Bill Pacer has been so busy fielding calls from reporters that he's wondering whether he's going to get a chance to shed the trappings of the "textile world" and have some serious fun during the second annual Nude Olym-picks.
Word of the four-day mock-athletic event, which got under way in earnest today at a private campground near the tiny Harford County village of Darlington, has been streaking over the news wires, piquing the interest of zany radio disk-jockeys and other media-types far and wide.
"We just never expected this kind of response," said Pacer, a nudist and Baltimore County resident, who was busy taking media inquiries and arranging interviews, including one with a radio station from Christchurch, New Zealand.
Pacer, a dispatcher for a state agency he declined to identify, is serving as spokesman for the games. A similar event was held last year near Philadelphia.
As many as 1,000 nudists are expected to participate in volleyball tournaments, tennis matches, track and field competitions, a fishing competition, Ping-Pong and other activities. Nudists who belong to private clubs throughout the mid-Atlantic region yesterday began registering for the games, which are sponsored by the Tri-State Sun Club of Broadway, N.J.
Body painting and arts and crafts competitions also are scheduled, partly for children attending the event. Pacer, who has three children of his own, said the Nude Olym-picks is a "wholesome" gathering of those practicing "social, family nudism."
Seminars on being a nudist-parent and other issues also are planned.
Only two events were held yesterday: au naturel Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary contests.
Reporters, who have the option of stripping down as they cover the games, were to get a glimpse of the activities today. A press conference was scheduled to accommodate the more than 30 reporters and film crews who have asked to attend, including those representing television stations in Germany and Japan.
In the spirit of their care-free attitude toward nudity among consenting friends, organizers of the event are welcoming all journalists. As for being the target of jokes from some radio shows, Pacer said, "They've been having fun. Nudists like to have fun, too."
But nudists get offended when people equate what they do with sex.
Nudists don't see their activities as erotic experiences, Pacer TTC said, but rather as a chance to relax, step out of a very stressful world -- as well as their clothes -- and be among friends.
A note to the curious: The games are not open to the public. All participants signed up in advance, and the event is a sellout, Pacer said.
"We've got a very good security force," he added.