Oh, my virgin eyes!!!

I swear…I’ll never look at Dr. David Suzuki the same way again:

Nude David Suzuki

My best friend assures me that this is NOT a photoshop job; that’s really Dr. Suzuki there. All of him except for what’s under the, er, leaf. (No, it’s not a figleaf, either; it’s something rather more patriotic, at least to those of us here in the Great North, to whom Dr. Suzuki is a television icon.)

And what’s all this about? Well, here’s the CBC with the low-down:

David Suzuki, who courted controversy by appearing nude on the cover of TV Guide in 1999, has taken it all off again.

This time the environmental activist and CBC broadcaster appears in a promotional photo clad only in a maple leaf to advertise the new season of his show The Nature of Things.

Suzuki, 70, poses like Atlas with the world on his shoulders to launch the 47th season of his internationally respected science series, first launched in 1960.

In 1999, Suzuki showed off his newly fit body on the magazine cover to promote a show in The Nature of Things series.

He also appeared on the Royal Canadian Air Farce, covered only with a briefcase, and invited the host to inspect his “genetically altered banana.”

While some viewers saw the nudity as a stunt, one newspaper reader at the time wrote: “Just think, Suzuki, up until now I was only interested in your mind!”

Yeah, me too.

Not that I’m complaining. For a septuagenarian with arthritic hands, he’s definitely not bad! (There are, alas, plenty of guys half his age–i.e., MY age bracket–who don’t look half as good.)

And now, to explain the bit about never being able to look at him the same way again, here’s my very own David Suzuki encounter story:

When I was 14, I was hit by a car. I suffered a badly broken pelvis; so bad, in fact, that I had to be ambulanced out from my hometown hospital to the top-notch Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. There, they did nothing in the end that the local general couldn’t also have done: kept me on bed rest mostly, with the maximum legal dosage of Demerol to keep me from screaming the rafters down. (You ain’t had pain till you’ve had bone pain; and you ain’t had bone pain till you’ve had a comminuted pelvic fracture consisting of four tiny splinters poking up into the pelvic basin at a crazy angle. Believe me, it’s a treat.) Oh, and X-rays: tons of those. Almost one every day for the entire 2 1/2 weeks I was incarcerated…er, hospitalized. They monitored me for internal injuries, too; they needn’t have bothered, since I could have told them just by the nature of the pain that my innards were intact, it was my damn BONES they should’ve worried about. In the end, my damn bones kept me coming back for follow-up CAT scans.

And that’s where David Suzuki comes in.

I was at the hospital a year or two later, accompanied by my parents, waiting to be CAT-scanned. While we were in the lobby, waiting in front of Information to be directed to the appropriate department, Suzuki came in with his camera crew in tow. I recognized his face right off; I’d seen enough episodes of The Nature of Things, which is an absolutely FASCINATING show (and not just because its host is daring and fit enough to appear in nude photos at an age when most people are retired and look it.) Even if I hadn’t loved science, that show alone would have made me love it. It’s as gentle, persuasive and informative as an hour-long show can get.

Anyhow, I must have been unable to hide my gawking, because he caught my eye, smiled and waved. I grinned like the adolescent geek I was, and waved back. He was the first really-truly famous person I’d ever seen in the flesh.

And hey howdy! Now I’m grinning like a geek all over again–because I’m seeing him in the flesh all over again.

Thank you, Dr. Suzuki.

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