Monday, July 14, 2014
But last weekend I stepped outside to see the tree in front of the house a couple of doors down festooned in toilet paper.
It brought me back, way back...
Like many high school students, my friends and I thought it fun to teepee houses. We'd round up our weapons by scrounging from our parent's houses and assorted public restrooms. (a belated apology to those gas station and restaurant owners...) We'd pile in my van (a discreet vehicle it was - a red and white full size Chevy van) and go to the targeted friend's house. We'd park around the corner and gather up the missles. We'd creep not-so-silently in the night and set to work. I still remember how good it felt to launch a roll just right, to see it soar high into the night over the targeted tree branch; a ribbon of white arcing in the darkness, decorating the tree in ghostly strips.
One night, we decided to target David Looby's house. There were five or six of us in the group. We marshaled our resources and managed to come up with over twenty rolls of TP. The Looby's had three or four mature trees in their yard; we covered them in white. A masterful artwork if I do say so myself.
We congratulated ourselves on a job well done, and went home to sleep with satisfied hearts. The next day, I oh-so-casually called Dave to see how things were.
"Do anything fun last night?", I asked innocently.
"Yeah", he said. "We got teepeed and boy is my mom mad! She's grounded me for the next two weeks. She says she thought my friends were better than to pull such a sad stunt! I'd better get back outside to finish cleaning up before she gets any madder..."
I felt awful. We were out to have fun, not to get anyone into trouble. So, I called the others in the crew, and gathered them up. Properly shame-faced, we headed back to the Looby's to help with cleanup and to apologize for the trouble we'd caused.
Much to our surprise, when I pulled up to the house, there wasn't a shred of toilet paper to be seen. Hoping to salvage some of our relationship with his mother (she made the BEST tubs of popcorn...), we rang the doorbell. When she answered, we poured out our apologies. We were so sorry, hadn't meant to cause anyone any harm, we had come back to clean it up, would she please forgive us?
She cocked her head and looked at us, puzzled. She said she hadn't been mad at all. In fact, she thought we'd done a capital job.
As we stood there in stunned silence with our mouths hanging open, Dave came around the corner laughing. After a moment or two his mom figured out what had happened and joined in. A long moment later we finally figured out the joke was on us, and our laughter melded with theirs.
But I don't recall teepeeing any more houses after that.