I don’t care if you are 16 or 60; mixing sex and the law can be confusing, as Senator Larry Craig proved last August when, according to him, he paid a fine for picking up a piece of toilet paper in a Minneapolis airport restroom. At around the same time in neighboring South Dakota the cops in Sioux Falls were responding to a 911 call in the 1200 block of North Kiwanis Avenue. An unnamed resident had reported observing a nude trespasser on his front yard, with a video camera on a tripod, engaged in what appeared to be a sexual act with a street sign.
The “Person Reporting” said he had chased the trespasser up Kiwanis Avenue, but admitted he had not intended to call the police, except the naked man with his tripod and his camera had returned and started doing it again, and had to be chased out of the yard a second time, this time all the way into a garage near the corner of Kiwanis and West Bailey. So this time the ‘PR’ did call the cops. And right around the corner, in the garage of 2613 West Bailey, the cops found 60 year old Verle Peter Dills, his video camera and his nakedness. And, according to a Sioux Falls P.D. spokesman, inside Dills’ residence they found a “large amount” of 8mm film and VHS video tapes of Dills engaged in masturbation and “sexual acts” with several innocent street signs. The ages and sexes of the signs could not be determined. Dills was arrested and held on $100,000 bail, charged with burglary (?!), unlawful occupancy (?) and six charges of indecent exposure, which I can understand. I guess it’s just another case of a man unable to “Stop, In The Name of Love”.
The two events are far from similar; one took place in public and the other in a closed stall in a public restroom, but you can not overlook that fact that Larry Craig just looks creepy, and when he smiles he looks even creepier, creepy enough even to have been mistaken for Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons", or one of those 1930 movie villains who is just about to melt a planet or ravish an innocent maiden or commit some other kind of great evil, even on the scale of horror which inspired the recent arrest of the 22 year old lady in Skovde, Sweden. According to the “Person Reporting” this biting piece of social interaction, the young lady approached a man in a fast food restaurant and offered him a popular form of oral sex. As he was suspicious of an offer “too good to be true”, he says he turned her down. But the lady was insistent and without warning she forcefully yanked his pants down and sank her teeth into his penis. Then she scratched his face.
Witnesses supported the victim’s story and the young lady told the Skaraborg District Court that she had been drinking and had no memory of even entering the restaurant, which ought to have been Larry’s excuse in my opinion. Anyway, the lady was convicted of assault and sexual harassment and was sentenced to 80 days (suspended) and had to pay the victim 11,500 Kroner in medical costs, equal to about $2,000 at the time. If the bill had been paid in an American hospital it would have been closer to a half a million. And why hasn’t the Bush Administration argued that the National Security Agency ought to place microphones in all airport bathrooms, to guard against the “Tea Timing” by illegal aliens of our nation’s public toilets? I’m sure George would have made it a campaign issue Larry had been a Democrat.
America has so many laws regarding sex as to make it dangerous to engage in any form of colitis without first getting clearance from the N.S.A and or the C.I.A. In Ames, Iowa it is illegal for a man to take more than three drinks of beer AFTER making love to his wife, and it is illegal for a man in Connersville, Wisconsin to fire a gun while his wife is having an orgasm, even if they are not in the same room. Lawmakers in Bozeman, Montana have taken the trouble to outlaw sex between consenting members of the opposite sex in their own front yards after dark, but only if they are nude. It’s almost as if our lawmakers have developed a fetish for writing sex laws.
Larry has long been a obsessed with “legal-sexual fetishism”, including such dangers as the public distribution of condoms. Their threat was proven by Gary Ashbrook, a 31 year old unemployed resident of Newhaven, East Sussex, England, who filled a condom with nitrous-oxide (laughing gas), climbed naked onto his bed and then, ala Howie Mandel, pulled the condom over his head. His roommate, Michael Young, found Gary the next morning as dead as Howie Mandell’s career before “Deal or No Deal”. Michael assured the coroner’s inquest that “I’m sure his death was an accident’, and the coroner agreed, ruling that Gary had died of “misadventure”. However I would have included “stupidity” as a contributing factor, since in this case wearing a condom had constituted the direct opposite of “safe sex”
Safe sex and the biblical punishment of being stoned to death came together in the person of electrician Karl Watkins of Redditch, England, an aficionado of ‘silicis itineris amor’, a literal ‘love of pavement’. In February of 1993 Karl was busted when he was caught speed “bumping” a street in front of a group of children, (clearly running a rash risk of road rash) and later he was accused of attempting to “mount” an underpass. The exact mechanics are left unexplained but if it had been an overpass Karl would likely have been killed. Karl got 18 months for his “crime” and upon his release in April of 1995, was almost immediately re-arrested for bagging his new love, ‘Cupido purgamentum crumens’, or ‘humping trash bags’. He explained to the police that his dream was now to be thrown into a great pile of empty, flat vinyl garbage bags which he would then “make love to” while being watched by a gaggle of teenage girls. He had already been caught in several trash containers and hoped one day to get access to a trash truck when the trash bags were being crushed. This time he was given three years probation and ordered to seek psychiatric counseling.
Two years later, in 1997, 28 year old Robert (Ross) Watt was fined 100 pounds when he used an Edinburgh street for his sexual assignation with a training shoe, and then in November of 2002 Ross was busted again when his 20 minute sexual encounter with a traffic cone in Regent Road, just outside the Scottish government offices, drew a large and boisterous crowd. Ross’s lawyer tried to explain that his client’s “freakish offenses” were merely part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but the prosecutor pointed out that Ross when arrested for this latest offense was still on probation for his arrest for standing naked in front of his apartment window while punching himself in the groin. As of November 2003 Ross remained under psychiatric counseling at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
Which brings us right back to that den of fetishism, the home to 150,000 sexual deviants on the edge of the prairie; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where, on November 14, 2005, just about closing time, a security guard checking a closed door that was supposed to be open in the Washington Pavilion,, made an unpleasant discovery. The Pavilion, between 11th and 13th streets on Main, houses the 1,800 seat Husby Performing Arts Center, the Kirby Science Discovery Center, a 60 foot tall movie screen in the CineDome, six art galleries, a Discovery Store and a restaurant, and tucked away on the 3rd floor of the West Wing, the Alumni Room, which exhibits memorabilia from Washington High School which used to occupy this site. Upon pushing open the door of the Alumni Room the guard walked in on 19 year old Michael James Plenty Horse, with his pants around his ankles, sprawled atop a mannequin wearing a Washington High School band uniform, which had been partially removed.
Startled by the guard’s entrance, Michael rolled off the mannequin, turned away and began immediately adjusting his pants. Questioned, Michael was “visibly ashamed” but refused to explain what he had been doing. He was arrested anyway and a magistrate’s court found him guilty of a misdemeanor of indecent exposure. He received a suspended sentence and three years probation. But he was also required to register as a sex offender, which meant that for the rest of his life his name would be published on web pages, and he would be limited as to where he could live and what kind of jobs he could work at. Michael’s lawyer thought that constituted excessive punishment not fitting a misdemeanor and appealed the decision all the way to the South Dakota Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled on November 7 of this year that Michael’s actions might have been lewd but they did not meet the definition of indecent exposure, “…displaying or showing genitals in public”. The court pointed out that Michael had closed the door, blocking his actions from public view, and when caught he had turned his back, ensuring that at no time were his genitals visible to even the guard. Michael’s record was thus wiped clean, which is what Larry had been hoping for as well. But even though Larry genitals were not on display even to the urinal, a Minnesota court refused to overturn his polite pleading of guilty to “disorderly conduct”.
It would be hard to describe what 51 year old Robert Stewart did as a public act, either. He was behind the locked door of his room in the Aberley House hostel, in Ayr, Scotland, when two house maids used their master key to burst in upon him. Robert was drunk, naked from the waist down and appeared to be in the act of humping his bicycle. The maids told the manager and the manager told the police, who arrested Stewart as a ‘sexual cyclist’, specifically conducting himself in a disorderly manner and simulating sex, which evidently in Scotland is illegal, even when preformed alone by a consenting adult behind a locked door. Like Larry, Robert pleaded guilty, hoping the publicity would just go away, and like Larry, Robert was placed on a sex offender’s list, paid a fine and was sentenced to probation.
But just like Larry Craig, Robert Stewart had no such luck. The Internet in Britain won’t let the story alone and has become obsessed with Robert Stewart’s civil rights. One English writer asked, “Would they have done the same to a woman with a sex toy? …I don’t see that the two acts are that different.” But, added an English civil rights expert, “This case should not prevent people who want to engage in this sort of activity (from) doing so”. That is not true about the “tea timing” stings in American public restrooms. They will continue as long as there are homophobic men and homosexuals who find the smell of urine cakes arousing. But how come nobody seems very concerned about Larry Craig’s civil rights?
Senator Larry Craig is a pompous jerk, that’s why. And his sexual proclivities however dated, bizarre, mundane, sick or common place have nothing to do with that.
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