The other day my son Clyde got into a wrestling match with two of Clementine’s friends. Now, normally, this sort of fight would have been over in seconds—two sixteen-year-old boys versus one nine-year-old is a pretty uneven match up. But, unbeknownst to Sam and Eli, Clyde had a secret weapon up his sleeve—or rather, down his pants. Yep, it seems that at some point in the wrestling—and with plenty of encouragement from Clyde, I am sure—Clyde’s pants came clean off, leaving him absolutely, one-hundred percent, naked.
Not that this stopped Clyde from carrying on the fight, especially when he noticed that his nudity was helping him turn the tide of battle. And how could it not? What sixteen-year-old boy—or any-year-old boy, for that matter—wants to take the chance of touching or getting touched by a nine-year-old’s junk? And so, what looked like a fight that was going to be a serious beat-down—for Clyde at least—turned into a rout. It was brutal, kind of a cross between the sauna scene in “Eastern Promises” and the creepy little ghost kid scene in “The Grudge.” It was also, after the initial unveiling, totally one-sided: if it had been a professional fight the officials would’ve stopped it in the first round and the bookies would’ve refused to pay up. Actually, it’s too bad there isn’t a bookie living in my house: I could’ve made bank. Especially since at the beginning of the fight the odds were about100-to-1 against Clyde. Once the gloves—er, rather, pants—came off, however, it was no contest.
You’re probably thinking, sure, you would’ve cleaned up if you’d thought to make the bet, but who bets on a nine-year-old against two sixteen-year-olds? Well, I’ll tell you who: me. That’s because, to me, the whole pants-less ninja thing honestly wasn’t that big of a surprise. It’s true: if there’s one thing I know about Clyde, it’s that he revels in his nudity. And yes, I know that lots of little kids like to run around naked, but for most of them it’s something they outgrow. Not Clyde, though: he is as happy being naked today as he was the day he was born—more so, even, because now he is able to fully understand how uncomfortable it can make other people feel. Understand, and revel in it.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Heck, it might even turn out to be a good thing. He might turn out to be a nude model for an art class. Or at the very least, a JC Penney underwear model. But then again, those are the best case scenarios; there’s another, darker future out there that I shudder to even consider. What if Clyde becomes “Naked Dude?”
You know the guy I’m talking about—the guy who never misses an opportunity to get naked in front of strangers. The guy who is always waiting for you at the hot springs, or the remote trailhead, or that special waterfall that you hiked four hours just to reach. Oh sure, I know that, unlike Clyde, all of these guys are in their mid-fifties, but logic tells me that they didn’t start out that way. I mean, they had to have been kids at some point, right? Maybe even “Naked Kid”? But then again, maybe their “Naked Guy” careers didn’t start until they hit middle age. Maybe, in their youths, they were just as repressed as the rest of us.
And maybe that will be the difference between them and Clyde. Maybe they started their lives with their clothes on, and have been slowly removing them ever since. Just like Clyde will maybe start to slowly add more and more on.
Maybe. But in any event, it probably would be a good idea for me to start looking for a bookie, for the next big fight. Just in case.