Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Turning on the Speed

There are countless books on how to raise children, and yet you always find that the advice and guidance given in the book you’re reading don’t quite apply to your son or daughter. We could blame this on a conspiracy of booksellers and paper companies to sell more product – you know, keep you coming back to buy another book that you hope applies to your child – but I believe the Harry Potter series has taken care of that. Here’s one thing, though, that you won’t read in any fancy-shmancy child-rearing book that no one can deny and is universally applicable: the moment you strip a kid down to his birthday suit, he’s faster than the Flash and he’s got moves to rival any NFL running back – and in some cases, there’s a neighbor or friend ready to capture it on video for you to use as blackmail when your child reaches teenager.

When someone chooses to disrobe in public, they’re called a “streaker”. They’re not called an “idler”, a “layabout”, a “stroller”, or a “meanderer”. “Streaker” has a connotation of someone darting about with a higher-than-usual degree of speed. (Although, it might also have something to do with the fact society frowns on such public displays, and there’s an officer of the law chasing the fast-moving flasher.)

In that same vein, it’s now so abundantly clear why the original Olympians decided to participate in the buff. No, it wasn’t that the togas were necessarily slowing them down, they were just getting back to their inner child and turning up the speed. Obviously, though, the invention of lotion came immediately after the first race to help with the chafing.

Now, this begs the question: Would the adult film industry be a good place for the U.S. Olympics committee to recruit athletes? Of course not! They’re not exactly using their naked powers for the innocent pursuit of trying to avoid bath time. Not that I’ve seen much of this industry’s product, but I think it’s safe to say that the 100-yard dash and the hurdles are not a big story feature.

As an adult, why do you feel so rushed in the morning when you get in the shower? Sure, you can blame it on the fact your alarm didn’t go off or you have an early morning board meeting you just remembered. The truth is, though, that your inner child can’t wait to get out of the confined space of the shower and/or bathroom and just bolt down the street in nothing but what the Good Lord gave you at birth. (Just remember to wash the conditioner out of your hair or you’ll never get a comb through it.)

In the interest of keeping my lunch down and avoiding the need to burn out my eyes with acid, I’m not advocating that we all become nudists – and I’m especially talking about a couple of my neighbors. However, I believe we would live much less stressful lives if we would take a moment every once in a while and just take a couple of quick laps around the living room in the buff. If you’re really looking to get back to basics, try throwing your arms out like they’re holding onto handlebars and making motorcycle sounds with your mouth. Come on. You know you want to do it! Nevertheless, make sure that you have a fresh bottle of lotion handy. It’ll make sitting in that board meeting much more comfortable.

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