This is how I roll


Well, ye mateys, they be plotting against me.

You saw what they did to my room, and now they say they’re bringing more.

It’s almost Halloween. I kind of expect that sort of thing this time of year.

All of those young whipper snappers are plotting, thinking they’re going to “go rolling,” saying they’re going to “get the old teacher.” I guess that would be “me”—”I” if I’m acting in the capacity of English/journalism teacher and I’m feeling like using proper grammar.

Young people, I don’t want to disappoint you, but you won’t get much fight out of me these days. I’ve already been there, done that. There is nothing I haven’t seen. Nothing I haven’t done.

Back in the day, I used to be the Chuck Norris of pranksters.

Back in the day.

I remember a time, back in the day, when Kenny and I were young, foolish, and pre-children. That was pre-Weight Watchers and pre-blood pressure medication too, but that’s another story.

I digress.

We were coming home around twilight one evening and saw a little gold car, orbiting our neighborhood. We knew what was happening. Yard rollers were plotting, so we sought revenge.

Being young, foolish and agile, Kenny pulled on his black hoodie and his black graduation robe from college, and he climbed onto the roof of our house, armed with the water hose.

I had to plan my strategy.

Our school had just had its Homecoming festivities the previous week, and I had decorated my room with two “dummies” that looked like little hippies for our sixties theme. Oh, I spent so much time, creating their funny paper mache heads and stuffing newspaper in their psychodelic clothes.

The little dummies were adorable. I couldn’t throw them away, so I took them home and set them on straw bales in my front yard.

I donned my black hoodie, my graduation robe and a mask. I sat in between the dummies on the bales of straw.

Waiting. Watching.

Three little dummies.

Then they pulled up. Two guys. Two girls. Giggling.

The boys went to work immediately, tossing their rolls high in the trees, but the girls tied dainty toilet paper bows around the tree trunks.


We waited. They moved closer, closer, and closer still to our house. Then it happened.


Eric’s roll of paper lodge between the branches, and he had to climb the tree to retrieve it.

Kenny aimed the hose and delicately sprayed droplets in his direction.

“Hey, Keith, was it sposed to rain tonight?”

Eric swatted his head, waiting for Keith’s reply.

“No, man.”

“Well, I feel rain. It’s getting harder. You mean you don’t feel that?”

“No, man. It ain’t raining over here. You must be seeing things or feeling things.”

The girls continued tying their bows and gossiping by the trees, but Keith edged closer to me. I growled, low, like a dog, and then I growled again.

“Hey, Eric, (Southern pronunciation—Urk)  did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

 “That dog. I think there’s a dog.”

(We’re from the South, so dog is pronounced dawwwg around here, just like Eric is pronounced Urk. I know you’re painting a pretty good visual image here. I want you to hear it too.)

“No, man. I don’t reckon there’s a dawg around here.”

“Well, I hear a dawg.”

Eric removed himself from the tree and resumed his tossing of the rolls.

Keith edged closer. I growled a little louder. He moved closer. I almost barked.

I don’t know how Kenny and I managed to time it so perfectly, but in unison, he lept from the house, his black robe flying in the breeze, and I sprung up from the bale of straw, leaving the other two dummies behind.

We chased those pesky kids down the road, listening to them scream like banshees all the way. It would have been even funnier if they hadn’t almost run us down as they gassed their get-away car.

But we were young, foolish, and agile. We did a pretty good job of dodging them.

Ah, youth.

All right, you plotting whipper snappers. Don’t expect either of us to jump from the roof tops or to chase you down the road. We’re too old for that nonsense. Bones break. Our bodies are slow.

And if you choose to do something such as throw eggs or damage property, you will hurt my feelings. Seriously.

Truthfully, guys, don’t do that to ANYONE. It’s not funny. It’s hurtful. It’s just plain mean.

Rolling yards?

Yeah, okay. I can live with that–if you can live with the consequences.

In the words of the great poet philosopher Toby Keith, “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.”

Think ninja. You won’t see me, but you’ll regret that I was there.

Hope you have a happy and SAFE October.

 Come back tomorrow for the next installment of my Halloween “Horror” Stories,  The Ballad of Darryl T.

89 thoughts on “This is how I roll

  1. I think I’ll just sit in the yard in my lawn chair and wave a white flag. They need to find some younger, quicker targets. We aren’t a challenge anymore.

  2. Kyle’s friends once rolled our house. I was still up, watching TV the whole time they did it. If I remember correctly, I think our neighbor scared them pretty bad when he came outside with his gun.

  3. Firearms and ammunition are convincing deterrents.

    I always warn my students that should they trespass they may face both, especially if they don’t know the person whose property they are on.

  4. You think it’s your yard I am getting? You just wait. I am beyond that. I have moved up the mischief ladder. Baha. I find this story to be hilarious though. Quite funny actually. 🙂

  5. I once got toilet papered so bad. There was parts that got all dried and crusty and it was like concrete stuck to me. I finally had to shower really good to get it all off. It was almost as bad as when I got egged. So you’re right, please be nice to people. Especially on Halloween! It is a holiday of gift giving and seasonal joy–not taping people to posts (which also was a bummer) or crank calling someone and pretending to be Blockbuster asking about their overdue copy of “Baby’s Day Out”. Celebrate Halloween, the birthday of Satan, with candy. Not crime.

    • It’s my policy to stay away from trajectories for fear of shooting myself, but I’m sure the element of surprise did the trick with your hoodlums. 🙂 Be safe. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  6. LOL! That was great!!

    And I completely agree with you. While rolling yards is fun (well, not if it does, in fact, rain and you have yet to clean up the paper), egg throwing and being destructive is not cool. I’ve had serious converstions with my teen girls on the subject. We’ve all been in high school and played pranks, but there’s a line and it ought not to be crossed.

    • Good for you! I always worry about my kids (my students) who play random pranks on people. I’m afraid they’ll go to the wrong house and find themselves face to face with a shotgun. Seriously. It could happen.

      Thanks so much for visiting my blog. 🙂

  7. Yes. Yard rolling is pretty much harmless. I’ve tossed a few rolls myself. But there is a line. I worry about the older people in our community who can’t clean up their yards. What would be really cool is to see some random acts of kindness. I’m all about that!

    • Then if the professor stops to clean it up before going to class, you only have to wait…..What’s the rule? If a professor is 15 minutes late to class, the students can leave? Have a great October!

  8. Dear Serendipitee, I noted with interest that you state that there is nothing that you haven’t seen. Have you seen The Krankies? They’re a double act from Scotland, where a man and a young boy, Jimmy (played by a woman, who bizarrely happens to be the man’s wife in real life) do jokes and stuff. The premise is that the boy is a cheeky scamp and the man is someone he knows or something. It really is odd but in an interesting and perverse way. You’d love them. Please let me know.

  9. “Yard Rollers”??? Never heard that term before! LOL!!

    This was HILARIOUS! Usually when someone like that “papers” your property, it turns out they really like you deep down. Don’t take it personally.

    • Thank you. I don’t mind TPing. I suppose you can paper with love. There’s just no love in egging and destroying property. Thanks for being so kind to read my blog.

  10. That’s too funny!! Growing up in PA, we never egged or damaged property – we just threw corn kernels on the sides of people’s houses and gave them a quick scare!

  11. Great story, here in Germany people don’t really celebrate Halloween. Halloween is slowly showing up here but not so much. Now in February Germany have something close to Halloween with parades, costumes, festival, and so on but still no candy or do to door. More of a day to dress up and party…pretty much like many German Holiday/festivals:)

  12. Ahhh, many uneventful Halloweens for us… but one I’ll never forget..getting a great new navy blue maxi coat.. (remember those?) and getting egged on my way to a dance. I’ve hated Halloween ever since.

    • People can be cruel in their actions and in their words. I prefer to lift people’s spirits with a smile or joke. Maybe every time you feel that twinge of hurt from your bad Halloween experience, you can turn it around and do something kind for someone else. 🙂

  13. Great story! Love the way you tell it and I love your idea of doing Random Acts of Kindness instead of Random Acts of Vandalism. Wouldn’t that be great if it caught on like wildfire with teens? Imagine…secret ninjas hiding in the dark corners, plotting to rake a yard here, dropping an inspiring message over there and covertly placing decorated pumpkins everywhere. Ahhh…to be scared out of my wits with kindness. Now that’s something I haven’t seen yet.

    • I just might have to suggest that to my youth group at church. 🙂 My newspaper staff tried an unusual tactic this summer. They wrote kind notes on Post-It notes and gave them to people anonymously–even their parents! Imagine that! 🙂

      Thank you for your kindness and for reading my blog.

  14. lol. Reminds me of the time my art teacher tp’d our yard. Right after school. In broad daylight. And I helped. Just to watch my sister (who he was heaping his revenge on) have to clean it all up! 🙂 Ah, the good ol days. Ever been cow tipping?

    • Such a fine line between bravery and tomfoolery. 🙂 One brings a smile, the other brings a fine or a trip to the “big house.” Have a SAFE October. Thank you for taking time to read my blog. 🙂

  15. Ha ha Ha laughing out loud, seriously. At one point I was stuck laughing at Kenny putting on the black clothes, going on top of the roof with a hose.I had to stop reading for a moment,just to get my full laugh in. That is brilliant. Lol and then the “rain” and “barking”. I still have a smile on my face from laughing.

  16. I LOVE your stories!! You have so many good ones!

    Our yard had never been rolled… until a couple of years ago… I had always thought that our yard with the Halloween decorations was too pretty to get rolled. I guess I made the “We’ve never been rolled” statement to the wrong person that year. Yes, Our yard got rolled, but luckily it was the side yard… the side without the decorations. -sigh of relief- I was okay… it wasn’t the end of the world.

    The time we had a prop stolen out of our yard was much worse.

  17. I wish it was like that where i live, not that I think it is cool to vandalize houses. There are just no troublemakers to scare here, therefore its hardly any fun when halloween comes around. I’ve “retired” from trick-or-treating haha and without anyone to scare it’s no fun. Sure, I can scare away little kids but then that will only make them cry and make me feel like a jerk. Still, I will look out for troublemakers this year. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • For a while there, my husband launched into battle mode, planning his attack weeks in advance. It was a little outrageous. If I didn’t stop him, he would probably would have “gone looking for trouble.” I think that kind of “looking for trouble” carries a jail sentence. 🙂 Better not to look for battles. Here’s hoping that a few will come to you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  18. I’m so glad this got Freshly Pressed because I don’t know if I would have found this blog any other way. I subscribed not only because this blog post is amusing and funny and has a good point, but because the other posts I’ve read so far are also amusing and funny and usually have a good point or moral to them. Love it!

  19. Thanks Tee and the rest of Canada/US for that matter for giving us Brits ‘trick or treat’ (and prom night!) we never had it in my day, that’s scary, I’m begining to sound like my dad!

    I don’t get in from work until about 7pm so my wife deals with most of it. Our kids do pumpkins so we get more trick or treaters than most. It’s all good fun but we did get our windows egged one year, not had the toilet roll thing yet though…not yet! Roll on bonfire night, that’s what I say, no pun intended.

    Into serendipity by the way.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Andy. I enjoyed your comments. Serendipity is wonderful, isn’t it! Enjoy your October. The beauty this time of year is just wonderful.

  20. The more I think about it, the more you have me considering similar antics. However, I’m roughly your age and heal slower now than I used to, so I think I’ll stay off the roof.

    But I do have a 4′ section of fence next to the front porch…and a hose.

    And I occasionally have Jack-O-Lantern thieves. 😉

    • Ah, the plotting begins. I like that. Have a wonderful October. You might consider planting a motion-sensor recording device inside the pumpkin and “speaking” to would-be thieves as they approach. Plotting is half the fun! Be safe!

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