Leaving it all behind

Sometimes I shake my head, and something ridiculous comes out.

There are, I am told, four nudist clubs within 50 miles of Houston, two of which are permanently established, the others being “non-landed” clubs which meet at a member’s house. I’d like to think that visitors fled once they got wind of the arrival of Harvey. But what if they waited too long?

And why would I ask such a thing? An unbidden memory of, believe it or not, an ocean liner. The SS Andrea Doria, the pride of the Italian line, was struck by MS Stockholm of the Swedish-American line on a summer day in 1956. There were only 46 fatalities; 1660 passengers and crew were rescued.

When I was a kid, I remember reading about this wreck in one of the ubiquitous Reader’s Digest Condensed Books volumes around the house. And there was a throwaway line about how “Some of the passengers sprang from their beds without clothing and departed the ship that way,” followed by a detailed description of one woman who made sure she was fully dressed and her makeup correctly applied before heading for the lifeboat. At the time, I was too young to think much of this passage. Many years later, something prodded the memory, and I asked myself if I could run for my life in my birthday suit. I decided I could not, and shoved the thought back into its slot.

Now, of course, we are presented with a massive rescue operation, and I am barely able to walk, let alone run. Fortunately for me, I’m nowhere near Houston; I surely would have perished by now. Would I have bothered to get dressed? I don’t know, and I don’t think I want to find out.


  1. fillyjonk »

    31 August 2017 · 3:17 pm

    Make up and hair? Really?

    I’d make darnsure I had good stout shoes on if I had to evacuate, but honestly? People who can’t handle me with messy hair can’t handle me anyway.

    I’d rather take those precious minutes to grab a couple changes of underwear and stuff ’em in a pocket or my purse, instead of making sure I had lipstick on.

  2. McG »

    31 August 2017 · 5:25 pm

    Some people are more afraid of the water than others. Though, I do wonder if Ms. Hair-and-Make-Up subscribed to “Live Fast, Die Young”, etc.

    Which for some reason, along with Filly’s comment, reminds me of an early episode of “Moonlighting”.

  3. In The Mailbox: 08.31.17 : The Other McCain »

    31 August 2017 · 6:03 pm

    […] Dustbury: Leaving It All Behind […]

  4. ETat »

    1 September 2017 · 6:36 am

    It’s wonderful, our brains’ “auto-correct” function. Chaz said “fully dressed” and “makeup applied” – and commenters filled in “hair”!

    Personally, I’ve discovered that layers of civilization and good manners that nurtured into one from infancy to adulthood are falling off fast at extreme circumstances. Like when one is in labor. I could care less for being naked and seen with blood streaming down my legs by 7 white-robbed strangers.

    The lady in question was probably in shock, blocking the level of danger from her conscience, otherwise she’d fly to the lifeboats, wailing and barefoot, like a lightning.

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