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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Clothes (11/02/12)

TITLE: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
By Danielle King
11/07/12
~8th Place


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Clothes! Who needs ‘em? Eskimo’s maybe; or chip fryers; even non-potty trained toddlers. Nevertheless, most folk wear ‘em. And I suppose it’s useful to determine a cop from a bootleg sometimes.

Me, I’m not too fussed about what I wear. In fact I’d prefer to wear nothing at all. All that washing and ironing; choosing what’s suitable or appropriate every single day. And that’s the reason I look a rag bag I suppose. Problem is--well, me really. You see, I’ve never been the type that looks in the mirror much.

I was holidaying with Ben. I’d booked a lodge in a woodland setting where countryside meets the sea. We love to ramble but sometimes Ben’s energy levels outlive mine. On the first day I lost him. I whistled and called until eventually I heard frantic whining and followed the lead. Through a gap in the thicket I saw Ben racing up and down the beach looking for the way back in. I scrambled through the gap; cast a sharp eye around, and my jaw surely remained for several minutes, right where it dropped.

Presumably a family, I saw four adults and two kids, arms linked, squealing and yelling as they sprinted across the sands and into the sea; completely starkers!

That’s six rump ends; two tiny, two gargantuan and two incredibly relaxed and inattentive as to how far from base camp they’d strayed. This is England’s National Trust Heritage Coastline for heaven’s sake.

Not wishing to witness the spectacle on its return journey, I turned to grab my dog and scarper. Bad move! I spied Ben’s tail wagging gleefully from behind a stripy windshield. Ding Dong! Alarm bells! Beach--ice-cream; Ben adores ice-cream, especially vanilla.

I appealed to his canine sense and attempted to bribe with the promise of a home-made gourmet dog dish for tea, but to no avail. I had to go get him. Hesitantly I peeped around the windshield. No ice-cream, I was wrong. Just a chicken carcass and cake crumbs by the picnic hamper.

I suspected that would quell the appetite of the four rather robust, heavy duty ladies securely plugged into IPods. Tapping fingers and twitching toes, they remained oblivious to the opportunist thief licking his chops. There they lay, blathered in oil; two belly side down and two, not unlike fried eggs, sunny side up. I’d never seen so much meat outside a butcher’s shop.

From nowhere a guy came charging up the beach: “Hey, you with the clothes on.” I quickly turned my back on him. This was bizarre. Not even a hand full of seaweed to preserve his modesty. He poked a finger hard into my shoulder. “Rubbernecking young men like you are not welcome here!”

“What?”

I didn’t hang around to argue my case. As I slunk off the beach nursing my wounded pride, I noticed the sign.

‘Naturist Club. Members only.’

Back at the lodge I took a good look at myself in the mirror. I liked my tattered jeans and trainers. I loved my non-iron comfy sweatshirts. And my hair, so much less bother when it’s cropped short. Lippy? Mascara? Oh forget that. I ring up my feminine mates.

“You’ll never believe this Beth …

Sue, do you think I need padded uplifts?

Jen, should I shave my top lip?”

The verdict was unanimous!

“You‘ll have to come with me.” I told my girly friends. “I’m new to this.”

We did the rounds; hair and nails, face, new wardrobe. It was surreal. The beautician took my hand and led me to a full length mirror. My eyes screwed tightly shut: “Open.” She trilled. I did. And I so did NOT like that woman staring back at me. But I acted the part. I cooed and clucked; twisted this way and that. I even began to speak an octave higher.

Pink frilly things; buttons and belts; earrings detaching my lobes from my head. Bits‘n’bobs squashed flat or plumped up. I couldn’t be mistaken for a bloke now!

But who was she, that woman surely mocking me? I didn’t know her at all.

Eventually, my friends confessed. They missed me; the old me. Rosy cheeked and pleasantly plump; always in Gumboots being dragged by a dog.

That night, I scrubbed the paint from my face; stripped off the trimmings and chucked them with the trash. Was that my worth in people’s eyes? In God’s eyes?

I think not!

Thank God, who sees the heart through the smokescreen of pretence.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/12
Oh I so love this. You had me laughing so hard. I admit one part I did scratch my head a tad. I thought the MC was a female until the beach dude told "him" off. So I thought I must have been wrong. Then I get back to the mirror part and find out she was a female so I scratched my head harder until I said duh the beach dude thought she was a guy because of her appearance! I'm a tad slow on the uptake. I think it made me laugh even harder once it sunk in. You covered the topic (but not all of the characters--sorry I couldn't resist!:))This was a fun read with a great message at the end. It's one I need reminding of as I get older and the person in the mirror is not someone I ever imagined. Thanks for the giggles.
Colin Swann11/12/12
Really enjoyed your fun story. Very well written with a splash of this and that: Americanism and Englishism involved. Thank you for sharing!

Colin (Gold Member)
Allison Egley 11/12/12
Hehe this is cute!

I also got a bit confused in places... How did she wander onto nudist colony anyway? I also assumed she was walking, but then you talked about the windshield, and I got a bit confused... was the dog in a car?

Cute idea. Nice job.
lynn gipson 11/12/12
I loved this....i did get a little confused but the story was great! Thanks for sharing.
Myrna Noyes11/12/12
There was plenty of humor in this fun piece, but the ending contained a serious, thoughtful message. Good job!
Bea Edwards 11/13/12
You got me smiling with your description of the "six rump ends" and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the story all the way to the lovely lesson at the end. Perfect!
David Butler 11/14/12
This raised a few chuckles for me. Well written. The sort of thing you might see in a professional journalist's article. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/14/12
I thought I'd pop in with an answer to the windshield thing. Now here in the states a windshield is attached to a car or a truck, but given it's name I wonder if in the UK it is used like we might use a beach umbrella. So the dog hadn't hijacked an ice cream truck but more likely got cozy on a beach blanket with an umbrella to keep the rays and the wind off his delicate skin. Am I right? I love those words--scarper is still my fav though. It does add this quaint British holiday feel to the story. After much googling my head is jumbled up with windscreen vs windshield and one is a slangy term for umbrella! So do I get a special prize for figuring it out? An all-expense paid trip to England is what I'm crossing my fingers and wishing for! (Hey I can dream?) Either way, I still love your story and it still has me chuckling.
Danielle King 11/14/12
Shann, you've got it spot on again! And you can come and have a cup of nice English tea with me anytime you're passing by.
Noel Mitaxa 11/14/12
I was also 'barely' with you, until I renude my efforts and re-read the whole thing again. Great word pictures and self-deprecation with a healthy dose of honesty. Nothing hidden at all, even though you've covered everything better than some of your characters were trying to!
Thanks for a fun read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/15/12
Congratulations! I'm doing my special happy dance just for you!
Myrna Noyes11/15/12
CONGRATULATIONS, Danielle, for your E.C. win with this funny story! WAY TO WRITE!! :)
Margaret Kearley 11/15/12
This was real fun and I agree with all the comments - you certainly made us all smile. Many congratulations on your EC for such a great story.