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Interview with Naked Guy

One of the most interesting characters in the Rylie Cooper Mystery Series is Naked Guy. Elusive, yet dedicated to his naked running pursuits, Naked Guy has a way of living that would baffle even the most eccentric runner.

With the promise of anonymity, Naked Guy has agreed to talk about how he became Naked Guy and why he won’t put on some pants. 

Me: Hello, thank you for joining me today.

Naked Guy: It’s my pleasure. 

Me: I’ve promised anonymity, but would you like to tell us anything about yourself?

NG: My real name isn’t Naked Guy. I didn’t even know that was my nickname until you called me up. Do they really call me that? The rangers?

Me: They do. Would you prefer they call you something else? 

NG: (Pauses) Nah, Naked Guy is good. Fitting.

We laugh together. Naked Guy has a laugh that fills the room and a smile that draws all attention off his nakedness. Which, yes, he is currently naked in the undisclosed location where we are conducting this interview. It’s mildly uncomfortable. For me. He seems to be perfectly content with everything hanging out. 

Me: Great. Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

NG: I’m the youngest of seven siblings. None of them run naked. 

Me: Good to know. How did you get started running naked? 

NG: I assume it started when I was potty training. My mom just let me run around naked. Eventually, I peed in appropriate places, but I never liked clothes after that. 

Me: But I’m sure you had to wear clothes, it’s not exactly socially acceptable to be naked in public. 

NG: Not socially acceptable or legal. Trust me, I know. 

Me: Have you been arrested? 

NG: Not yet. The rangers are pretty chill when they catch me, and the cops haven’t been able to catch me. Not that I run in town naked. And I make sure I don’t ever run naked around children or anything. That would be creepy. 

Me: What do you do if you see a child at Alder Ridge Reservoir—where you run most often? 

NG: Alder Ridge is the best. Especially at sunrise and sunset. I’ve only ever seen a kid twice, and both times I threw myself into the tall grass. Which, I have to tell you, is not the most comfortable place to lay when you’re naked. But it’s better than the alternative.

Me: Do you have kids of your own?

NG: That’s not the most anonymous question, but no. I don’t have kids. Not yet. 

Me: If you ever have kids will you let them run naked too? 

NG: Definitely. I believe in absolute freedom of expression. 

Me: You mentioned in our pre-interview that you enjoy doing naked races. 

NG: Yeah, totally. They’re the best. My favorite is one in Florida, though you need to make you put sunscreen everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. (He winks and I’m sure my face gets as red as a tomato.)

Me: So, you like to run in the warmth, how about the cold? I hear you’ve been caught running in frigid temperatures as well.

NG: Those rangers talk about me a lot, huh? Was it that girl ranger? The redhead? She’s hot. 

Me: You’re definitely a frequent topic of conversation. 

NG: Cool. But yeah, warm is definitely better than cold. But sometimes the cold is nice and brisk. Shrinks my pores—among other things. Ultimately, I’m a runner year-round, not just in the summertime. 

Me: Fair enough. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were running naked? 

NG: Nothing much happens to me directly. People tend to steer clear of the naked guy. Well, other than the rangers, they are always trying to get me to cover up. But I’ve seen lots of weird stuff. Like guys throwing out traps they’re not supposed to, little dogs falling through the ice, big dogs trotting in formation, women rollerblading with empty strollers. There’s a lot of weird stuff that happens at that reservoir.

Me: I’ve heard. How long have you been running out there?

NG: Years. 

Me: And has it always been that crazy?

NG: Maybe? But I really started noticing the crazies in the last year or two. 

Me: Interesting. Why do you think that is? 

NG: No clue. Overpopulation in Colorado. 

Me: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

NG: I guess I’d like to tell kids to follow their dreams and be themselves, even if that means you run naked. But if you decide to run naked, make sure you’re fast and stealthy. 

Me: Thank you for joining me. 

NG: No problem. It was fun. Think you can get me the redhead’s number? 

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