I’m writing this to let you know that next Saturday, I will be naked on the balcony of the Delta Hotel. I’d like to be an indelible memory for tourists visiting Victoria. I’d like to welcome them to the city, and since we haven’t slapped billboards up all over the Inner Harbour, I’ll stand in the place of signage. All of me. Arms akimbo, facing the float plane terminals. If there were a pay-by-coin set of binoculars at Songhees Point, I could be spotted no problem. I’ve even spoken to the captains of the Victoria Harbour Ferries and asked them to give a little tour guide wave my way, too: “There he is, folks — Victoria’s Signature Naked White Guy!” Any photographer can take a break from snapping shots of Government’s Street’s cobblestones and look my way. I recommend cyclists bike across the Johnson Street Bridge — while it still exists — to see me from a multitude of angles. If you have a decent zoom lens, you should be able to get a shot of me and my everything, even from The Empress. Again, I will be naked on the balcony of the Delta Hotel next Saturday. Will you take a picture?
Why not? What do you want from me? Do I need a crown? Do you want me to marry a princess or be third in line for the British throne or something? All I’m asking is to be photographed naked. I could go to one of those places with the artists and the canvases and everyone with their beards and their glasses looking intently upon me for, like, an hour. I’ve seen such posts on Craigslist. But I’m not interested in that. I don’t want to be drawn. I want to be photographed.
I mean, do you realize the lengths I’m going to? Have I mentioned what’s involved? The balcony of the Delta Hotel is really more of a patio. A patio reserved for hotel guests to eat their continental breakfasts. And I will be naked on it. A scandalous sensory buffet for the eyes. If you think you’re going to be shocked by what’s in your camera lens, just think of some poor old lady who sees me while looking for her Raisin Bran. A little kid on vacation from Seattle will be scarred by the sight. And let’s not rule out the possibility of a dutiful concierge approaching me without notice — frightening me so that I teeter over a railing, but hopefully with time to have . . . just . . . one . . . more. . . Froot . . . Loop.
Confession: not only do I want to be photographed nude, I want my whole family shot naked. Relatives and all. And wouldn’t you like that? Picture us in the back of a Sears photolab without our ironed slacks, button-down shirts and family sweaters (my mom’s hair, of course, still done up with spray). Envision the shock on your mother’s face as she opens our family Christmas card. Delightful.
You don’t want to see it?
I understand you’ve never heard of us on the news. I know that you’ve never seen our faces on magazines at the checkout of the grocery store. We’re not notable. To be honest, no one in my family has ever shaken a diplomat’s hand. At sports games, our faces don’t appear on the Jumbotron. Though we televised our weddings on C-SPAN, you never watched them. But now we’re looking for an audience. Hey — you should do it too, you and Uncle Roger and your sister Sarah. Royal or plebian, skin’s skin. You want to see normal people naked, too, right?