"Enjoy our Hiking Trails! Clothing Optional"
We're planning a European vacation in August. We like to hike but... but... when I pull up online brochures about trails in Germany and Switzerland, I'm confronted with frontal.
More brochure: Wanden Sie mit uns Kommen (Come hike with us) fur frische luft und weinerschnitzel (for fresh air and weinerschnitzel).
The fresh air, yes! Nice outdoor hiking, yes! Weinerschnitzel? I'm not so sure.
I bet they know I'm American, and they're having some fun with the Anthony Weiner scandal. My wife and I plan to hike, hopefully without having to look at weinerschnitzel.
And we're old folks. I'd rather hike without too much jiggling going on and not having to worry about getting brushed or scraped by thorny bushes in places that are rather tender. Clothing helps in both cases.
Hopefully, there are people in Europe who think like we do.
What I'm finding out is Germany has many nudist hiking trails but also there are trails without nakedness. I'd prefer the trails without a lot of weinerschnitzel.
"But, Silliman," you're trying to say. "They're are some beautiful European women. You shouldn't deny them the right to romp au natural (pardon me for using French in a German-Swiss story)."
You know, I'm trying to answer you. Let's just say these nude women hikers are not all Elke Sommers. Oh, wait, they might be. Elke Sommers at the age she is now.
There are not a lot of youngsters into nude hiking. At least from the pictures they posted. These guys and gals look older than me. Old and wrinkled. Wrinkled enough to carry change.
And now Switzerland is getting into the act. Germany started the trend, thus, da weinerschnitzel, and it was popular so the Swiss want to copy. That's what I'm reading.
It's bad enough hiking through Germany, clothed. But to do it naked and have Germans wave at me and say "Auf weidersehen."
I don't need that. I don't need anyone telling me how good or how awful my weidersehen is. That's a private matter between me and my weidersehen.
And I'd feel the same way if I were hiking in Switzerland. If the little old ladies and little old men of Switzerland are hiking nude, some people will object!
I think the yodelers will be the first ones: "Oh, little old lady, NO!!!"
Here's another problem. Many Swiss seem a little snooty. You don't want to look down your nose at a nudist.
And what about those little people, the gnomes? They're entitled some consideration. Some folks are crazy about gnomes. In that case, nude hiking by tall Swiss men could lead to this confusing headline: NUDE MALE HIKER NUTS OVER GNOMES.
They're saying a few of these hiking trails will be in the mountains. That sounds dangerous, hiking nude in the Alps. It could hurt. You know what I would say if I were hiking nude in the Alps? Owwps!
It doesn't sound right and this whole idea is making my imagination run away from me. I'll catch up with it, don't worry. But, right now, I'm picturing a naked Swiss guy using each finger and his weidersehen to carry eleven pieces of Swiss cheese.
And the Alps are cold. You don't hike naked where it's cold. I saw that Seinfeld "swimming" episode and those were young guys.
Going commando up the Alps is whole different proposition, protection-wise, for old folks. Rocks are craggy. Things are saggy. And those two things shouldn't mix. They shouldn't even get close to one another.
If I'm climbing the Matterhorn, wrap me in chain-mail. Especially the central regions of my body. Wrap them up and keep them away from sharp things. And, for certain, if there's a yodeler on the mountain with a horn, don't honk it at me.
I don't need to be falling down the Matterhorn, nude, hitting craggy rocks with a yodeler asking "What's the matter" and I'm asking someone, anyone to help find a few strewn body parts.
This is where my imagination gets weird. I'm holding onto a rock (in my dream). I'm scratched, broken, bleeding, with a finger missing. I'm on the mountain with only one oyster. If I were in France they'd call me Lance. Then this yodeler asks me something in Swiss or German about "holding on to mine hoden" and "vhere's der hoden?" and, of course, I don't understand. So then, on cue, he starts yodeling:
"Yodel-adle-eedie-idle-oo! Yodel-adle-eedie-idle-oo! Yodel-yodel-auf-weidersehen-to-you!!"
No!! I'm hurt, bleeding, scratched, naked with severed parts and not in a good mood with a yodeler telling the whole valley my weidersehen is awful?
I'm having second thoughts about even going on this trip.