Gettin’ nekkid

The alternative title for today’s tome was “Tender moments”, but I went with the option which I felt provided better “click bait” (well, it’s a competitive market for readers’ eyes out there).

So far as I can recall (and my parents may correct me here), I have never felt any pressing need to spend any more time in my birthday suit than is strictly necessary.  When required – usually in a medical or changing room context (nothing to do with Carol Smillie) – I am not shy about removing my kit: I see no benefit faffing around with a towel in an attempt at concealment (or increased titillation).  Indeed, as made clear in an earlier post, I can be quite brazen about the whole process – especially for comic effect.  I work on the principle that on such occasions everyone else in the room should be familiar with the male physiognomy in its entirety.  I am also reasonably confident that I have the standard set of equipment issued to the adult Y-chromosome holder with no obvious deficiencies or unexpected extras.  In an attempt to keep the sauce levels in the post up, I could point out that I have a big nose and large hands and leave readers to draw their own conclusions about the rest of my anatomy.

I am aware that some people do like to divest themselves of their clothing for extended periods and to do so outdoors: one supposed benefit is the increased feeling of freedom.  I am willing to concede that, if practised over the long term there could be a degree of freedom from laundry, but I’d take the physical protection provided by my clothes and shoes any day (it’s not as though I have to take my washing down to the river and beat it with sticks).   Still, it takes all sorts (if you want a bag of liquorice-based bon-bons) and I have no objection to this life choice – as long as they can cope with my childish tendency to snigger.

One chap, famously, is an incorrigibly nude rambler and is constantly arrested and jailed – at huge public expense.  I fail to see who the involvement of the criminal justice system benefits.  Some might say “think of the children”, but in my experience children would either point and ask tactless questions of a nearby parent/guardian or take my own approach and giggle.  Either way, the rambler seems to suffer far more potential harm than the child.  (I should perhaps remind readers that I am not a parent, though was recently allowed to be in charge of a pram and baby for a little while).  This tendency to refer everything which we don’t like (or our xenophobic, misogynistic, reactionary, soon-to-be chip wrapping of choice tells us we shouldn’t like) to be handled via the creation of a criminal offence seems to be out of control.  On this week’s Thinking Allowed I discovered to (even my cynical) shock that in the last year for which data exists, 42(forty-two!) new criminal offences were added to the statute book (and this was not an unusual number – just ask Douglas Adams).  No wonder the police and courts are collapsing under the strain.  We really need to find a better – and cheaper – way of expressing our disapproval of other people’s lifestyles (or better yet, in many cases, mind our own business).  How about tutting?  Or an extra hard stare?

Anyway, as I set out yestere’en (like a low rent Laurie Lee) to see Tiernan Douieb and Bec Hill “make with the funny” (to use a ghastly modern phrase) at the Arthouse Cafe, I sighted a gaggle of cyclists riding up the road towards me (I was afoot at the time, much like the game).  Nothing unusual you might think, but the entire gaggle of cyclists were naked (OK, not entirely, one was missing a bike but wearing trainers).   Obviously, I found this rather amusing – though resisted the urge, which overtook almost all my fellow pedestrians, to capture this moment for posterity using my mobile phone.  However, I could not help but wince: of all the activities which I might consider doing in the buff, cycling is pretty low on the list, especially in the Southampton area.

The previous evening, I had cycled over to Eastleigh (a town with the misfortune, or perhaps destiny, to rhyme with “beastly”) to see Alex Horne build a mouse (sorry, squirrel) trap.  Previously, I would have made this journey by train, but the planned rail strike made me investigate alternative options and cycling seemed eminently viable.  The train strike was called off, but they had already lost my business (a warning there, perhaps) and I took myself the roughly six miles to Eastleigh en vélo.  A twelve mile round trip, with a couple of hours rest and a reasonably-priced ice-cream in the middle, should be as nothing to an athlete such as myself.  Indeed, the physical endeavour was not a major issue – but the appalling state of the road surfaces in and around Southampton caused a problem.  The following morning, when once again I mounted my titanium steed, I discovered that my nether regions were decidedly tender.  This was even with the not insubstantial protection offered by my trousers and under-crackers – I’d rather not imagine the state of my undercarriage had I undertaken the trip in the nude.  I would strongly suggest, even to the most committed of naturists, that naked cycling – unless on the most glassily smooth of road surfaces in the absence of any other traffic – is really not a great idea: unless the desire to be naked is strongly correlated with masochism (which isn’t impossible, I guess).

The moral of my tale, if such there be, is that perhaps our ancestors knew what they were doing when they invented clothing and it wasn’t entirely down to the munching on the fruit of the tree of knowledge or pressure from “the man” to cover up.

Imperial metrology mania

I have noticed that films and often TV programmes now start with a series of warnings about the horrors that will follow, so that the easily offended, startled or scared can opt-out.  The most extreme example was when I watched the excellent Shaun the Sheep movie, which warned nervous cinema-goers of scenes of mild slapstick!

In keeping with this fine tradition and to minimise the risk of later lawsuits, this post will being with quite a long list of warnings.

1.  This is the most expensive blog post every produced for GofaDM as I had to purchase £1.03 worth of haberdashery items from John Lewis to bring the auteur’s vision to the public.

2.  This blog will continue naked photos of parts of the author, though I think all (or some, ok a few) of you will agree that they are very tasteful and critical to the plot.

3.  This is probably the silliest blog post yet produced – and that is saying something.  As often with particularly silly posts, my massage therapist must bear some responsibility.

4.  You will eventually discover the joke which is the primary cause for this post, I would like to apologise now for the disappointment you will feel.

So, with the public health warnings out of the way, and any readers of a nervous disposition safely out of the room, on with the filth!

If the internet has taught us anything then it is the fact that there is nothing in heaven or earth (or even Popper’s World 3) which cannot be used by at least some of the world’s population as a stimulatory prelude to (in the immortal words of Ivo Graham – an irritatingly young, very dry and funny young man) some “downstairs admin”.  Try and hold on to that thought through what follows.

When I am face-down being massaged my therapist provides a little “rest” for my ankles so that my feet can be displayed to their best advantage (my therapist would probably insist that it is provided for my comfort, but we know better).  Somehow this fact led the conversation towards the idea of folk who enjoy(?) a foot fetish – oddly, despite metrication being old news, I have never heard of anyone with any sort of fetish for the metre (or any other SI unit – with the possible exception of the Henry and that may only have been in a music hall song).  Now my own feet are terribly neglected – I think because there are so far away from HQ – and so I find a gland-game based interest in feet incomprehensible.  Still, if you can’t beat then then join them – well, I have to find some way to monetise all the time I waste on this blog – and so I am presenting my own feet to the GofaDm readership in the hope of appealing to a much broader (if still niche) market.  It may also be some compensation to my feet: they may have been (at best) ignored for nearly half-a-century but now they have a chance to grab some time in the limelight!

Now, I will be the first to admit that I have no idea how pedal-extremity based erotica works, and I am not stupid enough to try and web search on this matter, so what follows will be my own take on the genre.  I thought we’d start with a plain vanilla, nude shot of my left foot (well, it did OK for Daniel Day Lewis).

My Left Foot!

My Left Foot!

A little boring perhaps, so maybe my right foot which is sporting a bit more of a dangerous, bad-boy vibe after the middle toe was (probably) broken a few years back.  We can’t be sure if it was, and as my then doctor told me, “there are only three important bones in the the foot and this isn’t one of them”.  Be prepared to swoon…

So right, surely it can't be wrong!

So right, surely it can’t be wrong!

Then again, I think a lot of the excitement in the erotic field is supposed to come from the human imagination, and these naked shots leave little scope to indulge your creativity.  So, how about my right foot peeking coquettishly from behind some transparent black mesh?  Would that get your motor running?

It's curtains for you!

It’s curtains for you!

Still able to keep your powder dry?  How about a little foot related bondage action to get the old juices flowing?

Restrain yourself!

Restrain yourself!

If your rocks are still “on” following that last graphic image, I’m starting to run out of ideas.  I am vaguely aware that a lot of soi-disant sexy underwear makes use of black lace (not the band) and so I thought I could give that a go.  Well, I keep socks in my underwear drawer so that makes them underwear as far as I’m concerned.

Agadoo!

Agadoo!

Actually, if I’m honest that last shot is a bit of a disappointment to me.  I’m not really a fan of lace (though I do now own a full 50cm of it – see above) – I’ve never liked it in clothing or bed linen.  I’ve never bought or used a doily and view net curtains (which often seem all too lacy) as the work of the devil.  All this despite my origin story having its roots in Nottingham which, as you will know, was the centre of lace making for the old Empire. No, I hate the stuff – in fact, I have come to realise that I am a complete lacist!

Yes, that was what all this was building up to: my spontaneously generated joke (when on the massage table) about being a lacist (which WordPress keeps trying to correct to start with an R and I have hopefully prevented).  I truly think that I have now won comedy and that, in terms of my wit, it will all be downhill from here.  Tune in to the next GofaDM post to find how fast I will be going!

Why I shouldn’t work with the public…

Before the post proper begins, we need two disclaimers.

  1. I am a very childish man – and I do realise that the current popular stereotype (when is the 3D version coming?) would suggest that whilst “childish” is an adjective it does very little to limit the scope of the noun “man”.
  2. I was asked not to write this post – but GofaDM will not be silenced!

Now, on with the motley!

Yesterday morning, I went for one of my periodic bouts of massage therapy in a vain (in at least two senses of the word) attempt to maintain my ageing body in some sort of fighting form.  It is also an attempt to delay the day on which I become a burden on the already over-stretched resources of the NHS.

The first order of business as a client is to disrobe to allow the therapist fairly full access to my flesh.  As I did this, I was struck – oddly for the first time – that my therapist rather obviously averted his (or her) gaze as my body was slowly revealed from the layers of clothing keeping the winter chill at bay.  Clearly, this was meant as a courtesy – to spare my blushes as my flesh was laid, quite literally, bare – but its absurdity suddenly became clear.  The instant after I stripped, I hopped up onto the cushioned bench (table?) provided and the therapist was forced to look upon my (almost) nakedness in order to apply his (or her) healing hands (and elbows) to render some basic repairs.

I also felt that this gaze-aversion could be taken as somewhat of an insult, surely my body was not so revolting that any viewer would attempt to minimise their exposure.  I like to imagine that I’m in pretty good shape for a man who will soon have to wave 47 goodbye – if not buff, then at least taupe or manila.  Were I of a less confident (née brazen) disposition, this “courtesy” could leave my delicate body-image crushed.  I found myself pondering (aloud) alternative approaches that could be taken.  Perhaps the therapist could watch the unveiling and make suitably appreciative comments as various areas where exposed – praising a well-turned ankle or finely honed acromion process?  This does after all count as complementary therapy (a pun that works better spoken or delivered by someone with poorer spelling).  OK, that isn’t really what I really thought.  What I actually said was that perhaps a well-timed wolf-whistle would be appropriate; or maybe just an exclamation of “Wow!”.  For the less well-honed physique, the therapist might require an arsenal of neutral but complimentary sounding phrases – such as those beloved of actor’s for use on a friends’ disastrous opening night:”Darling, what can I say?” might work – as but a single example.

I fear I then allowed my mind to wander and proposed that a well-prepared therapist would have suitable stripping music available to be played during the disrobement.  Make the process more of a feature of the session, rather than a mildly embarrassing aperitif.  I suppose the well-prepared client would bring his (or her) own music – something I have only just considered, but will now definitely be doing next time.

I have to say that none of my ideas were received with much approbation.  Most were considered inappropriate and likely to at best lose clients and at worst result in physical violence or a court case.  I found this a very disappointing response to what I still consider very valuable business development advice.  However, I fear the perceived quality of my advice may have been weakened by the fact that it reduced me (if no-one else} to tears of laughter.  My therapist was good enough to stare at me during some of my re-dressing process, but I didn’t feel his (or her) heart was fully in it – though I nonetheless enjoyed the attention!  When it came to time to pay for my therapy, I did feel the strange desire to stick the used twenties into a waist-band – which even I will admit was inappropriate and perhaps slightly confusing the relationship, but I think might encourage heavier tipping.

Given the above, I feel the title requires no further explanation and that I should continue in a b2b role – preferably conducted remotely using modern telecommunications technology

The quality of mercy

is supposedly like the gentle rain from Heaven, though recent events would suggest that celestial mercy may be rather strained.  Recent precipitation brings retribution to mind rather than mercy, and suggests a vengeful deity with an itchy trigger finger.

In the last 15 days, I have been soaked to the skin on three days (though four occasions) and have have been rendered pretty wet on a further ten days.  This is despite attempts on my part to use intelligence from the Met Office to travel at times of lower risk wherever possible.  In an attempt to restore the much-missed drought, I never leave the house without being laden down with waterproofs and an umbrella.  I have also purchased additional waterproof clothing (which gives my existing waterproofs longer to dry after each drenching) and even scarified the lawn (which has always generated desiccating weather in previous years).  What more can any man do?  If reverse psychology has stopped working on the weather then we really have wrecked the climate.

A recent article in the Guardian (or at least its headline, I refused to read further for fear of raising my blood pressure) exhorted cyclists to enjoy riding in the warm summer rain.  With temperatures struggling to reach my age (in Fahrenheit) and with 10-40mph of wind chill to add to that, I don’t really feel the rain is terribly warm (though one of the Inuit or Saami might take a different view).  If warmth were on offer, I might consider an alternative approach and swap the waterproofs for an absolute minimum of clothing (though cycling naked strikes me as a very dangerous and painful choice) and some shower gel: my skin would dry quicker and I’d save both on time and my water bill.  The only downside is that arriving in little more than my birthday suit at a theatre, concert hall or railway station, I would probably be considered a tad under-dressed however clean and sweet-smelling I was.

Whilst recognising the dangers of solipsism, on several occasions the weather has been dry for an extended period before my journey, with the first spots only appearing as I leave the shelter of a building.  I begin to think that rain-generation is either a third, unwanted super-power or to wonder if the fact that I called God a lousy lay in a previous post might have returned to haunt me.  On the plus side, I suppose I could hire myself out to drought-stricken regions of the globe or join the Fire Brigade (though they’d have to relax their eye-sight requirements and I’m not good with heights) and, of course, I should only be used for some types of fire (adding rain to those involving electricity or very hot metal would not be advisable).