A few weeks ago, I was explaining to Kate why I prefer to keep the shades down in my office when I’m in there. People can look in… I can’t see them… et cetera.
“It all boils down,” I said, “to the Old Nekkid Guy story.”
“The what?” she replied.
I just stopped and stared. I thought everyone knew the Old Nekkid Guy story. I for damn sure thought my wife knew it.
So I went digging around my old blog archives… and… nothing. Then I went digging in my really old blog archives.
THEN I went digging in my really, really old blog archives. You know the ones I mean: dusty html files with no css code, from the two or three months in early 2001 when you were using Blogger, but Blogger was so overwhelmed with new users (cough*Twitter*cough) that you finally gave up and just installed MovableType v0.7 on your website and started over? Yeah, those old blog archives.
And, finally, I found the story.
Which I will now share. Again.
Because I think it’s important for everyone to have something humbling sitting out there on the internet.
So, I was checking out some stuff online tonight (“Why, that’s amazing, Doyce… that almost never happens.” — shut up, you). To do this, I have to sit at my computer; to sit at my computer, I must face the window in my office, which faces the street. Are we all clear? Geographically oriented? Good.
There I sat, pointing and clicking, muttering to myself about downtown Denver’s ability to completely confound Mapquest, when I heard a group of kids passing by on the sidewalk. Ahh, walking nostalgia. They were speaking in the particular tones used only by teens and people who are talking to themselves and scared of being in alone in the cemetery/empty parking garage/jail — I think high school illicites this behavior.
I was starting to smirk at the conversation, remembering similar ones in my (distant) past, when suddenly I became their new topic.
“Look, there’s a guy.”
“There’s a guy.”
“Is he naked?”
“He looks naked.”
“A naked guy? We can see him.” (Apparently, being naked might render one invisible, I have to check on this.)
(calling out) “Hey naked guy, are you naked?” (nervous laughter)
For the record, I was clothed; wearing gym shorts and no shirt. This is how I normally dress around my house in the summer, and the number one reason I can think of to CALL before coming over.
You can’t see the shorts from the street, though, at least not while I’m sitting at the computer… thus, Nekkid.
(Also for the record, I’m not making the kids sound any more assinine than they did on their own.)
Needless to say, this turn of conversation eliminated my nostalgia. Sure, I’m aware that I’m thirty-mumble years old and thus unspeakably ancient to the teen set, but I still play the wacky video games, I still listen to that rock-and/or-roll, and I don’t want to be the next funny old guy a pack of kids taunts at 10 pm.
What the hell do you shout back? “No?” “Not yet?” “You kids get off my lawn?”
What did I do? Nothing. I kept staring at my old-nekkid-guy screen, clicking my old-nekkid-guy mouse, muttering old-nekkid-guy things about RTD, a frown creasing my wrinkled, whiskery, gonna-die-of-old-age-soon-enough face. I waited for them to keep walking. I prayed fervently for them to keep walking.
Then I crawled back into the house and got a shirt. I’m still wearing it.
I might never take it off.
All weird old guys have that one polo shirt that they wear every weekend for lawn work, beer drinking, and barbequeing, right?
Well, now I know why that happens.
Happy Friday, everyone. Remember to wear your polo shirts this weekend.