arrested for possession of toilet paper - priceless
By Steve Shinney
December 15, 2006 | Stupidity is not a crime, but it
Life is full of trade offs that don't seem worth it
at the time, but as life goes on, we discover that we
made a great deal. Like the time I traded a clean criminal
record for the chance to have my crazy neighbor to hold
me at gunpoint.
Remember how you were stupid in junior high?
I was worse.
Really, nothing was my fault. I was a quasi-innocent,
partially-willing follower. I blame my fat friend and
you should too.
Don't give me that look. It's as simple as this: every
group of guys has a fat kid.
One summer day my chubby buddy decided that he and
his fat friend (he needed one too of course) were going
to go toilet-papering. Because I lacked good judgment,
I decided to go along. Actually, the best people to
go toilet-papering with are fat kids. If the situation
goes sour and you have someone chasing you, you've got
the advantage. Unfortunately we never had the chance
to run, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We planed to all sneak out of our houses at midnight.
I later found out that only I actually had to sneak
out because fat friend one's parents were out of town
and fat friend two's folks just didn't care.
Fat kids are so lucky.
And so, as the appointed hour approached I got dressed
in my night-ops gear and stuffed my pant legs with roles
of toilet paper (on a side note, black sweats really
should have bigger pockets) and headed out boldly into
When most kids go toilet-papering, they have a plan
of some sort. Generally they have a target selected,
they sneak over to the target's house, they toilet paper
the ever-loving crap out of the house, and then they
Those people are smart, as I said earlier, we were
stupid. We proceeded to wander around the neighborhood
for the next hour looking for the "perfect house." I
don't remember what we thought the perfect house would
be: Probably big trees, a picket fence and fresh baked
cookies waiting on the doorstep.
When that failed we spend the next hour looking that
And then we downgraded to "a house where we knew the
people but we hadn't gotten before."
Around 3 in the morning someone said "Screw it, let's
go hit Ryan's."
Ryan was our scapegoat. Just like every group of adolescent
males has a fat kid, there's also a guy who's singled
out, picked on and the butt of every joke.
Wow, maybe guys really are jerks.
We never made it to Ryan's. We were sneaking our way
there when we heard a noise coming from behind us.
"Where do you think you're going?" it demanded.
I didn't panic; we had our story all planned out.
We had prepared for this. We turned around to calmly
explain that we were just heading home from a party.
What we saw was a middle-aged man in his underwear
brandishing a shotgun. I froze mentally and physically.
There is no way to prepare for this kind of thing.
Now a logical person might say, "You should have just
run, there's no way he'd have really shot you." That
may be true but I defy you to think that when the situation
It's hard to have any logical thoughts when you're
dealing with a half-naked man with a gun. The only thing
you can think of is that you're going to die because
you're face to face with the kind of person who when
he hears a noise outside, doesn't just roll over, but
rather decides to investigate in a hurry and decides
that a firearm is more important than pants.
Thankfully, the over-eager vigilante decided to call
the cops rather than teach us a lesson himself. Even
more thankfully, his wife eventually brought him a robe.
Two cops showed up an hour or so later. One took the
fat kids and wrote them up for curfew violations and
made jokes about our capture. The other officer took
me aside and slapped me with a curfew violation and
being in possession of toilet paper after midnight.
So did I make a good trade? I think so. I always have
something to talk about at parties and when you turn
18 they wipe your record clean, even if half the charges
on there are crossed out (it turns out having rolls
of toilet paper stuffed down your pants is still legal
in the State of Idaho).
The only down side is the horrible mental image that's
burned into my brain.
Small potatoes my friends, small potatoes.