Soho Square, the London headquarters of the football association, where today representatives from the sporting world met government insiders and the security services to reach a number of controversial decisions, quickly ratified by FIFA and other footballing bodies. From now on, when faced with the prospect of an illegal and disruptive invasion of the soccer, rugby or cricket pitch by a naked person, those heavily armed police who have been a constant fixture in our cities since the 7/7 terrorist action, will be encouraged to fire at will. "This was not an easy decision to make." Head of the F.A. Brian Barwick told an expectant press conference earlier. "The Football Association, along with those in political power, have decided that the current climate means we can no longer take a chance on flagrant exhibitionists who may turn out to be something more nefarious. Who's to say that thirty-something fellow showing off his danglies as he runs round the eighteen-yard box during the cup final doesn't actually have sticks of dynamite strapped to his stomach? And what we all thought was a beer belly could turn out to be fake, at which point innocent spectators are blown to bits. And that voluptuous woman flashing Ronnie O'Sullivan during the Embassy Snooker final? She might ostensibly be doing it to further her modelling career, but what if a detonator is strapped under her left tit with flesh-coloured sellotape? We just don't know anymore, and these measures seem eminently reasonable when you think about the situation like that." The origins of streaking can be traced back to American anti-government protests of the early seventies, a time when US students used nudieness to demonstrate against the excesses of their President. Typically, when the British came to adopt the practice they removed the politics, adding instead copious quantities of alcohol as well as much idiocy. Indeed, the first recorded UK 'streak' happened at a 1975 Test Match out of sheer boredom, following several hours when the batsman hadn't so much as scored a run. That was when a Navy cook called Gerald took matters into his own hands, leapfrogging the wicket in the nod to thunderous applause and no little jeering.
But it wasn't until Erica Roe's unscheduled appearance during the England/Australia rugby match of 1982 that streaking really caught on. Erica's impressive forty-inch breasties gave her a brief career in the naughtier papers, a lifestyle illustrating how money and fame can be made from the act of exposing a decent pair of bajoomies in public (although many of those watching were just grateful for some titillation to break up the endless 'scrumming-down'). In recent years tackle-out appearances by random men have also increased in frequency, including that Geordie who ran naked beside the Queen's Rolls Royce, explaining his motives by saying; "it's something to tell the Grandchildren about". But perhaps the best-known example
would be that bloke who's streaked more than 150 times, his most famous disruptions including
a breach of the 'This Morning' weather map and the repeated upsetting of horses at the Grand
In countries like Greece or Iran such individuals would be sent to prison then executed for obvious
weirdness, but the British authorities have traditionally seen these acts as "a bit of a laugh". The
most a streaker would previously have suffered was a brief ban from the sporting ground soiled by
their bareness, along with a formal donation to the court's poor box. In fact, clothing-free interlopers
have become such a fixture in the national consciousness Subbuteo recently introduced a
streaking 'action figure' which occasionally disrupts the player-flicking child game. Yet the UK's hard-won respectability for this 'bits out' lifestyle choice is about to come to an end.
"S'just a laugh innit? A spur of the moment thing like?" So says repeated divester of outfits and wannabe actress Janine Plenty, a
hard-line streaker who met with HDUK to discuss the news. "We do it for the buzz, s'not sumfink you plan in advance, youknowworramean?" Janine mused. "It makes me feel liberated, havin' a load of blokes see me in the buff. More women should do it. I get a total sense of freedom." When told that future streaks would mean dodging bullets as well as stewards in order to continue this naughty frolicking, Janine's face fell. "Well that ain't fair is it? I dunno what the world's comin' to. They won't stop me flashin' me bits tho, lemme tell you that." At which point Miss Plenty removed her blouse and ran squealing down the high street.
Unfortunately this modern-day Lady Godiva isn't the only public naturist to suffer from the increasingly harsh anti-terror laws. Just last year an excited fan who performed a naked breakdance on Burnley F.C.'s pitch was banned from Turf Moor for life and, following an incident during the filming of brainbox panel-quiz QI, Danny Shredder was imprisoned for six months as host Stephen Fry made it known he wished such people to be "publicly culled". We spoke to a PR man for the secret services, one Dashiell Hampton, to find out more about these new measures and why they're necessary:
"Think about it for a second." The insider demanded while jabbing a finger into our chest. "Even if the streakers aren't working for al-Qaida, they're clearly unbalanced exhibitionists or borderline psychotic. Some would say anyone
appearing like that in a public place where lovely children could be watching ought to be imprisoned anyway,
whatever the legal position. After 7/7 such breaches of security can no longer be permitted. Say a nude man
runs onto a cricket pitch next summer. Even if he doesn't intend to blow up his gut-sack and take the crowd
with him, he could easily inflict a nasty injury on Sports Personality of the Year 'Freddie' Flintoff before the
security men decide where to grab him. That's why, starting with the 2006 World Cup in Germany, all
sporting events will adopt a policy of gunning down streakers without mercy. This is purely a precautionary
measure, but we think it can work, and if things do improve we may look to firearms as a solution for
other sporting problems."
Indeed, should the threat of being shot in the head prove an effective deterrent in these cases of au naturelle citizens running amok, there is talk of further legislation which would allow pistol-wielding security men to shoot those out of control mascots who often attack each other at football matches. However, the F.A. have advised that leg shots should be used in these instances, as the sight of a man in a swan costume having his brains splattered across the home dugout might be disturbing for the youngsters.