As I made my morning sojourn up to the local deli for 24 ounces of coffee, I couldn’t help but notice the strands of toilet paper hanging from the trees, the bushes, the fences.
Last night was “Mischief Night” — or, Halloween Eve, if you will — and in the never-ending tradition picked up youngsters in the neighborhood that meant toilet paper, shaving cream and whatever else they could come up littering our little corner of the world.
When I saw one long stretch of toilet paper laying against a fence I smiled.
This was funny to them? One long string of one-play toilet paper strewn along a fence.
I felt my mine racing back in time, unable to stop it … away it went … 5 years back, 10 years back, 20 years back … all the way to the Spring of 1983.
The greatest toilet paper prank ever.
And it was nothing but a case of pure revenge.
One of my good friends, Scott, had gotten me good the night before.
I had spent the previous evening with my First Love and as part of our night out we found ourselves parked in our usual secret location that all 16 and 17 year old kids find in order to cherish alone time in a world of parents who try to slow down the growing-up process.
This spot was tucked away enough from the world that privacy was ensured, but also unique enough that I had to share it with friends just for the laugh factor. (It was behind a church in Hampden, Maine).
That mistake is on me.
With my friends knowing the place we would be, they decided it would be funny to play a joke on me and my First Love … placing large logs underneath my rear tires so when it was time to leave we weren’t going anywhere.
Looking back on it, it was a semi-good one.
Imagine two amorous teenagers already pushing curfew when suddenly their car isn’t going anywhere.
It’s time to panic.
We figured out the joke soon enough and right away I knew the culprits.
Revenge would be mine.
The funny part was turning one of the jokesters into a double agent.
It didn’t take long for that happen. He was always up for a good joke and could play anybody against somebody else if meant he got what he wanted.
So we hatched our own plan.
We would go and buy rolls of toilet paper and proceed to drive to Veazie in the wee hours of the morning, and wrap our protagonist’s car up from front bumper to rear bumper.
And that’s what we did.
I wish I could remember how many rolls it took. I wish I could remember how long it took.
What I do remember is what the car looked when we were done.
White, from end to end.
Well a pretty good practical joke took on a vastly different life the next morning when we saw the car’s owner at school.
The one thing we didn’t account for — the one thing that really drove in the knife and twisted — was the morning dew.
It had settled over Maine during those overnight hours and when the sun came up the next morning, he walked out to his car and discovered it was not just wrapped in toilet paper … but it was covered in wet toilet paper.
Now anybody who handled toilet paper in the past — and let’s face it that better be all of us — knows that the light airy toilet paper of the dry world is vastly different when its wet … and clumpy … and falls apart.
Poor Scott …. (That was the jokester).
Instead of just pulling the toilet paper of his car in a matter of seconds and laughing off the revenge factor, it took him more than hour.
Every time he reached out to grab the toilet paper, it did what wet toilet paper does and fell apart at his touch.
It might have been Spring, but that’s a trick and a treat all wrapped up in one.