Last night our friends Gary and Ted came round to the café after closing time to eat linguine and play poker. Just to clarify. The linguine and the sauce was homemade. The poker was much more messy. Gary and Ted shuffle ruthlessly and constantly win. Ted makes Cool Hand Luke look like a pathetic loser.
“Did you know,” I said, “being naked surrounded by a group of people makes you feel good?”
Everybody stopped staring at their cards. If you’re ever looking for a conversation stopper, do try it.
“Honest to God,” I said, “I heard it on the radio earlier whilst I was in the bath.”
There’s been a serious study. It’s been published in (and I’m not making this up) the Journal of Happiness Studies. They’ve come to the conclusion that taking off your clothes around strangers is probably good for you.
“You’re making this baloney up,” said Ted. I could tell by his nonchalant use of the word baloney that he had the makings of a great hand.
“No, honestly,” I said. I made a cross my heart sign with my spoon. “Anyway, if it’s in the Journal of Happiness then it’s got to be true, right?”
I’ve never actually read anything published in that Journal before but I definitely do like the sound of it. The next time I’m having a down day I’m going to look it up and start thumbing through it enthusiastically to see where I’ve been going wrong. Putting clothes on in the morning, by the sounds of it.
“Apparently 850 British people were asked to fill out an online survey,” I said, “and it was found that those who spent more time naked were happier with their bodies.”
I thought this was terrific news. Who cares that the rest of the world is going down the pan. Just strip off and everything will be fine. Shout it from the roofs I say!
“Wow,” said Gary. “Perhaps the next time we come over to play cards everybody should take all their clothes off before the first round.” He paused. I think he was weighing up the pros and cons of how this might affect any winning streak. “Though I do realise this could make it difficult to concentrate if any one of us was holding a Straight Flush in their hand at the time.”
“It’s possible,” said Guido sagely, “that the people who were surveyed were happier with their bodies in the first place so were more likely to spend time naked, and it’s not that being naked made them any more happier.”
I don’t know about you but I had to get Guido to repeat that sentence three times before I understood what the hell he was going about. Maybe it’s just me, but I think he should just stick to linguine.
“Okay,” I said, “it’s fine for you, Mr Einstein with a six-pack. But what about the rest of us who spend half our lives on The Banana Diet, and the other half sucking everything in.”
Relax. There is light at the end of this tunnel of nudity. Apparently the findings also suggested that seeing other people naked could be even more beneficial than being seen naked yourself. A brief surf of the net, for purely scientific purposes, confirms this is correct.
These guys at The Happiness Institute really know what they’re talking about.