Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Naked Stroll

Today was one of the better days; beautiful, gloriously warm San Francisco weather. I finished work and heading out the door I spotted my two nudist buddies strolling down the street -- naked. I called to them and proceeded to join them on their naked stroll. We received many admiring compliments and high fives. One mother with two children in a stroller, when asked by one child why those people were naked, replied, “Because some people like to be naked.” I seemed perfect, this is the way life should be. Ah, but it was to good to last.

After a good hour and a half of strolling and chatting with people in the neighborhood, we were walking down Castro Street preparing to end our excursion, when a police cruiser pulled up to the curb. Two officers got out and one asked us if we would please cover up. I responded as I wrapped my kilt around my waist, “Yes, of course, as long as you understand you that we are not breaking the law.” That was not the response this officer wanted to hear. He replied that we were in fact breaking the law, that we were indecent. I responded that there was no law against mere public nudity in San Francisco, that the courts had established what constituted indecent exposure, and it was not mere nudity. He replied that he was not a judge, that they had received complaints, and as soon as some one complains we are considered indecent. He then asked me if I would like to be handcuffed, arrested, and taken downtown. At this point I am fully clothed. I replied, ”No, I would not like to be arrested, but I do want to make sure you understand that I know we were not breaking the law.” He replied that he had been doing this for twenty-three years, so I should not tell him what the law was, and then started to walk away. I responded that perhaps he might want to speak to the district attorney about it, at which point he again asked me if I would like to be cuffed and arrested. “No,” I repeated. He said, “Don’t tell me to talk to the D. A. then.”

After he left my two nudist friends told me that the police, when responding to a complaint, must provide you with a copy of it on request. I wonder if one can be arrested for requesting a copy of the complaint? Clearly, this officer was not having as good a day as I was.

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