Bizarro is brought to you today by Anatomical Incorrectness.
“Flashing” ––the practice of being naked under a coat and briefly exposing one’s genitals to strangers––has been a popular hobby among people thus inclined for centuries. But do you remember the brief but stunning national fad of “streaking”? It happened in the early 1970s and entailed one or more people running stark naked (but for running shoes and occasionally a facial disguise) through a public event of some kind. This had long been an occasional activity on college campuses, but in the seventies it became what some people called an “epidemic”. Perhaps the most famous of these heinous displays of degeneracy was when someone ran naked across the stage of a live telecast of The Academy Awards in 1974. Actor David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor when a guy named Robert Opel streaked naked across stage behind him. The most hysterical part of the whole streaking phenomenon was, of course, the effect it had on certain members of society who seemed certain that Western Civilization would come to an end if this kind of thing was allowed to continue. People actually got arrested and prosecuted. Talk about a victimless crime.
My best friend, Mark, and I were in high school when streaking was at its peak and we attempted to gather a group of kids from our art class to “streak” an outdoor prayer rally at Oral Roberts University, in our hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the end, we had trouble getting what we felt were enough people involved (no one signed on) to properly mitigate blame should we be caught, so we chickened out. I wish now I had done it and still feel great shame at my cowardice. On the other hand, if I had done it and gotten caught, I feared my parents would have sent me to a military school in Argentina, so I guess I should be easy on myself.
I miss this frivolous fad and would like to encourage my Jazz Pickles to consider starting it up again. Any public event is fair game but ones that are televised are worth more points. Be sure to document your efforts and send them to me here: Bizarro International Headquarters, 1 Jazz Pickle Plaza, Dept. of Amusing Victimless Crimes, 103rd floor, Los Angeles, California, 90004.
PICKLED JAZZ: I have an old cartoon in which a school teacher explains society’s fear of nudity but I can’t find it in my cavernous, chaotic archives. So instead, I foist upon you this cartoon from 2001 because it matches today’s theme. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to afford to pay someone to go through my 30 years of cartoons and keyword them properly. (sigh)