JS Archive

Jul 2006: The nearly naked truth

Mike Nichols Mike Nichols

The pressing question of the day:

Does extreme heat justify an overweight man’s desire to publicly don a white thong?

“Ewwwww” is the approximate quote of the women I have run this past.

I have not, feeling a little awkward about it, run this past any men.

This is not, I think I would like to point out here, a random musing.

I was at Harrington Beach with the kids Saturday, sitting on a chair and reading, when I happened to look up and see, some distance past me already, a very tan and very large male backside with what looked like nothing but a white string attached. Or stuck. Or something.

I wasn’t the only one agog because, just then, a female park ranger stopped and said something to him. I could not hear it, but I imagine it to have been something like, “Excuse me, sir, but that’s yucky.”

Whatever she said, he responded by wrapping a towel around himself, so I think she deserves a raise.

Or, having been forced to witness that, at least some counseling.

I suppose he was imagining himself a young stud. The thing is, though, young studs nowadays wear trunks that Andrew Bogut would envy. They’re huge.

There were guys playing volleyball at Bradford Beach on Sunday morning who looked like Adonis from the waist up, and I’m not sure any of them had knees. At least you couldn’t see them.

One of them was 33-year-old Tracey Hanson’s husband, and, she told me, he wouldn’t dare wear even a Speedo.


If winces were words, hers were clear. Ewwwwwwww.

“I don’t think anybody should be wearing a thong on the beach, man or woman,” she said. “I don’t care how beautiful they are.”

Sixty-four-year-old John Melnyk has a bit different perspective. He was wearing long, blue trunks but knows a thing or two about Speedos. He doesn’t seem to think everybody should throw in, or on, the towel.

“Dick Bacon and I,” he said of the famous and now deceased Milwaukee sun-worshipper, “always wore Speedos. I would say that was about till ’85. Bacon’s trademark was a white Speedo.”

The problem with long trunks, he pointed out, is they absorb so much water.

Even Melnyk conceded, though, that a Speedo is not good on an older man. And thongs are not Speedos.

Male thong-wearing in public, I submit, really ought to be a felony.

It’s not just the guy at Harrington, after all. I was at Bradford early enough Sunday that there weren’t many people but, sure enough, there was an older guy in what appeared to be a string bikini.

I couldn’t tell for sure because he was sitting down, and I figured I don’t get paid enough to ask him to stand up.

At nearby McKinley Beach, in the meantime, Lisa and Paul Coert and their young kids were watching the air show and playing in the water.

Bemused, the Cedarburg mom said she didn’t seem to recall her children ever asking to wear a Speedo. Her son, Logan, who is in grade school, was wearing trunks almost as long in the leg as he was.

Asked why he picked out that one, he had an entirely logical answer.

“Cuz it has flames on it.”

And sure enough, super-cool flames were shooting up from the bottom of his swimsuit.

Also, he said, “I am a skinny dude.”

Older folks call it slender, or enviable, but you sort of got the point. Any dude worth his salt would rather show a lot of flame than a lot of leg.

Would that everyone were so wise.