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.