November 3, 2000
Say what you will about Vincent Bethell, but don’t question his sincerity. Bethell, for those of you who’ve never heard of him (and outside of a few Londoners, that’s most of you), is the British twentysomething who was arrested earlier this year for parading around in public completely naked.
It wasn’t his first time; Bethell has long been a crusader for what he terms his right “to be human.” But when he was brought before the court in August and still refused to wear anything but the outfit he was born with, Bethell was tossed in the Brixton clink for violating the public
order. Now, some two months later (and at the dawn of winter, no less), the former fine-art student remains balls-out in his campaign to decriminalize public nudity. Bucking a long-cherished prison tradition of fighting to keep one’s pants on, Bethell has reportedly been in the altogether
since he was locked up two months and counting. Not that his nudity
is in any way public anymore; the naked-as-a-jaybird jailbird has been kept
in a segregated unit and denied visitors for fear that his “humanity” might
offend other prisoners and their guests. Said Bethell, defending his zeal in
the London Guardian, “People complain that it’s unhygienic to be
naked. People say they don’t want us walking around the supermarket naked,
but it’s not as if we’re going to be rubbing ourselves all over the frozen
food section.” Especially not the frozen food section.
After years nay, centuries of grueling monastic restraint, it
seems that Thailand’s holy men have finally begun to come out of their
shells. It all started with a newspaper article in September, which
featured a monk proudly displaying his collection of five dozen vintage
German cars, acquired with the help of charitable donations. Then, just
last month, a trio of abbots was nabbed sneaking into a karaoke
bar, disguised in wigs and dark sunglasses. (Though
it must be noted that the not-so-savvy singers forgot to ditch
their telltale saffron robes.) And now comes word that Thammathorn Wanchai,
a forty-three-year-old monk from the Suphan Buri temple in Bangkok, was
arrested outside a house in Nonthaburi and disrobed for allegedly having
sex with scores of women while posing as a Thai colonel. According to the
reports, police say the abbot liked to pretend he was a military officer,
cruising around town in a Mercedes Benz and picking up prostitutes. When
Wanchai was arrested, police found combat fatigues, a toupee, some whisky,
pieces of lingerie, condoms and an array of pornographic books and videos
in the house where he had been staying.
All this monkish business has apparently sparked a national religious
crisis, with angry locals refusing to give alms to the monks at Wanchai’s
temple and an editorial in The Nation decrying the abbot’s behavior.
Asked the daily newspaper, “Is this really the path to enlightenment?”
Maybe not but it’s looking like one hell of a ride nonetheless . . .
Hooker, Line and Sinker
So she has a thing for men in uniform really now, who among us
doesn’t? Is that really a reason to arrest a girl?
Well yeah, apparently so particularly when the uniform in question
belongs to Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Johnson of King County, Washington. More
specifically, when the uniform belongs to on-duty King County cop
Steve Johnson, and the girl in question is a forty-six-year-old Seattle
hooker out trawling for business. Yep, that’s right: our girl reportedly approached Deputy Johnson in his
marked police cruiser last weekend and offered to, uh, deputize his
johnson for the reasonable fee of just forty dollars. Explaining that
she had a lifelong fantasy about uniformed policemen, the woman who,
not surprisingly, had been arrested forty-three previous times
willingly climbed into the back seat, where Johnson had
suggested they might consummate their business arrangement. Alas, the
officer did not join the woman in the back seat (scoundrel!), instead
choosing to bring her down to the sheriff’s station, where she was charged
with prostitution and, no doubt, with misdemeanor cluelessness.
Quotes of the Week
“Let me tell you something: a Caesar salad, a good steak and a good fuck.
What else is there?”
Pensive Beach Boys offspring Carnie Wilson, ruminating on the
meaning of life in Us Weekly.
“We could contradict the national Boy Scout policy, and possibly risk the
whole council being decommissioned, or we can go along with firing him. I
maintain that the whole thing is completely idiotic.”
Los Padres, California, Boy Scouts board member Karl
Eberhard, on the firing of board director and fourteen-year Scouts
employee Len Lanzi just ten days after Lanzi publicly admitted that he was
gay. Lanzi’s lawyer says he will pursue legal action against the Boy Scouts.