Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Naked

There's a naked man who walks around near where we live.

In a minute we're going to laugh about this because in this country it's a challenge sometimes to find things to laugh about.

For one second, we should probably pause and agree how sad it is that in Haiti there's really no services or a real plan to help people who have psychological problems.  If you have people in your life that you love who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. imagine how difficult and heartbreaking it would be to see them hurting and not have any way to get them help. Sigh.  Haiti is hard.

Wow.  Now I almost don't want to continue this story, cause I feel so bad for this guy.

Okay...pouring ice water on my heart.

Wait for it.  Wait for it.

Ah yes.  My heart is now completely frozen.  We can continue.

A naked person walking down the road is something you mention.

Almost everyone on campus had seen Naked Man but me.

No fair, right?

One night we're walking home from the store. We walk around the corner. We're almost to our gate.  Aaron is in the lead.  The kids are between us.  I'm in the back.  I turn the corner and see all our boys stopped, staring at something, mouths wide open.  We have failed to teach them manners, so they are pointing and yelling, "That guy is naked!"

Before I can figure out what is going on, I almost run into naked man.  Right. Into. Him.

Since Aaron was the first one to round the corner and experience the nakedness, he had turned around, waiting to see the reaction of his wife.  Aaron is nice that way.

I turn the corner and bam.  I encounter the naked.

Want to know my first thought?

"My gosh, his butt is amazing.  Uh-Mazing."

 It is.  Who knew butt cheeks could live that high up on a person's legs?  My cheeks would instantly have a hard time breathing if ever forced to that altitude.  Naked man had zero overlap between butt and leg.  None.  His butt ended. Full stop. Then began his leg.  Go look in the mirror. Chances are, this is not the way anyone would describe your butt to leg transition.

Yes, fine. It would take a very long look to make all these observations about a naked person.

My eyes tarried. They lingered.  It's not every day you see a naked person on your corner.  My sons get their rudeness straight from me.

Standing next to a naked man on the side of a busy street was weird.  The next time you are out walking just imagine passing an all the way naked man who is not acting naked at all.  That's where the magic happened with this man.  It's one thing to pass a naked person who is embarrased they are naked.  It's an entirely different thing to pass a naked man who is standing on your corner buying a coke.

Your brain sort of doesn't know what to do with the information it's receiving.  Naked man.  Busy street.  Buying coke.  Great butt. No one but the white people are staring.  Where does the naked man keep his wallet?

A picture like this is not easily processed.  While my brain was trying to reboot and figure out if this is a time to run, fight, buy a coke, or do lunges, I simply stood there and admired his naked rear.

End scene.

That night, the Haitian man who works for our family (Dominique) came over.  Dominique is my one-stop source to get all my questions about Haiti answered. Maybe Dominique likes being my go-to person for questions.  Maybe he wishes I'd go read when he's here.  We shall never know.

Naked man was fresh on my mind. I could not get over that he was totally naked doing not-naked things.  By this time I've already imagined naked man riding a motorcycle taxi.

I described the scene on the corner to Dominique.  I left out how much I liked the guy's butt.  I told him everything else though.

After telling part of the story, Dominique interrupted me and says, "I don't know the word 'naked' you are talking about."

Dominique speaks pretty good English, but the word "naked" was lost on him.

So I said, "You know...naked...it means you don't have any clothes on."

Dominique's face lit up. He was getting it.  He says, "Oh, naked means when you are completely empty of clothes?"

Completely empty of clothes.

Is there a better way to describe naked? I think not.

I asked Dominique if he thinks naked man is crazy.

He enthusiastically said, "Yes!!  Yes.  You would have to be crazy to walk around outside completely empty of your clothes.  When you see this man, if you are by yourself, you should walk very far around him.  If a man is empty of clothes, you never know what he is going to do."

I decided I would listen to Dominique and toss aside any future conversation with naked man where I walked up to him and asked him how he got his butt to look like that.  Besides, if he busted out in naked squats in front of me that might be a tad bit too much.  Even for me.

Dominique asked me what our country does with people who walk around naked. I told them we arrest them.  He was deeply troubled by this.  "They go to jail, just because they are naked?"  We told him that they don't usually stay in jail.  Then we admitted that we don't actually know what happens to them in our country (cause we're real winners).  All we know is that you are not allowed to be naked and buy a coke.

Completely empty of clothes

Today I'm officially adding that to our Hendrick Dictionary.

Because of my niece, we erased the word, "wedgie" from our family's vocabulary and instead call the unfortunate incident when your undergarments are traveling to uninvited parts of your behind...a "washie."

Because of Ashton, we no longer say someone tooted.

Instead, when smelly air makes its way out of your behind we Hendricks now call that offense "pooting the cheese."

"Did you poot the cheese?"

I laugh every time I hear one of my boys ask someone that question.

That white stuff you put on your skin to keep from getting cancer will forever be referred to as summer screen.

Nun chucks? Oh no.  Those things ninjas use will forever be called Neck Chunks in our home.

We've now officially buried "naked."  Forever more, when a person is going au naturale they will be "completely empty of their clothes."

I'm hoping an opportunity presents itself for Aaron to get to really talk to Empty of Clothes Man.  I'm sure he has a story worth hearing. Or maybe he just really likes being naked, and he lives in the perfect place to be true to himself.  Maybe one day we'll find out.


jessie said...

here at our house, we call wedgies witchies.
awesome post!haha

Trent & Andrea Buck said...

I must say, this brought me to tears and made Trent and I laugh quite a bit. We miss you guys and love getting to hear the laughs, cries, hard times, and good memories being made in Haiti through your blog. Send our love to the boys and Aaron! :)

Amy said...

Yes, I also laughed until I had tears. Oh how I love you and your precious family! Someday I do hope to meet you!

The Lopases said...

so funny!
when i was in barcelona for a summer, there was a naked man. i only saw him once or twice. really. im not sure it was legal. and spain is not a poor, underdeveloped country like haiti. that's what made it weirder to me

Brandon and April said...

In our house Capri-Suns are now called "Submarines." I very rarely buy capri-suns. they're a special occasion type of thing. But sometimes I buy them just so I can hear Eden ask for a submarine with her lunch.

Andrea said...

Ok, I guess I have ice water on my heart as well. This made me laugh so hard. Thanks. It's all about perspective. and humor... both are a blessing from God.

You are such a great writer.

Jessica said...

this is hilarious! I have found your blog twice this week from other blogs- very much enjoying your writing and heart!

Melda said...

Dear heavens, it is funny......

we have farkles instead of farts-so when someone mentioned playing the game "Farkle" my kids looked at each other like, "Can we do that in a group setting??"

and if you find out how to keep gravity from taking over your butt, please let me know. At the rate I am going, mine will be near my knees soon.


The Floyds said...

i don't think i have ever laughed so hard.

S. said...

Ah, yes. I spent 2 1/2 years In Benin as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Our village did not have this occurence, but the closest town with the big market did. Naked guy...sometimes they are in shackles, shuffling around town. The shackles are especially hard to witness...but on the lighter side of things...I agree, it's hard not to look. I mean, there's a naked guy! Right there! And no one else seems to notice! Whaaaatttt??

I'm a new reader. I found your blog through a link posted about poverty, religion, and adoption.

Robert Heath said...

I'm not quite so ready to assume he's crazy. I lean toward your last statement, that maybe he's in a place where he's completely comfortable with himself. Maybe he has even philosophically chosen to be naked because that state is truer to his ancestral origins.

Or maybe he IS crazy.

What amazes me, though, is the fact that you noticed and admired his butt. It doesn't sound like you had any sinful thoughts about his butt. If that's true, then I think it's quite wonderful and another kind of "comfortable with yourself" that the world could use. I find it rather endearing that you report thoughts like this.

It would be interesting to see what Aaron might report if he ever gets a chance to talk to the man.

Jodi said...

You are too funny lady. I so appreciate your sense of humor. God bless Empty of Clothes Man!

Joy said...

That is stinkin' awful and awesome....but mostly hilarious. HAHAHA!! Thank you for posting about Empty of Clothes Man. I'm going to stick with "Nekkid" here in Alabama.

Bob & Judy said...

Noticed there's no photo with this post......

Wheeler Family said...

hilarious....hilarious....hilarious. Oh, my how I love your use of words and your honesty. I love that you stared and you SHARED IT WITH THE PUBLIC!!!! You ROCK!!!!
Oh, and I get my purses from Heartline this week and my party is in NOV!! Super stoked about that!

Wheeler Family said...

OH, and I thought everyone would enjoy this.
As I am reading your funny story, my 7 y/o repeatedly ask to use the camera.
Nikon D40....too much for a 7 y/o to handle.
I told her no which didn't suffice her. So she asked again, and again, and again (can you tell I am ignoring her at this point?)
I looked up, into her eyes and said "Ask me that again and see what happens."
She says (total seriousness) "Mom, can I PLEASE borrow the camera?"
I couldn't help but laugh!!!! The answer was still no, but she didn't understand what just went down!!! LOL

Jessica said...

And you didn't take his picture?

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

You are just TOTALLY hilarious, Heather! You really know how to mix up the writing to keep readers coming.....and you are changing lives. I promise.

mandi said...

bwa hahaha!!!

i'm thinking naked man doesn't need a wallet. he's probably trading secrets on how to have a great looking butt for a bottle of coke!

have you ever seen leslie in downtown austin? the 6 foot something transvestite in a string bikini and heels?

Meredith said...

ok, heather, you just made my day. any worries on my mind just vanished as i cracked up at you and i'm now ready to conquer the day....although i'm really hoping i don't run into any completely empty of clothes guatemalans today. not sure i could keep my composure.

JoAnna said...

Hello. Just found your blog... GREAT things to say, you have... but this post? I have not laughed so hard in a really long time. Now I'm wondering how ethical it will look if I put the link on twitter.. :)

Angie said...

You make me laugh!!!!!! I live in Mozambique and last year I saw our neighborhood naked man BUT he was not really empty of all of his clothes. He was wearing a pith helmet.

Alicia said...

This post mde me laugh out loud! I started following your blog because of a link from our sons orphanage, Gods Littlest Angels, when you wrote about the baby you had to turn away. That post mde me cry! But better yet it made my family pray! Thanks for sharing parts of Haiti with us.

puremotherhood said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. After reading some of the hard things on your blog I needed this. Tears streaming down my cheeks because I'm laughing so hard - it' s a fabulous feeling. I love that Dominique didn't know what Naked meant.

Jessica said...

I can't tell you how thankful I am for you.