Naked Crime – Part Two
I’ve mentioned the general info about streaking in the 70’s in a previous post. I also mentioned in that post that I streaked a time or two and it did have some unintended consequences:
It was a Sunday night back in 1974. Ernie and I were bored. We decided to streak the local 7-11 type gas station. We did. All going according to plan when in the midst of our “ass-cape,” Officer Timothy Onions decided to pull in to buy a pack of smokes. He came straight at us (he actually accelerated) in his car.
Ernie went one way, I went the other. Officer Onions followed me. I got to the back corner of the property and lo to my wonder and surprise was a six foot fence with spikes! Great development: Officer Onions running at me and the Wall of China in front of me. I jumped like it was the Olympics. That fence could have been ten feet high – I was one motivated jumper.
Ran through backyards to get to the car. Ernie had already made it and was leaning sidewise on the seat to avoid detection. I hopped into the driver’s seat and slid down as well. We were the news of the moment and we must have had half of the force looking to bring us to justice. And let me tell you, bring us to justice they did.
We had a good visual of the cars in pursuit, so any time one was headed towards us; we just slid down so that our car looked unoccupied. It was brilliant and we were sure that we had beaten The Man. But things can take a twist. The police, it seemed, had given up the chase, but then one last car came by. As we slid down into safety my foot hit the brake, thereby igniting the brake lights and furthermore giving the police officer the easiest arrest of his career.
It could have ended there, but it didn’t. I had to go to court. Because I was seventeen, I had to be accompanied by a parent. Mom, in all her unhappy glory, was there by my side. The judge read the charges, slid down his glasses a bit, then read some more. He looked up and asked, “Mr. Law, in attempting to avoid arrest, you ran through some backyards. Did you know that one of those was My backyard?” I said, “No.”
Of course, I hoped that this would make him unable to render judgment upon me and maybe it would all go away. He went on, “You know, my daughter’s bedroom window faces the backyard. Do you think that I want my daughter, looking out her window, to see you go running by without clothes?”
I sensed where he was going with this and replied, “I will never run naked in front of your daughter’s window again.” OK, so now it’s clear that this guy is going to render judgment whether he should or not…
I was found guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct and had to pay a fine, it being my first offense.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about…I’m here to talk about becoming a Certified Public Accountant.
After passing the grueling 19½ hour test and doing my years of apprenticeship time, it was time for me to become officially certified. The application was going along fine until I hit the question, “Have you ever been convicted of any crime? If so, provide the details.”
Paranoia and fear struck me immediately. I mean, I’m asking the State Board of Accountancy to license me to its highest standards of accounting. Streaking and Accounting are two very different things.
My lawyer advised me that if I was honest and provided the details it would be much better than if I forgot that I had been convicted.
So like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, when, in the midst of serious criminals at the Army Entrance Board, he has to confess to being a litterbug, I had to confess to the New York State Board that I had indeed been arrested for running around naked outside. Arlo, to his credit, didn’t get into the army, but for better or worse, I did get to be a CPA.
P.S. I never did run naked by the judge’s daughter’s window again, but that did not end my streaking career either…