Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gorilla Suit: What’s The Big Hairy Deal?

It’s getting so bad in this country that a guy can’t walk around wearing a gorilla mask.

On Friday evening, August 27th, a few goodbad film fans will be hosting a showing of “Goliathon,” at 7 PM at the Plattsburgh Public Library. To promote the event, David Fuller was walking around the other night in his gorilla suit with a friend. Everything was OK until an officer employed by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department stopped David and inquired what he was doing.

David was informed by the officer that it was against the law to walk around wearing a mask. He needed to get special permission. Of course, no red tape was involved in pursuing that matter.

David went to the Plattsburgh Police Department and spoke with the officer at the front desk. The officer told him that he had to go to the City Chamberlain’s Office to get permission. So he traveled over to that office, spoke with Keith Herkalo who told him he needed to get a letter from the public library explaining his actions. So it was time for David to trek back to the library and speak with its director.

Today, Aug. 26th, David was notified by a forwarded email that he was granted permission to walk around in a gorilla suit complete with a mask. Oh, the Land of the Free!

Here is the email:

= = =

From: Keith Herkalo

Subject: Library Promotion

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Library Director has notified me that representatives of the Plattsburgh Public Library will be promoting the Library’s Comedy Film show this evening, Thurs 26 Aug, at the SUNY campus and in downtown Plattsburgh. One member of the group will be costumed as a gorilla…

Both the Plattsburgh Police Department and the SUNY Police Dept have been notified by fax.


= = =

But what about the Sheriff’s Department, Campus Security, Border Patrol, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DAR? Have all of them been notified?

Apparently David is being affected by New York Penal Law, Chapter 40 of the Consolidated Laws, Part Three – Specific Offences, Title N—Offenses Against Public Order, Public Sensibilities And The Right To Privacy, Article 240—Offenses Against Public order, Section 240.35(4) – give me a minute, I’m out of breath.

According to 240.35(4) under Loitering:

“Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place;  except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities;”

So what about someone promoting a business, dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with green face makeup? An income tax preparation company in Plattsburgh was doing such a promo last spring.

Is it loitering if someone is at a specific place to promote an event, handing out flyers with no harmful or threatening intent? Also, isn't being in a gorilla suit "entertainment" by itself?

Anyway, notice that the law says “remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised.” There's no Esq. after my name but it seems that a few people have to be masked and loitering at the same time in the same place to violate the law. David was the only person wearing a mask when the Deputy Sheriff approached him. Oops.

I hope our bureaucratic officials make sure to enforce this mask law on Halloween. Who knows that terrorists lurk among those trick-or-treaters!

The New Face Of Terrorism?

1 comment:

Caleb said...

Hehehe. That last picture was great.