Monday, 16 July 2007

If you can't beat them?

If you can't beat them, join them, the old wisdom has always taught us. I had little reason to dispute this - my own dear mother herself swore by the wisdom of the ages - until last week. I have written in these pages before about how I am constantly aghast at the discrepancies in the law between the private citizen being naked and the rule for the naked vocal minorities having an open-air charity event. After my third prosecution in as many days last week, then, I decided to stop swimming against the tide.

Signing up for a nude cycle ride for a worthy charity, the RSPB, I arrived at the starting point at the foot of the South Downs in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex on Thursday morning. I had already been in trouble with the police on my way from Seaford. I saw no reason to drive myself and my bicycle over the short distance, and so decided to cycle over. Why would I have been clothed? I was wearing my number and carrying my official documents. Why the need for all the hysteria and pointing? Truly, it seems that there are no consistent principles in the law of this once fair land. Upon arriving, I discovered a number of changing booths, where people were availing themselves of the opportunity to strip down to their birthday suits. Naturally, the on-site Police officers made no fuss over this at all!

However, I enjoyed the cycle ride. It was a nice day, I was able to indulge my own personal choices finally without any legal interference, and I was raising money for a worthy cause.

Now, any man will be able to tell you that sometimes, they have no real control over their own penis. It is largely acquiescent to the will of its owner, but occasionally gets ideas above his station. It may have been the cool breeze around my nethers, or the gentle but unrelenting bumpiness of the tracks around the periphery of the South Downs, but I unavoidably got a rich and full erection. My fellow cyclists were amused, and some of my fellow male travellers shared ribald tales of their own "travel mishaps". Enjoying the cameraderie of the like-minded, with no police interference, time drifted away. Unfortunately, so did I, and I soon found myself adrift from the naked peloton, in a charming rural village.

I stopped my bike to ask directions at a school. I do not know what they teach children at schools any more. Their reaction was inexplicable to me, especially considering that 50% of the pupils at any school, I assume, have one of their own. As the screaming subsided and the sirens wailed, I yet again found myself the victim of fate and inconsistent laws. Some of the language that has shrieked out from the front pages of the local, and I am saddened to say, national press has been inflammatory to say the least. If there are no better pieces of news for these journalistic vultures to "report" than a perfectly innocent lost gentleman with an erection and a full explaination, asking for directions to get back to a group of naked cyclists, then it is a sad day indeed for the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Another inconsistency in the law costs me dear

Time was that an English Gentleman's privacy was the most important thing. When I undertake a drive that is likely to take me more than 2 hours, I always feel comfort is paramount and undress accordingly. Being naked within the confines of one's own private automotive transportation - in my case a 1994 Honda Civic - is, so far as I thought, within the legal statutes of this once-great land.

The other day, on my way back from Oxford, I noticed two high-spirited young female University students, hitchhiking their way from Oxford to Amsterdam for charity. Admiring their spirit and bravery, and having little else to do that day, I decided to stop and help them out.

I was stunned by their reaction. Truly, I do not know what our young are being taught in what always used to be one of the great seats of learning in the English-speaking world. Within 10 minutes, I was aware of fevered chattering, particularly from the young lady who was sat on the front passenger seat. She made some very basic comment such as "you are naked", to which I, joining in with their fun, said, "you could have your eye out on it!", referring to my visible penis.

To my shock, they were not joking, they were actually in fear for their safety. The girl in the back was crying.

Figuring out that these two young ladies were intelligent enough, as Oxford students, to be open to a robust and intelligent debate, I pointed out my reasons for my choices. They accepted the importance of free will - a small mercy, considering the result - but were quick to voice several counter-arguments. It was a very intellectual exchange of views, and a very stimulating debate. I do not know why they called the police.

Imagine my bafflement when I later discovered, on my release, that the two young ladies were in fact going to an open-air naked pop concert in the Netherlands, to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer charities. They, as is becoming a regular trend, of course received no official censure. In the meantime, I have dog dirt pushed through my letterbox.

Monday, 9 July 2007

An easy thing to happen to anyone

Every morning, I go downstairs to collect my newspapers. I take The Daily Express and The Brighton Argus. Naturally, within the privacy of my own home, I do this in the state of dress with which I find myself upon getting out of bed. I've never liked pyjamas, they are too constrictive, so since I got my first home, I have slept naked. There is, as far as I'm aware (although to be honest with you, dear reader, I'm beginning to question this) no law about being naked in your own house.

The only problem with nakedness in your own home during the summer, I thought, was the insidious danger of bees and wasps. As I picked up my newspapers, I heard the familiar buzzing sound and thought "danger". As a National Serviceman, I learnt to never shirk such challenges to one's homestead, so I set about repelling the intruder with the rolled up Argus. I can only assume I tripped in the attempt, because the next thing I can remember is a smashing noise and waking up in a paddling pool with my next door neighbour's 2-year old girl, with a wasp on my glans. I gingerly swiped at my manhood, but the wasp was clearly agitated by the splashing, screaming and sounds of approaching sirens and stung me.

Now, not a lot of people know that a localised wasp sting on the bell end produces a rich, firm and long-lasting erection. However, I'd expect a member of Her Majesty's Constabulary to be armed with such basic knowledge. Instead, I was stunned to be met with what I can only describe as a hysterical and over-the-top reaction. In hindsight, a 63 year old naked gentleman with an erection and a gash on his anus, bleeding into a paddling pool containing a 2-year old girl in someone else's garden could be construed as being "dirty". However, I am a firm believer in innocence until otherwise proven, and to be honest, from the look on the Magistrate's face, you'd think he was listening to a simpleton.

When I finally got home, I learnt that a local woman who's sister has advanced Leukaemia walked naked down my very street later that day, raising money for charity! She got a police escort and cheers, I have to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for the next 6 months. It really is one rule for them and another for me.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

One law for them and one for me

I have started this blog so that perhaps someone can help me with my confused state. Perhaps someone out there can explain why it is alright for hundreds of people to ride around the busiest parts of Brighton during a weekend, stark naked, without any fear of prosecution. However, when a 63-year old gentleman decides to sunbathe naked in a private garden, he is prosecuted by the police?

It's either within the law to be naked in public places or it's against the law. The police need to make up their minds and apply this law to everyone. Let's not have one law for the individual and another for a vociferous minority.