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Monday, July 27, 2009

Cops Zap Naked Intruder

…blared the title of a front page story in my Thursday News & Messenger, the newspaper of record for central Prince William County, home of two major Civil War battles and Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt. The online version (under a different title, byline, and date) can be found at:


The short story is, a guy busts into an apparent stranger’s house in his birthday suit in the wee hours of the morning. He proceeds to awaken a man sleeping on the couch with a disjointed and profane soliloquy, whereupon the formerly sleeping man requests that he leave and summons police. The police arrive to find the scene as described, only with the naked, Tourette’s-suffering orator locked outside on the back porch and still in a pet. The police see fit to tase him into submission, whereupon they arrest him on numerous charges. He is currently lodged in the Prince William County jail, clothed, and being held without bond pending an 8 September hearing.

The print version of the article was more interesting, as it cited other stories of naked intruders and similar capers, introducing the topic expansion with poignant clarity: “It’s not often that law enforcement agencies in the region have had to tase a naked man…” One charming story told of a naked man in Florida (go figure) who defecated in, then slept in, a stolen truck, and was awoken and tased by police. I’m picturing young cadets nearing graduation from Police Academy: “Please, dear God, don’t let them assign me anywhere in Florida!” Another, somewhat more complex situation unfolded in New York, in which a naked man on a ledge 10’ above the ground fell to his death (ten feet?) after being tased by police. Good thing they didn’t shoot him! But it’s okay, the article seems to imply, as the man had exhibited suicidal behavior earlier in the day.

But let’s get back to our local naked intruder. So many questions left unanswered!

Like, which body part did the police tase? And did it cause shrinking or swelling?

What combination of drugs, alcohol, and daytime TV talk shows led him to this behavior?

And where was General Butt Naked? Where is General Butt Naked now, anyway? And what about Neil Patrick Harris?

First the easy one: Neil Patrick Harris (former child TV star who played Doogie Howser, MD in a show by the same name) currently lives in the Los Angeles area. He has been acting in plays and movies of late, and performing as an amateur magician. I last noticed him playing a sleazy party animal in “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle,” a ribald 2004 buddy movie. He hasn’t been in anything real big since “Doogie Howser,” and occasionally makes appearances at various entertainment industry events, his gay lover at his side.

General Butt Naked

Joshua Milton Blahyi was never formally commissioned as a General in any legitimate armed force. Therefore I encourage you to use air quotes when you cite the word General in the psuedonym that he adoped for himself as a militia leader during Liberia’s 1980’s and 90’s civil war.

General Butt Naked led his Butt Naked Brigade of ragtag teenaged mercenaries against various warring factions on behalf of Roosevelt Johnson, one of Liberia’s many warlords vying for power following a coup that ousted President Samuel Doe in 1994. I may be playing somewhat fast and loose with the historical details, but believe me, after the next few paragraphs, that will be the least of your concerns.

Liberia’s coups and civil wars have seen numerous self-appointed Generals, many of whom tended toward extreme behavior and sported colorful names, but none were quite as memorable as Joshua “General Butt Naked” Blahyi. Blahyi applied a combinaiton of African superstition and psy-ops in his battle strategies: He would engage his enemies wearing nothing but tennis shoes, believing that nudity would protect him from harm. Likewise his militia, when not naked themselves, would fight wearing garish and absurd women’s clothing, including bridal gowns and party dresses, sporting colorful wigs and dainty purses which they had looted from recently-attacked villages. They fought fearlessly, believing that this dress would confound the enemy (no kidding!), and even confuse their bullets via their mixed identities.

[note to sensitive readers: it gets ugly at this point]

But this was no powderpuff football cheerleading squad. A hallmark of any successful (i.e., not all dead) African militia is exceptional violence and ruthlessness, and the BN Brigade excelled in these arts. Before a battle they would attempt to appease Satan, under whose protection they believed they were fighting, through human sacrifice and cannibalism, usually of a young person from a nearby village. The Brigade often abused the bodies of their fallen enemies, notably using their heads for soccer balls, and once even placing a human head as the centerpiece of a table set in the middle of a major intersection in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Blahyi believes that he was summoned at age 11 by the Devil himself, by telephone, to live a life of violence and bloodshed, including human sacrifice, a ritual in which he purportedly engaged regularly between the ages of 11 and 25. Prior to leading a band of mercenaries in the mid-90’s, Blahyi operated as a tribal priest and armed robber, and claims to have killed more people than he can count.

[okay, you can open your eyes again now]

During a battle in Monrovia, while dressed in full (lack of) battle regalia, the General had a “road-to-Damascus” experience. He claims that God spoke to him directly, informing him that he was a slave to Satan and requesting that he make the switch over to His team. Blahyi is reported to have confessed his sins and repented in a refugee camp in Ghana in 1997, and now preaches the Gospel, clothed, in Monrovia and works with ministries to educate and care for young former soldiers.

I wish I could report a similarly happy ending for our other 3 aforementioned nudists, but, at least for two of them, while there’s life, there’s still time and space for redemption! Perhaps the Prince William County lockup could stand a visit from the former GBN himself next time he’s in town.


  • At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it


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