Thursday, October 16, 2014

The After School Special

     You remember those "After School Specials" right?  You know - the public service announcements that were geared to positively influence the youth of America.  Don't do drugs, don't drink, don't be a bully, don't take any wooden nickels.  That was the idea, and I saw quite a few of them back in the day.  Well, this post is a PSA for what not to do when performing the popular American pastime of yard rolling.  This story, while heartbreaking, may be helpful to those young people who decide that yard rolling is something that they would like to pursue in their future endeavors.  It's time we addressed this issue, and stopped ignoring the problem.  This "After School Special" is brought to you by the letter "Y," because "Y" would you do something like this in the first place.

     Dateline.  Second Saturday in October.  The man of the house is watching ESPN College Gameday right when Corso is going to put one of the mascot heads on, and make a fool out of himself.  It is a weekly ritual that all College Football fans should know well.  The spectacle is interrupted by a doorbell.  The doorbell has been a nuisance of late, and mostly this is due to the dreaded "ding dong ditch."  The ding dong ditch while important in the annals of youth activities is not the main point of focus in this story.  Another PSA for another time.  The boy was sent to answer the door, because that's normally why the doorbell rings.  They're looking for the boy, not for the man of the house.  Sad but true statement.  Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago when the doorbell rang the excitement level rose, but these days it is more of a nuisance.  The boy opened the door, and said "Dad, you need to come look at this."  Those are words that you never want to hear.

     The walk to the door to check what was undoubtedly quite an area of concern for the boy was a long one.  What could be waiting on the outside of that door?  What caused the young man to react so strongly?  What's for lunch?  Why is this happening to me?  All important questions that needed to be answered.  Upon arrival it became immediately obvious that someone had been busy.  Really busy.  Toilet paper littered the yard, but no one was anywhere to be found.  It was a combination ding dong ditch - toilet paper yard rolling double shot.  The culprit had fled the scene, and left their handiwork behind.  I began to pick up all the toilet paper, and I found a box underneath the tire of my Nissan Xterra parked in the driveway.  The box had a note attached that read, "Sorry for the prank.  Here's some candy."  The box was labeled with the ever familiar "Sour Patch Kids" logo.  I am a fan of the "Sour Patch Kids" candy, but the prankster did not leave candy.  The box contained rocks.  How thoughtful.  My son and I continued to rid the yard of its toilet papered state.

      As we were wrapping up our cleaning process I noticed a very familiar item laying in the driveway.  Steve Jobs greatest creation.  Normally stray iPhones don't just pop up in one's driveway, but on this day it happened.  Could it be that the culprit had left the iPhone?  I thought it was a very likely scenario.  Just as I picked up the device it began to ring.  Here we go.  I immediately said, "Hello."  No answer.  Click.  Hung up.  A few minutes later the phone rang once more.  I answered again, but this time a response was heard.  "I told her not to do it.  She was the one that rolled your yard."  Undoubtedly, it is en vogue to not only roll yards, but to perform the prank on boys that you like.  Back in the day a good old, "Check Yes or No" would do fine, but things are much different these days.  They knew that the gig was up, and that they were caught.  I agreed to give back the iPhone if the perpetrators returned to clean my yard of the toiletry debris.  They agreed.  As if they had a choice.  I had them right where I wanted them.

     The prankster paraphernalia was stacked up waiting when the young ladies walked up to the driveway.  A look of embarrassment combined with shame covered their faces.  The words "We're so sorry" kept falling from their lips, but their eyes told a different story.  The retrieval of the phone was the goal here, and I knew that.  I gave them a brief sermon on why they shouldn't do this sort of thing, but it probably went in one ear and out the other.  Finally, I extended my hand with the phone and said, "Do me a favor, the next time you go and roll somebody's yard - Don't leave your phone in the driveway."

     The moral of our story is simple.  Outside of the obvious, not leaving phones at the scene of a crime, one should never wear white after labor day.  Sorry, wrong moral.  I'm sure you could pick plenty of lessons from this story.  Don't roll yards, but if you do use good toilet paper, because bad/cheap toilet paper can be a handle to clean up.  Don't let your blonde hair-blue eyed son out in the daylight, because little girls are bound to come around.  Don't watch Lee Corso put on the stupid mascot head on a College Football Saturday.  I could go on and on, but I'll Just Say No!  That's all I got.

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