Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Run in with the Law

It occurred to me that there are a great wealth of stories that happened before the inception of this blog.  It is a great tragedy to not share some of these stories.  I decided I should share the story of the time that I was picked up by the cops.  It's a good story.

I don't remember how old I was.  But I do remember it was my birthday.  I was turning either 14 or 15.  I had an overnight party.  We decided it was imperative that we toilet paper a house.

You have to understand that there was a period in my youth where toilet papering was the thing we did.  There's something magical about the long streams of toilet paper attached to the top of the tree and flowing in the wind all the way down.

Anyway, there were two girls in our neighborhood that lived across the street from each other.  They were fun and cute so they were natural targets for these sorts of things.

We did one house and then debated whether to do the second across the street.  We were having so much fun we decided to keep going.  About 20 minutes later we were putting the finishing touches on the second house.  I always liked to put the empty rolls on the antenna of the cars.  I was placing them on a car that was parked on the street when I saw headlights approaching.

Of course, the car I was working on was parked on the street and there wasn't time to run far, so I just dove behind the car in hopes that the oncoming car would just drive by.  Unfortunately, it didn't drive by.  More unfortunately, it was a cop.
This is not the cop that was there that night.  But the cop did point kind of like this cop.
The officer stopped and got out of his car.  He said in his most authoritative tone, "I know you're behind the car.  Just stand up and show yourself."  Naturally, I obeyed.  He told all of his to reveal ourselves.  Everyone came out from behind bushes and cars, except for my friend Mike.  He started running away as fast as he could.

The officer yelled, "Come back right now."  At this point I wasn't sure what would happen.  Would he tase my friend?  Would he pull out his gun?  I figured if my friend got shot that might ruin my birthday.  Luckily, my friend responded to the cop's command and returned to the group.  (I still wonder what the cop would have done if he didn't obey.)

The cop took down all of our names.  He asked us who was the ring leader of the group.  Everyone pointed to me.  He called my mom and asked if she knew where I was.  "Yes, he's out toilet papering a house."  (I always told my mom where I was going.  I had a bad experience once when I snuck out.  Maybe I'll write about that later.)  The cop asked how many houses we were doing.  "They were doing 1 and possibly a second."  The cop told her he believed we had done 3.

He told us that we weren't in big trouble.  He said he did the same thing when he was our age, but he said we had to clean up all 3 houses.  We were confused, we had clearly only done two.  But we commenced to clean up the two that we had done.  Of course, this was a great tragedy to me.  I felt that toilet papering was an art form.  (Maybe I'll write later about the time I toilet papered my own house just because we had such excellent trees.)  I didn't mind being the one to clean it up.  I just wanted our recipients to see it first.  I tried to bargain with the cop that I would come back at 10 AM and clean it up but he would have none of it.

Since we had already been caught, I think that our commitment to being stealthy was over.  As such, as we were cleaning it up, the mom woke up and came outside to see what was happening.  My friend Cyle was standing right next to the front door when she came out.  When he saw her he just said, "It wasn't me, it was Jeff Stockett."  I have such courageous friends.

After cleaning up the two houses we were told we needed to clean up the third house.  We tried to explain that we had only done 2 houses, but again, he would have none of it.  He marched us to the 3rd house about 3 blocks away.  He drove his car as we walked along side it.

When we got there we were amazed.  Remember I told you that it was an art form?  Well, we had come to clean up the work of Rembrandt.  Every stream went to the very top of the 40 foot tree.  The flowing toilet paper was truly beautiful.  We were honored that the cop considered our skill to be on par with these masters.  We tried to explain that, as honored as we were, it wasn't us.  He didn't care, he just wanted it cleaned up.

So there I was 30 feet in the air, pulling toilet paper out of a tree at 3 AM.  I think that's when I decided that my toilet papering career was over.  You should also know, that was the only time I was on the wrong side of the law (other than speeding tickets, those don't count.)


  1. I would say that it would be way funny if you got caught doing your own house sometime. I am also impressed that the cop didn't make you pay for the amount of time that he sat there and watched you guys clean it up. Maybe one day I can tell you the story about me and the law.

  2. Cameron, I would very much like to hear that story.

  3. First of all, speeding tickets totally count. Haha ;)

    Also, you can't tell us there's another toilet papering story and not explain!

  4. Oops, I didn't mean another tp experience...I meant another sneaking out experience.

    I snuck out once! Aren't I so bad? Haha. But it wasn't from my own house. It was at a friend's house during a sleepover (and we all snuck out but ended up getting caught.)

  5. I thought for sure you were going to tell your being caught by the cops in the church parking lot story :)

  6. Kayli,

    You'll just have to watch my blog to see if I share the story of my bad experience. Or you could ask me sometime and I'll tell you.

    That's a good story too. But I clearly said that speeding tickets don't count. :) Maybe I'll have to write about that one sometime anyway.

  7. Haha I remember hearing about this. Was your friend Mike my cousin Mike Woolf?

  8. Jacqueline, yes that is correct. That was Mike Woolf.

  9. I still have never been toilet papering in my life. Maybe we should sneak out one night after Robyn is asleep and dominate your parent's house. I feel good about old stories coming to light in your blog.

  10. Jared, I haven't been toilet papering in 15 years or so. But that would be pretty funny to go get my parent's house.

    I'm glad you like the idea of old stories. I was in the mood to write but didn't have any good current stories. Out of that desperation came true genius. So I think I might write about some more oldies but goodies in the future.

  11. I loved toilet papering back in the day! I remember many a sleepover where tping was involved. A van full of young girls on their way to tp a boy's house can get pretty crazy. (cause like you said, you always tp someone you have a crush on.)

    Funny how the cop was successful in getting you to stop doing that ever again. If a cop pointed his finger at me like that I'd stop too.

    Ps- I'm leaving you a comment as I ride home from work. Isn't that awesome??

  12. Heather, that is so awesome. I hope to have many comments in the future on your ride home.

  13. Well, I have never gone either and I feel really good about you not TPing anymore.

  14. I love reading your blog! It is tough to keep masterpeices like this one secret when you bust out laughing at work...everyone seems to wonder what is going on and wants to read it too!

  15. I'm guessing you found me through Joe. Your blog is hilarious, consider yourself followed.

  16. Robyn, the likelihood of me doing anymore TPing ever again is slim. But I can't make any promises. :)

    Joe, I'm glad you like it. I hope your coworkers do too. :)

    Quinn, I think you're right. I found you through Joe's blog. (Not the Joe above) Anyway, I'm glad you like mine, I like yours too. I even shared the Multiply and replenish the earth post on facebook. I'm still laughing about it.

  17. You know how the cop said he used to TP? Well... maybe the third house was the result of his lifetime spent perfecting the art.

    And I'm sure he had waited until the second night so the people living in the house could see it ; )

  18. April, you're brilliant! I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

  19. ...Or maybe the house that was tp'd was his house and he didn't want to have to clean it up when he got off work. I would be fine with you tp-ing my house as long as you are willing to help clean it up:) It truly is beautiful to see all those long flowing streams of paper.


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