A Funny Thing Happened on the Nudie Beach

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Years ago my consort Carter and I took a vacation down to Playa del Carmen, which in those days, had very few tourists. I challenged Carter to go to the nudie beach that was about a mile out of town, because I wanted him to “loosen up” since nude bathing had never been his, umm, preference. There were only a few other bathers that day, spread far apart on this lovely mile-long stretch of the Caribbean Sea, with white sparkling sand and crystal clear warm waters. It was a perfect tropical day.

Behind the beach was a thick stretch of nasty, prickly cactus vegetation, making it impossible to walk through. Everyone entered the beach from only one direction, passing in front of the luxury beach resort that fringed one extremity of the nudie place, and the other end came to dead end of rock. Carter and I took off our clothes, enjoyed the sun on our skin for a moment before leisurely melting into the delicious-feeling sea, where we caught waves and played, honeymoon-style, because that was what we were on.

When we came out of the water a while later — everything but our clothes was gone! Expensive Canon camera, Carter’s wallet with credit cards and cash, groovy RayBans sunglasses! We were, naturally, shocked and pissed but also grateful we had clothes we could hurriedly rush into to see if we could catch the thieves. Looking up and down the beach — nobody there, but the scant 4 other nudie bathers who were now rushing toward us, waving, ready to commiserate that they too had been robbed! The six of us, three couples, realized we couldn’t pursue the tricky thieves into the thicket without suffering cuts from the cacti’s harsh limbs, so instead, we quickly went to speak to security people at the nearby luxury resort on the beach.

Then we all returned to town and tried to have as good a time as one can when they’ve been ripped off on vacation. Several days passed, and on the eve of our departure Carter and I received word from some townspeople, because everyone, in those days, knew everyone who was visiting their tight little community, unlike today’s tourist glut there. Our Playa friends told us the police wanted to see us.

We arrived at the police station to find good news. Just that day the security people from the resort hotel had found our things abandoned in the thick brush! Carter’s wallet, with cards and cash intact, and the camera. The sunglasses weren’t found, and there was no cellphone as that gadget hadn’t yet become the ubiquitously leashed attachment to all moderns. Carter split the lone $50 bill with the two detectives who were giving us our things, and we left the next day.

When we got back home to Florida we realized that several shots had been taken on our camera, which was pre-digital, an antique-now, Canon. We quickly developed the film and when we got it back discovered the silliest, most outrageously theatrical “muscle-man” shots of two different sweaty Mexican fellows, who were having fun mugging it up, pumping up their biceps and making goo-goo eyes for the other guy snapping their pic. We laughed, but shook our head at these thieves’ foolhardiness.

Quickly sending the developed photos down to the police in Playa we soon got word back from them that, armed with the photos, they easily made identifications and arrested los ladrones and each of them got a prison sentence for their crime of ripping off nudie norteamericanos, poor sods just trying to relax a little from their busy lives. Poor naked sods who aren’t as likely to chase a thief as a clothed victim would, that is.

Needless to say, Carter is still not a big fan of swimming in the raw to this day.

Leave a Comment