Friday, April 8, 2016

No Towels for Old Men

Heeeey!  Let's take off our pants!  Let's get naked, maaaaan!  YEAHHHH!  Alllll-RIGHT!

    Science degrees are hard to finish towards the end, as is completely getting out of motorcycling, learning a new job and evaluating for it, acquiring new clearances, having your cat die in your arms, titling a #006, multi-magazine-featured 2006 Pontiac Solstice Mallett, convincing the bank the VIN is not just a base-model, having your phone brick due to a final and fatal software update, loathingly replacing it with a new model, installing a weather-station kcocolor394, and removing yourself permanently from Facebook.  These aren't excuses, these are just facts.

Now that my ex-wife is dead, I can work on making a better tomato!  RIP Patty Duke.

  Of my travels in Life, I've noticed some odd things.  Usually these odd things are directly the product of odd people.  Let's face it, there are some odd folks out there.  Sure, the "crazies" in New York, perhaps some living in the sewers, banging manhole (sorry, not personhole) covers with metal sticks sounding messages in the night that it's safe to come out exist.  We sort of expect crazies in New York, heck they love Hillary after all with no political knowledge or comprehension.  Love that ban on large sodas.  Glad legislation took care of that, spent tax-money to get it to go through.

  Yes, large soda purchase in New York is illegal.  Glad they solved homelessness.  Guess that's taken care-of already.  Glad domestic violence is solved in that city, and crime.  No other worries, just putting limits on soda purchase.  It's amazing these "liberals" enforce laws prohibiting simple choices. Isn't this almost contradictory?  Isn't this the opposite of the term, "liberal"?  If you deny a soda size purchase, wouldn't that make "liberals" actually hyper-conservatives?  Such governmental-control fascism as large-soda bans (and McDonald's Happy-Meal bans in California) reveal the ugly truth of convenient parental replacement for Generation Zero with a government to take care of them so they can stay lazy.  I say the voting age should be moved to 35.  Oddly, firearm ownership should theoretically be a "liberality", being allowed to have something or do something as a freedom.  For some reason, conservationists prefer that liberality and use it.  Odd people, all.  Shrug.  Arrest that man for having a large soda!  Calories are the true criminals! 

Hello!  I'm a nude old man!  Oh noooooooo!  You want a Werther's Original?
When you go to a gym of any sort, you'll notice something strange-ish:  nude old men.  Now, I completely understand the clothes-changing transitional process.  Folks will adorn shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, etc.  Of course, depending on the activity at the gym.  Fine, fine.  There is a temporary moment of nudity, especially if underwear is swapped or a shower is taken.  Some prefer to shower immediately after a workout of some kind.  Growing up in the 1970's and 1980's, I'm fine with that, sure.  Most showers at gyms sport individual stalls for this purpose.  Some, even ante-chamber areas where you can hang-up a towel, a little mini-bench for your bag, etc. right before the shower cubicle.  It's nice that there's an iota of privacy here sometimes. 

Hey, guys!  Someone's comin'!  Let's get extra wet and nude!

See ya at Checkpoint Charlie, Soldier!
 I've been to gyms with 1940's Beetle Bailey-styled, open-bay showers that you sometimes see in Army barracks during World War II as well.  Some gyms go on the cheap there, but it's not out-of-the-norm, really.  Schools used to do this as well, back in the 1970's.  I'm pretty certain stalls are put-in at schools now for the most part, though a few hold-overs in elementary schools might exist in the US.  Being abroad, I've seen acceptance of "group showering" from time to time, as in the late 1990's as well, though that was fading away over time, newer establishments going for more personalized stalls.  This process was never lingered.  It was matter-of-fact and efficient and quickly done without comment.

Somewhat modern 2008 USAF dorm room.

2016 dorm room, USAF.
  Now there used to be even toilets without walls in military bases in the 1950's in basic-training barracks as well.  Some colleges also had open-bay toilets and showers (if they were built then) in dormitories.  These really aren't a problem.  People would do their business and move-on briskly and efficiently.  America has since then become more modest, allowing a less industrial method of ablutions.  We're awarded privacy and self-dignity.  I prefer that a bit.  I'd rather not be rinsed-down like cattle in a bay, smashed in there being broomed-down with suds and cold, fire-hose water.  Just a preference. 

From the film Super Troopers.  Forced shower and delousing powder actually powdered sugar.

1940's military basic-training toilet design.
 I can cope with open-bay showering and I don't think much of it.  I'm amused that some think that the military is like the film Platoon or Full Metal Jacket with everyone living in some sort of open-bay sleeping area with some New Yorker named Vinny hanging over the bunk who's got a Polaroid of his sweetheart in Hell's Kitchen, tattered media depicting her Sunday's Best.  Vinny says they're engaged and her name "Mabel" is tattoo'ed on his forearm with a heart and a dagger.  

When we get back from the War, we'll score ALL dem dames!  circa 1943
Vinny sports Lucky Strikes and greased hair.  Vinny's the first to go because he has just enough character development to make you care, but not enough that time is spent on the script.  It's not like that at all, sadly, not even in Basic Training (aka Boot Camp); not enough time to pal around; you're busy, then you're gone a few weeks later.  You end up in a base and get a house or apartment somewhere in the city you're stationed like a human being.  Younger kids are offered dormitory rooms like a college dorm-room and might share a bathroom with another room.  It's pretty modern these last 30 years.  Hollywood does it wrong.  Most USAF jobs you go to work with a briefcase and sit in an office environment.  A few guys turn a wrench, however.  Transition to Big Corporation is pretty easy.  It's a lot like the TV show, The Office (US version) except you can't quit your job or decline the boss' suggestions for work.  Same same.  Well, you could.. then go to jail.  You also can't be 5 minutes late for work or.. well.. jail.  So there's that.  

Airman Beaker is concerned Officer Honeydew has made a dangerous error with volatiles.
Group showers were normal-ish.
  Anyway, I'm not estranged to group showers, group gyms, group toilets.  I'm aware of them, both in the US, school, military, and over-seas.  That's the point I'm making here.  I'm fine with group nudity in some fashion.  I don't prefer it, mind you.  I just am aware it exists.  It's mostly gone from society though.

Get in yer group shower, airman!  It's showah-TIME!

  What bothers me is that you'll see old men over 60 walking around in the gym locker rooms.. naked.  Now common-sense would dictate a towel wrapped or covering one's "junk" as it were, covering one's Everyday Glory.  Something.  Nope.  Naked old men.. walking around.. very naked.. often wet.

I took a snapshot of this man in the gym locker room.  His response, "HELLO!  I'm Naked-Man!"

Hello there.  It's perfectly normal that I'm naked here.
  Now I understand the transitional point of going from a shower to a locker, particularly if you forget or neglect to bring a towel, clothes, etc. to the area of the ante-cubical mini-bench.  I'm also okay if heck, it's a shower bay area and there is no ante-chamber.  Fine.  You probably should bring a towel anyway, but maybe you forgot yours, or left it in your locker, or oddly prefer to air-dry for some medicinal reason, fine.  Go to your locker and get your towel.  I myself would probably wear some low-grade flip-flops as to avoid Athlete's Foot myself, but whatever, maybe you forgot those or don't care and prefer foot-fungus or Planter's Wort or whatever.  Fine, whatever.  Go to the locker and get the towel and dry-off or get your clothes, whatever.  Nope.  Often wet.  Walking around.  Some walking endlessly, doing laps around a changing bench in a locker cul-de-sac (lots of puns in this post btw).  So these zombie-like old men are walking around, completely nude, walking laps around sitting benches.  There's no effort towards getting to that locker or clothes on.  Some are doing morning ablution things like deodorant application, brushing teeth, washing hands, applying Grecian Formula and combing hair.  There's weirder things too.  Now during all of this, a towel wrapped around the waist would be fine; expected.  Nope.  Pure nude.  Pale, wrinkly, often wet, dripping nude.  Why?

Grandpa?  Why are we doing this?
You'll see, you'll see...  get ready!

   I did a lot of research on this.  The argument is that back "in the day" this was considered natural and normal.  Well, at my age now, I can honestly attest that this is not the case.  I could make a defense for them when I was 30, but at my age now, no one did this in the 1970's.  No one.  No one was just nude doing their business in a public place, and certainly not all day.  

A completely normal guy shaving at home with a towel wrap circa 1950's.

  Back in the 1950's, men would get out of a shower and wrap a towel.  Often, it was simply called a "wrap".  Some existed with elastic bands like a cheap, terrycloth kilt, but it was normal to wrap a towel around the lower half and shave in a mirror.  No one would shave pure naked in a gym.  WHY is someone SHAVING in a GYM in the FIRST PLACE?!  Very odd.  More scrutiny and research as well as pressed testimonials have these men suggesting that "We all did it that way" or "At this age, we just don't care!" Some examples are that they announce that they've lived their lives so long and so they can do what they want.  Some say that you shouldn't look or be bothered by it.  Ah-huh.. Riiiight.  There's something more to this than turning the blame back around.  There is.  Why would a man use a gym-supplied hair-dryer, place his foot up on the sink counter naked and dry his junk facing people?  This is not uncommon!  This happens a lot!  Some even wait until someone new enters the room then immediately go to it!  I remember once entering a gym bathroom and there'd be a lookout very close to the entrance corridor.  Once I entered, he'd rush over to go to "ball drying" quickly.  Others would then come out to present themselves and strut about.  This has happened more than once in different places in different states.

Sums it up right here.

Why are we sitting here naked all day, not working-out?
Hey, there you two fellows!  I like that you're naked!
  Nothing suspicious?  Well hear this!  So I've been to many states, many gyms.  Most of the time these naked old men will stay in the locker area doing these antics, walking around like wet albino zombies all day!  I'll go in, change within a minute or two, go work out for an hour, come back and get a Gatorade swig, they'll still be there, doing walking laps, conversing with each other, one sitting, staring at a closed locker door, the other, leg-up, crotch near the other's face chatting away.  Some go into the sauna and lie naked, wet on the wood with no towel.  Towels are everywhere to be had for free.  No towel.  Showers are had, no drying-off.  Towels are not an option it seems.  I'll work out for half the day, still.. old men, same ones, naked.  I'm not offended by all this nudity, just.. confused.

Well, we haven't taken a shower yet.  Better dry off our faces for a bit.

Yeah!  It sure is nice lying back, spread-eagle here in this locker room!
  I'd like to think they're trapped there like some Captain of the Flying Dutchman gym locker-room of sorts.  I've asked women and they admit there are equally Asian women flopped down, wet in saunas, towel-less and nude (and usually very unfit).  Most of these naked old men are mostly unfit as well.  I've never seen any of them actually work-out, go into the gym portion of the place, not ever, not once.  I've been going to public gyms since the 1970's and there are those old men that stay naked in the gym locker-room and never leave it or go home until closing-time.  I've been to non-24-hour gyms and these close-up and they pack-up and go at the last minute.  I've been to gyms twice in a day for various military requirements and the same old guys are still there in the morning and at night.  I'm fairly certain most spend the day there, naked, being naked, being wet, walking around.  

What?  This is perfectly normal behavior in a gym, sir!
Quit looking at me, you pervert!
  What's concerning about their behavior, as I've had time to observe, is that they pretend sometimes to be doing something important.  I've followed a few to see what the heck is up with them.  They'll walk down the gym locker-room, snap their fingers as if they forgot something or tap their head as if to remember, "ah-HA!" and go back to a locker, sit on the facing bench and look down for a while, then get up, still naked, and walk to another locker area and walk around that bench for a while.  They'll then go wash their hands for some reason, carefully dry them, still naked, then go to another locker area and sit.  Some will walk a bit to a locker, wait, and try to act natural.  There's a forced effort here.  I'm not buying it.  Some will shower and enjoy slopping wetness everywhere, all over the floor, walking around wet, dripping and naked.  This seems to be a larger event of the day for them and they'll drip wet and sit on benches and do more locker hopping, not opening any, just going to them, walking laps around a bench, about-facing and reversing direction around a bench area, being wet and naked.  Some will dry their balls facing away from the mirror.  Some will open lockers and fish for something for a bit and take nothing out, then walk around some more... all ... day.

  I try to ignore these folk who insist on nudity, feigning the reasoning that they're content with it and it's "natural" to be naked in a gym locker-room.  There's more to it than that.  They prefer nudity.  They want to be nude, but why?  What's going on here?  It's cringe-worthy to some and I consider it abnormal behavior.  There's no gay sex going on though, it's less than that.  At first, I originally thought it was an attempt for a gay hookup.  Some very old men can't get a girl anymore and look for that.  Some old men revert to homosexual behavior in their final years for something to try or do because their time is short and what the heck.  This behavior is decidedly not that.  It's not gay behavior.  There's nothing erotic going on with it.  There's no flirting or teasing or touching of any sort, no gay passes or winks or anything.  These folk admit they exist to each other but move past each other uninterested.  Actually, there's little interest in other humans at all.  A few chats but the whole focus is the nudity of it, not the interaction with humans in any way except to be nude near them, and for no reason except to be nude near them.

Haaaa-aaay!!! (Now imagine this, all of them 40 years older).

No old man is in this good shape in the gym.
  What it comes down to is not perverted or sexual in-nature.  The elderly there fuss about it when approached and get cross, turning it around to, "What are you looking for?  I just don't care!  That's why I'm nude.  It's a gym locker room!  What's your problem, buddy?"  Riiiight.  So it comes down to this.  Is it generational?  Partially.  Here is my revelation.  Here is the secret: These elderly are what's known as "nudists."  Not so much exhobitionists, though nudism has that to a slight degree.  Back in the earlier days, nudist colonies were abundant.  Now-a-days, they're few and far between.  There are a few that exist in Colorado, such as the Mountain Air Ranch.  The heyday of nudist camps, colonies, and resorts are much less than the 1960's and 1970's, which is the proper age for a late teenager, early 20-something to be involved in.  Think of it.  Such places were taboo communion-based get-togethers that had comradery, likely drug use of various levels, and a hippie counter-culture "be"-in.  Concepts of this are lost on today's Millennial, Generation Zero'ers.   Personally I find it a bit of an unsavory mental condition. The concept of a be-in such as the one in San Francisco in 1967 where it started continued-on until the early 1980's.  Subdivision-living hippie wannabes re-enacted communal get-togethers were attempted across the US as depicted poignantly in the pre-Family Guy episodic cartoon of Wait 'Till Your Father Gets Home Season 1, Episode 20, "The Commune"  where the Meg-like "Alice" decides to get involved in a more open and understanding youth-hippie family of like-mindedness.  The prime-time cartoon was shown very late in the US in 1972 (as late as 10:30pm or later).  I remember it airing on Love, American Style as a short segment and later it's own late-night spot.  Family Guy takes a lot from that show; quite a bit, actually.  It was very edgy for its time but the pacing was slow and awkward with minimalist background animation similar to Vegetable Soup cartoon segments a few years later with focus on the main character, sometimes with pure white, blank backgrounds.

What?  What's wrong with being naked in a gym locker room?  Quit your whining!  Sheesh.  Loser.  Nude-Time is now.

  Since there's a lack of communal nudity for the sake of it, gym locker-rooms are the last socially acceptable place to simply be nude amongst others in a non-sexual, communal sort of way.  It's a mentality that might exist with a younger crowd, but I haven't witnessed anyone under the age of 60 doing this.  Nudism hasn't been in-vogue as much with later generations for some reason, probably due to no counter-culture involvement, though it's similar like emo-kids or goth-kids as a counter-statement.  Some adults goth-it-up or emo-it-up if you've noticed.  Arguments against annoyance by these guys try and shrug it off like I mentioned earlier or that nudity in gym locker-rooms was normal back "in their day".  It was not.  No one "hung out" all day in a gym locker-room and stayed naked.  No, this is not the case.  They may have been shocked at a young age by that fact, but the reality is, these men (and women) are nudists (peppered, likely with a bit of exobitionism based on the distantly-minded taboo of it).  Men waiting behind lockers to awkwardly walk out when you near approach to just pretend to be casual about it, but honestly, they delight in it.  These men want to be nude and possibly nude amongst others being nude.  If you are not nude, that's okay.  They don't insist on everyone around being nude, but the acceptability of nudism is paramount.  Nude goings-on for the joy of just being nude.  What's awkward a bit is that they really can't go anywhere but the locker-room or sauna or shower, so they're a bit trapped like they're in a mini commune.  Because of this, they can do locker-room things to keep themselves occupied, the paramount of that is showering which you could do once, maybe twice in a stay, so that's saved for special.  No sex is going on.  It's very much not sexual.  It's just the comfort of being communally nude.  Your surprise is a little treat, maybe inside, maybe on that exhobitionist level, but it's subtle as a slight, added benefit.

Come on IN, the water's FINE!  Don't mind Roscoe.  He's a scoot!

That's my take on it.  I'm not certain I agree with it, but these people's mental state is that it's not completely insane, really.  They have boundaries.  They're not going to jump on your kid or you or anyone.  That's not the purpose or want.  No.  They do this in a socially acceptable place instead of behind some bushes or out in the woods together, which would be indecent-exposure and illegal and likely get arrested.  The nudist camp might be too expensive per-day or too far away.  This is conveniently located and perfectly acceptable (well, mostly so).  With this in-mind, I'm a little better for it and it doesn't bother me as much.  I deducted this on my own, mostly because I'm an expert of things and stuff and very clever.  So don't panic, they're just being happy (in a weird, harmless way).

I still find it weird and unacceptable, however.

Here's your cheesecake.



and for the ladies, your cosplay beef-cake.. hot hot hot!

Hahahaha!  Quaid!  Start the reactor!



  1. "It's perfectly normal that I'm naked here." Yes, it is. Taken from the Wikipedia page on "Gym": "A gym, short for gymnasium, is an open air or covered location for gymnastics, athletics, and gymnastic services...The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium [gymnos]...The Greek word gymnasium means "school for naked exercise" [also, "a place to be naked", or "a place to train naked" See, Wikipedia page, "Gymnasium (ancient Greece)"] and was used to designate a locality for the education of young men, including physical education (gymnastics, i.e. exercise) which was customarily performed naked..." The men in the gym who aren't comfortable with naked men in the gym are a relatively new breed. Old customs die hard, even if their roots are ancient. Next time you think, or say, "Why are these old men always naked in the gym?", rephrase it to be, ""Why are these old men always naked in the place to be naked?", and hopefully you'll understand why you're the odd man out here.