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May 01, 2009
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(from my blog at whatgives.gainesville.com)

It’s always interesting to me when society is forced to pass laws because of the odd things a handful of people do.

Consider a tiny spot in Switzerland called Appenzell Inner Rhodes.

The Swiss there recently voted to ban naked hiking in the Alps, The Associated Press reported.

You heard me. Naked hiking.

Who would do such a thing, you ask? German tourists.

And apparently the Swiss were miffed about running across Germans wearing nothing but their hiking boots.

Can you blame them?

I mean it’s not like a designated area where you know you are going to run into people sans clothing, like a nude beach. It’s the Alps for goodness sake.

I’m sure the Swiss were not gearing up for a good hike while saying, “Be prepared for anything. Weather changes. Wildlife. Naked Germans.”

What does one say when running into naked hikers anyway?

The jovial response: “Uh, is it laundry day?” or “I sure hope you’re wearing suntan lotion.”

The embarrassed response: “I’m going to close my eyes and move away from you now. Please yell if I look like I’m going to trip over a rock and kill myself. Good day to you.”

The unsettled response: “Oh no, I’m having that nightmare again. It’s always the same. First the naked hikers and then the giant spider that tries to breakdance. Somebody pinch me. NOT you, naked man. NOT you. Let the spider do it. He’ll be along in a minute.”

I’m sure a few of the nude hikers must have had second thoughts mid-trek.

I wonder if anyone ever snapped and yelled, “I need pockets! I need pockets! My kingdom for pockets!”

What drives someone to go hiking au naturel in the first place?

Perhaps the Germans said to themselves: “I want to feel the wind on my cheeks. Nein, mein other cheeks.”
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