Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who is that naked man?!

Going through my google reader just now I read at least two posts (by Bookish Ruth and Beth Kephart) giving shout outs to Henry Allford's New York Times essay about strange items found inside books. I'm inspired to share my best related story.

It all starts out with Naked George. He's Frankfurt's resident crazy man (and a former patient of Daniel's mother) who has a permit to walk around stark naked. Whenever we ran into him on the street, he'd stop to chat with us. One day, he told Daniel he wanted to visit our apartment but Daniel's mother had told us we shouldn't let him in because then he'd think he could hang out there all the time. Well, Daniel felt sorry for him, so he told him he could visit one time. To commemorate this wonderous occasion, George insisted we take a photo of him with Daniel. So we did. I had it printed and meant to give it to him, but then I couldn't find it so I sort of forgot about it.

Six months later, Daniel and I were in the bookstore and I grabbed a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to the Baltic States to look up some hotels to prepare for our trip to Riga, Latvia. I was flipping through and saw a picture. I turned it over and yes, you got it - it was that picture of Daniel with Naked George. We had bought that same copy months before while planning an aborted Baltic States visit (we went to Romania instead) and returned it with a very interesting bookmark.

25 comments:

Taren said...

What a great story! I've never found anything unusual in a book. Normally, I stick them in there on purpose.

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh! That is hilarious.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

That's hysterical...and amazing that you actually found the picture that way!!!

A.S. King said...

That's hilarious!

Liv said...

that's completely hilarious. i want a resident loony please! :)

Alea said...

Holy crap! I love it!

TruBlu93 said...

that's pretty cool, and unusual.

=)
TruBlu

Bookish Ruth said...

It all starts out with Naked George.

Okay, when a story starts with a line like this, you just KNOW it's going to be good. Lenore, you did not disappoint!

Beth Kephart said...

Beyond wild, Lenore. BEYOND.

Alyce said...

So funny! I wonder if anyone else saw it before you and just put the book back.

Ali said...

Oh, my! At least Daniel, presumably, was clothed.

Amber said...

Wow - that is a very interesting story. You and Daniel lead interesting lives. Now I am afraid to come visit you in Frankfurt though - you must protect me from the naked people, so that my innocent eyes are not sullied!

Beth F said...

Too funny!!!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

hahah that is hilarious! I don't think i've found anything quite that strange in my books. I found a dollar or something in a library book...might have been 5 dollars, not sure...but i did give it to a librarian!

-lauren

katayoun said...

so very funny!! and i never left a naked man in my book :)

Serena said...

great story. I havent found anything in my books either, but I can almost guarantee that people picking up my books from the library will find things I've left in there accidentally.

Andi said...

That is seriously one of the best stories I've ever heard!!!

Luanne said...

Oh that is priceless! And very strange at the same time....

Keri Mikulski said...

Seriously? Hilarious. :)

Steve said...

Ha, I always like Naked George stories!

Lenore said...

Alyce, We were also wondering that, but I guess the Baltic States aren't that popular a destination.

Ali - Yes, Daniel was fully clothed!

Amber - He doesn't get out much in the winter (too cold) so your eyes will be safe in February, don't worry.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Oh my gosh - that is the funniest story I have ever heard!

Ladytink_534 said...

Lol. Have you ever read A Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon? They have a character that is a little like your Naked George lol.

I love finding interesting things in books but I don't find them too often. I found a postcard in a book I bought once and a picture of a guy in a tux and a redneck cap in a library book too.

Anonymous said...

I was just in Frankfurt last week and encountered Naked Jorg while walking down the street. I had my camera out and he stopped to say "Hello". I am sure he wanted me to photograph him, but I was way too embarrassed and instead made a ridiculous attempt to appear to be interested in photographing a truck (whose driver had stopped to look at the spectacle as well). I did snap a shot as he walked away. A very funny memory. My German friend told me that he is allowed to walk around like that as long as no one complains. The legend is that it is his artistic expression, and that he was disinherited from a wealthy family (who did not share his taste in art).

robin maddock said...

i ve seen Jorg! when i visited for the book fair and was wondering around ..no one believed me and i have to say i started to dis-believe myself..so he s still around and comes out after feb?..i d like to photograph him doing his thing. Do you know if he's still around? and if he speaks any english?