Notes from a week of stories about exposure:
When the news broke about possible new rules for what sunbathers wear (or don't) on beaches including Fort De Soto, it seemed a good time to holler, "Morality Police! Morality Police!"
Until you read the detail from a park official about men wearing little more than fishing line and a sock. Okay, eeew.
But rather than launch an all-out SWAT sting across our beaches, we should tread lightly. Yes, little kids should be able to play in the sand without seeing nearly everything. But let's keep in mind the national embarrassment of moral crusades past.
Remember the politically-charged fight in Tampa to keep strip club patrons 6 feet from dancers? The absurdity of that fever-pitch crusade got us soundly mocked. At one point, we were accused of discriminating against the handicapped, as in blind strip club patrons. And the jokes kept rolling.
Remember the Great Hot Dog Vendor controversy? When we wrestled with the thorny issue of to thong or not to thong?
And please, please, do not make us write more stories in which we must try to delicately describe which body parts you can and cannot expose. Please.
Hopefully, signs posted on our beaches to gently remind sunbathers about issues of modesty and sensitivity toward the sensibilities of others will do the trick. And hopefully no politicians will try make this fiery non-issue their ride to the big-time. Because, really, do we need the exposure?
On another note: If you are a longtime respected judge in these parts, a guy who has worked his way up from county to circuit to the appeals court, a man with a solid reputation and the admiration of peers, here are words you probably would rather not have associated with your name:
1. Las Vegas.
2. Exotic dancer.
3. Named "Christy."
4. Who says she called you "Your Majesty."
5. And also says, "He took my money."
Allegations about 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Thomas Stringer and a stripper surfaced last year when Christy Yamanaka went public with claims that the married judge owed her big money and helped her hide from creditors.
Stringer denied it. But this week, the Judicial Qualifications Commission filed misconduct charges, saying Stringer took Rolexes, vacations and a fancy Mercedes from Yamanaka without claiming them on financial disclosure forms.
Stringer — who made history as Stetson's first black law graduate and serves on the appeals court for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and other counties — is expected to give a vigorous defense.
The verdict is not in. But should he be found guilty, he could be eligible for membership in that most curious of men's clubs, Powerful Public Figures Who Inexplicably Risk It All.
Finally, the Lingerie Bowl VI, a frat boy fantasy of a "sport" featuring women playing football in their skimpies, hoped to set up in a vacant lot in Tampa on Super Bowl weekend. Alas, neighbors didn't much like the idea, so the full-contact event takes place at the Caliente nudist resort to the north.
Because doesn't Pasco deserve some Super Bowl exposure all its own?