Eden, Revisited

(Honey, grab the kids. Ed’s weeding again.)


Yes, Virginia. There is a World Naked Gardening Day.

Imagine it. It’s a lovely weekend morning in May. You grab a hot cup of coffee, sling on your bathrobe, and shuffle out to the curb to fetch the paper. And there’s your neighbor, Ed, pruning a Japanese maple, stark bloody naked.

Ed, not the maple. Ed’s naked. Trees rarely have an agenda.

“Mornin’!” chirps Ed, who is way more pale than you knew. Or cared to. “Good-lookin’ day!”

don’t look don’t look don’t look don’t don’t don’t don’t, your brain shrieks. “Morning, Ed,” you respond with as little emotion as possible, while you steadily stare at some non-existent airplane. “Hey, was that my phone?”

So be warned – especially if you live near Ed – World Naked Gardening Day will be taking place on the first Saturday in May, except in places where it’s not a good idea to be naked in May, like Canada, or church. Now in its twelfth year, the global “grab plow and drop trou” event was initiated by a guy named Mark Storey, who was the consulting editor for Nude & Natural magazine, because somebody had to be. Plus, he showed up for the job interview naked. Mark first got involved while helping to promote World Naked Bike Ride Day, an event that never really caught on once people actually sat on their bikes with no pants.

World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is sponsored by several other acronyms, including Clothes Free International (CFI), the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), and Americans Naked And Limber (ANAL). One of those, I might’ve made up. WNGD’s mission is to encourage naked people to “tend their portion of the world’s garden clothed as nature intended,” as if nature intended people to be armed with pruning shears while shivering. The group even has its own website, with pictures and everything. Oh, yeah. Plenty of pictures.

The WNGD’s guerilla gardening website features tons of pictures of naked people, all consistently washed in a disturbing sepia tone, which is apparently what can happen to you if you insist on trimming shrubbery in the buff. One such photo depicts several under-medicated naked people smiling vacantly out in a field, holding hands and dancing in a circle, which by an odd coincidence is how Barack Obama got elected President.

According to the website, “Dancing naked in the fields epitomizes the spirit of communion and back-to-basics living.” Not to mention an increased exposure to animal waste, allergens, and jail time.

Ever notice that the majority of nudists are people you didn’t want to see naked in the first place? In all the pro-nudity promos, the reveling revealers are always old, wrinkly, old and wrinkly, or oddly malformed, like a G.I. Joe doll that got left on the car dashboard in June. Also, for some reason, the professionally naked all seem to have bad posture, as if they’re constantly leaning into the wind. And, naked or not, nudists are always wearing shoes. Maybe the soles of their feet are erogenous zones.

I don’t know why the buffsters can’t find any marginally more attractive spokes-nudists. I guess all the really well-built naked people are busy making porn, or getting hit on by Bill Clinton.

Clothes Free International, WNGD’s anti-attire co-conspirator, also has a website, which includes their probably popular and possibly disgusting “Ask a Nudist!” advice column. To give you some gauge of the nausea potential, here’s the column’s tease:

“Join your favorite nudecasters for another fun show!”

Let me guess. The co-hosts of “Ask a Nudist!” have stage names like Buff Netherlands and Tawny Glutes.

Buff: And now, here’s a weather update from our colleague, Urethra Franklin, who’s competing in this year’s World Naked Kayak Challenge! How’s it going, Urethra?

Urethra: Shut up. Anybo…OW!…anybody wanna buy a boat? OW!

Naked Gardeners.com also proudly promotes something called “permaculture,” which sounds like an infection you might contract by standing too close to a naked gardener.

“I just read the obits. What happened to Ed?”


“Oh, no. The big P.”

“Mmm hmm.”

“Tsk. So young, too. He seemed to be in great health, y’know?”

“Yeah. But pale beyond belief.”

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