~ The Checkerboard Guy's Blog ~

Picture them in their underwear.

Another great piece by my friend Lee Zimmerman… I’m reminded of that quote from Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come.” Sundays on the blog are starting to turn into the home for guest bloggers and I’m excited by the content that’s being generated. Fantastic stories from the road that help capture just why that old stand by – “There’s no business like show business!”


Talk about your memorable appearances. I got a gig working at the Glen Eden Nature Resort outside of Los Angeles: a family nudist colony. I asked if they expected me to work without clothing, because if you want me naked well, that requires more floor space.They said no, they just needed my regular street show, something for families, not too long, one or two hours, three short sets, people milling about ga blarka blarka.

“Sure, perfect; I’m gonna bring my wife if that’s okay.” Like I had a choice! My wife, (at that time), hears about this job and she insists that she go with me to see the freak show that it promises to be. I wondered if I could do this show politely. I don’t want to burst out laughing, but I surely will. How to prepare myself mentally?

I brought out my regular gear, set up my regular puppet show and cued up my regular sound track, only with one additional sound byte. Everyone knows the old adage about speaking in front of a live audience–if you get nervous, just picture the audience in their underwear.

I hit play. Barney Gumbel from The Simpsons pipes up in a slow, slap echoed voice…”Picture dem in dere undawear!”

And I did. I had to, man! Do you know how few people there are on this Earth that should parade around naked? It’s like three in a hundred, and I didn’t see any of those three here.

There I stood, fully clothed and blushing as I feigned eye contact and stared at my feet…it was just too freaking WEIRD. Teens, oldsters, you name it. I am performing for 50, maybe 60 nekkid families. People of all ages–and most of them were the wrong age to be nekkid!

Too young! I feel creeped out. Or too old…”aren’t YOU creeped out?”

Some of the brown wrinkled flesh bits were hanging down and swinging about, drained of every ounce of natural fluid they ever had and they just dangled, covering the bits you wouldn’t want to see anyway. Teenage girls were asking questions and picking up my props.

I was pretty flustered so I just stared down…then waaaay up…then down…”keep looking over their heads now shift your gaze back down to the stage, yes behold the beautiful dented stage…don’t look at Debra Jo or you’ll fall off your ladder laughing…okay, good…now look up and over their heads…great.”

The shows went fine and I got my cash. I only had one show left to go. Then this one silver-haired Lothario finds out who my ex-wife is, and freaks out. He has her cover issue of Playboy back in his Winnebago, “Could she sign it and could she let him drive her around the facilities?!” Some naked guy just stole my wife. I can see the look of terror in her eyes as he tears off with her in a golf cart. She thinks he’s the naked guy who’s paying us, so she figures she has to be nice. The naked woman who DID hire me says, “Look out, that guy’s a player!” Eeeeeeewww!

He looks a little like a nude bronze “Larry”–Jack Tripper’s horny neighbor on “Three’s Company”…with hideous bushy chest hair and his shirt unbuttoned right down to there–if he HAD a shirt. He wore a few chains and cologne and I must admit, he had a great rack. Debra Jo picks it up here.

“He takes me the loooong way around the park, pointing out this and that. He’s flirting with me, drivin’ around with all this gray body hair and stinky cologne, and his thing is just sitting right out there! He’s telling all the people who are standing in front of their mobile homes, cooking on grills, to head on down to the pool,  ”There’s a big puppet show over by the pool!”

“There were two young girls wearing clothes and they go, “Great! Let’s go!”

But he says, “No! You know the rules, you can’t wear your clothes around the pool!”

“Oh yes we can!” “No, you can’t.” It was making me SICK!”

I did my last show for a lot less folks while Debra Jo signed little scraps of paper for all these nice, but admittedly unusual people…I was off the hook.

The naked worshipers wanted to revere their naked goddess. Listen–I understand the fascination. She’s my best friend, always will be and when we talked about this the other day she was in hysterics, having forgotten her own great joke.

We had to back out of the nekkid parking lot, with throngs of saddle-skinned sun-lovers trailing along by our side. So close was the Silver Fox Guy to our car that I almost ran over him.

Debra said the funniest thing she ever said in the eighteen years I’ve known her.

“Don’t hit him! He can’t go to the hospital…he’s not wearing clean underwear!”

4 Responses to “Picture them in their underwear.”

  1. Drew Zimmerman says:

    “…saddle-skinned sun-lovers” with “brown wrinkled flesh bits hanging down.” It’s poetry of the grotesque and dessicated. I laughed so hard my truss slipped.

  2. Martin Ewen says:

    sorry, took me a couple of days to get here.
    People look at performers and think they must be strange but I think mostly they’re addicted to the strange in others.

  3. Columpa says:

    hahahahahha… But now I’m in trouble. I can’t get “Larry” out of my head… Quick, somebody throw me some gitch!!!

  4. Hijinx says:

    My audiences are ugly enough in overcoats. Great story!

Copyright © The Checkerboard Guy. All rights reserved.