Get “Yankee Naked”


If you’re a fan of the TV show “Seinfeld,” you know that there are generally two types of nudity: “good nudity” and “bad nudity.” Good nudity was represented by Seinfeld’s beautiful girlfriend, who, as a practitioner of nudism, liked to sit in the apartment with all her naked goodness. While I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between a practicing nudist and a non-practising one, trust me, this was good nude. Bad nudity was on full display when Jerry (who should be called Hairy Jerry Seinfeld) decided to join in on the naked fun by sanding the floor with a belt. The mere sight of his poor nudity was enough to make his girlfriend scream for Gap.

While Jerry Seinfeld isn’t a bad-looking guy, the point of the show was this: when it comes to nudity, there’s a not-so-fine line between good, bad, and ugly. A nude Marilyn Monroe lounging on a red velvet bedspread would be considered quite nude. A naked Bill Clinton eating red velvet cake, badly naked. A nude of Demi Moore on the cover of “Cosmopolitan Magazine”: “nice nude.” A nude Rush Limbaugh on the cover of “The Conservative Chronicle:” badly nude. Very bad nude. Very very bad…

Shortly after the good/bad nude episode of “Seinfeld” aired, Black & Decker, Craftsmen and Ronco began putting warning labels on all of their products announcing the dangers of combining power tools and salad shooters with bad nudity.

    “WARNING: Do not sand, saw, grind, drill, cut, rip, split, scrape, chip, or grate with any power tool while in an undressed state. Call our Bad Naked hotline at 1-800-SEVERED for more information and assistance. A licensed practicing stripper is available 24 hours a day to answer your power tool questions. Thank you for purchasing this product. And please wear something. You’re disgusting!”

What “Seinfeld” didn’t mention is that nudity, whether good or bad, comes in many different forms. For example, it’s just “naked,” which means you’re not wearing clothes and not making a big deal of it. We enter and leave the world in this state of nakedness. It’s the other states in between that usually get us into trouble.

Next up is “Buck Naked,” which means you’re not wearing any clothes and you’re pretty proud of it. Young children and toddlers are the biggest practitioners of buck naked. Who doesn’t remember stripping off their clothes and running around the living room naked like a white-tailed banshee whenever guests came by? Who can forget running for the benefit and amusement of their old man’s boss? And who can forget jumping out of the closet naked every time the preacher dropped by for a cup of Sunday afternoon coffee and a slice of mom’s apple pie? Did you never do that? Uh, me neither.

And finally, there’s what Granny Boozie Weinstock used to call, “Buck Dang Naked,” which means that not only are you not wearing any clothes, but you’re also up to no good. In the interest of common decency, I will not offer examples of BDN here, other than to say that we have all been there at one time or another and would probably pay to go back there again.

Nude can also be defined by geographical boundaries. For example, when a Northerner gets Buck Dang Naked with a group of his friends and they all run around a college campus, that’s called “Yankee Naked.” And last week a group of university students were practicing it to the maximum before the gaze of another group of spectators.

The Naked Mile, as the crazy Yankees call it, is an annual event that takes place on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. This year, more than a thousand naked runners participated, merrily running across the campus green in full view of the public. I’m certainly not a prude, but I found this shocking! I had no idea they had colleges in Michigan.

While I’m a huge fan of nudity, I have to ask: what’s up with our youth these days? Is this why we send our children to college? So they can run around naked in public? Whatever happened to the time-honored tradition of getting drunk and throwing up in the dean’s car? You never did that, either? Man, you really need to relax.

Some 1,500 runners did it all on Tuesday night when the race started shortly after 10 p.m. Oddly enough, it wasn’t all the naked college students running around that made the event controversial, it was the crowd of 10,000 clothed people who gathered to watch. It appears that many of the runners were upset by some of the athletic supporters on the sidelines who brought video cameras to capture the event for posterity.

“People with their cameras blow it up,” said Rachel Freedman, a junior whose mom and dad must be very proud. “If they’re videotaping, they’re better off running it themselves.” What Rachel doesn’t seem to understand is that when there are 1,500 naked people gathered in one place and there’s no gate or entrance fee, there will be people taking photos.

While there were several clashes between runners and people with cameras, overall the Naked Mile finished without a hitch. There were no nudity arrests, but several people were cited for RNUI (Running Naked Under the Influence) and a disgruntled motorist was arrested for trying to drive through the crowd.

Looks like we found the dean.

A bare footnote:

No column on the many states of nudity would be complete without some mention of what is known in the south as “Stupid Naked,” so here it is, in this roundup of a recent “Mobile Register” story.

Rookie firefighters James Harper, 22, and Eric Creel, 23, were injured last week when they tried to slide down a water-soaked fire pole while in a defined state of Stupid Naked. The mishap occurred during a graduation party for recruits at the Mobile Central Fire Station. Both men suffered severe slip burns but are expected to make a full recovery.

Hmm, I wonder if these guys ever spent time in Michigan.

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