The other night I stripped off all of my clothes and danced naked in the middle of the road for a while. It was fun. But, of course, I didn’t do it for me, I did it for the stars. Not Hollywood celebrities; I’m talking about the stars up in the sky.
My wife and I had gone out to see the annual Perseid meteor shower just as it was reaching its peak last Wednesday. As we try to do every year, we drove way out, deep into the country. We found a spot along an old country road, as far away as possible from the nearest light source, or any form of civilization. This year the night was quite good. There was no moon in the sky, it was fairly warm out, and there wasn’t even a hint of any clouds or any sort of haze in the air. The meteor shower was also quite intense. I would say that at the best point we were seeing at least two to three meteors per minute, and a lot of them were quite large and bright.
However, at about one a.m., a couple of hours after we got there, we noticed a severe lull in the meteor activity. A good five or six minutes went by without a single sighting. So, I mentioned to my wife that flashing her breasts at the night sky might entice more meteor activity. She complied. No more than a second after she did that, a large bollide went streaking across the night sky. The bollide was quickly followed by another smaller meteor, and then another, and the show seemed to again be back in full swing.
It didn’t last very long however, and once again, another definite lull in activity occurred. I told my wife to flash again, and she did. But, this time, there was no increase in activity. We waited and waited but… nothing. I told her that she would obviously have no choice but to strip completely naked. Perseus had already seen her naked breasts and was simply no longer impressed. However, if she were to strip completely naked and stand there on that old country road, in the cool night air, the heavens would be sure to come alive in a spectacular meteoric display.
She didn’t believe me and refused to remove even a single article of clothing. I tried to convince her by telling her that the vast majority of meteors in the vicinity of the earth that night would never enter the planet’s atmosphere. I explained that most of them would miss the earth entirely and just shoot right on by. However, if when they are passing by they happen to catch a glimpse of full frontal nudity out of the corner of their eyes, it causes them to do a double take. As the heads of the meteors spin to get a better look at some milky-white flesh, they very often accidentally veer off course slightly and are then caught by earth’s gravitational pull. Once this happens they of course come hurtling towards the earth’s surface and burn up in a glorious blaze of dazzling light. If she would only strip naked and stand there in the middle of the road, we would indeed be in for a brilliant display.
Still, she refused. In fact, she demanded that if I was so sure of my theory, I should be the one to test it out. I tried to explain to her that the ratio of male to female meteors is always severely skewed toward the masculine side and that a naked male standing in the middle of the road would not have nearly as great an effect. But still, she would have none of it. She was simply not going to take off any of her clothes.
So, I had little choice. I had to put my money where my mouth was. I stripped naked. I kicked off my shoes and peeled away my socks. I pulled my shirt off and threw it on the trunk of the car. I removed my pants and then my underwear. I was as naked as the day that I was born. I walked to the middle of the road, planted both feet firmly on the yellow line, stretched my arms up to the heavens and yelled out: “Ok! Now, give us a show!”
My wife couldn’t stop laughing. Of course, the sad thing was that my nudity seemed to have no effect. Oh, there were a couple of tiny meteors here and there, but in exchange for total nudity, I was expecting a good deal more. In fact, between the meteors and myself, I was the one doing most of the ‘streaking.’ We waited for a few minutes but still nothing. There was a small meteor here, a tiny one there, but I wanted it to be like it was earlier. I wanted three or four a minute with a few large ones thrown in that actually leave visible smoke trails (I saw that happen once — the smoke trail). But, all in all, the meteors seemed completely unimpressed with my nudity. I tried again. I stood there in the middle of the road with my little Sagittarius arm dangling in the breeze and I yelled out: “HELLO??? I’M NAKED!!! WHAT DOES THIS GET US?” A dog barked a response somewhere off in the darkness.
But, still, no meteors. I told my wife that meteors, for the most part, just weren’t that excited by male nudity. If she wanted a show, she would have to follow my lead and get as naked as I was. She assured me that she was already getting a ‘show’, and she made some poor excuse about it being too cold outside. She told me that if the meteors weren’t impressed by my nudity, I would just have to do more. So, I did the only thing I could think of. I danced. I chanted. I spun around in circles, and I skipped down the road. There I was, jumping up and down, shouting out “Hey-ya, Hey-ya John Wayne’s teeth… Hey-ya, Hey-ya John Wayne’s teeth”, (I don’t know what that actually means, but it’s from a movie) spinning around and around, and then skipping down the broken yellow line of the old country road. But, still nothing. Some animal that we couldn’t identify did come up to within about thirty feet of us and sat down to watch the insanity taking place in the middle of the street — couldn’t identify what it was; too dark. But, there was no real increase in the meteor activity. I still wonder what that animal was. I’m sure it must have been a cat. It was about the right size for a large cat, but it was too dark and we couldn’t tell for sure.
The meteors never again picked up. I tried a few more times to get my wife to join in the naked road dancing, but she just wasn’t having any of it. I got dressed; we got in the car, and we headed home at around 2:30 a.m. All in all, I’d have to say that this year was one of the best Perseid showers that I’ve seen. It was certainly one of the more interesting ones anyway.