DEAR ABBY: We have a male neighbor I'll call "Flash" who frequently walks out to get his newspaper -- or the mail, or to retrieve something from his car -- while he's as naked as the day he was born. (He's in his late 50s and divorced.) Some of the women in the neighborhood know not to look toward Flash's home if they're out for a walk. They have discovered that he is most likely in the buff, standing at his glass door or sitting at his front office computer with the door open.
Flash is otherwise a likable and helpful neighbor. We do not want to say anything that might destroy that relationship. It's not against the law to be a nudist, or for a woman to go topless in public in this city. However, to see a fella streak to his car is a little surprising and unsettling, even for another adult.
In the normal course of things, he may be spotted in the nude once a week. I can only assume this goes on daily, but thankfully, our paths don't cross more than once a week. Is this something we should be concerned about? -- STARTLED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
DEAR STARTLED: Yes, it's something you should be concerned about. Your neighbor appears to be an exhibitionist -- someone who gets his kicks from exposing himself. The difference between an exhibitionist and a naturist -- someone who enjoys going to clothing-optional resorts -- is the exhibitionist "flashes" to get sexual pleasure from shocking people. This is not true of the naturist.
The incidents of exposure that you have seen are not accidents. You would be doing your community a favor to photograph Flash in the act and forward the pictures to your local police station. A picture is worth a thousand words, and he may be breaking the laws against indecent exposure.
P.S. If women going topless in public in Austin, Texas, is permissible, it's news to me.