Monday, May 11, 2009

Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight

Walking through the kitchen near midnight en route to bed not too long ago, I was startled by a series of high-pitched cackles and screams coming from outside. It sounded as though a band of child gypsies was setting up camp in our front yard. But when I made it to the window, there was no one in sight.

I continued up to our room where Dave stood smirking, “I caught a bunch of boys trying to T.P. our house, but I think I scared them away,” he said proudly.

[For those of you not living in the Midwest, “T.P.” stands for toilet paper. When used as a verb, it means “to decorate a house belonging to someone of the opposite sex with toilet paper.” Midwestern vandalism, essentially.]

But the boys were not about to retreat. And they were not about to keep quiet, either. Soon we heard outbursts of laughter followed by shushes and hushes, the kind of ninja-like approach that only a six-pack of preteen boys could master. I stealthily opened the door from our 2nd-story bedroom outside to our little deck upstairs, sending a crew of young vandals heading past our neighbor’s backyard and one stray running, toilet paper in hand, through our neighbor’s front yard.

While Dave hustled downstairs, wearing nothing but boxers and a farmer’s tan with our ferocious labradoodle for back-up, I decided to enlist the most frightening force of all, our sixth grade girl.

I snuck out the front door with Ellie while Dave headed out the back. (Dave and I have watched enough “24” and were familiar enough with the schematics to execute a CTU-like operation.)

Ellie and I tiptoed around to find the garage door, front window and stone had been covered with about 500 neon post-it notes; there was shaving cream on the driveway and TP in the shrubs. Unfortunately though, all of this d├ęcor was on our next-door-neighbor’s house, not ours.

“You idiots!” Ellie cried out in the night, “You got the wrong house!”

The boys screamed from behind the bushes and scattered.

As Ellie chased one up the street, I briefly reminisced about my short stint driving the getaway car for the Platt twins when they tried to hit a teacher’s house in high school. But a conversation in our backyard between the remaining felons and Dave, whom they believed to be Ellie’s next-door-neighbor, quickly caught my attention.

“Give it up, guys, you’re too loud!” Dave called into the dark from the back porch, obedient dog by his side.

“But, but, sir!” one brave hoodlum pleaded, pointing to his buddy, “This guy’s girlfriend is in that house!”

At this point, Dave realized these boys did not know he was “this guys’ girlfriend”’s dad. He looked down at our killer labradoodle and commanded, “Sic ‘em!”

Fortunately for the boys the dog had no clue what that meant, giving them enough time to run to their getaway car before getting caught in the treacherous jaws of our slow-to-learn guard dog. (“No Child Left Behind” does not apply in obedience school.) But Ellie had beaten them to the car followed by her mother who came bearing bad news.

“Sorry, guys, you got the wrong house,” I said, “Next time try being a little quieter.”

“Yeah, and check the address too,” Ellie huffed in her purple satin American Girl PJ’s and bare feet, fully capable of handling the situation herself. “You guys sucked!”

Turns out she didn’t need the guard dog after all.


Moi said...


Sassy Britches said...

Ooooo, it's even BETTER when the intended victim can trash-talk them! Love it!

kim said...

Are there really people out there who don't know what TP'ing is? Crazyness. You did a wonderful job explaining it clearly.

Anonymous said...

hahaha... this was so cute. Sounds like you won't ever need to worry about your little girl!

Chris said...

Great stuff, Jules. I gotta make this blog a regular stop.


LegalMist said...

A message for your daughter: You go, girl!

Amy Dercher Doble said...

Who hasn't gone TP-ing with the Platt twins?