In case you missed the memos, Saturday, May 14, was World Naked Gardening Day. And, according to 5,000 billboards strewn across our fair planet, Judgment Day is slated for Saturday, May 21.
Coincidence? I think not.
The World Naked Gardening website touted Saturday as the sixth annual special day where people across the globe were "invited to tend their portion of the world's garden clothed as nature intended."
Have the nudies flipped their collective fig leaf?
We have been warned the world as we know it ends next week. Part of the reason we're in End Days doo-doo is because folks like these keep promoting the willy-nilly display of ... well ... willies and nillies, the doomsayers say.
Climb down off your mountaintop, Prudence Puritan, counter the unclothed at www.wngd.org.
We shouldn't get our panties in a bunch merely because they're nudging the clothing-obsessed toward a healthy sense of both body acceptance and their relationship to the natural environment.
Gardening ranks just behind skinny dipping on the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude. Their website offered suggestions to help us prudes loosen up our buttons, they say.
An elderly lady in a Manhattan apartment could pluck her duds off and plant new annuals in her window box, they suggest.
As long as Granny keeps her shades drawn, says I.
Families could do a little naked leaf raking in their backyard — mom, dad and Dick and Jane just doing a little yard maintenance in the buff, they say.
End Time countdown or not, that just strikes me as plain ol' creepy. I have enjoyed many a skinny-dipping expedition. Mainly under midnight skies. But sunshine or moonglow, it never once occurred to me to invite the parental units.
Groups of gardeners might "make rapid, clothes-free sorties into public parks to do community-friendly stealth cleanups." But be sure to have some easy-access clothing at the ready, should park-goers or police take offense, they continue. Why not put a little choreography into the mix? Perhaps the do-good flashers could perform a flash mob dance to "Pinch Me" by the Barenaked Ladies, I add.
Maybe I'm peevish because when I read about this garden gallivanting, I was immediately assaulted by the mental image of a plethora of pasty-fleshed people planting petunias in the buff. I would have preferred my mental snapshot to have been of one sun-kissed Adonis weeding my half-acre. But my subconscious knows I reside in Oregon. And we've had a long, cold, wet spring. I suppose I'm lucky my hypothetical gardener didn't have blue ... er ... hypothermia. Or at least a nasty case of toe moss.
I live on the banks of the Rogue River and the edge of a very public highway. So while the devil in me is at least a little tempted by the notion of communing with nature while au natural, my inner angel knows prancing about in my birthday suit while pruning the roses is unseemly. Not to mention potentially painful for more than just me. The bloom may be off this particular rose, but the extra padding sure isn't. The sight of my bare behind could cause a chain-reaction car wreck. Then I'd have one more thing weighing heavily on my conscience.
Which leads me back to 89-year-old Harold Camping's billboards. Have you seen them? A few of the 5,000 doomsayers have sprung up in our Rogue Valley neighborhoods predicting a meet 'n' greet with our Maker next Saturday.
Of course, Camping has been wrong before. In his 1992 book, he touted a 1994 mass exodus of the saintly. Obviously that didn't happen. But give the fellow his due. Sooner or later, he's bound to be right. At least on a personal level. The man is pushing 90, after all.
Maybe Jesus really is coming in seven short days. If so, I'm hoping my many transgressions will be more easily forgiven because I did not grab a garden hoe and point my bum to the sun ... er ... clouds yesterday.
But I guess we'll just have to wait and see. And, no, you can't have my car if I'm gone.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email email@example.com.
(Correction: This column has been edited to remove unnecessary paragraphs that were accidentally included.)