Monday, September 26, 2011


Who came up with this one? Obviously, one of my fellow Criminal Minds who wants us to make fools of ourselves in public. Been there, done that. On too many occasions. So I’m wondering if I’m supposed to take this question literally or figuratively. If literally, nothing springs to mind, but if I tweak the question slightly to near naked moment, there was an incident in my past that involved a company of firemen...

Here’s what happened:

Years and years ago when I was a young mother, I got up early one morning to shower before my toddler and baby woke. It was a chilly, rainy early autumn day, and we hadn’t fired up the furnace yet. I stepped out of the steamy bathroom, and within seconds the smoke detector started blasting a high pitched warning. Wearing only a flimsy cotton bathrobe and with a towel wrapped around my head, I grabbed my kids and rushed next door to call the fire company. (This was pre-cordless phones.)

Embarrassing Naked Moment #1: By the time I arrived at the neighbor’s house, I was drenched from the rain. Remember, I said I was only wearing a flimsy cotton bathrobe? Keep reading.

Embarrassing Naked Moment #2: The smoke detector had been set off by the steam from the bathroom. There was no fire.

Embarrassing Naked Moment #3: Fast forward to the following summer. We’re at the town swimming pool. My husband is speaking with someone I don’t recognize. He asked the man, “Do you remember my wife?”
With too many people within earshot the guy replies, “Yes, but I didn’t recognize her with her clothes on.”

He was one of the firemen who had responded to the 911 call. I think I’m going to kill him off in my next mystery.

And speaking of next mysteries, I attended Bouchercon recently and signed advance reading copies of DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL, the next book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. I came home with a few copies, and I’m giving two of them away. To enter the drawing, all you have to do is sign up for my author newsletter by sending an email to or by adding yourself as a follower at Anastasia’s Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog. Then email me at to let me know which you’ve signed up for.

Lois Winston
Follow Anastasia on Twitter @anasleuth


Fran Stewart said...

Oh boy, does this bring back memories. Back in the late 60s, I was the first woman ever to wear a teeny-weeny-bikini at the Lake Iroquois swimming area in Williston, Vermont.

I was there with Mary, a friend of mine, and she introduced me to a woman named Beth. A couple of months later I was talking to Mary in the grocery store, when Beth walked up to us. Mary said, "You remember Fran? You met her at the beach."

Beth looked me up and down, and said in a dry voice that nonetheless carried throughout the IGA, "First time I've seen you with clothes on."

Lois Winston said...

Fran, I'm not sure which is worse -- having a man say it or another woman. Either way, it's cringe-worthy, though.

Gabi said...

At least you were naked in front of a fireman. It could have been a meter reader.

It's not an accident this isn't my week.

Lois Winston said...

Gabi, are you responsible for this question?

jeff7salter said...

Enjoyed the column today, Lois. And I needed a good laugh.

My wife has a story about wandering into the men's locker room at a train yard (while looking for the office) ... and later seeing one of those guys in the office of that train yard.
She claims the first 'sighting' was accidental. Hmm.

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks for the laugh today, Lois! I'm so glad there wasn't a real fire--and yes, he definitely deserves to die in your next mystery...

Lois Winston said...

Trust me, Jeff. No woman wants the embarrassment of walking in on a group of nude guys. I believe your wife when she says it was accidental.

Meredith, I'm also glad there was no fire. After the initial embarrassment, I felt huge relief.

Becke Davis said...

LOL, Lois - this story is CLASSIC! How embarrassing! I bet it took awhile before you could see the funny side of it. ;-)

This reminds me of an episode I'd almost forgotten. When my daughter was born we lived in a small two-story house with giant old maple trees in the front yard. They were excellent climbing trees, a fact that was brought home to me when I sat on our bed nursing the baby.

I looked out the window and noticed a couple of neighborhood boys - around ten years old - sitting in the upper branches. They had a bird's-eye view of the bedroom - I wonder how often I'd had an audience without realizing it!

Lois Winston said...

Becke, I didn't see the humor in that incident until decades later when I started writing humor.

Your story sounds like something that should go in a book, too.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Lois, Great story and he definitely deserves the "Big Death" in your next novel. OMG! I remember a running series in my YA magazine a millions years ago called " Was My Face Red".

My most embarrassing moment was while I was still in Grade School during an assembly and in my Scout uniform it was my job to hold the flag, well I went to grade school in the early sixties so you know the uniform was a skirt, and my mom being the penny pincer she was bought it for me to grow into :), well I guess I hadn't grown into it yet because up on the stage I lost it.

Becke Davis said...

Debbie - How embarrassing!!! I would have been totally mortified.

Lois Winston said...

Oh, Debbie, you must have been mortified! I'll bet the other kids razzed you forever about that.