Sunday, March 16, 2008


We were on the shallow-sloped roof of Brian's parents' house. Between us, we had a garden hose, two BB guns, and a dozen AA large eggs.

Brian's parents were at the cabin up in the mountains. Technically, Brian was in charge of his little sister, but we hadn't actually seen her in about 36 hours. We weren't worried

We had good information that trouble was brewing, and his house was going to get "hit" that night. And by "hit," I mean TP.

Our misdeeds had caught up with us. Too much terror visited on too many victims. Too many rolls of Charmin. Too many forked lawns. Too many cars wrapped in Saran Wrap. Karma, at times, can be a bitch.

We, of course, weren't going to take it lying down. We weren't the type to be victims. We had a plan. We had a defense perimeter and multiple lines of sight.

Tom wasn't there. He was dating the future Mrs. Tom at the time, and I am convinced they were out committing a myriad of sin.

Dave wasn't there either. I'm pretty sure he was one of the folks gunning for us, so to speak.

The night was warm, and Puente Avenue was quiet. The lights were off in the house below to lure our attackers into the trap. We had provisions. We were prepared for an all night siege.

Midnight, the optimum hour, came and went. Brian and I took turns keeping watch for marauding bands of tissue-bearing Hottentots. We were sentinels on the watch tower. We remained loyal to our vigil into the wee hours.

Then, suddenly, at about 1:30 in the morning, Brian said: "Fuck it, let's go inside."

"Ya." I replied.

And so we climbed down and wandered into the den to watch TV and fall asleep on the various comfy sofas.

The joke, of course, is that the attack never came. Crafty revenge was dished out as our asses went numb, perched on that dirty roof.

The thrill of anticipation was ours, though, as well as the pride of preparation and vigilance.

And in some respects, that thrill is missing today. No one TPs anyone anymore. There is no more good-natured malfeasance. There is no late-night toilet paper-toting trespassing or any other creative delinquency. We are too old. Too responsible. Too dignified.

In those days, friends of ours were as likely to wake with a field of plastic forks blooming in their yard as they were to find their Honda wrapped in plastic.

Hell, one particular friend went camping for a week without telling us. He returned to find his apartment filled with giant geometric polygons made from thousands of drinking straws and generously applied duct tape...

I miss the hunt. I miss the sneak attack. I miss the alarm of seeing a light flick on in the window of the target house...

Sometime after that night, many months later, in fact, Brian's dad mentioned to Brian that he had been up on the roof to effect some minor repair, and he found a carton of a dozen very-rotten eggs. He wondered whether Brian might have known something about that...


  1. And now the house is a freakin jungle. It was purchased by Hispanic tree nursery owners who have the wierdest taste in landscape. Although, now that I think about it...Would make for the perfect TP job. Next time you are down here lets do it!

  2. And all this time I thought you were kind of a geek, you actually toilet papered houses and wrapped cars in saran wrap...I guess that's what too much church does for you.

  3. Dr B, I wouldn't say jungle - it's far too regimented for a jungle - more a kinda of golf course landscaping...

  4. Gary Smith9:45 AM

    You kids were always a problem. We always had to clean up Tom's pee on the floor and the remnants of barf. The kitchen was covered in pizzia dough. We should have never left you alone.

  5. Sasquatch10:33 AM

    Oh, I love the new landscaping. I feel right at home.

  6. Oh, and hey, Happy St. Patty's Day everyone....

  7. yeah, Happy let all Americans pretend they're Irish Day

    Didn't have any celebrations for St David's Day did ya...

  8. It's just our excuse to drink green beer.

    And hell no, no celebration for St. David. We only lie to our children about the good things, easter bunny, santa, tooth fairy, and St. Patrick.....

  9. Actually St Patrick was Welsh....

  10. Jesus1:28 PM

    You lie to them about me too...

  11. Mrs. G&T2:20 PM

    If anyone takes this as a challenge and hits our house... you get clean-up duty all to yourself, dumbass.

  12. Honestly, I think my house got Tp'd as a total random thing. We made it into a huge fight because we liked to kid ourselves into thinking someone gave a crap. We were the only ones out at 3am looking to "hit" our friends. There was no other group, just our teenage imagination...Back when Jesus was our co-pilot.

  13. Lisa--Yes, St. Patrick was Welsh, that's why it's a "lie" to our children just like the easter bunny and Santa (somehow those are good lies!)

    B.S.--So you guys truly were dorks

    Jesus--Yes, many parents lie about you too....but don't let it go to your head

  14. Ahhh.. those were the days...
    I recall the wonders of a little solder...a nine-volt battery, a few capacitors, etc, and lo, a broadcast tv and cable signal disruptor was built out of common household ingredients!

    Hours of fun to be had, taking people's tv's randomly out of tune, etc.

    There's a book to be written here, on all kinds of revenge scenarios.

  15. You Can Guess10:11 PM

    I just liked to slash car tires. On a lucky day, if there was some smelly road kill, I might shove a dead cat in someone’s mail box or slip a dead squirrel through their mail slot.

    But mainly it was slashing tires.

    Oh yeah, if you mix Gravy Train brand dog food with Jell-O and warm water and apply to most cars, on drying it both bonds to the paint AND contracts by about 5%, pulling the paint right off the car in big sheets. But you have to do that trick on a sunny day. So, summer fun when your friends are away for the day, mix up a batch of paint-b-gone and splash it around on the cars in some neighborhood you don’t like. 5 hours later you can almost hear the paint popping off as the mess dries. And add some table salt to the mix for good measure and it will allow the base metal to oxidize just enough to keep any re-painting from binding right.

    Of course it is a lot harder for them to drive the car to the body shop for a new paint job with four slashed tires.

  16. Dudes - Ayumi and totally hit your house and during the light of day while you were passed out by jolt cola!


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