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July 17, 2006

Naked man literally flips the bird

Sometimes you have to come to terms with what you accomplish in life. Some people devote their lives to changing the world for the better. Some people start businesses to create products that alter the way in which people live. And then, some people post idiotic stories about naked people.

Guess which category I fall into.

I thought about this when I got an email from Maryland Conservatarian gently taking me to task for having missed what might be the most wonderful story about a naked man I've seen in a long time.

Start with the headline: "Police arrest naked man after he flails car with a stolen pigeon." It's not quite on a par with "Headless Body Found in Topless Bar," but it brings together all the elements necessary to make this story a winner: a naked man, a stolen bird, flailing, and the police.

SUFFOLK [Virginia] — A naked man clutching a pigeon was arrested over the weekend after beating the bird against a car.

Two Whaleyville residents had just pulled into their driveway Friday night when Juan Lopez, 30, of Kellam Road in Virginia Beach came up and repeatedly pounded the pigeon on the car, police said. The people got out of the car and went to a neighbor’s house where they called the police. After a short chase, police caught Lopez in nearby woods.
So get this: You're driving home. You reach your driveway. And some naked guy comes out with one of your pigeons and starts smacking it -- flailing it, to be precise -- against your windshield. You call the police. They catch the guy in the woods. Because he had "destroyed two bird cages, freeing 15 small chickens and four pigeons" and had killed four birds, they charge him with "burglary, destruction of property and larceny of poultry."

And then, this is what the police tell the press:
“I’m not sure whether he’s mentally disturbed or under the influence of narcotics, but he was obviously having some sort of issue that night,” said Lt. Debbie George, Suffolk Police Department spokeswoman.
"Some sort of issue that night."

But as usual in these stories about naked people, the news accounts, like the people involved, leave a lot of things hanging. For instance: Was he really a deranged wacko who was drug-crazed, or was he simply a deranged wacko who was an animal-rights protester? The nakedness may be a giveaway. Was there any significance to the pigeon? A stool pigeon, perhaps? And why is there a separate crime for larceny of poultry?

In the end, everything has an innocent explanation. But I'm trying very hard not to think about a naked man with "some sort of issue."