“I won’t,” I assured her, and I haven’t—I’ll be back in San Diego by the 4th. Hopefully I'll get the same nice new plane back there as I did when I came out. The new in-flight entertainment screen was great--there were games you could play for free on it, and I played trivia and poker all the way here, which showed me, contrary to my previous opinion of myself, that I know nothing about anything and cannot play poker.
But I'll be back on my adopted home turf and ready for WNGD. I’ll be ready for the traffic and the crowded shopping venues, especially at Home Depot, as Southern Californians, for whom World Naked Gardening Day is nearly as important as Arbor Day, flock to buy the fertilizer, trowels and hedge clippers that will complement their naked selves best on May 7th.
Ironically, it was here in Pennsylvania that my most intense gardening, although not naked, experiences occurred. My family of nine lived off our land—that and my dad’s job as a line foreman for the Philadelphia Electric Company—and all summer radishes, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables we kids had absolutely no use for sprouted in our garden.
We grew one produce item me and my siblings would eat enthusiastically--tomatoes—and the beginning of August, when the tomatoes were being plucked thick and fast, my mother would celebrate by buying a swine’s worth of bacon and we would eat nothing but bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches until the first day of school.
But nudity and tilling the soil did not mix. We were serious Catholics, and while Catholics have many holidays, or as the Church so jovially calls them, Holy Days, that are unknown to other denominations, World Naked Gardening Day was not among them. In fact, Catholics back then had added an 11th Commandment to the original roster, and that commandment was:
Thou shalt not see anybody else naked, nor shalt anyone see you naked.
We followed this rule because we knew the alternative was an eternity in Hell, even as, at one point, there were eight of us living in a house with two bedrooms and one bath, which made Hell look a little more tolerable. I don’t know how old I was when I realized most people don’t go into the bathroom or the closet to change their clothes. Sometime between when I started shaving and my honeymoon night is as close as I can come to pinning it down.
It’s rainy and miserable here in Philly, as it so often is here until at least the middle of June, when it gets rainy and hot, so I don’t know if World Naked Gardening Day is ever going to catch on here. And when I get back home to celebrate, there’s not all that much to do—after a failed attempt to plant our condo yard in Korean Grass some years back, we had every inch of it covered in easy-to-cultivate river rock, so the only gardening chore I really have to do on World Naked Gardening Day is spraying weed killer on anything that dares spring up between the stones.
That’s easy enough to do in the dark.