I've been the victim of some good-natured ribbing at the office over my complaints about New York City's heat wave. For those of you below the Mason-Dixon line, the Big Apple has been baking in sweltering humidity for the past two weeks and there's no end in sight.
"Give it a rest, Starnes," say my northern colleagues. "You're from the South. You should be used to this."
That's true. But in the South we are able to tolerate summer's wrath thanks to air conditioning, Mason jars filled with sweet iced tea, and funeral home fans.
And trust me when I tell you that the only thing worse than New York City's heat --- is New York City's stench. Sweet mercy! It's sort of a cross between day-old Chinese food and gym sneakers. I've been tempted to hand out bottles of Febreeze during rush hour on the Q Train.
But things have taken a turn for the worse, kind readers, and I must implore you to put our beleagured city on your church prayer list. Folks here are beginning to get nekkid.
As any well-bred Southerner knows, there's getting naked and then, there's getting nekkid. The first is what happens if you want to take a shower. The latter is taking a shower with somebody else.
And there's a whole lot of nekkidness going on in Gotham -- from nude comedy clubs and beaches to naked yoga classes and (brace yourself) restaurants.
The New York Post interviewed John Ordover about his restaurant's rather unusually strict dress code -- no clothes allowed.
"We're not out to shock or put on a public spectacle," he told the Post. "We want only to do things that other people do in the way that we are most comfortable doing them. That, for us, is without clothes."
I can't begin to imagine what happens when a patron discovers a hair in their soup. And heaven forbid if they serve pulled pork. I imagine it might get a bit tricky -- what with all that barbecue sauce.
Fortunately, somebody had the good sense to pass a city law that requires waiters to keep pants on.
But the slippery slope to perdition doesn't stop at the local diner, New York now has naked yoga classes. I suppose it brings new meaning to Yoga's half-moon pose and those headstands could give a guy whiplash.
And then, there's the Naked Comedy Showcase. They perform once a month at the People's Improv Theatre. I wonder how many patrons go over the two drink minimum? Now, I'm all about cutting edge performances, but can you really imagine Carrot Top in the buff?
So there you have it folks --- a city in crisis. The temperature is rising, clothes are falling, and we're running low on deodorant. Y'all pray for us.