The Chronicles of My Mischief
Making mischief can be harmless like loosening the caps on salt and pepper shakers, or strategically placing a whoopee cushion at a family gathering, or hiding your sister’s favorite doll. (I’ve done all of these things.) They can also be less harmless like tying cats’ tails together and throwing them over a clothesline or filling a bag with animal or human feces, lighting it on fire and throwing it on someone’s porch. (I haven’t done these things but I have watched someone try to stomp out the fire – it was very entertaining.) Boys make mischief – that’s what they do. Here are 10 examples of my mischief making listed in chronological order with corresponding consequences. And yes, there are always consequences.
I was 11 years old and spending a week at summer church camp in Siloam Springs, AR. After the 10 o’clock curfew, some of the boys and I would sneak out of our dorm. The other boys always wanted to “ring the bells” and run back to the dorm, but I headed straight for the girls’ dorm to look in the windows and check out the ladies pjs. Consequences: If caught, you would be sent home from camp which meant a 5 hour round trip for your parents which would most certainly end up in further consequences. I never got caught so I continued this mischief making for 3 more years – at which time I lost interest in the ladies pjs and became more interested in what was under the pjs.
When I was 13, I expanded the “egging people’s houses and/or cars” making mischief by throwing very ripe peeled bananas on cars. It was very messy and stinky. Consequences: I believe the consequences for this behavior at age 13 would have been community service. Again, I never got caught, so engaged in this activity a dozen times during the next year. Unintended consequences: I don’t really like bananas.
Now I’m 14, it’s summertime and I’m looking for fun. Tipping over cows has become boring so my friends and I decide to streak. We run totally naked through neighborhoods until we are 2 miles from home. When I see police (happened twice), I hide in the bushes. Consequences: Friends who were caught were sent to juvenile detention. I did not get caught. Unintended consequences: Tiny scars on my ass from jumping in bushes.
I enjoy trout fishing and the summer of my 15th year, I spent a lot of time in Heber Springs, AR. In the wee hours of the morning when the fish weren‘t biting, a group of us would head to Rainbow Landing where about 20 fishing boats were anchored on the Little Red River. We would switch all of the fishing poles, tackle boxes, and other gear around in different boats. Consequences: I did this many times and never got caught. I have no idea what the consequences would have been. Unintended consequences: Fishermen do not leave their gear unlocked in their boats when docked at the pier.
When I was 16, my friends and I broke into our rival school before the big football homecoming game. We toilet papered and spray painted graffiti on everything we could find. While I am in the school, my girlfriend decides to take my car for a spin around the parking lot (I’ve covered the license plate – I’m not a complete idiot) and she gets stopped by the police. She gives up my name of course. Consequences: I get a ticket which somehow I beat and I have to write a letter of apology to the rival school. It could have been a lot worse.
When I was 18 I created quite a stir at my high school by wearing pink leopard skin pants to school. Consequences: Over half of my 900 friends on facebook are from my high school era and every single one of them has confirmed me as a friend by asking if I still have those pink leopard pants. It was worth the embarrassment and humiliation to become legendary.
When I graduated from high school, we planned a party at Heber Springs. I was working at Red Lobster so they donated 4 bottles of tequila, 2 bottles of vodka, 1 bottle of Crown Royal, and a case of filet mignon. (It wasn’t so much a donation as it was an “unauthorized contribution.” -Okay, so I stole the stuff.) It was a great party until Ranger Rick showed up. We were all under age but since he was a nice guy, he only made us pour out all of the liquor instead of arresting us. Consequences: Because I am a lightweight (literally 2 beers and I lose all inhibition and some say all common sense), I was still able to get drunk on graduation night. Red Lobster never found out about the misappropriation but it would most definitely have resulted in termination.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in the Navy now. I’m 21 and traveling all over the world. We dock at Iskenderun, Turkey, a naval training base and my buddies and I head into the city to see the sights. Iskenderun was originally Alexandria named after Alexander the Great. In the center of town, there was a beautiful fountain with his statue. We had nothing against Alexander the Great personally, but we decided to pee on his statue (FYI: I had already had 2 beers–see above paragraph). Consequences: When the authorities showed up, we ran like hell. I did not get caught but one of my friends was arrested. I have not looked for him on face book because for all I know, he could still be rotting away in a Turkish prison. And if he isn’t, I’m sure he is angry that he was the one who got caught. And since he didn’t know me in high school, he would not be impressed by the pink leopard pants incident. There is just no good reason to reconnect with this guy.
When I was 25, I drove 2 of my friends to Tunica, MS to the casinos. The only car that was available to us was our neighbor’s car which was currently outfitted with a DWI device. This meant that you had to blow/hum into an instrument connected to the engine to get the car started. (You also had to blow/hum in it every 20 minutes or so to keep the engine running.) I offered to drive down since we weren’t drinking but one of them would have to drive back. Apparently they never agreed which one of them would drive home because when it was time to leave, they were both drunk, and so was I. We had to ask people who were going into the casino to blow/hum in the device. (For future reference, always ask people going INTO the casino to help you. When people first get there, they are optimistic and in a good mood. They will do anything you ask them to do. When they are coming OUT of the casino after losing all their money, they will not help you. They will spit on you and pour beer on you and swear at you and push you down and try to rip the DWI device off the steering wheel. Not to mention, that people coming OUT of the casinos are drunk and will not be able to get the car started.) It was a learning process for us but after asking 10 or so people to blow/hum in the device, one old lady finally got it started. Then we were off to the races because in 20 minutes, someone would have to blow/hum again. We stopped at a dozen gas stations to get help and it is still amazing to me that people would actually blow/hum to help drunk people get their DWI car running again. Consequences: If caught, you would get a DWI in a DWI car and probably end up rotting away in an Arkansas jail with no hope of having 900 friends on Facebook.
After I turned 30, opportunities for making mischief did not come along that often and the consequences became more serious. At 31, I was working in a restaurant called Chit’s in Little Rock, AR. One particularly busy night when I had 18 tables, I went to take the order at patio table #3. It was a middle aged couple and the lady asked for raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Feeling mischievous and/or stressed, I replied that we didn’t have raspberry vinaigrette dressing, but that Olive Garden did and I wish I was there right now. That’s when I found out that the man at the table was the owner of Chit’s, and he didn’t have a sense of humor. Consequences: Even though I was one of the best servers in the restaurant, I was fired the next morning.
One of the problems with making mischief is that some people can’t stop breaking rules and breaking laws and they end up making license plates in Leavenworth. Thankfully, that did not happen to me. After reading other making mischief blogs from this month, I admire a painstakingly planned and well executed mischief episode. But I also know that’s not me. I’m more the spur of the moment, follow the leader kind of mischief maker. Since I don’t want to become boring or uninteresting, I’m thinking about making a little mischief again. Loosening the caps on salt and pepper shakers seems kind of mean – especially in this economy when people don’t get to eat out that often. My wife farts when she sneezes and she sneezes a lot so a whoopee cushion seems redundant. Maybe I’ll hide my wife’s phone but I would have to turn it off first or she would just find it when someone calls. Maybe I’ll build a helium filled aircraft and put a little kid in it and send it up over Colorado. Seems like making mischief might be more trouble than it’s worth (or am I just getting old?).