Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our Birthday Suits Not Made in China

GOOD NEWS at a time when gasoline tops $4.00 a gallon and the National Debt tops $13 trillion.  There’s one thing we own that probably wasn’t made in Hong Kong, Indonesia, or Sri Lanka.  It’s our birthday suits!

Trouble is, we’re not exporting many birthday suits to other countries, so our supply is unlikely to lessen any trade imbalance.  In fact, we’re exporting something else: prude notions about nakedness and the human body.

The best example we can give you came a couple of years ago when some members of the Bare Platypus team got an urgent communique’ from the President of the Naturist Federation of Croatia, within former Yugoslavia.  Now, before we go further we should explain that nude beaches and naturist resorts are as big in Croatia as cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.  They’re synonymous with the culture and a thriving part of the economy---like banking in Switzerland.

At least they used to be.  But now the glow from all-over tanning may have lost some of its golden hue.  For the first time in decades the Croatian ministry of tourism has considered dropping naturism from the activities it enthusiastically promotes within the international travel market.  Officials have already started moving naturist brochures from atop the tables at trade expos and will sheepishly reach under the tablecloth to retrieve such brochures only upon request.

What’s more, the Croatians have greatly pulled back from depicting even bare bum shots of kids walking  the Istrian Peninsula beaches that have served more than four generations of nudist families.

Want to know the reason for all this change?  Croatia is hoping to attract more Anglo-American tourists from certain “developed” countries who view the whole birthday-suit thing---especially among kids---as creepy.  Clergy abuse scandals plaguing Eastern Europe have played a role too.

Thus, the President of the naturist association in Croatia contacted nudist advisors in the US like the Bare Platypus to ask for guidance on a problem they’ve never faced before.  "How do we persuade nudity foes in government to change their minds?"

Platypus wishes we were back in the days when America exported blue jeans and steel.