Streaking (And Getting Caught)

Phil, 28

This July, just like every summer for the past six or seven years, 11 of my friends and I rented a house on the Jersey Shore.

We spend two days doing “The Decathlon,” where we divide into six two-man teams and have a series of events ranging from drinking games to bocce to darts. Basically, stupid guy things.

Part of the competition is that if a team is shut out during any event, they have to streak. Well, my partner and I got blanked at shuffleboard, which I tried to argue was humiliating enough. No one agreed.

About 7 that night, we were all standing in the back yard drinking, and I turned to my partner and said, “Well, now’s as good a time as any.” Mind you, it was 7 p.m. in July, so it was still bright and sunny.

We both took off our T-shirts and dropped our shorts while everyone else scrambled to get cameras. I started running one way and he ran the other. All we had to do was run a lap around the house, but it felt like forever. People were walking down the street heading back from the beach. They were looking at us and hollering and laughing.

I ran by an old lady who was walking her dog. She was, um, surprised to say the least. The thing is, you think you’d be nervous, but actually all the hooting and catcalls kind of get your juices flowing.

I was like, OK, I’m in my birthday suit and everybody’s gonna get a good look. I’m pretty sure I started high-stepping.

At any rate, I did my lap and started to put my clothes on as fast as I could. As soon as I got my shirt on, I felt someone pull my arm.

I turned around and it was a cop handcuffing me. Apparently he’d been driving down the block and heard all the commotion. As he started dragging me to the police car, a fire truck drove by filled with families that were getting a tour of the city.

It was getting worse by the minute.

When I got down to police headquarters, they gave me a ticket for lewdness. I managed to get my court date moved up, and when I walked into court a couple of days later I figured I’d get a slap on the wrist.

The judge called my name and said, “This is a serious offense, young man.” He started talking about 6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. I felt like I was in the middle of “My Cousin Vinny.”

I wound up negotiating with the prosecutor down to something called a Borough Violation and a $1,000 fine. The judge gave me a lecture, too. “Imagine your beautiful young daughter seeing something as traumatic as this.”

I just nodded my head and agreed with him, even though I was thinking, You haven’t even been yelling at drunk drivers like this. Everybody got a pretty good laugh about it afterward.
I’ll definitely be changing The Decathlon rules going forward, that’s for sure.

— as told to Lane Strauss

Share this story: