking and entrance fee.]

We spent only an hour at Platja de la Mar Bella on that first visit – it was late afternoon on a Tuesday under partly sunny skies. The beach-goers were mostly young men, many by themselves, but there were indeed women there as well, and male-female couples. The shore is pleasant. It’s a somewhat closed-off area of Barcelona’s shoreline, but, again, perfectly visible to other areas of the beach on either side. There is a beachfront restaurant in the nude area, and vendors that pass along the beach selling drinks and pareos (throws or body wraps, large pieces of cloth for lying on or for wrapping up in. No one used beach towels to sit on, only these large throws.) There is also a shower and restrooms, and a lifeguard on duty until 5:00 or 6:00.

There was a disturbance on that first day that pushed some limits: a young man was walking around with an erection, and he would sit and touch himself from time to time while another man, who did not seem to be with him, was filming him. For some people, this would be intolerable. For some people, it would mark a clear difference between naturism and nudism, or between both of these and exhibitionism. Many people would say, and I agree, that this kind of behavior impedes a more widespread understanding and acceptance of social nudity. My wife’s unconcerned reaction – she said that the man was “exploring his sexuality” – was a revelation. It made me think about the tolerance that the citizenry and municipal government of Barcelona have extended to this beach – whether toward same-sex relationships, or toward sexuality in general, or toward mere nudity, it was all encompassed in the idea of tolerance. And this, too, brought to mind the fact that free beach pioneer Lee Baxandall, founder of The Naturist Society, worked openly and forthrightly with LGBTQ allies in the 1970s to build support for nude beaches.

So even though I didn’t find the young man’s behavior appropriate, nor that of the other man filming him, I still appreciated the idea of tolerance for a place to be nude in the elements. I should also note that there were no children present, nor was there any expectation that the beach would be expressly family-friendly. It was an example of differing sets of societal norms between the US and Spain/Europe in general. And I should clarify that I don’t assume the man’s behavior to be representative of LGBTQ naturists in general, either.

We went back the following Monday with a picnic lunch, and ended up spending a long afternoon there. It was not all that crowded when we arrived shortly after midday, but soon more folks showed up, including a group of four women. Again the population was mostly very fit young men, alone or in pairs or groups, and some seemed to be from northern Europe while many were local. A very large-bodied male-female couple from the UK arrived and stayed most of the afternoon – it appeared they were getting up the courage to try something new, and they finally did. Good for them! There were other male-female couples and also women alone or in pairs. The entire beach population was generally very friendly. There was a mix of ethnicities and of ages – a pair of male teenagers were, I think, the youngest people on the beach that day. Most beach-goers were completely naked, although there were some few people, men and women both, who kept swimsuits on.

The vendors amused us with their accented calls in English that sounded like “Waterbeer!” – they had both water and beer to sell, just no pause between the words! These beverage vendors were men who seemed to be from North Africa, and not only were they not naked, but stiflingly dressed, with long pants and long sleeves and sometimes windbreakers as well. I imagine this is due to a combination of religious strictures and the need to protect themselves from the sun all day, as well as the need to move among the different beaches beyond and through the nude area. They seemed to spend a lot of time among us nude folk, leading to speculation about voyeurism, but on the other hand, it was evident from looking up and down the beach that the nude area, which is rather small, was the most densely crowded (an interesting observation in many ways) and thus best for their sales. There were also a few East Asian women, dressed, moving along the beach selling “Massatge!”

It was sunnier that day of our second visit, so I swam in the Mediterranean a couple times. The water was cold but it was a wonderful experience! Unfortunately I also got some sunburn. Sigh. I had been using and reapplying sunscreen all afternoon, but it just wasn’t enough for the four or five hours we were there. We ended our afternoon with very good mojitos and tapas at the beachside restaurant, which has a fun ambiance and is named, affirmatively, BeGay. We learned later that the beach and surrounding neighborhood were gearing up to host a variety of events during Pride Month (June).

Passion fruit mojitos
Some light tapas: grapes, manchego cheese, membrillo (quince paste) and walnuts

Would I recommend this beach to fellow naturists? Yes, as long as there are no expectations of a specifically family-friendly environment, and as long as tolerance for cultural differences can be extended. Barcelona is a terrific city with lots to see and do, and having such an easily-accessible and pleasant nude beach is an added bonus. The area of the city immediately adjacent to the nude beach is called Poblenou, and it’s an underrated neighborhood with plenty of great lodging, restaurants and stores, markets, parks, its own metro stop, and its own very nice rambla (a pedestrian avenue extending along many blocks with outdoor cafes, boutiques, etc.). Less intense but no less charming than the city’s main La Rambla in the famous Barrio Gótico area, the Poblenou rambla extends southeast all the way to the beach, intersecting with the beach walkway at a spot nor far to the southwest of the nude zone.

Summary for Platja de la Mar Bella

Pros: easy access; in a great Barcelona neighborhood; no cost; diverse; lifeguard on duty approximately 10:00-5:00; pleasant sand and shoreline; food, drink, shower and restrooms available.
Cons: small area; sometimes sexualized environment.
Overall rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Chapter 12 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter XII
IN WHICH IS CONCLUDED THE SECOND SALLY OF DOFF DE CHONEZ, TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUNT OF ACTIONS TAKEN BY VARIOUS PERSONAGES TO PROMOTE NATURISM IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY

At some point in late July—there is disagreement among historians and media specialists as to the precise date, but suffice to say that it happened two to three weeks after the events about which you, dear reader, have already taken it upon yourself to become informed—there occurred a most singular festivity in the small municipality of Santa Bernarda in central California. The exceedingly gracious Doña Mercedes, also known to us as the Lady Mechinelda, hosted a nude gathering in her backyard, perhaps the first such naked event in the entire history of Santa Bernarda since the arrival of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century, although we must hope that many further such occasions have been, and will be, celebrated clothesfree not only in Santa Bernarda, but everywhere.

The occasion for this unique reunion was the fiftieth birthday of Doff de Chonez, known thus to his friends, although his name for most of those fifty years had been Donald Lopes or Donaldo Adolfo López or something similar. From the perspective of this self-proclaimed nudist-errant, his fiftieth birthday was actually his first birthday celebrating his new identity. Doña Mercedes, who had requested Dr. Nicholson’s assistance, planned the event as a surprise, such that Doff de Chonez and Sammy Panzov would be detained by the doctor until all the other guests had arrived.

It is agreed by the esteemed members of the Society for the Historical Preservation of Santa Bernarda that the most honored guests, together with Doña Mercedes and the birthday celebrant, Doff de Chonez, were twelve in number: Dr. Nicholson, the priest (whose name, it can be revealed at this point, was Father Anselmo), Edgar, Minerva, Eric, Sheila, Beth and Cheryl, along with Cheryl’s mother (whose name, it can be revealed at this point, was Marilyn), and, of course, Sammy Panzov. Although Sammy’s wife Teresa had also been invited, and not without considerable insistence, she politely declined to attend, for the reason that she needed to hasten to the funeral, in Rancho Cucamonga, of her great uncle Reginaldo, a personage who, according to Sammy, had experienced not only a sudden death, but also a rather sudden coming into existence in the first place.

Taking advantage of the eight-foot high fence that Doña Mercedes had installed around her backyard many years previously—and, indeed, said fence had been the factor that afforded her what she had assumed to be the privacy with which she could refrain from wearing clothes outdoors, but which, as we know, did not impede her from inadvertently causing her neighbor’s second-floor-window epiphany about clothesfree living—those invited to this unique event arrived to her front door, left their garments in her house, and proceeded nude to her backyard, where there were tables of food and drink, a variety of insect-repelling incenses and candles, and música ranchera playing discreetly from a set of speakers.

But, dear reader, now that we are setting the ambiance for this most delectable fiesta, let us pause to consider the specification that, upon returning from the encounter with the Knight of the White Moon at Baker Beach, during which our nudist-errant finally met his Lady Mechinelda in the flesh, Doff de Chonez and Doña Mercedes had been spending many mornings, afternoons, and evenings together, developing the kind of relationship enjoyed by intimate friends and partners, to the extent that Doff de Chonez had fashioned a door in the fence between their properties, such that it was now possible to move freely, and nakedly, all along the extent of both backyards, and through both houses as well. In this way, Doña Mercedes had been able to help Doff de Chonez set up a rudimentary garden on his side of the fence, while he had been able to help her rake her yard and, of course, hang up her laundry, all while not having to perch, wrap or buckle any sort of textile over or around their bodies.

With this information, dear reader, you can now picture in your mind the scene at the party before the arrival of our hero: the young Eric, Minerva, and Edgar, with piles of various meats and vegetables, standing at the grill located in Doff de Chonez’s back patio; Sheila, Cheryl, and her mother Marilyn, preparing a salad in the kitchen of Doña Mercedes’ home; and Doña Mercedes in her backyard with Beth and Father Anselmo, discussing the features and qualities of various ornamental plants.

When the doorbell rang, Doña Mercedes asked Beth to go collect those who were grilling in Doff de Chonez’s backyard, and then everyone rushed onto Doña Mercedes’ back deck, just out of view of the window. Dr. Nicholson, who had arrived with Doff de Chonez and Sammy after treating them to a birthday cocktail at his home, knew that he was supposed to wait a minute or two and then open the front door. He did so, and they passed through the silent house, the doctor pausing only to quickly remove his clothing. He led the nudists-errant onto the back deck, where, as soon as they had passed into view, they were greeted by jubilant calls of Surprise! and Happy Birthday! and ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

Our hero, who did not expect to see anyone other than Doña Mercedes, and perhaps Father Anselmo, was indeed surprised, if not to say astonished, and greatly moved, to be reunited with the owners of the Bed & Breakfast, and with his companions from his adventures along the coast. There followed many smiles and embraces, the retelling of memories and the new telling of more recent events, some dancing, and before too long, plates of food, and the singing of “Las mañanitas” with a birthday pastel de tres leches baked by Doña Mercedes.

Naturals toasting. Source

Just as the sun was beginning to set, Dr. Nicholson helped Doña Mercedes prepare the bottles of champagne and glasses for toasting. “To our amazing friend Doff, on his birthday, a toast,” began Dr. Nicholson. “May your birthday suit be your everyday suit for many, many healthy years to come.”

“Indeed,” added Father Anselmo after all had raised their glasses, “and may your naked example continue to illuminate people like me, uh… at those times and in those places, uh, that you become better able to understand… are appropriate.”

“Hmmm…” uttered Doña Mercedes. “Me toca. My turn, and then I’d like for everyone to have a chance to speak.” She cleared her throat. “A month ago, I only knew vaguely that my next-door neighbor was a man who lived alone and who I seldom saw. It turned out, as we all now know, that he saw a lot more of me… certainly than I would have intended. But, since I have come to know him over these past weeks, I am proud of how my simple habit of not wearing clothes in the backyard inspired him to a level of activism that… has not been without its problems, ¿verdad? but still, his passion is deep and his cause is noble. Muchas felicidades, querido Doff.”

At these words, our hero kneeled to kiss the hand of his Lady, but she pulled him up into an embrace, and gave him a sonorous kiss on the lips, at which everyone laughed while Doff de Chonez’ face turned crimson.

“You! You are my naked superhero,” said Marilyn suddenly, to which she added, “and I want a kiss, too!”

Cheryl doubted for a few seconds but then helped her mother forward, and thus, for the second time, Doff de Chonez was kissed full on the lips to much applause and laughter.

“Anyone else?” called Doña Mercedes. “There’s plenty more where that came from!”

But since no one else stepped in for a kiss, Edgar decided to speak. “Here’s, like, a toast to, like, the funkiest delivery I ever made. First denudery I ever made – that, too. And, like, I also owe you my first paid acting gig, so, like, thanks, and no hard feelings, right?”

Doff de Chonez shook his head in friendly negation while glasses were raised once again, and Dr. Nicholson looked a bit displeased, having tried to hide the fact that he not only had recruited Edgar to play the Knight of the White Moon, but had also paid him for it.

“A toast to Doff de Chonez,” proposed Minerva, “and Sammy, who, together, were the life of the party that night on the hill behind Nepenthe.”

“Hear, hear,” added Eric, “to Doff de Chonez, outstanding dance partner and wedding crasher.”

Our hero once again blushed at the laughter of those who understood Eric’s references.

“To Doff de Chonez,” echoed his sister Sheila, “unashamed interpreter of indigenous lifeways. If it hadn’t been for you, I don’t know when, or if, I would have made it to the nude beach. And what I learned, is that I really like it there.”

“I guess it’s my turn,” said Cheryl. “Well, you really startled us when you showed up that day, and you definitely pushed us out of our comfort zone, as they say. But, I thank you for showing us new possibilities for our Bed & Breakfast. And I mean not just for business but also for us personally, to feel more at home with our bodies. I know I feel healthier lately, and I’m sure it’s related to more naked time.”

“Yep,” added Beth, “it took me a long time to come around to it, but I have to say, naked is so much more fun.”

Everyone looked expectantly at Sammy, who raised his glass and paused a few seconds before speaking. “What I can say is, thank you, Your Birthdaysuitedness, for some crazy times. As they say, ‘clothes cover up character,’ but with you, there’s nothing to cover up. It’s all right there, naked as a newborn. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think Doff de Chonez está loco. But that doesn’t faze me at all. We all have our own kind of crazy, and I really like His Nuditude’s crazy. Here’s to many more miscorrections!”

Doff de Chonez laughed and let slide Sammy’s malapropism. “Dear friends,” he began, “receive my deepest gratitude for arranging this celebration, where we can all be comfortable in our own birthday suits. Truly the occasion is fortuitous for me, for it is the first time I have a birthday with my new name.”

Our hero looked around at the assembled guests, caught the eye of his Lady Mechinelda, and winked. “And this reminds me,” he continued, “speaking of names, that I want to ask ye about the various labels used to describe going naked. Do ye feel a particular attraction to any of them? Nudist, naturist, nude-friendly…? How do ye talk about it in such a way that interests others?”

“I like ‘nudist’ best,” said Eric, “because I think people know what that means. But remember, you can’t just force it on people.”

“I prefer ‘naturist,’” said Dr. Nicholson. “I think it’s more holistic, more of a philosophy that way. It’s about more than just taking off your clothes.”

“There’s a term I like to borrow,” said Father Anselmo, “from a different spiritual tradition: ‘skyclad.’ In my view, the implications are very profound: clothed by the sky. To me it means that the natural environment is our original and most basic wrapping.”

“And see, I like ‘skyclad,’ but I’d say I like ‘nude-friendly’ best,” said Minerva. “To me that sounds like less of a label, like less of a subscription to something, and more of an inclination. It gives people a vibe, like, you can be naked if you want, no pressure, but even if you’re not naked, there may be other people who are, so you need to be OK with that.”

“Aw geez,” muttered Marilyn. “It’s just ‘nekkid.’ That’s all you need.”

Cheryl smiled at her mother, evidently amused by her participation. “Beth and I were talking about this just the other day, and she came up with a word I like.”

“Nookies!” said Beth. “You know, ‘nude rookies,’ ‘nookies.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Sheila. “I like that. That’s my preferred word now, too. Let’s start a Nookie Club!”

“It’s more informal, right?” said Cheryl. “Less official. People might be more inclined to try it spontaneously.”

“But at some point,” said Edgar, “you’re, like, no longer a rookie. Then what?”

“I don’t know,” replied Beth. “I’ll get back to you on that one, when I’m no longer a nookie.”

Edgar laughed. “I agree with Minerva, like, surprise. ‘Nude-friendly’. Or ‘naked-friendly’. Relaxed. No need to declare, like, a political party affiliation or anything like that. It’s the word we use for gatherings with friends who, like, invite other friends we might not know yet.”

“Ooh, I like that too,” said Sheila. “Open and inviting.”

“But,” interjected Dr. Nicholson, “‘nude-friendly’ is very close to ‘clothing-optional,’ which is a controversial term. Some authorities claim that ‘clothing-optional’ cheapens and reduces naturism, with fewer and fewer participants at clothing-optional clubs electing to be naked.”

“I’m sure I don’t know about the clubs,” said Minerva, “but what I do know is that people feel comfortable at our gatherings, and many of them end up taking off their top, bottoms, or both, for the first time in a group of people.”

“Sammy Panzov,” spoke Doff de Chonez, “what sayest thou?”

“As I’ve always heard it said,” began Sammy, “‘the naked man weighs more than the clothed one,’ which is why I prefer to just say ‘naked,’ or pelado. But, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been interested by what Your Nakedness called it: ‘nudist-errant.’ That’s what I am.”

“Me too, amigo,” said Doff de Chonez, “and I am so glad for thy companionship. And thou, dearest Lady Mechinelda? What term does thou prefer?”

Ay, mi loco querido,” she said. “You know, I have to say I never gave it much thought. I’m just… a natural. That’s my word, ‘natural.’”

“And truly,” said Doff de Chonez, “it is a wonderful word, probably the best word for it that there is! Thanks to all of ye for your help. A toast to us, ‘naturals’ all!”

After the toast, as the group broke into conversation, Sammy approached his partner. “Ehrr, Your Naturalness? When do you think you and I will head out on our next sally?”

“When we set out on our next adventure,” spoke Doff de Chonez, “it will not be just thou and I alone, but rather the three of us, including my Lady Mechinelda. I’ve spoken with her about this already, and thou canst trust me, Sammy, when I say that we shall sally forth, nude anew, in the near future.”

But beyond these conversations, and an assumed late-night end to the birthday party, any further information pertinent to the sallies of Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha has not been forthcoming. As of this writing, there are historians, chroniclers, literary critics, translators, journalists, assistant professors, librarians, gossip columnists, graduate students, and no few unpaid interns invading archives worldwide in the search for more material. Perhaps the rest of the story will be found at one of the naturist research libraries upon which these professionals are descending in droves, such as The American Nudist Research Library in Florida, The Naturist Education Foundation Research Library in Wisconsin, or The Western Nudist Research Library, this latter, after all, being located, as were these adventures, in the great state of California.

In the meantime, the author of what you, dear reader, have read, asks nothing in return for the vast labor which it has cost him to undertake the composition of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha in twelve installments, save your good word and your interest in his other writings. For with that, he will consider himself amply paid and fully satisfied, and will find himself thus encouraged to seek out and produce other stories, if not as truthful, then at least equal in invention and no less entertaining.

EL FIN

Chapter 11 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter XI
IN WHICH IS DESCRIBED THE DISTURBING APPEARANCE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON

Shortly into the drive, Sammy Panzov’s stomach growled audibly.

“Didst thou see, friend Sammy,” asked Doff de Chonez, “that the Miwok people knew how to prepare acorns for human consumption?”

“It is an impressive accomplishment,” replied Sammy, “and yet it does not nourish me to think on it. What I will say is that a jaguar wearing a bell will starve, and yet I feel if I do not keep making noises, from my mouth as well as my intestines, I will not find any food.”

“Oh! I forgot!” said Sheila. “I have some sandwiches in a coldpack in my bag. And some vegetables, and chips… Here, eat up.”

Soon the crunching of celery and carrots and potato chips was the only sound coming from the backseat, and it was not long before the group had crossed back over the Golden Gate Bridge and was approaching Baker Beach. Eric found a place to park and requested of the persistent nudists that they carry their own bright pink towels, since they would need them to sit on.

“Hast thou heard,” asked Doff de Chonez, “from Dr. Nicholson?”

“Not yet,” replied Eric, “but he should be here soon. He said he’d let me know when he gets here.”

The group passed many beachgoers wearing a range of swimsuit attire. There was only an occasional eyebrow lifted at the sight of two naked men on their way to the clothing-optional area. Eric led his friends, following the signs to the north end of Baker Beach with its terrific view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and as they approached the area they began to register the shift toward a greater number of nude visitors, although there were still some clothed or partially clothed people as well, on that fortunately sunny, although not terribly warm, late afternoon.

Baker Beach

They found a spot to claim for their belongings. Eric disrobed promptly and led the nudists-errant to the water, while Sheila took a few moments to gather her courage and accept what she was going to do, that is, take off her clothes in public for the first time. She did so gradually, and with many deep breaths, but, after about ten minutes when the men returned from the too-cold water, they found her stretched out nude in the sun.

“Look, Your Nudeness,” Sammy shouted excitedly, pointing at Sheila. “Our first convict!”

Convert, Sammy, is surely what thou meanest,” corrected Doff de Chonez, “but I do not think we are wise to take credit, nor to call any attention to her nudity, for, after all, it is her body and her decision to do what she wants. The sharing of a sandwich is not the same as the sharing of the sun.”

“Well… Yes… My skin is closer to me than my shirt is,” was Sammy’s bashful response, “…as I always hear it said.”

“It’s OK, Sammy,” said Sheila, shading her eyes to look up. “My brother has been coming here for years, and he had told me all about it. But, you know what? I’d say, yes, all three of you should take some credit for getting me here, and I thank you for it, because it feels wonderful.”

A beep was heard from Eric’s bag. He checked his phone and read out the message that Dr. Nicholson apologized for being late, but that he had finally arrived. Eric responded with their location, and soon they saw him approaching, with the priest at his side.

“Welcome, nude friend,” called Doff de Chonez, for the doctor had indeed already removed his clothes and placed them in the bag he carried. “Y bienvenido, padre.”

“Don… I mean, Doff, so good to see you again!” spoke Dr. Nicholson, who then greeted the others and was careful to make no mention of his longtime friend’s erratic behavior, although he did let them know that he had recovered Bare Glider and Low Rider, for which he received heartfelt thanks from Doff de Chonez and a bear hug from Sammy. The good doctor had also brought lots of drinking water, which he passed around to everyone.

The priest, who was not wearing his robes but did have on a shirt with his clerical collar and a pair of slacks, hastened to have a seat on the sand.

“The sun is out today, padre,” said Sammy. “Are you permitted to remove your clothes?”

“I’m going to sit right here and think about it, hijo,” replied the priest, “probably until my clothes slide right off my body.”

Doctor,” Doff de Chonez addressed his friend, “what knowest thou of my Lady Mechinelda? Has she inquired of my well-being or my whereabouts?”

“Indeed she has,” answered Dr. Nicholson. “She wonders when she might meet you properly. What do you think, Doff – what should I tell her?”

Doff de Chonez cast his eyes downward for a moment. “I feel I am not worthy to see her until I can measure up to her model of naturism.”

“I think you already do, friend,” said the doctor, “even without all your naked sallies in public places.”

When Sammy inquired of his wife Teresa, the doctor passed along her message about him returning if not richer, then at least wiser.

“Whew! That’s a relief,” sighed Sammy, “for while it may be hard to prove any increased wisdom from this misadventure, what is undeniable is that I am $40 richer than when I left the house.”

Eric laughed and informed the doctor and the priest about their encounter with the wedding party at The Palace of Fine Arts. After conversing a while longer, the doctor suggested a walk along the surf, and the priest offered to stay to watch their things.

As Sheila, Eric, Sammy and Doff de Chonez walked along with the doctor, he led them further north, closer to the bridge. Suddenly the doctor called out, breaking the attention of his companions from the shells they were studying.

“What is going on here?” yelled Dr. Nicholson, a tremulous timbre to his voice.

There before them, at a distance of some fifteen yards, was a man who stood facing them, nude save for a knight’s helmet on his head and a long, dark cape. In his hand he held what looked to be a thin cane, and around his groin his body was marked by high-contrast tan lines.

“Who art thou what darest conceal thine identity?” shouted Doff de Chonez.

“Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha, nudist-errant of California, learn thou that he who speaks to you, who is here to challenge you, is known as the Knight of the White Moon!”

At this the man turned around and wiggled his posterior through a hole in the cape that had been fashioned for that express purpose. Doff de Chonez furrowed his brow, but Sheila and Eric giggled and Sammy guffawed.

“It is well said,” called out Sammy, “that a naked man will often laugh at someone with torn clothes!”

The Knight of the White Moon turned back around and spoke thusly: “Sammy Panzov, the font of thy well-known wisdom is immeasurable, but thou choseth wrongly in following Doff de Chonez. He is not a true naturist, but a fraud!”

“Monster!” shrieked Doff de Chonez. “Thou insultest not only my associate and myself, but also my friend, standing here, who didst dub me an official nudist!”

“What true naturist,” asked the knight, “fails to understand that nudity cannot be compulsory? What true naturist robs harvest workers of their protective wear, neglects to pay those who would accommodate his nudity in their hostel, and attacks innocent restaurant patrons?”

At the bewilderment of Doff de Chonez, who was struck mute by these accusations, the knight continued.

“Yes, word of thy misdeeds has already spread far and wide,” he spoke. “The police are on the look-out for thee due to thy misdemeanor at the restaurant.”

“The true mission of the nudist-errant,” shouted Doff de Chonez, “is to correct misconceptions about nudity, and it is often necessary to do so by forceful example!”

“Thou art mistaken, false naturist,” snarled the Knight of the White Moon. “Thou art nought but a charlatan, and thy lady… thy lady agrees!”

The knight pointed toward the hill that lined the dry side of the beach, and suddenly a nude woman stepped from behind a crevice.

“Doff!” she called out. She appeared to be crying. “Doff! Do not believe him!”

At this, the knight grabbed her roughly and pulled her toward him.

“My Lady… Mechinelda,” Doff mumbled. “I… how…” Our noble nudist-errant swallowed hard, then shouted, “Unhand her, villain!”

“I challenge thee,” yelled the knight, even as Lady Mechinelda struggled in his grasp. “I challenge thee to abandon thy fruitless quest and accept the reality of thy circumstances! Behold, Doff de Chonez, the mirror of thy folly!”

The Knight of the White Moon let go of Doña Mercedes, for this is indeed who it was, and whipped his cane into the air, revealing it to be what is commonly known as a “selfie stick.” Wielding the stick like a lance, he charged Doff de Chonez, activating the photo-taking capacity of his phone that rested in its reversed cradle at the end of the extension.

Selfie-stick

“Save me, Doff de Chonez!” shouted Doña Mercedes, running south past the group. “I don’t want my nude photos all over the Internet!”

Sheila quickly ran away from the camera as well, yelling “I’m not ready for that either!” Several other people who were nearby looked up in alarm and hastily fled from the knight and his weapon.

Dr. Nicholson and Eric stepped a short distance away, not quite out-of-range. But both Sammy and Doff de Chonez engaged the knight, bobbing and weaving toward him as he danced about, hopping and thrusting while taking photos from above.

“Brute!” yelled Doff de Chonez. “Malefactor! How dare thee threaten the natural display of our bodies with unnecessary and unsolicited photographic documentation!”

At some point, the knight brought the camera down for a low angle, and both nudists-errant took advantage of the moment to grab the stick. Since Doff de Chonez pulled one way, and Sammy the other, the stick snapped at its extension point, and the phone fell to the sand. When the knight reached for his phone, Sammy jumped him, tackling him onto his back, and Doff de Chonez quickly removed the knight’s helmet.

“Edgar?” uttered Sammy.

“The driver of our denudery van?” pondered Doff de Chonez.

“Could you, like, get off my arm?” Edgar asked Sammy. “It, like, hurts.”

“What hast thou done?” asked Doff de Chonez, shaking his head.

“Ouch!” said Edgar, because Sammy, instead of getting off his arm, pinned his other arm as well. “Your friend, Dr, Nicholson, he, like, hired me. I mean, I, like, drive the van and all, but, like, really I’m an actor. Ouch! Eric knew about it, too!”

“Please, Sammy, let him go,” said Dr. Nicholson, who had approached them.

Doff de Chonez stood up straight and grabbed the doctor’s upper arms. “What is the meaning of this?”

Dr. Nicholson addressed him by his birth name. “Donny, snap out of it. Your friends and I support you, and we support naturism, but we’re worried about you. You’ve gone too far. At first it seemed tolerable, even when I paid your lodging bill, but now… you have gone to extremes that are neither practical nor desirable. You are causing trouble for us, and for yourself, and most importantly, for naturism.”

At that point, Doña Mercedes approached and stood next to the doctor. Upon seeing her, Doff de Chonez dropped his hands and kneeled, bowing his head. “My Lady,” he murmured.

Doña Mercedes extended a hand to help him rise. “Please, stand up…”

But Doff de Chonez kissed her hand, released it, and remained in a kneeling position.

When the doctor shrugged, Doña Mercedes—as historians, journalists and translators all seem to agree—understood the need to improvise, an action that she commenced by clearing her throat.

“Dear neighbor,” she began, “I understand that one day you saw me out hanging my clothes to dry in my backyard, and I was… desnuda. And I appreciate that it inspired you to think about not using clothes. Pero no lo hice por ti. I didn’t do it for you. I did it only for me. In fact, I didn’t know anyone could see me.”

Mi muy querida Mechinelda,” spoke Doff de Chonez, with difficulty in finding his voice. “I know that you did not do it for me. I apologize for letting it be known that you were mi ejemplo a seguir, my example to follow. But I mean no harm. My goal is a philanthropy of understanding, so that more people can learn the benefits of nudism.”

“Then I support you,” she replied, “but you must not force it on anyone. Did I force it on you?”

“Perhaps force is not the right word,” rejoined Doff de Chonez, “although I certainly felt compelled by your actions.”

“But I did not force it on you, or on anyone else,” spoke Doña Mercedes. “Just look around, here, en la playa – there are people who are pelados, and there are others who are vestidos. Es un convivio de respeto mutuo, an intermingling of mutual respect.”

“The problem,” interjected Dr. Nicholson, “is when people are forced into something without consent. This is why Mercedes y yo, y el padre, we came up with the plan to hire Edgar to act out this threat to you.”

“It was a test, Doff,” said Doña Mercedes. “Una prueba. And you passed. You defended us from the threat.”

“But I think the idea was also for you to recognize the gravity of the situation,” added Eric. “And I have to say, Edgar, terrific job! Your menace was convincing. I wonder how you got those props so quick! And I didn’t know you could speak like that!”

“I know, right?” said the newly unpinned young man. “Like, I didn’t know I could speak like that either. Not, like, until today.”

Doff de Chonez sighed and looked around the group, which now included Sheila, who had also returned. “Friends, amigos,” he began, “I cannot pretend to be unmoved by your concern, and by the great lengths, both physical and metaphorical, to which you have gone to confront me here on the beach. I beg of ye, please help me to understand what is appropriate and what is not.”

“Physical violence?” said Edgar. “Like, not cool.”

Eso es,” said Doña Mercedes. “That’s just what we’ve been saying – nothing should be forced. Nothing without consent.”

“The laws may not always be to our liking,” said Dr. Nicholson, “but they serve those who feel the need for protection.”

“Protection from what?” asked Sammy. “As is often said, habit is a shirt we wear until death. How do we break the habit of thinking we have to be protected from nudity?”

“Gently,” said Sheila. “Today is my first time going naked in public. And it feels really good! But the camera was scary. And there are some clothed people hanging out over there that I have to assume came just to look at naked people. That’s wrong. But I can’t judge. Maybe they’re just getting up the courage to take their clothes off too.”

“That’s right,” said Eric. “It’s hard to break a habit, Sammy, especially when it’s not just an individual’s habit but an entire culture’s. But I think, on balance, you two have already done more good than ill.”

“There’s, like, a line I was supposed to say,” said Edgar, finally getting to his feet, “but I didn’t, like, get the chance. I was supposed to say, ahem… ‘Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha, thou hast failed to consider the possible negative consequences of thine actions. What if, instead of correcting misconceptions about nudity, thou art merely reinforcing them, or even making them worse?’”

Everyone looked at Doff de Chonez, who lowered his head and spoke as follows: “I see now that it is a good question. And I must say, it has seldom, if ever, been my experience to be standing naked on a beach, surrounded by naked friends, and to have to answer to them for my actions. But each of ye knows me well now, even my dear neighbor, and what I will promise to ye, is that I will endeavor to seek your council for any proximate nudist activities.”

Dr. Nicholson placed an arm around his friend’s shoulders, and as the sun was setting they all walked back to where the priest, who had indeed removed his clothing, awaited them. When asked about his decision to go naked, the priest replied: “God made us in his own image. What shame is there in that?”

“In other words,” said Doña Mercedes, “you didn’t recognize anyone out here from our congregation.”

“What I cannot deny, dear… ‘Mechinelda,’” the priest responded, “is that the Good Lord arranged for the circumstances today to be just as you have said. So I ask again, what shame is there in that?”

next (and final) episode:

Chapter XII
IN WHICH IS CONCLUDED THE SECOND SALLY OF DOFF DE CHONEZ, TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUNT OF ACTIONS TAKEN BY VARIOUS PERSONAGES TO PROMOTE NATURISM IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY

Chapter 10 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter X
WHICH TREATS OF THE DREAM OF DOFF DE CHONEZ, AS WELL AS A REENACTMENT FROM THE ANNALS OF THE HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

Only a few minutes had transpired before the trio traveling in the hatchback found themselves crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Sammy, who held great interest in observing what he could see of the view of the bay, begrudgingly stole a few moments to count, at the request of his nominal employer, Doff de Chonez, the amount of money that had been thrust into his fist by the best man of the wedding party whose photography session they had so nakedly interrupted.

“Five, ten, fifteen…” began Sammy.

“By the bare bottom of Beto the Vato,” interjected Doff de Chonez. “I had not imagined more than ten!”

“But here’s forty already,” continued Sammy, “and another… seven. Forty-seven dollars, Your Nudeness.”

“Please spare me those last seven,” requested Eric, their driver, “because I need them to pay the toll.”

Sammy, sipping the large iced coffee that Eric had purchased for him at the coffee shop where Jeff worked, willingly gave up the money, although historians seem to agree that he did wince while doing so.

“Such a generous man,” opined Doff de Chonez.

“Why, thank you, Your Nudeship,” replied Sammy.

“Not thou, Sammy Panzov,” chided Doff de Chonez, “but rather the man who gave you those bills. I’m sure he felt the urge to reimburse us for the time we spent enlightening the wedding party.”

“No doubt,” grumbled Sammy. “And with an extra contribution to the cause of miscorrecting conceptions about nudity.”

“Thou meanst to say, ‘correcting misconceptions,’” explained Doff de Chonez, laughing.

“What I mean to say,” retorted Sammy, “is that, as I learned from years of playing lotería, the sun is the blanket of the poor, and right now the sun, and forty dollars, is all we have… and even as I speak the sun is disappearing in a fog.”

“Don’t give up hope,” replied Doff de Chonez. “Remember that we’ll be meeting Dr. Nicholson at the beach. I understand him to be a man of great respect for our mission. He will be honored to help us.”

Eric, determined to get his passengers to Baker Beach, but needing to first retrieve his sister from her place of employment, and to whom he had already texted about the character of his passengers, wondered and marveled at the conversations between the pair of persistently naked men. “The fog comes and goes, Sammy,” he said. “It’s a kind of blanket as well, I guess.”

“But if it is a blanket,” said Sammy, “then it is a wet one. I hope it has pulled back by the time we get to the beach. And, blessed be, neither sun nor fog is a blanket that can be used for tossing.”

After a few hearty, though restrained, guffaws from Eric, they began a long period of further driving, in which the only sound was often the slurp of iced coffee through straws, and in which all three men seemed to reflect on inner thoughts as they looked out at the landscape.

Doff de Chonez broke the silence. “Friend Eric, I wish to ask you a question,” he declared. “When we… uh… danced, last night, there in that beautiful setting overlooking the mighty Pacific, what did I say to thee? I am most curious to know, if thou wilst tell me, for the entire evening seems to me now like an enchanted dream, an oneiric reverie.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Eric, who chuckled a bit. “Well, you were saying things like… let’s see if I can remember your words… oh yeah, ‘I will apprehend the perpetrator of this wardrobe robbery,’ because you were going on about a stolen dress, and ‘I want to join you in presenting our doffed offerings to the naked sky,’ which as far as I could tell was about this woman’s backyard clothesline.”

“This woman?” echoed Doff de Chonez in a tone of high irritation. “This woman? She is none other than my Lady Mechinelda, paragon of naturism.”

“Your Nudiness,” interjected Sammy, “you must remember that you were under the impression that Eric himself was your Lady Mechinelda. I remember it well, for I remember laughing until I wept, and in fact I can vouch for what our friend Eric says about all the nonsense you were spouting as you hopped about, jerking yourself around in what only a very generous person would call a dance.”

“Thou speakest thus, Sammy,” rejoined Doff de Chonez, “thou, who danceth not unlike a constipated walrus?”

“A poor dancer, as they say,” claimed Sammy, “will be disturbed even by the hem of her skirt, and yet you, with neither skirt nor hem, danced like a trundling buffalo.”

“Gentlemen,” ventured Eric, “you both consumed some serious goods last night. But I only drank two beers, and I say that you both danced very well indeed.”

“This is an impossible statement,” Sammy said, “because I did not dance.”

“Well,” clarified Eric, “whoever Teresa is, she should know that you danced with another woman on her behalf, holding her tight while calling out that name.”

Sammy’s cheeks turned several shades ruddier than usual. “As I often hear my wife Teresa say,” he said, “you should walk with your slippers until you can find your shoes.”

“’Tis an odd walrus,” offered Doff de Chonez, “what requires footwear.”

“How dare you insult Teresa!” shouted Sammy.

“Here we are!” yelled Eric, happy to interrupt as he pulled into the parking lot of the Kule Loklo Coast Miwok village, a Native American cultural center in Point Reyes. “My sister says we should look around the place a bit, and she’ll be ready in a little while.”

Miwok approaching Sir Francis Drake’s ship under repair. Source

No sooner had these words left Eric’s mouth than Doff de Chonez bolted stark naked from the car, stretching his legs in an energetic jaunt over to one of the structures depicting the housing of the Miwok, the indigenous people who were already living in the area when Europeans arrived in the sixteenth century. Sammy followed along, while Eric first grabbed the bright pink towels, and then shrugged and tossed them back onto the seat.

Sammy found his partner absorbed in the reading of a sign that had been posted next to the structure. The structure itself was a dwelling that looked like a conical hut made of large wood slabs laid against each other.

“Inform thyself, Sammy,” intoned Doff de Chonez, “of the remarkable history of naturism. As thou canst see here, this sign reads: ‘During the warm weather the Bay Miwok men wore no clothes at all.’ Thou and I, Sammy – we are as bare as our forebears.”

At this, Doff de Chonez lowered himself to one knee and bowed his head.

“That is indeed remarkable,” agreed Sammy. “And the sign tells us, as well, that the women of this tribe went topless, with only a grass skirt made of front and back hangings.”

“Thou meanst to say ‘top-free,’ friend,” corrected Doff de Chonez, “for to say ‘topless’ implies that something is missing, when no such covering would have been missing at all.”

“It’s the wearer of the shoe,” replied Sammy, “who best knows where it pinches, as they say, to which I would add that a bra is very like a shoe.”

“What knowest thou of bras?” asked Doff de Chonez.

“Not that I’ve ever worn one, Your Nakedity,” Sammy hasted to make clear, “but what I mean to say is that a bra must pinch rather like a shoe does, or like a pair of pants can.”

“Thou hast a most prodigious memory for proverbs,” answered Doff de Chonez, “matched by your fanciful imagination. Yes, all clothing can pinch, and yet here, for the Miwok, there was practically none to speak of. What word be there for a brassiere, when no such contraption exists?”

“It’s a great question,” responded Sheila—who, with her brother Eric, had approached the extraordinary nudists—“because you’re exactly right. The Miwok used very little clothing, especially in the summer. It was only after Francis Drake and other Europeans arrived that they began to learn of bras and corsets, jackets and pantaloons, and so many more restrictive garments.”

“I imagine” added Eric, “that’s also when they began to complain about pinching, too.”

Miwok structures at Kule Loklo

A family of several adults and children appeared suddenly, having walked around the dwelling without seeing Eric’s group on the other side. Sheila, reacting quickly, introduced herself as a guide, and then introduced the pair of nudists as “special visitors” who had decided to try the lifestyle of the Coast Miwok.

“Truly hast thou spoken,” said Doff de Chonez, “for I am most inspired by the lives of those who bare themselves to the elements, those who bare themselves not briefly, but constantly.”

“Mommy,” said a little girl in the group, tugging at her blouse. “Can I try?”

When the mother looked around, she saw that the girl’s brother had already taken his shirt off and was poised to remove his pants. She acted quickly to stop him.

“It’s alright,” said Sheila, who winked at Eric. “Today only, park visitors are allowed to participate in Miwok fashion. But I’m off duty and leaving the park now. After that, only you will be able to answer for your… fashion.”

“You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, I always say,” said Sammy, “but you can probably make a good stew of it.”

The mother stared blankly at Sammy, but she desisted from keeping her children’s clothes on, and the two of them were soon running naked around the conical dwelling with such joy and abandon that the mother and father could only smile.

“Enjoy the rest of your day here at Kule Loklo,” said Sheila, as she and Eric led Doff de Chonez and Sammy back to Eric’s car.

“With regular traffic,” Eric said, “we should still be able to enjoy a couple hours at the nude beach before the sun goes down. You sure you’re up for this, sis?”

“If the brother and sister we just saw could throw off their clothes and run around in the sun,” replied Sheila, “then we can too. Plus, I really appreciate you coming out here to pick me up, so it’s the least I can do to accommodate myself to your schedule. But, like, will you at least introduce me to your friends you’ve told me so much about?”

Introductions were made as Eric, Sheila, Sammy, and Doff de Chonez settled into Eric’s hatchback and headed south to Baker Beach.

next episode:

Chapter XI
IN WHICH IS DESCRIBED THE DISTURBING APPEARANCE OF THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE MOON

Chapter 9 of The Nude Adventure of Doff de Chonez

Chapter IX
WHEREIN ARE CHRONICLED THE ADVENTURES OF DOFF DE CHONEZ AND SAMMY PANZOV IN THE CITY BY THE BAY, ALONG WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE CONSIDERABLE CONCERN OF THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Jeff helped Minerva find some fruit, bread and cheese, while Doff contemplated waking up his sleeping companion. After a while, when Sammy snored so loudly that he startled himself and rolled over, Doff took advantage of the moment to push him all the way over, and continue rolling him across the floor. Sammy, prodigious sleeper that he was, did not wake up, and ended up lying on a large blanket that someone had stretched out on the floor next to the couch. Jeff, who had come back from the kitchen to see what had happened, hatched an idea, recruiting Doff and the two remaining guests to help him.

Heavy as he was, Sammy proved challenging yet possible to lift from the floor when each of the four lifters held a corner of the blanket. After some good-natured rolling back and forth, with no result, the four blanket-holders began some increasingly aggressive tossing of Sammy’s natural form in all its glory, a tossing that stretched the blanket’s fibers as much as it sapped the strength and strained the credulity of the tossers. When Sammy finally did wake up, he was in a very foul mood indeed.

“I was better left alone,” Sammy complained, “but as it was, more force was needed in the tossing. After all, if you are wearing shoes, you don’t fear the thorns, as they say, but my poor, sore, bare pompis cringed from fear of the floor, which they kissed through the blanket a little too often.”

“Next time, friend,” chuckled Doff de Chonez, “eat less and sleep less, for you have but one life to live naked.”

“It’s true,” replied Sammy, “but I also have but one butt, and between one buttock and the other, I’d better stay buttoned together.”

Minerva and the rest of the late-night revelers found mirth and delight in the banter between the two nudists-errant, and after a fresh and filling breakfast, the general spirits of the group were much elevated.

By that point, Eric had returned, and so our nudist heroes took their leave of Minerva and the others, and piled into Eric’s tiny two-door hatchback along with Jeff, dressed in his barista uniform, who sat up front with Eric. But just as they were pulling away, Minerva came running to the car with a bundle in her arms.

“Here,” she said. “The nude dudes will need these.” She passed through the window two large bright pink towels, nicely folded, that she had no doubt retrieved from the closet of her ex’s new partner’s sister.

“Thanks,” said Eric, passing the towels to Doff de Chonez and Sammy Panzov, and instructing them to sit on them, which they did, even though it was no small struggle to maneuver the towels in order to spread them out between their bottoms and the cramped back seat.

Soon they were headed north to San Francisco, and we, dear reader, shall leave them momentarily on said trajectory, in this way coinciding by design with a complete lack of information as to what, if any, conversation transpired in Eric’s hatchback, which, it is alleged, was a white 1995 Honda Civic, or whether any stops were made along the way, or to what music they may have listened while traveling, etc., such that we may return to consideration of the perspectives and preoccupations of those whom Doff de Chonez and Sammy had abandoned in their tiny central California hamlet, namely, the priest, and Dr. Nicholson, as well as Doña Mercedes, and also Teresa Dominguez, wife of Sammy.

Dr. Nicholson and the priest, who had not seen hide nor hair of their friend Donny Lopez, also known as Doff de Chonez, since the day they had scrutinized his library, which had been two days hence, had arranged to meet for lunch to discuss the measures they could take regarding his disappearance. The location they selected for this tête-à-tête, due to convenience as well as menu, was, as it so happened, none other than the Olive Garden in Modesto. Having arrived late, Dr. Nicholson had parked his vehicle and was striding energetically toward the entrance when he recognized a bicycle that had fallen against a bike rack. Dr. Nicholson knew Bare Glider well, since he had hoisted the bike into the back of his SUV not three days since.

Dr. Nicholson found the priest already seated at his table, shared the news about Bare Glider, and together they consulted Roger, the restaurant manager, who spared no detail in relating Doff de Chonez’s manic attack on the restaurant patron, and his brazen accusation of a stolen dress. Moreover, Roger informed them of an update: that very morning, Edgar, driver of the ‘denudery’ van, had made another delivery to the restaurant, and, in small talk with Roger, had informed him of his discovery of the naked stowaways, along with an account of their nocturnal adventure at Nepenthe. Upon understanding the two men’s urgency, Roger was able to obtain Edgar’s phone number, and, after a few text exchanges with him, the phone number of Minerva, who did not immediately respond.

The priest and the doctor ate their lunch in anticipation of some further revelation, and, fortunately, Minerva sent a text before too long, stating that her friend Eric was, at that moment, driving the nudists-errant to San Francisco. She provided Eric’s number, but when Dr. Nicholson attempted contact, there was no response, so he left a voice message.

After finishing their lunch and leaving a generous tip, the two men exited the establishment, squeezed Bare Glider and Low Rider into Dr. Nicholson’s SUV, and rushed off to spread the news. The priest drove straight to the home of Doña Mercedes, to whom he communicated these revelations, and who reacted with no small interest. The doctor, for his part, drove to where he guessed to be the home of Samuel Dominguez, where he found a note taped to the front door that read as follows:

Panzón,
Estoy en casa de mi hermana. If you don’t come home a richer man, you’d better at least come home a wiser one.
Teresa

By the time Dr. Nicholson met the priest and Doña Mercedes at her house, Eric had returned the doctor’s call, explaining that he and Doff de Chonez and Sammy were on their way to Baker Beach, but that first he had to drop off a friend in the Marina District. Indeed, Dr. Nicholson had heard Doff de Chonez greet him loudly from the back of Eric’s car, confirming his presence. In light of these developments, Dr. Nicholson proposed to the gathered parties that, since he happened to have the afternoon off, he would set out right away for Baker Beach to retrieve the pants-free pair. Although the doctor asked the priest whether he wanted to accompany him, to which the man-of-the-cloth responded affirmatively, he did not ask Doña Mercedes, who took offense at the exclusion, pointing out that she, too, would like to go along. And so, after a few moments in which Doña Mercedes packed a few items, including towels, sunscreen, and snacks, the three of them set out on the two-hour drive to the beach.

And now, patient reader, we shall return to San Francisco, where, as it turned out, the coffee shop where Jeff worked was to be found right across from the picturesque Palace of Fine Arts. Eric parked, asking his backseat passengers, given their state of undress, to stay in the car, where he would return to them briefly with beverages, and then walked inside with Jeff.

The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

“Lookest thou there, friend Sammy,” stated Doff de Chonez, pointing out the car window. “Behold the travesty of a joyous occasion impeded by an abundance of textiles.”

“It’s a wedding, Your Nudity,” observed Sammy, “and they’re wearing what people normally wear when getting married.”

“’Tis a sham wedding,” asserted Doff de Chonez, “when bride and groom cannot even appear before each other and their loved ones in their natural state.”

“Well, as I’ve often heard it said,” replied Sammy, “the bride who wears four petticoats has a lot to hide, and to that I’d add that a good cummerbund hides a good panzón¡Señor! ¡Cuidado! Look out for traffic!”

Doff de Chonez had flung the car door open and hopped out, right into the street, sans bright pink towel. Sammy quickly followed, and the two made their way across the street and over the lawn to the main pavilion of the Palace grounds, where the bride and her maids of honor were posing for photographs while the groom and the groomsmen looked on.

Respectful of tradition—it was a wedding, after all—Doff de Chonez stopped some ten yards from the women and, placing his hands as a cone to his mouth, shouted the following: “If thou lovest thy bridegroom with open heart and open soul, hide thou them not from he who would also open himself to thee!”

At this, the women broke their poses to look over quizzically at the two naked men.

“He means,” Sammy yelled, “show your posterior for posterity!”

Suddenly many voices could he heard on the breeze, from the bride and her maids as well as the groom and his men:

“What kind of weird hecklers are they?”

“It’s those guys from the Castro – you know, those naked dudes that hang out on the street corner.”

“Well, she wanted to get married in the city.”

“I’ve heard of those guys, but… I don’t see any Prince Albert. Can’t be them.”

Doff de Chonez, wounded to the core by these comments, responded at an even higher decibel level, “This Prince Albert of Castro, is not I! I am Doff de Chonez pa su Mecha, nudist-errant and righter of wrongs, with my friend Sammy Panzov, and we are here on a mission to correct misconceptions about nudity!”

“That’s a tall order, friend,” shouted the photographer. “I know, because sometimes I photograph nudes. The misconceptions people have are numerous and enormous. But… you know what? C’mon over and get in the photo! Let’s get your message across that way. Is that alright, Janine? Just for a few shots?”

“Uhm…” replied the bride.

“C’mon,” urged her maid-of-honor, sporting a silly grin. “Go with the flow. It’ll be fun!”

“OK, I guess,” determined the bride, smiling graciously. “Why not? Just a few shots.”

And so Doff de Chonez and Sammy hustled into the group, smiling and adjusting their poses in response to the photographer’s commands while he took another score of shots, in a few of which Sammy impishly raised the hem of the bride’s gown up to her knee.

The groom, a tad concerned, had come to stand just outside range of the camera. When the photographer finished, Sammy approached cautiously to share a word with him: “As I always heard it said, if you don’t lift the skirt of a bride, you don’t know what she wears under it.”

“You have no idea,” replied the groom, smiling, but with a harsh edge to his voice, “and I’d rather keep it that way.”

By this point, Eric had left the coffee shop, returned to the empty car, and walked over to the easily discovered location of his two passengers. With the bright pink towels in hand, he pinned Doff de Chonez around the waist, covering his loins, and then Sammy, and began to lead them away, with each of his hands tightly gripping one or the other’s towel and steering them by their hips, but not before the best man, having mistaken the naked intruders for indigents, hastily pressed a wad of bills into Sammy’s palm.

“Gentlemen,” Eric announced as they walked back to his car, “we’re lucky this is San Francisco. In so many ways! Also, there’s been a change of plans. My sister Sheila’s car broke down. I need to go pick her up at her workplace. Hop in! And if you don’t wear anything else, at least wear your seat belts.”

next episode:

Chapter X
WHICH TREATS OF THE DREAM OF DOFF DE CHONEZ, AS WELL AS A REENACTMENT FROM THE ANNALS OF THE HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

Chapter 8 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter VIII
IN WHICH ARE RELATED THE AMUSING PARTICULARS OF AN ASTONISHING ENCOUNTER ALONG THE CALIFORNIA COAST

As the denudery van continued along the highway, Sammy held one finger against his lips, imploring Doff de Chonez to remain silent. But whether it was from all the excitement, or from the lack of food, or some other cause, it soon became evident that Sammy needed to release what no one could release for him, and thus their silence was abruptly punctuated by an explosive sound, followed immediately thereupon by a pervasive stench.

The driver of the van cursed loudly. The pair of nudists suffered bumps against their persons as the van swerved, corrected, and veered to the side of the road, where it jerked to a stop. The driver opened his door and walked quickly around to the back, proceeding to open the rear doors. He was met by the sight of two naked men.

“Holy shiitake mushrooms! What are you doing in my van?” yelled the driver. “And what’s that awful smell?”

Doff de Chonez merely turned to his companion and stated, “Sammy, thy flatulence is epic.”

“A stitch in time saves nine,” said Sammy, “but I tell you that cloth breeches would have stifled both sound and smell.”

“Thou speakest truth, friend,” replied Doff de Chonez, “and yet intestinal fortitude prevails over a bolt of cotton.”

“Indeed,” agreed Sammy, “and so much so, that the fortitude of my intestines would have blown a hole through…”

“Look, locos,” interrupted the driver, who was an edgy young man with many tattoos visible or partially visible on his arms, and impressively gauged ears, “there was something weird going on at the Olive Garden. It was you two, wasn’t it?”

“On the contrary,” replied Doff de Chonez, “it was a thief who had purloined the gown of my Lady Mechinelda, and I…”

“TMI, jefe,” responded the driver. “What I need to know is, like, what are you doing in my, like, van?”

“Please sir,” responded Sammy, winking broadly at the driver while jerking his head toward Doff de Chonez, “we are hoping that you don’t mind us accompanying you to your next denudery.”

“My next, like, what?” asked the driver.

“Surely, young friend,” Sammy hastened to explain, “you have some other delivery… I mean, er, denudery to make yet this evening?”

“No,” replied the driver, folding his arms. “As you can see, amigo, the back of the van is, like, nude.”

“And this is how,” interjected Doff de Chonez, “we knew it to be a denudery van. Oh, Sammy Panzov, faithful friend and valiant nudist-in-training, thou wert correct. Will wonders never cease?”

The driver looked from one man to the other, trying to decide which was the crazier. “Look, guys, I can, like, feel, like, the naked. I mean, like, I’ve been to Black’s Beach, right? But right now, like, I’m on my way to Big Sur to meet my, like, girlfriend. She works at this famous restaurant that’s, like, right on the ocean, and like super fancy. I always forget what it’s called. But anyway maybe you two crazy caballeros could, like, fit in, because, like, after the rich folks leave, the place goes to the like, hippies. It’s, like, real informal and all, and I don’t know if her manager knows, but, like, clothing, would be like totally optional.”

“Young man,” replied Doff de Chonez with an extreme solemnity not entirely unmerited, “if you could transport us to this notable hub of denudery, we would be most grateful.”

“And, perhaps,” added Sammy, “you could also share some of the chips you have in a bag I saw in the front seat.”

The driver, who asked our heroes to call him Edgar, did indeed share his chips, and some soda, and a blanket to sit on, as well as many colorful observations while listening to his companions relate their adventures—all of which are already known to you, dear reader—and driving to Big Sur.

It was past dark when they arrived at Nepenthe, for this is indeed the name of the renowned restaurant along Highway One where Edgar’s girlfriend waited tables. The last few diners were leaving as Edgar drove his van around the discreetly illuminated property to the back, near the service entrance.

Nepenthe, a wonderful destination whose name means ‘inspired forgetfulness’

“Truly, friends,” spoke Doff de Chonez, as he observed the hanging lights, the cozy warmth of the fire pit, and the lights far off the shore as reflected on the surface of the ocean, “a more enchanted naturist resort I have never beheld.”

“Like, did you say, a naturist resort?” chuckled Edgar. “I mean, it’s not… whatever.”

“Dost thou know, friend Edgar,” inquired Doff de Chonez, “whether the property maintains affiliation with AANR-West?”

“Like, I don’t even,” he replied in the lingo of his tribe.

“American Alliance for Naked Restaurants,” whispered Sammy, but not soft enough that Doff de Chonez did not hear him.

“It’s the American Association for Nude Recreation,” corrected Doff de Chonez, “although I propose that an alliance of naked restaurants would be most welcome and useful, especially for this lyrically lovely location.”

Advising the naked travelers to stay near the van, Edgar parked and went in search of his girlfriend. When he returned with her a few minutes later, Doff de Chonez and Sammy saw that she was a lovely young woman with long hair and a long flowing skirt, and she was unperturbed by their nudity. She introduced herself as Minerva, immediately took off her top, and began smoking something Edgar passed to her.

“Don’t be so bashful,” Minerva admonished her boyfriend. “Leave your clothes here, and let’s show these guys the lookout.”

Edgar left his clothes in the van and grabbed a flashlight. The two nudists-errant, still unaccustomed to going barefoot on any kind of surface, stepped gingerly along the forest path strewn with pebbles and roots and twigs, as they made their way down the hill toward the Pacific. Before long, they came to a clearing with a view of the ocean below them and of the restaurant back above them.

Soon there were more arrivals—other restaurant staff and their friends, and a dog—and various smoking objects were passed around, and incense was lit, and a guitar was strummed, and songs were sung, and some people lost all their clothes while others remained partially or completely dressed. Someone’s shirt ended up on the dog.

At some point, Doff de Chonez asked Sammy if he were dreaming.

Cup in hand, Sammy swept his arm grandiosely across the stars, spilling beer as he did so. “The coat of truth is often lined with illusion,” he quoted mysteriously, and, according to unanimous opinion of the historians, chroniclers, translators, editors, journalists, publishers and further specialists in the great narrative of human nature invested in the accurate preservation of this remarkable adventure, the utterance of Sammy’s proverb is the last detail that can be known for certain about the evening, with no further record until the next morning, when, as you, dear reader, will ascertain, the very participants in this adventure found themselves in search of understanding.

Long past dawn of the next day, Doff de Chonez awoke with a start. He gaped at his surroundings, blinking and trying to understand where he was. His surprise grew when he realized that what he had assumed to be a pillow was the backside of his companion Sammy. He struggled to his feet, observing that he and Sammy and some half-dozen other people in the large living room were all naked, some sleeping as was Sammy, some stirring. Presently Minerva entered the room, nude as well, and saw that he was awake.

“Want some coffee?” she asked.

Señorita,” began Doff de Chonez, “with great pleasure I would indeed enjoy some coffee, and perhaps something to eat if such is available, but I must first pray thee reveal to me my location.”

“This is my place,” she replied. “Well… actually, it’s my ex’s new partner’s sister’s place, but she’s totally cool with it. Yeah, you were pretty knocked out last night.”

“I…,” stuttered Doff de Chonez, “I don’t know what happened. The last I can recall, there were many people dancing and singing naked under the stars, and… I swear… I danced with my Lady Mechinelda.”

“Oh!” she giggled. “I don’t know, maybe that was me? I’m pretty sure I danced with you at some point. But I’m Minerva, not Meshinella.”

“It was me!” shouted someone from the couch under the window. This person sat up—a very tall man with no hair on his head and much hair on his chest—yawned and stretched, and continued, “I don’t know what exactly you consumed, old man, but you kept blabbering at me about a clothesline and a stolen dress, and the only way I could get you to shut up was to dance around with you.”

“My sincere apologies,” said Doff de Chonez. “I was not myself.”

“It’s alright,” said the man, changing his voice to a sassy tone. “You dance divinely.”

“You had some mushrooms,” Minerva clarified to Doff de Chonez, “and, well… they took effect. I think that was it. But your friend, there – wow! He ate mushrooms, popcorn, brownies, carrots, beef jerky, chips, pretzels, peanuts, and he finished off a case of stout… and poor Tristan, I had promised him some steak scraps from the kitchen–Nepenthe has great steaks–but Sammy got to them first.”

From his spot near the door, Tristan the dog whined dejectedly. With an odd mix of amusement, respect, and disdain, everyone looked at Sammy Panzov, who was still fast asleep, face-down on a mat on the floor.

“He’ll be out for a few more hours, I expect,” said the man who had danced with Doff de Chonez. “Listen, I have a few errands to run around town, but afterwards I need to drive to the city. I’m offering to take you two with me – by that time your friend should be awake.”

“Great idea, Eric!” said Minerva. “That would be really helpful.”

“What city would that be?” asked Doff de Chonez.

“San Francisco, of course,” replied Eric. “We’re in Monterey now.”

“Can I go, too?” asked another voice from the couch, a man with a spiky fluorescent green mohawk.

“Sure thing, Jeff,” said Eric, already getting dressed. “I’ll be back in a couple hours.”

“Minerva,” asked Doff de Chonez, “I wish to inquire as to the whereabouts of our friend who drove us here.”

“Oh! You mean Edgar?” she replied. “He’s out making more de… denudies, is that it?”

“Denuderies?” suggested Doff de Chonez.

“Exactly,” continued Minerva. “He said to tell you, ‘Nice to meet you, it’s been real,’ and… what else?… oh yeah, ‘Stay naked.’”

Upon hearing these last words, Doff de Chonez dropped to his knees, bowed his head, and gave passionate voice to the following response: “This, and none other, is my great and guiding principle, and in the name of my Lady Mechinelda I so endeavor!”

next episode:

Chapter IX
WHEREIN ARE CHRONICLED THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF DOFF DE CHONEZ AND SAMMY PANZOV IN THE CITY BY THE BAY, ALONG WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE CONSIDERABLE CONCERN OF THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Chapter 7 of The Nude Adventures of Doff de Chonez

Chapter VII
IN WHICH IS RELATED THE ADVENTURE OF THE GARDEN OF OLIVES, TOGETHER WITH FURTHER NOTABLE OCCURRENCES

In spite of his injuries – a skinned knee, a sore shoulder, and a bruised arm – our singular hero Doff de Chonez continued, undaunted, along the service road toward Modesto, with his associate Sammy Panzov at his side. After a distance of approximately five miles, with very little traffic, the duo stopped at a clearing some two hundred yards from the highway, to enjoy the lunch that Sammy’s wife, Teresa, had packed for them. Munching on fruit and sandwiches, Doff de Chonez gazed up into the very tall trees whose shade was keeping them out of the direct sunlight.

“Observe, Sammy,” he began, “these ancient sycamores. We can look to these trees as models for us, just as we look to leaders like Jorge Bandeira of Manaus, or Pedro Ribeiro of Abricó, or the joven Héctor Martínez of Guadalajara.”

“I know not, Your Nudeness,” began Sammy, between bites of plum, “of the names you speak, although I can assume they are the names of naturist leaders. But what do they have to do with trees?”

“Thou art correct,” replied Doff de Chonez, “that these people I mention are leaders – outstanding ones – who have established naturist groups in Brazil and Mexico where none had existed before. But I tell thee that the sycamores guide us as well. The older they get, the more they denude themselves: not just of their leaves, but also of their bark, branches, and seed pods. With greater height and age, they attain greater nudity. We should strive to live like the sycamores, tall and proud and nude.”

California sycamore

“Of sycamores I know very little,” assessed Sammy, “with the exception of what you’ve just explained. However, of olives I would certainly like to learn more.”

Doff de Chonez looked around. “Where is the olive grove that has prompted this comparison?”

“It is not a grove,” replied Sammy, “but rather a garden, of the kind where they serve comida. Look there – that sign across the highway is what has captured my attention.”

“How is it,” began Doff de Chonez, “that, having just finished a rather generous repast, thou canst already be thinking about more food?”

“It is natural in me,” said Sammy, patting his belly, “for, as it is said, if the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet, especially when, as that sign indicates, we must first cover another ten miles before we arrive at the Olive Garden in Modesto.”

“I suppose it is in our best interest,” affirmed Doff, “that thou art capable of mounting a good plan, even in the face of such nonsensical sayings and non-sequiturs that thou profferest with a frequency both amusing and alarming. But tell me, friend Sammy, what is this object here at the bottom of the lunch bag?”

“This,” said Sammy, holding a cylindrical object, “is something that I’m glad Your Nudeship has found, because I forgot it was there. It is Teresa’s lipstick.”

“Is it,” asked the nudist-errant, “a token of her esteem for you?”

Todo puede ser,” replied Sammy, “but what she explained to me is that we need to use it in order to spell out another one of her special protections for us, across each other’s backs.”

“Don’t misunderstand me, friend,” said Doff de Chonez, “but frankly, I think that thy wife should have accompanied us. She is a woman of great knowledge and understanding.”

“I did invite her, Your Nakedness,” maintained Sammy, “but she explained that she was anticipating an urgent root canal procedure. In any case, we are to write ‘WNBR,’ which, as I recall her saying, stands for ‘Work Naked Bike Right.’”

“Ah!,” exclaimed Doff de Chonez. “Yes, I see. But the phrase is World Naked Bike Ride, which as far as I know, is an event that is not being held today, and yet her excellent plan is one of protective precaution, no doubt to give notice to drivers. Such a cautious and alert woman she is.”

While there is some debate among historians as to the exact shade of the lipstick – most declare it to have been ‘burgundy’ while some few hold-outs insist it was ‘fire engine red,’ basing their claim on weather conditions, skin tone, income, beauty product marketing and distribution, and any number of further variables – what is certain is that before long, Doff de Chonez and Sammy Panzov were back on the road, each with ‘WNBR’ written in large block letters across his back. Moreover, since Sammy had joked about his tricycle being his ‘lowrider,’ Doff had requested he mark the name Low Rider along the frame, at least provisionally in lipstick, since the moniker so nicely made rhyme and echo with that of his own bicycle, Bare Glider.

As the pair of pelados approached the restaurant, there was an increase in traffic, with a resulting uptick in stares and honks and finger-pointing. It so happened that the Olive Garden was at the close end – that is, the end that our heroes reached first – of a line of businesses and restaurants along the service road that catered to the interstate traffic. Since, from the effort of cycling ten miles farther under the hot sun, they were indeed at least thirsty, if not extremely hungry, they parked Bare Glider and Low Rider behind the restaurant, dismounted, and began to walk toward the entrance.

¡Santo cielo!” exclaimed Doff. “Look thou, Sammy, at the woman walking ahead of us into the restaurant. Is that not my Lady Mechinelda?”

“Do you mean,” Sammy asked, “our neighbor, Doña Mercedes? Unless she dyed her hair and had plastic surgery, then, no, that’s not her.”

“I swear to you, Sammy,” continued Doff de Chonez, “that I have witnessed my dear naked Lady Mechinelda hanging that very dress, with that exact violet and rose pattern, onto her clothesline in her backyard.”

At this, Sammy looked askance at his friend, and stated, “‘Tis no wonder, for one devil is very like another. There are probably many women who have the same dress, because, as it is often said, good fortune wears a pretty dress but its underclothes do not bear investigation, and this is all to say that…”

But Sammy proceeded no further in this indubitably logical pronouncement, because Doff de Chonez had already run forward, leaping onto the back of the man who accompanied the woman and who, at that moment, had been preparing to open the door to the restaurant.

“Miscreant!” yelled Doff de Chonez. “How darest thou filch the dress of my Lady Mechinelda, and proffer it to someone else, when there be no reason for anybody to wear a dress in the first place?”

The man began swinging around, yelling, trying to get Doff de Chonez off his back, but the nudist-errant hung on with a tight grip by his arms, and by his legs as well, around the man’s chest.

Señorita,” added Doff de Chonez, trying to address the woman when he could see her but finding this impossible due to all the spinning, “I require thee to remove that stolen dress immediately!”

The woman, who did not know whether to laugh or shout, seeing her partner attacked by a naked madman, quickly became angry when she heard Doff’s demand, and, taking her purse while waiting for her next chance from her spinning partner, slapped Doff with it across his posterior.

“Ouch!” howled our misinformed hero, who, in his agony and shock, relaxed his limbs enough for the man to force him off his back. He fell to the pavement, landing on his already bruised buttocks. The accosted man, muttering something about teaching Doff de Chonez a lesson, was about to punch him when Sammy intervened.

“Don’t hurt him, sir, please!” yelled Sammy. “He’s confused! He thought she was someone else! Here, look,” he added, giving the man and the woman their special cards, “we’re nudists!”

The couple, after reading the non compos mentis cards and staring blankly at each other, gave up on the nudists and began assessing each other’s health and emotional state.

The ruckus had raised the interest of the restaurant customers and staff, who could see what was happening through the window. Several patrons brandished their cell phones, taking photos and videos and texting about the melee. The restaurant door opened, and a large man walked out, whose name tag announced him as Roger, the manager.

“I’ve already called the cops,” said Roger. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll get your clothes on, right now,” he added, addressing the nudists-errant. “And for you,” he said to the couple who had been the victims of the attack, “my apologies. Your dinner is on the house.”

The grateful couple thanked the manager and made their way into the restaurant, while Sammy Panzov turned to his friend and spoke, sotto voce, “Señor, follow my lead.”

“OK then, we’re going to put our clothes on!” Sammy loudly announced. “Our clothes are in the basket on my bicycle! We’ll be right back!”

As the restaurant manager looked on, Sammy took Doff’s hand and led him behind a delivery van that had parked in between their bicycles and the restaurant entrance.

“Sammy,” protested Doff, “we haven’t retrieved my Lady’s dress. What art thou about?”

“We have to… uh… alert your Lady to the theft of her dress,” Sammy improvised, “so that she may confirm it is indeed hers.”

“But if we are to do this,” began Doff de Chonez, “then we must act with extreme haste!”

Sí, señor,” replied Sammy, opening the back doors of the van, “which is why we are getting into the back of this delivery… I mean, denudery van.”

“A denudery van, Sammy?” wondered Doff. “What dost thou mean?”

“Observe that the inside of the van,” Sammy pointed out, “is denuded of any seats, carpeting or anything at all that might be upholstered. Such is the sign of a denudery van, which is a… public service for those who, like us, need help to denude in a hurry. Now, hop in, please, Your Denudeship.”

“In all my readings about naturism and nudism and skyclad happenings,” muttered Doff de Chonez as he climbed into the back of the van, “I have never come across any reference to such a thing as a denudery van.”

“Well, as they say,” answered Sammy, “he who waits for a dead man’s shoes may long go barefoot. Now, crouch down here a moment and, I beg you, hold your tongue.”

The van driver returned, opened the door, sat down behind the wheel and started the engine. Doff de Chonez, once he perceived the van’s movement, whispered to Sammy, “What about Bare Glider? And Low Rider?”

“We shall leave them here at the garden of olives,” consoled Sammy, “and in that way, should your Lady Mechinelda need to pursue the matter of her filched dress, she will know where to locate the thief.”

“This is a very clever plan,” agreed Doff de Chonez, “and she is indeed a most clever woman.”

Sammy nodded and sighed, eyeing, through the back window of the van, the arrival of a patrol car to the restaurant parking lot.

Soon the van had pulled onto the Interstate, and our heroes accommodated their bared buttocks as comfortably as they could against the denuded floor of the van, for an excursion of unknown duration.

next episode:

Chapter VIII
IN WHICH ARE RELATED THE AMUSING PARTICULARS OF AN ASTONISHING ENCOUNTER ALONG THE CALIFORNIA COAST