The retelling of this tale will involve nudity and sex. You knew it had to come. The story will carry no names.
It was after hours, somewhere after close of business and probably closer to dawn. There were two people, a man and a woman, alone, behind the locked doors of the office of a highly ranked Suit. It was not their office, but his. Absent Suit had long gone home. The couple had been there long enough to be stark naked and would probably by now have dabbled in a spot of … coupling? They were, perhaps, lying back on the couch of Absent Suit enjoying a cigarette. Perhaps, shock horror, even a cigarette of another kind.
I should mention that the office of Absent Suit, whilst lockable, had glass walls that faced the corridor. So, when they heard the approaching footsteps of the overnight security guard it became necessary to take cover, and quickly.
Here creativity came to the fore. There being nothing to hide behind, the man of the moment grabbed a large piece of mounted artwork off a coffee table and held it up in front of himself and his partner, so that at least their faces and just some of their nakedness were covered from view.
The security man rattled the door handle and may have been about to turn his key in the lock when a deep voice from behind the piece of artwork spoke up. The conversation that ensued is vital and would long haunt the unfortunate Mr Absent Suit, he whose office it was.
It should be noted that he behind the artwork who will remain anonymous, as will his companion, had a talent for mimicry. “It’s alright Fred (not his real name). It’s only me, Mr Absent-Suit (not his realname). Just doing a bit of working back. Goodnight.”
“Right Mr Absent-Suit. Don’t work too late. Goodnight.”
But of course the security guard had a very strong torch which had lit up the sight of two obviously naked individuals. Chuckling to himself as he went on his way he was thinking “You dog, Mr Absent-Suit.”
Later, it was too good a story not to repeat, and he did and it got around. To his continuing great embarrassment it became the story of Mr Absent-Suit and his anonymous companion, but he was the innocent victim. I think many of us knew the names of the naked couple but we never said – and I am certainly not saying now.
Although not exclusive to advertising agencies, there was a time in those days when “streaking” had grown to hilarious heights. “Streaking” should never be confused with “flashing” or any other form of crude exhibitionism. The aim is not to be seen but to make people wonder whether, in fact, they have seen anything after all.
A favourite example was the tale of two Volkswagen Kombis, of the kind favoured by “hippies”, each parked at opposite ends of Martin Place in Sydney. One in George Street and the other in Pitt Street, in the days when one could drive both ways on Pitt.
The van door opens on George Street. A group of stark naked young people, boys and girls, jump out and sprint up Martin Place to Pitt Street. There the other van door opens. They all jump in. They drive away. It all happens so fast that passers-by are left perplexed, looking inquiringly at each other for confirmation of what they have seen.
Now, that’s “streaking”.
It contrasts with simply taking your clothes off without any purpose in mind other than to make an idiot of yourself. This happened in spades at the first night game of World Series Cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground. There we counted at least eleven exhibitionists. The one I remember best, and in some detail, was an extremely well developed young lady who swayed naked on the smaller roller for some considerable time before the security guys came along. I don’t think they hurried. She left nobody wondering over what they had seen. Instead I wondered, for just a moment, if she could perhaps type or even write copy.