But I digress.
One of the things he lists as something that the media would cover if 200,000 participants showed up would be "200,000 topless women protesters who nobody actually wants to see topless ranting about the pope or some patriarchal symbol. (Mass coverage and probably a reality show on Bravo.)"
Obviously he remembers the recent demonstration by four (count 'em, FOUR) topless women who somehow thought that their boobs hanging out as they screamed nonsense would be Significant to Catholic theology. Kinda like the hashtag thing. And my thought was "Ew! Most people who insist on being naked in public are the very people who shouldn't be!" Remember David Niven at the Oscars the year a streaker ran across the stage?
Yeah. Nudists and guys who wear those skimpy, tight European swim trunks. Some people are entirely too comfortable with their bodies.
But he put me in mind of my first trip to San Diego years ago. I hadn't been traveling regularly for the gummit so I didn't take the time to research the area. Also, it may have been before TripAdvisor and such. But, anyway, I wanted to find a park, a green space, to walk in. I particularly wanted to walk near the Pacific. I took my San Diego map to the nice little old lady at the information kiosk and pointed to a green blob in the La Jolla area and asked if it was a good place for a walk. She said it was. So off I went, braving S. California evening traffic. I have to say, the traffic there never bothered me. I've spent my life driving in the D.C. metro area. As Will Rogers once said, "How can you call it traffic when it ceases to move?" Traffic not moving on the west coast is the same as traffic not moving here.
In retrospect, I should have gotten more detail about the area. I'm pretty sure she thought I was pointing at Torrey Pines State Park. I was not clear on where I was pointing. But I finally found a parking lot at what appeared to be a glider plane airport. And I could see that people were coming up from the beach there. There was a trail down the cliffs. Ah! Exactly what I was looking for! So I started working my way down.
This was before I went into total slob mode in my dress code. I refused to wear a dress, had refused for years, both because I'm not comfortable in them and because society says I should wear them and I'm contrary. But I had nice khakis and a nice blouse on. And I'm a birder. So I had my trusty Peterson guide and my little pair of binoculars with me.
The cliffs there are steep and eroded and I worked my way carefully down, not paying attention to anything but my feet. The trail finally let out on the beach, and I, in complete oblivion, walked to the water's edge and started scanning the horizon with my binoculars, looking for new entries for my birding life list. I worked slowly along the beach. Volleyball players, sunbathers, and beachcombers lined it. And something started niggling at me. Something was...different. I was very engrossed in looking for new birds, but finally I looked up. It took a moment for it to click but then it came to me - "These people are all naked..."
Ah, crud. And most of them needed to be not naked. Really. There can be too much jiggle. And an extremely hairy back is no more appealing when the extremely hairy rest of the person is displayed. I mean, Sasquach, dude, put your pants on! Swift collapse of little binoculars and they disappeared into a pants pocket. And off I marched down the beach, looking for an area where there was nothing more startling than a species of bird I hadn't seen before.
Apparently, I was at Black's Beach. Apparently, everybody knew about Black's Beach except me. There was much laughter at my expense when I told the tale later. I added a lot of birds to my life list those first couple trips out there, but I made sure of the way to Torrey Pines State Park after that.