Letter at length, June 8

Public nakedness is sexual harassment

The other day I saw this old man walking stark naked past the Beanery while people were eating. I mean, he was disgusting. In this day and age where sexual harassment is defined as any sexual innuendo, any snide sexual remark and even a risqué picture of a woman in the workplace, I wondered how a naked old man could get away with this. Where is the outrage from the decent people of this town?

Public service entities and even the military are mandated to teach sexual harassment training every year. They pound it into their people. On top of that, indecent exposure is against the law. Urinating in public is against the law, so how and why is this creep allowed to get away with being the worst of an exhibitionist?

At first I though this geezer was suffering from a narcissistic obsession to get attention or worse. So I called the police; after all there were children in the neighborhood. The police said there is nothing they can do because he was in his rights! What? There is no law against that? Did they mean to tell me a man can walk the streets with his weenie hanging out too? A man doing that at least has more clothes on.

I heard on the radio that he scared a girl and brough her to tears. The response to this by Police Chief Terry Holderness sounds a lot like, "that's the way it is, so inform your kids of that." To me, it sounded like, "like it or lump it." What do we have to do? Start a campaign to vote out everyone who doesn't want to enact a public decency law?

The day I saw this guy, it was a hot day for sure. The sidewalk must have been on fire, but this guy was wearing shoes. This told me he could be crazy, but he wasn't stupid.

After talking to the police, I began to question myself. Am I becoming a conservative in my old age? Did I fail some liberal litmus test? Did the Founding Fathers really mean freedom of the press was freedom of this kind of expression too? Do I not think that the body we were born with is beautiful at any stage? Do I not think Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Rubens painted beautiful bodies? No, I never saw a guy like this loon on the Sistine Chapel either.

So maybe I'm guilty of age discrimination? No, I'm 72 years old myself. Please will somebody change the law and get this guy off the streets before I check myself into my own "Hotel California."

Joe Russo


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