A colleague and I were waiting to be picked up in front of our San Francisco hotel when a man jogged by wearing nothing but running shoes. After a quick double take, a group of rambunctious women, wearing only strategically placed balloons, darted by. I turned to Krista, “Am I going crazy or did I just see a bunch of nakedness run by?”
Krista laughed, “Yes and yes! Actually, I’m still looking at the guy, so…”
Part of me was in a state of shock—while another part of me wanted to follow them to find out where they were going. Is this simply life in San Francisco? I wondered.
“I think it’s a Halloween fun run,” added Krista, apparently reading my mind.
“Wow, they sure know how to have fun here,” I said, feeling disappointed that this was all happening as we’re leaving for the airport.
“Have you ever done something like that?” she asked curiously.
“No silly, have you ever streaked before?”
Just then our cab pulled up.
“Saved by the bell!” I said as we got into the car.
She wasn’t about to let this go. “You had to think about it. I think you have a story or two to tell me on the plane.”
I smiled, thinking back to my freshman year in college. “Actually, I do have a streaking story. Just promise me it stays between us.”
“No one except me and all of my Facebook friends will ever know!”
“In that case, I’ve never streaked.”
“I’m just kidding,” she pleaded. “Tell me.”
My Streaking Story
Between my senior year in high school and my freshman year in college, streaking had become as popular on college campuses as toga parties and the movie Animal House. This wild-and-crazy phenomenon created very high expectations for many of us attending colleges at that time; expectations that rarely measured up to all the hype. My campus in particular was anything but Animal House. Our one lame fraternity didn’t have a house and the social life in the dorms was virtually nonexistent. In fact, the only good parties were far enough off campus that you needed a car, which none of us as freshmen had. I guess you could say that our social life my first year was dead on arrival.
It was another boring Friday night. My buddies from my dorm stopped by to party and watch the paint dry.
“We need to do something,” said Chas.
“We are,” said Reed. “We’re drinking beer and smoking weed with the boys!”
“Without chicks! Again!” winced Kent. “We’re such losers!”
Tired of all the complaining, I jumped in. “I’m with Chas, let’s make something happen.”
“Should we have a party?” asked Reed.
“No, something different. We need to stir things up around here.” And then an idea came to me. “We should streak!”
“Are you serious?” asked Kent.
“Why not,” I added. “It happens on all the other campuses.”
The idea began to sink in without any resistance from the group. The beer helped. The only downside was that none of us had ever streaked before and we weren’t sure of all the particulars.
“Screw it,” yelled Terry. “Let’s just do it.”
“No, no, no,” I pleaded. “We need a plan.”
“You guys, it’s too cold out to streak,” said Kent. “We need a different idea.”
“Wait,” said Terry. “Who said we have to streak outside. We could run through Ute Hall. It’s all women.”
“Why not,” said Reed, with Chas nodding his approval. “We could undress in the basement of Ute Hall, hide our clothes, and then take the stairs and streak on the first floor and then the second, before going back down to the basement.”
“We could be in and out in five minutes,” I said.
“I’m in,” said Kent, “but I’m going to wear my face mask. I don’t want to be recognized.”
Western State College resides in a very cold part of Colorado and most students had winter hats that pulled down into face masks to protect them from the bitter cold.
“Let’s all wear masks,” replied Chas. “My roommate and I have enough for everyone.”
We all loved the mask idea, given that none of us wanted to stand out any more than we already would, if you catch my drift.
“We’re really going to do this!” screamed Terry.
In the background was music from our one campus radio station, blaring from Kent’s stereo. It gave me another idea. “Steve is the DJ tonight. What if we ask him to announce to all the women in Ute Hall to be out in the hallways at exactly 9:00 p.m. for a once-in-a-lifetime event?”
“Holy shit,” said Reed. “You mean advertise that we’re coming over? What about the element of surprise?”
“Who cares!” I reasoned. “What’s the point of streaking if there is no one to see us?”
Everyone approved. The plan was coming together nicely. There would be five of us streaking and we’d undress in the basement before hitting the first floor and then the second. By our estimation, the whole round trip would take just a few minutes. It was perfect and certainly would stir things up around campus.
“I’ve got another idea,” said Chas. “Why don’t we take some water balloons with us and throw them at the women—you know, as a kind of distraction.”
“I like it,” I said. “It might take away some of the awkwardness for me.”
“Me too,” added Reed. “We can put them in a laundry bag and bring them over with us.”
We were standing now, too excited to sit. We had about 45 minutes to get everything together and get over to Ute Hall.
“We’ve thought of everything, haven’t we,” cried Terry.
Most of it was a Good Idea
The partying continued as did our plan. DJ Steve made the announcement and we were on our way over to the basement of Ute Hall. As fun as this was going to be, I was surprisingly nervous when it came time to undress.
“We can’t back down now,” said Reed, as we put our face masks on and grabbed the water balloons.
The moment to back down had passed as Terry led the way up the stairs. There was a thick door that opened to the first floor and as he swung it open, we heard nothing but silence, followed by views of an empty corridor. It was completely deserted.
We all looked at each other in confusion.
“Steve announced we were coming, didn’t he?” inquired Kent.
“Yes,” I said. “I heard it myself.”
“This is eerie,” said Reed. “What if the whole building is deserted?”
We were walking down the corridor now, still thrown off by the emptiness.
“What do we do with our water balloons if no one is on the second floor either,” asked Chas, rather dejectedly.
“We’ll throw them all at Geese for having such a stupid idea,” said Reed.
“It seemed like a good idea after the third beer,” I mumbled apologetically.
Terry was still in front as we moved up the stairway to the second floor. By now our expectations had dwindled to the point that we’d all be happy with even a couple women in the hallway.
Terry grabbed the door. “You guys ready?”
We all nodded.
As he slowly opened the door, the cricket sounds that lined the first corridor magically erupted into a loud, rowdy stadium sound, like being on the football field when Alabama scores a touchdown, complete with cheering, chanting, and screaming. Cameras were flashing. The hallway was lined three people thick on each side with enthusiastic coeds ready for a show. It was so startling to us that we all panicked and started throwing our water balloons in every possible direction, including down the corridor. Large puddles of water covered the floor, creating the hazard of all hazards for novice streakers like us. The pandemonium heightened as one by one we all went down like a bunch of pins in a bowling alley, slip sliding down the hallway in various positions, while leaving nothing to the imagination.
Bruised and embarrassed, but with masks intact, we fled the second floor as fast as we could, screaming in glee as we ran down the stairs to the basement.
“We did it!” screamed Reed, as we were all giving each other high fives.
“I’d say we stirred things up on campus,” I shouted.
The commotion coming from the second floor was getting louder. “Let’s get out of here before anyone else sees us,” advised Terry.
Later that Night
We got back to the room and immediately started rehashing our five minutes of fame. We were having so much fun bantering back and forth.
It was about 11:00 p.m. when we heard noise coming from the grassy quad area just outside our building. We rushed to the window. To our surprise, about 25 women from Ute Hall were lined up in front of our building, wearing bathrobes and chanting. Although we couldn’t make out what they were saying, we’ll never forget what we saw. One by one, each woman quickly opened and closed her bathrobe, revealing nothing underneath. After the last women flashed us, they all ran back into Ute Hall.
We were dumbfounded.
“What the hell just happened?” said Terry.
“Sweet Jesus,” cried Reed. “I’m loving college!”
Part of me felt like a celebrity, even though no one knew who we were. And then it occurred to me, “Hey, how did they know to flash our dorm?” I asked curiously.
That part will forever remain a mystery. What mattered is that we achieved our objective. Western State College was never the same after that…
I looked over at Krista. “So that’s my streaking story.”
She shook her head. “You’re so full of shit!”
We never spoke of it again—but I can’t stop smiling every time I see her.
*From Geese’s latest book, It’s All About Me: Stories and Insights from the Geese