Mark D. Crantz
2100 Ocean Way
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
I have a secret that I can’t live with. I’m a senior citizen and I do nude male modeling. I never intended to tell anybody, but you know the cat is out of the bag. I need to get in front of the publicity disaster. The paintings were banned recently by Art-A-Fair. I think there is nothing fair about this ban. I’m sure grandparents from sea to shining sea are aghast that one of their own is being thrown out in the cold without the means to cover a 401K that was laid bare by obscene hedge fund fees accrued over a 40 year career with my clothes on.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I believe that the pictures are artistic. It tells a story about a guy who never went to a spa. It shows a guy who never saw the inside of a gym. It shows a guy whose “I Love Mom” tattoo has morphed into something that reads “I wuv nuns.” It’s a picture of aging that is a throw up call to young art collectors. “I bought a limited edition of the painting. It was 35 out of 200,” said one Art-A-Fair visitor. “While it was a limited edition and that was a relief, I thought I should buy it just to save others from having to look at it. I would have bought all of them to spare young people from looking at what the future holds. These paintings are not inspiring. In fact, they are downright depressing. I’m scared of the future. I use the painting as a reminder to keep closer tabs on my 401k so I don’t end up like this sad senior citizen.”
My nude modeling is not the first time that I have been tempted to veer from convention. In college, the fraternity I pledged insisted that pledges drink gallons of beer, take off their clothes, and roll a huge truck tire through the women’s dormitory and back to the fraternity. Streaking was the rage. I refused. To this day, I believe this college prank was intended to prepare us for monster truck rallies and a life of celibacy. No woman from this dormitory ever dated or married any of my fraternity brothers. These women knew retreads when they saw them.
William McKinley, our twenty-fifth President, went to my college. He was fortunate because there were not oversized truck tires in his day. He was a farm kid. For fun, he and his fellow roommates took a cow into the administration building and led it up to the belfry. The cow was nude. Well almost. It had a strategically placed sign that read, “Eat mor Chiken.” The prank was that cows can go up steps, but they can’t go down. Administration had no choice but to shoot the cow and toss it over the side. McKinley was expelled and sent back to the farm.
These stories beg the question, which one is the most morally repugnant: To prank by posing nude as a senior citizen?: Or to prank by college streaking?: Or to prank by leading a defenseless animal to a mortally fateful fall? I took this question to the Emperor who has no clothes. He seemed like the most credible arbitrager around. He told me the most repugnant act was my asking this question to him, who he believed was fully clothed, resplendently so. Couldn’t I see the garments beauty?
Yes, I did see the beauty and bought all the remaining limited editions of myself. This selfless act will save humanity from testing that art is in the eye of the beholder and has inspired me to get nude photos of my financial advisor who will have no choice but disgorge his exorbitant fees back to me so I might cover up my lifetime shortfall.
Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.