October 08, 2009

The Short Reign Of The Streaker

Spring, Nineteen Seventy Four.  Just a little over a month left in my senior year in college.  The end is in sight to my 17 year public and private education.  I have a little over a hundred rejection letters thumb tacked to the acoustic ceiling tiles in my room at home.  I wonder if anything is going to come from the days and weeks of research at the career center, not to mention the days spent pecking away on a manual Underwood typewriter, painfully crafting individual letters to each of the 144 establishments that I hope will hire me before I walk across the stage to receive my diploma at the end of May. I think Maria and I are finished.  I probably shouldn't have set her cheek fuzz on fire with that lighter the other night.  If she hadn't been stoned, she wouldn't have lurched into it while I was trying light her smoke.  Well, serves her right.  She must have been burning doobies all afternoon before I picked her up.  No respect.  Well, when this relationship ends, that's it.  I'm taking a break.

Just then, two guys ran by on either side of me, jarring me away from my thoughts.  They jogged up the sidewalk at a brisk pace towards Woods House.  In the glow of the street lamps, I saw that they were wearing stocking caps, but nothing else.  Their asses glowed dully in the soft light.  What the fuck?

And so began two weeks of the craziest shit I had ever witnessed up to that point in my life.  Streaking had come to Southwest Missouri State University.  It didn't have it's roots there.  It couldn't have.  It all started somewhere else and gradually filtered into my little part of the country, on the outer fringes of the Bible Belt.  I don't know what fueled it.  Perhaps a combination of warm weather, the end of school, the pressures of finals and a fear of the great "after".  All it needed was a spark to ignite it.  A bottle of Boone's Farm, a six-pack of Schlitz, a joint, or maybe all three and it was ablaze.

The streaking on campus only occurred at night.  There were no daylight sightings and certainly no one running through classrooms sans clothing.  After all, this was God's country.  A modicum of modesty and anonymity had to be maintained.

From that first night, the number of streakers increased geometrically each evening until it culminated on a Friday night with an impromptu parade on the street dividing the dorms from the main part of campus.  A long line of cars, bicycles, wheelbarrows and wagons ... all occupied by students in various stages of undress.

The police and campus security were either overwhelmed, or wizened to such stunts.  In any case, they backed off, but showed just enough presence to keep things from getting out of hand.  The news crews came, but they really couldn't film anything of value.  After all, those were nekkid people, and you can't show that on the TV.

And after the Friday night blow out, the fad quickly lost momentum and disappeared as quickly as it had begun. The last activity I observed was two young women standing on top of one of the women's dormitories, removing their tops and bouncing their boobs while screaming at the tops of their lungs.  It wasn't even a proper streak.

About a year later, Jan and I were attending a party at a condo clubhouse, when one of the attendees emerged from a bathroom and bolted naked through the room, a trail of toilet paper fluttering from his nether region.  We all laughed in feigned surprise, but we all thought, "what an assclam".

There's nothing more pitiful than someone who tries to participate in a fad months after it has died a natural death.

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