So there we were today after lunch, sitting around in the back yard of a friend's house enjoying some play-group time. My kid and her friend had wanted to run in the sprinkler and since I hadn't had the foresight to bring a bathing suit we just let my daughter and her four-year-old buddy take off all their clothes. The other dad lathered up his son with sunscreen and I did the same for my daughter. Then we let them run around naked in the back yard for forty minutes or so.
The other dad and I spent this time chatting and keeping a weather eye on his two daughters -- his two-year-old, who had been similarly gooped up with sunscreen, subsequently insisted on rolling around in the sandbox with her shirt off until she looked like a cinnamon donut and required a certain amount of pro forma chiding, while his nine-month-old kept grabbing random bits of flora and shoving them into her mouth with fairly astonishing quickness and coordination.
So after a bit the two older kids decided to incorporate some fresh excitement into the naked sprinkler play and left the backyard to wander off into the garage to collect the necessary equipment for a round of naked sprinkler Wiffle ball or whatever and were out of sight rummaging around for a bit while the other dad and I sat in the shade and continued to chat. As we chatted, his next-door neighbor came out into his driveway in a suit and tie to return to work. The neighbor stopped and waved at us from across his driveway.
"Hey!" he said, "How's it going? Nice day!"
"Yeah," said my friend, the other dad. "Just hanging out over here. You want to take off your clothes and join us for some naked sprinkler time?"
This query was met with silence. My friend realized that with the two kids absent in the garage it looked as though we had simply been sitting in the back yard meditating on the idea of a little neighborly naked frolic on a pleasant summer afternoon.
The silence lengthened.
"Um," added my friend, "because that's what our kids are doing. Playing naked. In the sprinkler."
"Summer is nice for that sort of thing," said the neighbor.
Then he got into his car (fully clothed) and drove away.