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Monday, October 22, 2007

Is Streaking Possible in a Post-Joe Francis World?

My friend J is slender and has great skin; she's one of those women who managed to stay thin and pretty after college, while the rest of us battle sun damage and extra pounds. She was out with her sister, her brother in law and a date one night, sometime in the seventies. Her sister had just had a baby and was ready for a night on the town. On their way to the Forum, a popular bar, in her brother in law's enormous Mercedes, they hatched a plan. The Forum was the place to see and be seen; they decided to take it a step farther and be seen completely nude, really quickly. They parked a block or so away from the bar, removed all of their clothing and put paper bags over their heads. I'm not sure if they stopped for the paper bags or if the brother in law had them in his car for just such an occasion. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if they cut holes in the bags so they could see; if I were them, I would have. Undressed and ready to go, they left the car, ran in one door of the bar and, well, streaked through the room and exited. Mission accomplished, they returned to the car, re-dressed and entered the bar as if nothing had happened.

"Oh my God, J!" one of her friends gushed, "You will not believe what just happened!"

"Oh my God!" J responded, the picture of innocence, "What?"

"These three guys and a girl just streaked through here! Completely naked!!"

"Oh my God!!" J replied, "I can't believe I mi...wait, what?"

"Yeah! Three naked guys and a woman just ran through here!"

"Are you sure about that? Three guys? Maybe it was...um...two guys and two women."

"Nope, definitely three guys and a woman. It was wild!"


Streaking used to be hilarious. J's depression over her failure to be recognized as a naked chick notwithstanding, streaking in the seventies was usually a happy and entertaining event. Besides, J's been able to rehabilitate the memory by reminding herself what she was up against; her sister had just given birth and was at her most voluptuous. So, J did look like a naked chick, not a guy. Really.

Naked people used to be funny. What happened? I don't think a thirty something with three kids like me could streak for laughs these days. First of all, I'd probably be arrested and charged with indecent exposure which, according to my criminal defense attorney husband, would lead to my being included in the sex offender registry*. Although streaking would be fun, especially now that I no longer care what anyone but my husband thinks of my naked body, I really don't think it's worth having my picture in the sex offender registry. I hear that you don't even get to submit your own picture; they use your mug shot. And I know I'd have to be pretty tipsy, and not too pretty, to streak, so forget about it. For the record, if anyone's offering one million dollars to walk down Main Street naked, I'll do it, even if it means registering twice a year for the rest of my life. A million dollars is a nice sum for someone like me. I'll even give you a ten percent discount.

It seems that, nowadays, being naked is about sex, or some strange version of it. There are people out there who would streak, but only if they had been working out, were up to date on their bikini wax and were guaranteed to be filmed and put on television. And they'd do it for free. Walking down Main Street naked for a million dollars seems chaste in comparison. Did I mention I would also donate ten percent to the charity of your choice?

Another cool thing about streaking is that the perpetrator admits to his or her intention, even if they do so anonymously. I really hope the current trend of starlets flashing their lady business doesn't extend to my town, because I have young children and I don't want to have to be on constant alert for that kind of thing. It irks me that some of them do it over and over, so it must be intentional, but they pretend it was inadvertent. I would be glad to idolize any celebrity who would streak through a night club, head covered with a paper bag, and let people guess form the tabloid pictures who it was. That would be funny. And no one waxed need apply.

In truth, I'm just incredibly disappointed that, now that I don't care who sees me naked, streaking without repercussions isn't possible. I was way too uptight to do such things when I was younger and now it's just not funny. Recently, two swimmers from the university here were arrested for indecent exposure streaking. I would imagine they were just joking around, like the sweet, old-fashioned boys they probably are. It would seem that this sort of thing wasn't unusual, which irritated their humorless neighbor, who finally filmed the whole thing and brought it to the attention of the police. I hear that the neighbor was pushed over the edge by the fact that the swimmers were dancing. Naked. I would like to see that video, just to verify the truth of this heinous accusation.

Nudity is a lot of things. It can be sexy, in private. It can be necessary, like at the doctor's office or a dress fitting. It can be provocative, like in sophisticated art stuff (I'll admit, I don't always get this one!) It can be cute, like a baby in a bath tub. And it can be funny, like a naked person with a bag on his or her head, running really fast through a dimly lit and heavily populated area. Or can it? Curses, Joe Francis!

Namasté, y'all!

*Unless, of course, I hired him, in which case I could probably come out looking pretty decent. Well, not necessarily looking decent naked, just without a criminal record. But I don't think I could afford him, because he'd probably be mad at me.

1 comment:

Tree said...

A great piece.
I myself have been lucky to not have been caught. I have streaked through busy bars in Chicago myself. The price to pay is too steep. I live in the DC area, but would invite anyone in DC or Chicago (2 cities I frequent) to tell me of any party they are going to where I might have the opportunity to do this. Remember, a private party is where you can do this with no reprecussions (except for the fact of humility from those who will forever be telling the story about you!
As I write this, I am thinking of anywhere I may run to (or walk) in my complete nakedness.
If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear!
-a true exhibitionist