Friday, August 10, 2012


I have been told repeatedly that I should start a blog.  Soooo...I am finally going to give it a shot.  To kick things off...I am going to make my first post one of my all-time favorite happened years (like, 9 years) ago, but still, it never gets old:

So, as it happened, Jeff and I found ourselves with a whole week without the monkey.  For the very first time since she was born, we were going to go on vacation…just the two of us.  Our beloved off-spring had decided that she wanted to go to summer camp...a real live summer camp with horses and archery and cabins and everything.  We were a little afraid to let her know we were going to the beach while she was at summer camp, so we just kinda, sorta didn’t tell her that little fact before dropping her off in the hills of Mentone, AL with about 60 other squeally little monkey girl-children.  After getting her settled in, we loaded back into the car, dropped back by the house for OUR luggage and headed South.

Six hours later, we are on the sugar sands of the Gulf of Mexico, in Panama City Beach, Florida…my favorite place in all of the world.  Some folks prefer the more reserved Destin, or even Gulf Shores.  Not us…the people watchin’ doesn’t get any better than in PCB.  And anyway, it’s where we got married, so we have a soft spot for it.  There may be other reasons I’m drawn there as well.  I was once on vacation with my mom, her husband, my clan, as well as my sister’s brood in Destin.  I made the comment that even though this was really pretty and all…I just really preferred Panama City and was just sad as I can be when I don’t get down there once a year.  My mom just ever so casually says, “Well, that’s probably because you were conceived there.”  I mean ICK!!  I try not to think about it, nor about the salmon-like way I am drawn down to the coast every year, but it is what it is.

Anyhoo…Jeff and I made it down there without incident for our first kid-free beach trip we’d had in oh…about 9 years.  We get our bags to the room and commenced at once to frolicking.  We went down to the beach for a little while (it was late afternoon).  We went to a FABULOUS dinner…where it didn’t matter how long we had to wait, we just sipped something frozen…no little impatient kiddo, who can only think of getting back to the pool, or going putt-putting or SOMETHING besides waiting on a table.  We ate great seafood ‘til we were just about to POP.  Then when we got back to the hotel, we decided to fix ourselves a couple of adult-type beverages and go relax in the hot tub until the food had digested enough for us to settle in for bed and prepare for our first WHOLE day of lolling around the beach and people watching.

Well, we relaxed in the hot tub, drank our big girl and big boy drinks, and relaxed some more.  By and by, the drinks needed a re-fill so we DID, and before too long, it seemed like a good idea to go back up to the room.  Well, once we got ready to go to sleep (which was not IMMEDIATELY after we got back to the room, if you know what I mean) I changed into my warm weather PJs (shorts and tank top).  Jeff decided just to put his swim trunks where they’d dry over night, and come to bed nekkid.  He happens to have a heidel hernia, and a reflux esophagus, so in a couple of hours, that Pina Colada we had downstairs is starting to give him some serious heartburn.  He gets up, shuffles on into the bathroom half-asleep and gets him some Tums or Gaviscon or something I’ve packed, and checks the time.  It’s about 2:00-2:30 a.m.

If you have ever been to Panama City Beach, you know that they have “the strip” or “the Miracle Strip” that runs along the beach.  It is a favorite pastime of the ga-jillions of recent high school graduates and/or college students to ride up and down the strip acting like fools and hollerin’ at each other.  No one knows why.  They basically keep this up for all night long, then go sleep in their hotel rooms where they are usually piled 20 deep in some cases, and then repeat the process all over again once the sun goes back down.  Some will actually stagger out into the 3:00 afternoon sunlight, blinking and squinting for a little sun and surf, but many come to the beach just to ride up and down US Hwy 98, a.k.a. “the strip”. 

Jeff, being the people watcher that he is, got to wondering at 2:00-2:30 in the a.m. if there was much activity going on down on the strip.  The hotel we were staying in is configured in an arch, with balconies on the ocean side in every room, and open air walkways on the other side facing the strip.  The walkways have a half-wall, a little more than waist-high to keep folks from falling off. 

So, Jeff opens the door that leads out onto the walkway, but because he is in the doorway, the half-wall is blocking his view of the strip.  He steps out into the walkway a little more, keeping his heel in the doorway to keep the door open and looks again.  He still can’t see, so he stretches a little, then a little more, then a leettle more, then…ka-chump.  The door slips past his heel and closes…locked.

Riiiight about that time, he discovers (or maybe realizes is the word I want here) that the coastal breeze is blowing on parts of his anatomy that strictly speaking, it has never blown before.  This is when my dear hubby remembers that he took his swim trunks off & hung them up to dry before coming to bed and was right at that moment butt-nekkid.  Outside of his hotel room.  Of his LOCKED hotel room.  On the road side of the hotel room.  In Panama City Beach.  At once he commences to banging on the door, like I’m going to hear him.  Let us remember that I had indulged in a couple of frozen cocktails and had participated in some mildly strenuous exercise before retiring.  Also, I was alllll the way back towards the ocean side of the hotel room with the air conditioning unit blasting away so that I could snuggle under the blankets like I like to do.   I was out cold.  There wasn’t NUTHIN going to disturb my rest.  And deep down, Jeff knows this, but he has to hope, so he bangs away for awhile longer before resigning himself to the fact that it’s just not going to be that easy.

At this point, he looks around and tries to rationally assess his circumstances.  Is there a door mat?  No.  Have they delivered the paper outside the door, from which he could origami himself a pair of briefs? No.  Is there anything at the vestibule by the elevators that he could arrange to cover himself?  Actually, yes, there are some palm fronds.  Unfortunately, there are also cameras at the elevators that feed directly to the hotel lobby where they are sure to notice a nekkid man denuding their palm fronds.  What to do?

Well, right then, a security guard comes strolling along the curve of the building and spots my husband, who while he was pondering his situation had kind of pressed himself into the doorway to make himself as un-obvious as possible.  Though how un-obvious you can be while standing butt-nekkid outside your hotel room is still a matter of debate.  At any rate, the security guard makes eye contact with my hubby and says, “Well, shit,” or something like that and TURNS ON HIS HEEL and starts to go the other direction.  Hoping, no doubt that on his next circuit, this situation will have resolved itself without his intervention.  Jeff is in a panic.  He’s had his bare ass to the wind for over 15 minutes now and has run out of options.  “DUDE!” he says, “PLEASE come back!”  The guards sighs, slumps his shoulders and comes back to confront my butt nekkid husband.  “WHAT!!??!!” he says, “are you doing?”  So Jeff tries to succinctly explain his situation…wet swim trunks…heartburn….looking at the strip…comatose wife…and asks him can he PLEASE just let him back in the room?  All the while demurely covering his nether-like regions with his hands as best he can.  The security guard gives another long-suffering sigh and says into his walkie-talkie, “Can I get someone up here with an all-pass?”  He makes eye-contact with Jeff again, briefly, “And a towel?”  So they stand there, NOT making eye-contact, NOT making small talk until finally, two more security guards come around the bend.  Sure enough, one of them is carrying a towel.  Grinning like a FOOL, but carrying a towel.  Jeff gratefully receives the towel and wraps it around him while the others avert their eyes.

He explains the situation to the newly arrived, they call down to the front desk, Jeff’s able to answer a few questions to prove that yes, this is his room, no, he is not some pervo, yes, he is sober, and they finally let him back in.  He later told me that without thinking, he had put his hand out to shake theirs to say “thanks.”  The grinning, towel carrying security guard just looked at his hand and said, “That’s okay, dude.”  Jeff realized that his hands had only moments before been ah, shielding himself…so he just says, “Ah, well, thanks again,” and goes inside. He drops the towel, finds himself a pair of boxers in the suitcase (little late for THAT, don’t you think?) and crawls back into bed.  He doesn’t even wake me.  It’s been such a harrowing experience that he’s not really ready to relive it.

The next morning, after we wake up, he recounts the whole tale to me as I stare at him in disbelief.  Surely he is making this up?  But no, I can tell by the shell-shocked look on his face that it really happened, and that he can’t even see the humor in it yet.  I wanted to call the front desk and ask who the !@#$ let a nekkid man into my room last night, but he wouldn’t let me.  On the way down to the lobby, we passed the grinnin’ towel guard (whose name was coincidentally, Jeff), who waved and shook his head at my Jeff, and I just about laughed myself sick at him for the rest of the vacation.  We’d be lying on the beach, sunning like lizards, and I’d look over at him start chuckling. “Shuddup, it’s not that funny,” he’d say.  Oh, contraire, mon freire. I could not WAIT to share this hilarious story with my nearest and dearest.

My sister bought him one of those terry cloth wrap-around velcro’d things you wear when you get out of the shower with instructions that he take it on all upcoming vacations.  My bunco group nearly all peed themselves when I related the tale.  My beautiful and talented best friend, Annette, who writes for the local paper, wrote a news story about the Nekkid Man of the Holiday Inn Sunspree, and pretended to have found the story on the AP website.  Jeff was a pretty good sport about the whole thing by this time.  He does want me to add one positive side effect of this whole ordeal…

You know the dream that everyone has of showing up for work or school or whatever without any clothes on?  He assures me that this experience has cured him of ever having a dream like that again. As I said, it's been years since the event, and he swears he hasn’t had a single one.


  1. I suddenly remember why I always go to the bathroom and put down any beverages I am drinking BEFORE I read your stories. Glad to see you blogging! Now tell Jeff to go wash his hands. ;-)

  2. I think I could hear/read this story over and over again!! One of the funniest things I have ever heard from a friend (ya know...REAL person)! And I had no idea that Annette wrote about it! That's great! Thanks, Jeff, for the entertainment!