If the typical seaside vacation leaves you too clothed for comfort, a Manhattan travel firm called V.I.B. Tours (that's Vacations in the Buff, friends) is whisking groups and/or individuals to secluded nudie beaches off Guadalupe for eight madcap days and nights of swimming, snorkeling and what have you, all for the modest price of $269 round trip from New York. V.I.B. calms fledgling buff buffs' butterflies by pointing out that there are plenty of wide-open spaces as well as nearby forests. Furthermore, it stresses not to expect wild orgies, either, as "most people who enjoy social nudism are neither hypersexual nor asexual." Other strip trips include tours to Hawaii, the Miss Nude World Pageant and a one-day bus junket to a nudist camp in New Jersey for the inevitable volleyball tourney. Now, that's more our speed.
The Mating Game
Bobby Fischer brought chess out of obscurity's shadows and now a West Coast painter/sculptor named Jerry Schwartz has elevated it to a battle of the sexes. Lib Chess is the name of Schwartz's game and the board is peopled with a wry collection of potato-faced male and female characters. The female queen, for example, resembles a pregnant Golda Meir; the male queen is a gay black. The pawns are schleppy-looking oldsters; the knights are he-and-she members of a motorcycle club. Well, you get the idea. Lib Chess is available from Bonwit's, I. Magnin, Marshall Field's or by sending $85 to Lib Chess, Inc., 974 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90069. Check it out, mates.
Old Look, New Sound
Those of you who are over 35 undoubtedly know that the Philco Baby Grand was no piano. It was that great old curved-top radio that used to bring in Captain Midnight and Fibber McGee and Molly with remarkable unclarity. As its contribution to our national mania for the good old days, Philco-Ford has manufactured a limited number of replica Baby Grands to be marketed for $60 through its dealerships this fall. Wood-grained outside, solid-state AM/FM inside, it's a great remembrance of things past.
Start Without Me
You say your Moroccan backgammon board isn't giving you much pleasure and the magic has gone out of your high-pressure espresso maker? And even the old SS-100 doesn't seem much fun anymore? Well, cheer up; here's something new to make your life more meaningful. It's Remoto-start, a gadget that allows you to start your car (provided it has automatic transmission) from up to 800 feet away simply by pushing a portable button. Order one from Bueamith Electronics, Box 391, Biglerville, Pennsylvania, for about $300 and see if it isn't what's standing between your shallow existence and true happiness.
It's A Steal
Everybody loves to fantasize about finding buried treasure. But a firm in Clearwater, Florida, International Treasure Search (P. O. Box 864), has turned your favorite daydream into reality by publishing, for $4.95, a loose-leaf catalog of 50 stolen museum masterpieces, including works by Matisse and Sargent as well as ancient bronzes, antique guns and other goodies. With luck, you just might find one in somebody's pawnshop. Oh, yeah!
Pine For Your Wine
When the Rocky Mountain Casket Company in Whitefish, Montana, began marketing its 6'5" pine model converted to a wine rack, you could hear snickers all the way down to the feed store. But the orders that began pouring in definitely weren't from dead drunks. To get your pine box that holds 40 bottles, send $420 (shipping collect) to Rocky Mountain. And come the day of reckoning....
Being a transvestite is a real drag. All that surreptitious rummaging in a girlfriend's bureau only to come up with slips that fail to pass in the night. But not anymore. Now TVs can fill the closets they've just stepped out of with some lovely new duds from Michael Salem's TV Boutique (135 East 49th Street, New York City), a store whose stock in trade features an oddball selection of unmentionables, all with female sizes translated into male. (Shy ladies in waiting can write for the $2 catalog.) You'll be a better girl for it, men.
Alessandro de Tomaso (of Pantera fame) has come up with the no-nonsense superbike of the year: a 750-c.c. Benelli powered by--gulp!--a six-cylinder mill that will propel you to speeds upwards of 125 mph quicker than you can release a throaty scream. The whole package weighs only 484 pounds and is about the same width as a Honda 750. Add Borrani rims, Marzocchi suspension and a 4.5-gallon tank and you've got one whale of a machine for your $2700. (For more information contact Cosmopolitan Motors in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.) Vincent Black Shadow, move over!
Loud and Clear
So you want to make something perfectly clear--and be sure your conversation isn't bugged? Bloomingdale's in Manhattan is selling for $175 a 15-1/2-inch-high acrylic telephone (with a chrome receiver) called The Periscope that enables you to see just what makes Ma Bell tick. Or if The Periscope isn't your thing, there are four other futuristic models to choose from, including Satellite (transparent tinted cubes accented by a lighted globe) and Cylinder--a white acrylic tube that rises to an angled black dial and receiver. Hang in there.