Mark never told me who, exactly, came up with the name or the idea, but he did introduce me to the “sport” he called “bedapping.” Mark probably came up with the idea and the name – he was a bit nutty like that.
Bedapping is basically just another name for streaking, but there were goals involved: (1) don’t get caught, (2) don’t let anyone realize who you are, and (3) let your butt be seen.
The process was simple: First, wait until the sun went down – you always bedap at night to reduce the odds of you being identified. Second, decide on your target. Typically we did this at the overpass near my parents’ house in Mountain Green, UT, but Mark recounted doing this at the homes of girls in his high school class as well. Third, go to your target location, take off all your clothes except your shoes and socks, and stash your clothes somewhere safe. Fourth, figure out a way to be seen, but not identified, and run around naked for a while.
This eventually developed into a rather dangerous game that we played at the overpass. Here’s how it worked. One of the faster guys would be positioned almost at the very top of the off-ramp of I-84. Every 15 to 20 feet down the off-ramp another naked boy would be stationed all the way down to the cattle guard just south of the actual overpass. The naked boy at the top of the off-ramp would start running when they saw a car signal that it was going to exit. The rest of the naked boys couldn’t run until that first boy passed their position. The goal was to outrun the car driving down the off-ramp and make it under the overpass where you could hide behind the pillars as the car passed. If you were able to hide behind the pillars, you could remain anonymous and all the drivers of the cars would see was naked butts fleeing down the off-ramp. Here’s a map with some markers to illustrate (this is the actual location, by the way):
I recall one night when Mark and several of his friends teamed up with myself and several of my friends to play the bedapping game. We probably had 10 to 15 guys playing. Mark, who was always daring, would typically be the guy at the very top. It helped that he was super fast. I, on the other hand, was never very fast, so I was typically near the end of the off-ramp. We probably ran down the ramp 10 times that night, but one of those sticks out. It was pretty typical for cars to slow way down and idle down the off-ramp and through the overpass, probably to avoid seeing anything more than naked butts. One of the cars that idled through the off-ramp that night must have had its interior lights on because I was able to clearly make out the face of Robert Poll, who was, at the time, the Stake President (for my non-Mormon friends, that’s a position pretty high up in the Mormon hierarchy). I remember quite clearly his beet-red face peering out the window as though he were trying to identify the naked butts climbing all over the underside of the overpass, scrambling to not be identified. I believe we succeeded as no one was ever called in to his office on account of what we did.
I’d love to know if someone out there was on the receiving end of one of Mark’s (or my) bedapping games; I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your headlights suddenly pick up one naked butt running away from you, then two, then three.. then a dozen. Now I think it would be hilarious, but I’m sure not everyone would see it that way.
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4 thoughts on “Mark: Bedapping”
You lived a far more exciting life than I did!
Was Poll related to Richard Poll, the person who came up with the Iron Rod / Liahona way of distinguishing Mormons?
I’m sure they are related, but probably not very closely.
I remember when I first read about the Iron Rod/Liahona distinction and saw that the author was Richard Poll. I thought, “That can’t be the Richard Poll I know.” I was right – it’s not.
And, yes, life in Morgan was exciting – Cragun’s were always doing crazy things. Debi and I are pretty firmly convinced that Cragun’s are adrenaline junkies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenaline_junkie#Adrenaline_junkie