It is a contradiction of which Urban Dictionary is well aware that at the time of writing they are predicting the first snowfall in London. And yet, the phenomenon of the summer stripper is so interesting – in any season – that to ignore it is, in footballing terms, the equivalent of missing an open goal.
The summer stripper is a species that, as the name indicates, comes out as soon as the temperature turns warmer. The “summer” part is a red herring, however. The summer stripper can appear as early as March when spring sends a thousand flowers blossoming. There have been (unconfirmed) sightings of summer strippers in their almost-birthday-suits in January and February on the rare occasions when temperatures have hit double figures.
You always know when you are in the presence of a summer stripper, even when they are fully clothed. It is their ebullient, outgoing, fearless personality. They are one card short of a full exhibitionist deck, minus the psychiatric element and with added eccentricity. The summer stripper is the last person on earth to deny themselves a pleasure, whether it be allowed or restricted. Boundaries – especially those in urban areas – are to be transgressed.
Let us be clear about one key issue: the summer stripper is harmless. Also, his/her act of stripping in public is almost unconscious, although it is widely accepted that there are many examples of narcissistic summer strippers. Of all ages. Let us emphasise that last element. All ages. Summer stripping can be done as young as eighteen and as old as eighty. All the summer stripper needs is a public place in which to display her/his “wares”. This is also important: the summer stripper has an uncanny ability to convey nudity without actually taking all their clothes off. Nearly all, but not all.
The summer stripper’s habitat consists mainly of public places such as local parks (or better known ones like Green Park or Hyde Park in central London), pubs, supermarkets, bus stops and main thoroughfares. Wherever there is a space to be seen in when the temperature hovers in the late teens (it used to be early twenties, but that’s so 2003 now) you’re bound to find a summer stripper. They come in various colours, they do, summer strippers: from milky, Antarctic white to salon-tanned orange. Some summer strippers beef up during the months of December, January and February in the same way hamsters cache their food for winter. By the time they come out in late March, early April, puffed-up, muscled and with bodywork inked down their arms, they are ready to give you a show. Not that you asked for one, but they will still entertain you.
As our planet gets warmer and seasons play up (the summer stripper is not specific of just the one country or hemisphere, but she/he has a preference for climates where there are four defined seasons, the better to stand out) Urban Dictionary predicts that the summer stripper will be a more familiar presence. Who knows, maybe in a few years Father Christmas will not be delivering presents wearing a red and white thick coat but a mankini. That is one wager I would be willing to have.
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 8th February at 10am (GMT)