You might not think that Playalinda Beach, a spectacular pratfall, a chance meeting of someone from rec.nude and indoor/outdoor carpeting would have a common thread in the fabric of an otherwise normal Saturday at a nudist resort in Western Massachusetts. You'd be wrong.
(As usual, names are changed, confused, switched and mangled to protect the anonymity of those who might wish it. For people who have been present at the real events that inspire these stories, this can be confusing. After all, there is a limit to the uniqueness of names. If I say Jane did such and such, someone from our camp might think I am referring to a real Jane, and could be confused because they know darn well that not only didn't Jane do that, but that it was actually someone of a completely different gender named Bill. Further, some of these people are quite open about their nudity and wouldn't care if I published their telephone numbers here. So why mix things up? Just because it's easier than remembering who cares and who doesn't and I'd rather not make a mistake.)
For Linda and I, Saturday begins with a trip to the gym. Most of our neighbors are of the opinion that this probably indicates a certain lack of intelligence on our part. A few do recognize the value of exercise, but think that walking, riding a bike, or playing tennis or volleyball are more enjoyable methods of obtaining it. Perhaps so, but we prefer the gym, and that's where we were headed last Saturday morning. Though not without some attempt on my part to beg out of it.
The reason for my reluctance was that we had also decided that this day would be the day we would scrub our deck. I'm not sure just how old our deck is, but it has acquired the typical gray of weathered wood, and the slightly less visible green tint of mildew. The gray is attractive, and although the green represents the happy photosynthesis of millions of happy nudist camp plant cells, their presence also means that the deck gets slippery when wet, and Linda had decreed that this problem must be Dealt With. Linda's initial concept for this involved bleach, scrub brushes, and much crawling about on our knees, which is why I felt that going to the gym represented an unnecessary and perhaps even unwise expenditure of energy. As you might imagine, my opinions were accepted for review, duly considered and judged on their merits, and summarily rejected.
So we did go off for our usual body abuse ritual, but on the way back we stopped at a hardware store because we needed another bucket and another scrub brush. You can easily imagine my enthusiasm and mounting anticipation of the great pleasures to come. Who wants to spend time at a nudist camp relaxing in the sun when you could instead be on your knees breathing bleach fumes?
But the people at the hardware store suggested a different method. They have this product called Deck Wash, which they insisted was a much easier way to rid our deck of its lowly plant life. According to the directions, you can spray this stuff on, wait 10 minutes, and wash away all that weathered gray in addition to all the plants that had expected to produce many more generations of sun loving offspring before the deck rots away.
Linda was dubious. I really think that she likes to scrub, that there is a personal satisfaction she obtains from directly attacking the offensive dirt and mildew. On the other hand, she is hardly stupid, and is well aware that crawling about on our knees is apt to be painful. Still, she was not about to believe that a simple spray and wash would be the equivalent of enthusiastic scrubbing. Besides, this product comes in gallon cans, and we don't own a paint sprayer, and were not about to buy one just for this project.
"Can we put it on with a brush?", she asked. The sales person felt that would work. "Would it work better if we scrubbed it in a bit?", she queried. The sales person agreed that this certainly wouldn't hurt, and might even help loosen up the mildew. However, he suggested that due to the somewhat caustic nature of this material, we really wouldn't want to be in close physical contact with it, so he offered to sell us some long handled scrub brushes that would allow us to remain erect while applying it. He did mention that we needn't be too concerned about scrubbing all that vigorously, that the product really would work quite well all by itself, but Linda wanted to scrub, and she was bound and determined that we would scrub, so we bought the brushes, plus an extra gallon of the deck wash even though the salesman insisted that one gallon would be more than enough to rid our deck of all living things.
So we returned to camp. The weather wasn't great, overcast, threatening rain, so I didn't feel quite so cheated of my nudist rest and relaxation. Linda had another out of camp errand to run, so she went off yet again, and I set to work applying Deck Wash.
It's not bad work. It was a little cool right then, and certainly it was no great effort to spread this stuff on and scrub a bit. Because I knew Linda had left with some feelings of uncertainty as to how good a job I would do unsupervised, I made sure I did an extra thorough job. I scrubbed that deck in both directions, put on more Deck Wash, and scrubbed it again. After using up the first gallon, I opened up the second, and went back over the same planks yet again, scrubbing it in, this way and that way. That took less than an hour, and I then started washing it off, still scrubbing all the time. Linda returned as I was just about finished, and it started pouring rain anyway, so we decided to let the rain take care of any miniscule residue my repeated washings and scrubbings might have missed.
While the rain poured down, we moved over to our neighbor's deck because they had put down their awning and were enjoying daiquiris while watching me work. We brought over a jug of Mud Slide mix and the top of our blender, which fit nicely in the bottom of theirs, and thus we were able to continue mixing new batches of drinks without washing anything. The sound of blenders attracted a few more people, so Linda went back and brought out a plate of veggies and hummus. The presence of food attracted a few more people, so Linda offered to whip up some cheese and corn quesadillas, which everyone thought was just a great idea, and the daiquiris and mudslides kept flowing. The rain stopped, the sun peeked out a bit, and life was good.
It was right about here that June mentioned the problems at Playalinda beach. She and her husband have spent some vacations there, and she told us all about the sad legal circumstances. I had already read about that here on the net, but other people were not aware of it, and June was simply asking if everyone would be willing to contribute a dollar to help out.
Well, heck yes. Of course, I didn't have my wallet with me and neither did anyone else. My wallet, however, was right next door in our camper where Linda was preparing the quesadillas. So I popped up, jumped off their deck, and blithely headed to get my wallet.
I don't have a clue what happened next. I don't know if I slipped on the grass and slid, or caught my left foot on the edge of my landing, or if perhaps I had stepped up with my right leg and found a patch of still slippery deck. I felt a sharp pain in my foot, I pitched forward and slammed my right hand flat down on the deck, breaking my fall. I knew my left leg was a little twisted, I knew I had hurt my foot, but most of all I was concerned about my hand, which was both numb and stinging at the same time. Further, my right shoulder was complaining bitterly that its structural integrity had been severely compromised and that many innocent muscle fibers had suffered extreme damage in their efforts to keep my stupid face from burying itself into the planks of my deck.
Normally in such circumstances your first instinct is to remain on your hands and knees for a moment while you assess the damage and regret your stupidity. That was exactly my intention, but there was also the matter of my right hand, which really hurt, so I raised it up off the deck. Unfortunately Linda, who had heard my splat and had come running out immediately, took my slightly raised arm as an indication that I was trying to get up. Good wife that she is, she grabbed hold of my right arm and pulled upward.
Oh my. I whimpered something, and she took it as encouragement, so she redoubled her efforts to haul me upright. My shoulder had been screaming at me already, and now it was positively livid with rage and it let me know in no uncertain terms. Somehow I managed to communicate this to Linda, so she let go, and in a very few seconds I was actually able to get up by myself.
I was now surrounded by solicitous women. This is not a bad thing, and of course is the up side to injuring yourself. Still, I think I'd rather skip the pain part. The women were insisting on examining the damage, which was most visible on my foot. A small chunk of toenail had been savagely ripped away and there was a little bit of blood, and it wasn't all that happy. More interesting was the rest of my foot, which had already ballooned up slightly and was displaying marvelous shades of red and purple. It rivaled many a sunset, I'll tell you that, but strangely enough, it didn't hurt all that much, and I said so. As I have since been told that my face was pure white at that time, I suppose most of the people just attributed that to shock, and there was much shaking of heads and predictions that I'd not be walking too well for a while.
But I really didn't feel all that terrible, and I said I'd just like to get back to June's deck where all the food and drink was, so a half dozen women assisted me in getting there. I really didn't need the help, but... who am I to argue?
Now reestablished near the food, with a fresh mudslide in my still slightly quivering hand, I was offered six Motrins. I momentarily wondered if this was a good idea, but my shoulder advised me to go for it, so I did. In the meantime, Jane had gone back to her cabin and reappeared with a chemical ice pack which she insisted I needed on my foot. I protested that it really didn't hurt, but the consensus of opinion was that I was a damn fool and I should put the ice pack on and shut up, so I did, and Linda brought out the quesadillas, and we all got back to eating and drinking.
All the commotion had attracted more people, and they naturally had to be filled in on what had happened, which involved explaining why I was going to our trailer in the first place, which gave June a great segue into requesting more donations, so the pile of money in the middle of the table grew quite substantially. I have very mixed feelings about that: Even though I've never been to Playalinda and may never go, I am more than happy to have contributed. I just never planned on being the Playalinda poster boy, and would have preferred that June had raised money without my physical participation.
It was right around here that we noticed a couple who had wandered down to the fire. June asked if we all thought she should invite them to join us.
Now this may seem strange. It was June's deck after all, and we are all pretty friendly people, and none of us mind sharing food and drink. So why should June even ask? The answer is that there is a problem with the owner of the club. He feels that he needs restaurant and bar business from the day trippers and that if we wine and dine them, his profits naturally suffer. That's very understandable, and we all appreciate that, but our natural instincts are to be friendly to fellow nudists, especially when they've wandered down to the fire and are probably looking for someone to talk to. So, we have a dilemma. We can rudely ignore them, or we can invite them over. If we do invite them over, it would certainly be strange not to offer them food and drink. Yet, this is not fair to the owner's business. It's a tough call, but we decided that we'd all seen this couple too many times and we just could not sit there enjoying ourselves without inviting them to join us. So June went down and dragged them back with her.
They introduced themselves, and chatted, and partook of daiquiris. It turned out that they were pretty close with some Ghetto members who happened to be absent at the moment, so we all felt a bit less guilty about ruining the owner's profits because their friends undoubtedly would have brought them over sooner or later anyway.
After a minute or two I hopped up and went over (very carefully) to my deck and brought back two chairs so that they could sit. When I did that, the female member of the couple asked if I were Tony, and introduced herself from rec.nude. Probably because of the combination of mudslides and my injuries, I at first stupidly couldn't place her, but finally the lights came on and I apologized.
The rest of the afternoon was typical. At one point Elaine wanted to clean my toe wound with alcohol. I was numb enough not to object, but it seemed to really upset our new acquaintance. She jumped up and said she couldn't watch. This made me think about what alcohol feels like on shaving nicks, and made me realize that this raw toe would would react rather violently, so we decided to soak it in salt water instead.
In spite of all the dire predictions, my foot was fine for the dance, and we danced until after 1:00 AM. June collected a good pile of bills for Playalinda, and Linda decided that we'd forget about cleaning and re-staining the deck and just put down indoor/outdoor carpeting. So another Saturday at Bekshire Vista turned out well.