Throw-Back-Monday: Teepeeing Is Not An Amateur’s Game

Have you ever been so clever, so covert in a personal top secret op, that there was no way you would ever get caught? Let me tell you a little story …

Again, I found myself reminiscing about the good old days in the Hoosier state. If I haven’t explained it very well before, I grew up in a small rural villagein Northern Indiana, about 20 minutes from Michigan and not far from South Bend (aka Notre Dame). I say village because we weren’t incorporated and had only the county Sheriff as the means of regulation.

Things to do in a place like New Paris? Grow corn. Admire the Amish. Tip cows. Go to Walmart.Watch the grass grow. Farm things. These hardly create the multi-cultural habitat one yearns for in their angst-ridden adolescent years. While teens in Chicago were visiting dance clubs and concerts in their backyard on a daily basis, in my area those activities were typically relegated to once a month, if you were lucky, and involved driving a great distance to do so.

So what was our escape? Some drove to the nearest town and caught a movie. Some arranged a pick-up football game in their backyard. One of the most popular pastimes? Teepeeing houses (or as they say down South – “rolling”).

I know my friends and I became experts. In fact, if you were worth your weight at all, you developed a flawless technique when tossing the toilet paper into the trees. You could always tell when a less experienced individual had joined your group. The paper would tear easily leaving short streamers, or, God-forbid, they’d actually get an entire roll stuck up in a tree. Wasteful noobs.

These were in and out jobs. You needed to be cunning and quick. If you made the slightest noise, it could be over in a flash. No matter how out of shape you were, if you wanted to teepee, you had to be able to run and run like your life depended on it. Unless you had skills like my friends and I had. Why run if you could execute a flawless mission every time?

One perfect fall evening – Darewood and I were bored. What to do what to do? Who hadn’t been hit in a while? Who wouldn’t suspect us? Who wouldn’t see it coming? Easy call that night – our good buddy Eric. Now Eric is the poster child for “nicest guy in the world.” No really, he should have a medal or a tattoo making that declaration so. And he is extremely photogenic, so having his face on a poster would be really soft on the eyes.

Anyway, we needed to gather supplies. Two of the cheapest people in all of Indiana, and WAY too lazy to make the drive to Walmart, we hunted around the house. What could we use? Darewood had a roll or two from his house and I had one or two from my house. We had to be sparing when using our parents’ supplies or they’d know something was amiss. Then we found a bottle of baby powder. Never used it before, but hey? Why not? And finally a Hawaiian lei. Where it came from, we have no idea. But was it going to be hilarious getting Eric, of all people, “leied”? You bet! Probably because we had such an evolved sense of humor for our age. I thank 90’s Jim Carey films for that.

toilet paper, baby powder, hawaiian lei

Our supplies.

Now Darewood and I had teepeeing down to a science. We knew when the targets and their families would be asleep. We knew what trees would be the easiest to hit. We knew where the loud noises could happen, giving us away. We were stealth and we were ruthless.

So we headed to Eric’s house, parking where we wouldn’t be seen and had at it. Honestly, and I don’t think I’m being bias when I say this, when we teepeed, it was a work of art. We took our time making sure to leave the longest flowing streams of toilet paper imaginable. We artistically left the lei on Eric’s trampoline which had been freshly sprinkled with baby powder, almost like the first flakes of snow in a storm. It was beautiful. We were done. Another home decorated by the professional toilet paper stylings of Darewood and Libby.

teepeed tree

Another masterpiece.

There was one tiny little hiccup – Darewood’s kryptonite? Trampolines. He could never pass up jumping on one. As we were leaving our masterpiece, Darewood bounded across the trampoline. Everything was in slow motion as I cried out “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”.


Darewood’s kryptonite.

All of our effort was for naught ……. but what was this? No one stirred. The lights in the house remained dark. Were we going to be ok? Had we pulled it off? Why yes, we had. Even with Darewood’s weakness wrenching our plans, we did it! Another tour de force by yours truly.

Till we went to school on Monday and Eric called us out. But how could he have known? Ahhhh … Darwewood’s Puma shoes left a print in the baby powder on the trampoline. Are you kidding me? He’d been so proud of those damn shoes – the only one in our school with a pair at the time. The jig was up.

Puma Shoe

Damn Puma shoes.

I still love this moment in history despite the total fail. I learned so much from the experience, namely to NEVER use baby powder when teepeeing and that Puma shoes leave a mark.

Puma logo

Literally the logo was on the bottom of the shoe.

I’ve also realized that even at 34 “leiing” someone is pretty funny. A no-take-back to be sure.

So I ask, have you ever been so clever, so covert in a personal top secret op, that there was no way you would ever get caught … but you did? I would seriously love to know that Darewood and I aren’t the only ones.



One Response to “Throw-Back-Monday: Teepeeing Is Not An Amateur’s Game”

  • Throw-Back-Monday: Hoosiers Know How To Handle Their Toilet Paper | No-Take-Backs

    […] I’ve spoken about teepeeing before (some call it rolling, some spell it TP’ing, but spelling it the way I do makes me laugh). If you don’t know, teepeeing is taking rolls of toilet paper and tossing them into trees. It’s also one of the most prevailing pastimes in the Hoosier State. Now I can’t speak for anyone south of Indy (where you run into city folk or Kentucky), but in Northern Indiana, particularly rural Northern Indiana, once fall hits, yards, trees and bushes are fair game and decorated with glorious streams of Charmin (glorious only if you’re any good at it. Believe me, I’ve teepee’d with many a person who has hideous form). […]

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