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Sometimes public nudity should be kept private.
Sometimes public nudity should be kept private.

What should I do about my topless, hippie neighbor?

Each week, local "women about town" Anjl Rodee and Marilynn Mee answer readers' questions about relationships, romance and whatever else is on your mind. They point out that this column is "for entertainment purposes only," but they mostly say that so they don't get sued. Send your questions to Anjl and Marilynn at

Dear Anjl & Marilynn,

My neighbors are old hippies and the wife likes to hang around topless in their yard. Not only is she old and disgusting, but I have two young boys and always have to make them stop playing in the yard when she is outside. What do I do?

Dear Udderly Disgusted,

Marilynn Mee: Eww! That's just wrong. I'm going to assume you don't live in a commune.

Anjl Rodee: The only communes around today put mandates on the height of your shrubbery and charge outlandish association fees.

MM: And what kind of outdoor light post you have ...

AR: But we digress. Well, you could put up a fence, or really tall shrubbery, if it's OK with the rest of the commune ...

MM: But you shouldn't have to. It's as creepy as if a guy is walking around with no pants on. In fact, my guess is that what she's doing is actually not only disgusting, but illegal.

AR: I wouldn't want to be the cops in on that bust, pardon the pun.

MM: I called a police detective acquaintance of mine. Let's give him an alias...

AR: How about Scully?

MM: I think we'll save Scully for when we have a question about aliens... let's call him Andy Sipowicz.

AR: Oh you said ALIAS, not ALIEN... what the heck is a Sippawitts?

MM: Oh, Ye with 3 TV channels, none of which get watched ... Andy was the lead detective on "NYPD Blue." But we digress again.

AR: Can't we just call him Joe Friday? Then I won't have to ask how to spell it every time.

MM: Fine, Joe Friday it is. Before involving the police, according to Joe Friday, it would be a good idea to go talk to the neighbors yourself, in a non-confrontational way. Explain that not only is public nudity illegal, but that you have young children and it would be appreciated if she would please put clothes on when she is outside.

AR: That sounds reasonable, but what if she either denies it or keeps doing it?

MM: This is where the advice gets really interesting. In order to get the police involved, you have to have documented proof. Otherwise everyone could be turning in annoying neighbors with claims of public lewdness.

AR: Are you saying that Udderly needs to break out the family video camera?

MM: Pretty much. Preferably, use a video or digital camera with a time stamp feature. You should also get a logbook and a witness, if possible. Keep track of the date and time, and write down specifically what clothing she is wearing or not wearing. If there is a Mrs. Udderly, get her or another neighbor to bear witness as well. Ideally, you should have three separate occurrences documented before you involve the police. Also be sure to take note of any distinguishing marks - tattoos, birthmarks, physical asymmetry ...

AR: Eww! Will the cops haul Ms. Nudiepants off to jail?

MM: Perhaps. But most likely she'll be issued a ticket or get off with a warning. Hopefully this will scare her into wearing a shirt from now on.

She will probably make the argument that she can do what she likes in her own yard, however, you are just as entitled to enjoy your own private property without being subjected to public nakedness.

AR: Udderly, see if you can "nip" this behavior in the bud without involving the police. Maybe take her a nice little token of friendship - say, some homemade cookies, or maybe an extra large bottle of sunscreen.

MM: Or better yet, something from Playtex ...



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