A TNT Travel Writing Awards entrant
Author: Jason Toll
During an around the world trip in 2005 I got caught up travelling with three snowboarder types in the USA; people who constantly annoyed me with their ‘Dude, that was awesome!’ and ‘Oh man, how rad was that!’ way in which they conversed with each other. The irritation was so immense that my mental state was rapidly fraying. Something had to give and it all occurred in the Mormon city of Salt Lake City.
Sitting rink side at a professional ice hockey game, the ‘snowbums’ and I were all stupendously drunk. Yet none more so than me as drinking had become my release to cope with them.
‘How funny would it be if a homeboy streaked this game,’ one of them said.
The stupidity of this man had now reached new levels. He had finally tipped me to the point of insanity. Coupled with drunkenness I replied, ‘I’ll do it!’
‘You can’t be serious dude? I totally wasn’t serious.’
‘Well I am, and as long as you and the others agree to bail me straight out of gaol and agree to split the fine with me I will streak.’
‘Done!’ they replied simultaneously.
‘Ok then. But I better wait for a break. These ice-hockey players are violent. If I wreck their game they will puck me to death.’
When the buzzer for the second-break sounded, the ‘snowbums’ pushed me up and over the glass so that I found myself dangling over the other side. Yet I was too scared to let go of the glass and drop the eight-feet down onto the ice. But when I looked back through the glass to the ‘snowbums’ who were in hysterics, I realised that turning back was not an option. So I let go of the glass and dropped. Luckily, there were no broken bones as I landed on the ice. Immediately, and using all the eroticism of a Las Vegas stripper, I stripped off my clothes and swung them around my head before throwing them into the crowd. Apart from a pair of socks, I was completely naked.
Running across the ice with an arm raised skyward, I let out an immense ‘HOOT!’ because at that moment I was the King of the World. Meanwhile, the stadium was filling with Mormon cheers – perhaps they had mistaken me for the second coming of Christ.
In the centre of the rink, the Mormon police came at me. My socks were providing amazing grip on the ice though and the police – in shoes with slippery soles – were unable to counter my naked goose-steps. Instead, they fell in a heap.
This caused the Mormon crowd to go ever wilder so I continued running until at full pace I threw myself off my feet and into a feet first backslide on the ice. As I slid, one hand cupped my genitals, whilst the other reached skyward to wave at the crowd.
Twenty metres later, I came to a rest on the ice. I was just getting back on my feet when BANG!… a police officer came from behind to crunch me. Following this were an ever-increasing number of officers who in my opinion were just that little bit too keen to pile on the back of a naked man.
‘Get off me!’ I cried.
‘You have the right to remain silent! Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court…’ Meanwhile, the officer reading me my rights pinned his knees into my back as he handcuffed me. Seconds later, two other policemen grabbed the chain between my wrists and they began dragging me – face down towards the edge of the rink. This caused the front of my body including my genitals to drag painfully across the ice. In response to this heavy-handed treatment, the Mormon crowd began to ‘BOOOOO!’ in unified protest. Once at the edge of the rink, the police stood me up and wrapped a towel around before taking me away. Then at the police station, I was cavity searched by a large Negro police officer and thrown in gaol for the night.
Amazingly, the ‘snowbums’ never came to bail me out because the Mormon police threw them in jail too – as accomplices to the crimes that I committed.
My streaking caused a huge stir because ESPN Sports News broadcast it coast to coast across the USA on a late night edition. This wouldn’t have been so bad but I streaked in Utah – the Mormon state of the USA. You see Mormons are devout Christians who rarely even dare drink coffee for fear of polluting their bodies and offending God. Not surprisingly, in the eyes of many prominent Mormons, a televised incident of a drunken, naked man that originated in their state had brought the whole state of Utah and Mormon religion into disrepute. In addition, unbeknownst to me at the time, I streaked the ice hockey on ‘family night’ where children under twelve got in free. As a result, mainly pre-pubescent Mormon children had filled the stadium. For all of these reasons, the Mormons wanted to make an example of me so that no one ever dared streak in Utah ever again. To do this, they put pressure on the prosecutor to upgrade my original charges of ‘Lewdness,’ to ‘Gross Lewdness in the Presence of a Minor.’ This charge carries six months to twelve months in gaol and involves filing as a sex offender – something extremely heavy because I am a schoolteacher. Fortunately this never happened – primarily because I checked into Alcoholics Anonymous to appear as though I was feeling remorse for my actions and to demonstrate that I was taking steps to right my wrong. Thus, in the end I was only fined a thousand dollars, but now I have a criminal record in the USA that prevents me from travelling there ever again. And all because I lost the plot from having to hang out with a group of unprecedentedly annoying American ‘snowbums.’