nekkidIt has always been my opinion that baths are a much better idea than they are in reality. They look so nice on TV. Someone’s lounging in a tub full of hot bubbly water. There’s music, wine, and Courtney Cox.

Everything leading up to the bath is perfect. There’s hot water, a book, a steamy room, comfort. But then I get in and it occurs to me that I am sweating in hot water, and being ogled by a cat stricken by water overload. And I am naked.

It’s a bath day for one reason: I am having trouble being funny.

Whenever I have trouble being funny, I need to put myself in a horrifying position that evokes feelings of insecurity or self-consciousness.

In other words naked.

I get naked and into the tub, submerge myself up to eyeballs and nostrils. I read James Thurber for a while and then I read James Thurber aloud because with my ears submerged I sound like Darth Vader. Nothing funny has happened yet, but I wait. It’s bound to happen.

If I’m having trouble being funny, it usually means I have to get out of my comfort zone – aka: couch. As much as I’d like to sit in my comfort zone and think funny thoughts and then write about it, it just doesn’t work for me. I need to do something that makes me feel awkward. In the past, this has meant going skydiving, to Duran Duran concerts, and Moravian pig slaughters. It has led me to yoga classes and Zumba lessons. It has meant telling a stranger on a tram that I liked his nose in Czech.

If you ever see an uncomfortable person who looks out-of-place somewhere, you can bet they’re having trouble being funny.

The cat comes in and sits behind me in the Sphinx position. She stares at me, her judgmental eyes finding each Christmas cookie and every beer on my body. I slink deeper into the water. My discomfort is a good sign; it means that something funny might happen soon.

I don’t think I’m the only person who does this stuff to get funny. I read a story by David Sedaris in which he went to a nudist camp and it boggled my mind. That is dedication to humor. All I have to deal with here is a judgmental cat and a nosy neighbor. But has Sedaris ever been to a pig slaughter? I think not.

I stand up in the water, and lather my entire body with soap and shampoo. I pull the plug and as the water drains I feel slightly disappointed that nothing funny has happened. When I turn on the shower head to rinse off nothing comes out of the hose.

No water. Now I’m naked, blind, and as slippery as buttered escargot.

If only someone would knock on the door or rob me. Perhaps the zombies will attack now that I am slippery and have soap in my eyes. That would make for a pretty good story. But none of this happens, and I sit and scoop soap out of my eyes, the cat meowing her judgments behind me.

As you can see, getting naked does not guarantee humor. Maybe I’ll invite David Sedaris to a pig slaughter.

Postscript: If you have stuck with the story until now, you have my sincere apologies for the overall lack of humor in this post. If you’d like compensation for the time you have spent reading this, I will be happy to treat you to one drink if you are in the Prague area. Just comment below or send me a message and I’ll help you drink away both the memory of this post and the mental image of me naked that you may have had to endure. Sincerely, DG

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