Naked truth

Before we go any further, let me say I am fully clothed while I write this. Just for the record.

Once word of a recent survey gets around, such intimate information may be required before any business transaction. For instance, when answering the phone: "Hello, this is Joe Beeblefitz at Kumquat Industries. I am not naked. Now how may I help you?"

It seems that the folks at Ikea, the international furniture dealer, did a survey of men and one of the questions the snoops asked was whether the men had any desire to work naked. Three percent of men who work in traditional offices admitted they'd like to toil in the buff.

Look around your workplace. If you've got 100 people there, three of them harbor a secret desire to strip off their clothes and get busy in their cubicles. They're probably the ones who smile to themselves a lot.

You have to wonder what they're thinking. Maybe they long for the feeling of freedom that would come with going around in the nude. Perhaps they have a philosophical antagonism toward fashion. Maybe they feel that clothing not only doesn't make the man, but it hides us from our true selves. Or, maybe they just have a problem with their shorts binding.
Whatever the reason, I'd avoid them if I were you.

The survey asked the same question of men who worked at home and none of them expressed a desire to shuck their clothes while working, even though 12 percent said their home offices are in their bedrooms, where nakedness might well be expected.

The newspaper item that exposed these survey results said, "You'd think it would be the other way around." Clearly, the poor misguided person who wrote the article doesn't work at home.
It's much too dangerous at home to go around naked all the time. The home office is full of sharp corners and electrical cords and whirring machinery. A naked man should think twice before leaning over an operating fax machine. He might end up sending the wrong message.

And how can a naked person get the house cleaned and the meals prepared? Besides the obvious questions about sanitary conditions, housework is fraught with peril. Spattering grease while cooking. Hot water splashing out of the sink. Spilled coffee. Power tools. Ginzu knives. Weed-whackers. Romping pets with their sharp claws and snapping teeth. That potted cactus over in the corner.

These dangers exist in the era of modern conveniences. Imagine if you had to cook over an open flame or sweep with a broom made from twigs or gather your own blackberries. And remember wringer washers? They were so dangerous to various dangling portions of the anatomy that it became a cliche to mention something caught in a wringer.

I find that a thick bathrobe is the absolute minimum protection required to insulate me from the dangers of my own home. Sure, my robe is covered with cigarette burns and scratches and stains, but I figure it's better to sacrifice the terry-cloth than my own bare skin. I can always get a new robe. A new hide is harder to come by.

The more I ponder the hazards around me, the more I think it would be a good idea to do the housework in one of those armored suits like the bomb squad guys wear. It might restrict my mobility, might be a little warm in the summer, but it would sure be safer than jiggling around naked.

Even if nudity was so important to me that I was willing to brave these dangers, there are other people to consider. Salespeople ring the doorbell occasionally. I have to go outside to pick up the newspaper and would undoubtedly bump into the neighbors. My own children would point and snicker. Who needs the aggravation?

But the No. 1 reason you won't catch this work-at-home dad laboring in the nude is that I spend most of my workday in a high-backed swivel chair made of black leather. Can you imagine what that would be like in the good ole summertime?

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