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SF nudists decry attempts at cover-up




Gordon Green's 1949 drawing. Was he imagining San Francisco in 2011?
Gordon Green's 1949 drawing. Was he imagining San Francisco in 2011?
Gordon Green/LA Public Library

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You know the phrase, “Only in L.A.?” It goes for San Francisco, too, where officials are debating whether to make nudists sit on towels when they’re out in public. KPCC’s John Rabe spoke with the L.A. Times’ Maria LaGanga for details.

You can be a lot of things on a park bench in Los Angeles, as Rose Queen Dorothy Edwards demonstrated in 1933, but you can't be naked.

That's not the case in San Francisco, where public nudity, if not yet compulsory – it is, after all, rather chilly there, and nobody wants to experience Constanza Shrinkage Syndrome –  is a growing trend, which raises a sticky issue. As the L.A. Times reports, San Francisco is considering forcing nudists to put a towel between their butts and the park bench, or any other public chair.

Most nudists I know already do this. Carrying your personal sitting towel is de riguer even at nudist colonies. But exactly what is the issue?

As Supervisor Scott Wiener told the Chronicle, "What this does do is require that people show some basic courtesy and decency toward their fellow citizens when they are naked."

Part of Wiener's proposal is to require nudists to cover up when they're in restaurants. (Even in San Francisco, I can't believe a restaurant owner would be required to allow a nude person in the door.) I get this. But Wiener also told the Times, "It's about basic public health."

Eczema? Poo? Sweat? Hair? I'm sorry to be graphic*, but any and all of these things could already be on any public surface, and probably are. People are, in general, disgusting. Trust me; I used to be a public health reporter. If you touch anything, and then touch any of your mucous membranes, you're taking your life in your hands, because people cough and spew all over everything, and as the trailer to Contagion reminds us, people touch their faces about a million times a minute.

Rest Assured Half-Folded Toilet Seat Covers, 15 1/2 W x 13 1/2 H x 11 D
So, we're basically doomed.

Doomed, that is, unless we take a simple, inexpensive step. Yes, what I'm saying is that all public places should be 

equipped with these:

Charge a quarter apiece and every city's coffers would be filled in no time.

*Not really