by Kent Ballard

You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but our esteemed blogger Zach is actually a pretty bright fellow. Recently he gave me an idea that’s worth pondering and perhaps implementing. I was complaining about all the tourists who come to my county for two weeks out of the year to see the brilliant fall foliage and to attend the county-wide festivals each little burg has during this time. If you are a local, if you actually live where people visit, you soon learn that all tourists are major pains in the ass and most consist of folks whom even Wal-Mart wouldn’t allow in their doors.

I was complaining about this at some length with Zach and he more or less said, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

I do not have a machine which makes cotton candy. I don’t sell deep fried watermelon on a stick. I don’t have suppliers who sell me eight hundred pounds of cheap, worthless socks made by slave labor in Somolia or genuine Americana “antiques” which were made last summer in China. These are pretty much what all the booths and yard sales in our festival sell and I want no part of it.

Zach said to simply charge the rubes a few bucks to swim in my pond. I have 71 acres of forest in which I live and two ponds, one rather large. I dismissed his idea originally, but thought about it later…

The last time I checked, the state of Indiana had more nudist colonies per capita than any other state in the union. Nobody seems to know why, but we do. Why just charge people to swim? Why not put up a couple of dozen cheap cabins, throw up an eight foot wooden fence around my acreage, hire some security, and start my own nudist camp?

The initial cost of starting up such a colony would be pretty high, but have you ever checked what they charge families for two weeks to a month to relax in the nude at a skin camp? It’s appalling. A king’s ransom. But people line up to cheerfully pay every year. Established nudist resorts rake in more money than Vegas. Money interests me.

Let’s see…I already have the land. My home is so remote there is a plaque along my half-mile long driveway commemorating this as the place where dark was invented. It’s nothing but deep valleys, high ridges, ravines, and I think if you could flatten it all out it would equal Vermont in size. It’s mostly hardwood forest and, I think, rather pretty country. We have deer, many of them. We have huge barred owls that call to each other at night. We have coyotes who form choirs to serenade folks in the wee hours, driving every pet dog into howling fits for miles around. Off and on, we have bigfoot though I might want to leave that off the advertisements.

I’d need a tall wooden fence around the entire property, and probably a very wicked inner fence of razor wire to keep out the curious riff-raff. And I would need a few roving perimeter guards. I would hire the bigfoot, as they would be champs at this, but they’re not trustworthy when it comes to punching a time clock. So, instead, I would hire rural women to be the guards at my colony. I know many country women who could score “expert sniper” on any military gun range and most of them are quite attractive.

They also take no crap from anybody. Yes, rural women would be perfect perimeter guards.

I could buy a score or two of those prefabricated tiny houses or largish yard tool barns and convert them into rustic cabins lit by kerosene lamps. A few porta-potties scattered about would take care of those needs, and I could put small wash basins in the cabins. I’d have to build a shower house, but there would be no need to build a laundry. Those who wished to could bring their own camping gear and enjoy all this beautiful scenery and nakedness outdoors if they chose to.

We’d have nightly cookouts, card games, bingo, swimming contests, all the usual campground activities. I’d buy a few yards of cheap ribbon and hammer out some large medals for the Ms. & Mr. Nudist Camp contestants every month. It’d cost a ton to get everything set up, time before word got around to the nudists themselves (which means advertising), but once that was done and the colony established, I would be filthy, stinking rich.

I’d drive a custom-made Jeep. I’d hire people to cut my winter’s firewood. Hell, I could afford a new tractor! (Don’t scoff. The big ones run close to a quarter-million dollars. Google them if you think I’m kidding.) Best of all, I could make lots of nice, new, naked friends.

In rural Indiana the most savage enemies I would have would be the fine church-going people. They would protest. They would organize. They’d picket my front gate. I’m nowhere near a school or other public facility and I suppose a lengthy court battle might beat them, but I have friends in low places and it would be both cheaper and faster to identify the church ringleaders and grease a few of their palms. Failing that, a little detective work to get photos of everybody who’s screwing everybody else in their congregations would calm them down pronto.

So I’m now doing cost-study analyses and pricing lumber. Also checking on the cost of Viagra by the case. If I went full-tilt boogie and invested everything I have (and what I could borrow), I could pull this off. The critical point would happen when I bring this plan up with my lovely wife. Foolishly, I taught her how to shoot years ago and she’s quite good at it. As a rule she’s kind-hearted and gentle, but I cannot outrun a hail of 9 millimeter bullets so this would take great planning and preparation. She’s interested in money too, and that would help.

So…someday when you are perusing your favorite porn site, should you find an advertisement for Indiana’s newest nudist colony, contact me at the provided web address and I’ll send you brochures, maps, rates, and everything you need to know. Then plan your summer vacation here. And pack very lightly.

I may even treat you to shameful, horrible stories about Zach while grilling hamburgers, some of which would even be true. But for so kindly giving me the idea of how to become a rustic, backwoods Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, I’ll alter the names and dates which should give him a chance at explaining all this to his beloved Sue. If that doesn’t work I’ll send her a season pass.

You will have the vacation of a lifetime. You’ll broaden your horizons and eventually relax and embrace a tolerance of alterative lifestyles. Besides, it simply feels good to run around naked. Life is too short for Puritan prudishness. Try it and you will be surprised at how quickly you take to this refreshing and wholesome (by Indiana standards) lifestyle. You’ll get a killer tan too.

But we ask you. Please….no peeing in the pond.

You can’t get a suit of armor and a rubber chicken just like that. You have to plan ahead. Michael Palin