Monday, October 10, 2005

Tales of Halloween Mischief: Part One

As I sit here dreaming of Bob’s pumpkin rolls (keep your mind out of the gutter), I am taken back to Friday night when Bratch and I thought we had stumbled upon another robbery in our community. It was a false alarm, thankfully, but we hung out and chatted with the officer that arrived on the scene for a few minutes. He was telling about some of the calls the law had been on that night. He said one involved kids throwing things off the overpass onto the Natcher Parkway. It was all I could do to keep from regaling the officer with my own tales of October/Halloween mischief.

It began many years ago and started at an age when I indeed did know better, but I just didn’t care. I must remind the readers that these acts I will describe may or may not be fictitious, at least until I find out the statute of limitations on petty theft and vandalism. I am going to lay my soul bare and let you in on many injustices committed by myself and others. I believe I will turn this into a special Halloween series here on IA, ending with the greatest night of Halloween mischief on record for this small town.

First I will start off where I began my life of Halloween vandalism. One thing I found to be true right off the bat, if you vandalize a week or two before Halloween, the law isn’t on the look out so much. I was with two friends from college in Beaver Dam one night and we decided that even though it was a week before Halloween, we would start the vandalism early.

At this point in my life, I had never been on the “Halloween vandalism run,” so I was a rookie and because my partners were less than 5 foot 5 (no guessing as to the identities of my partners, please); I decided I would be the driver that night. I drove up to a house in downtown Beaver Dam and let my co-vandalizers out and they approached this home’s collection of Halloween decorations. These decorations were as a whole pretty crappy and consisted of jack-o-lantern bags of leaves and those corn stalks that are tied together and set upright (though for what reason these are considered Halloween decorations, I do not know). As for the bags of leaves, if I was a home owner, I would want kids to steal my bags of leaves, what do I need with them, but I digress.

One of my short compadres went straight for the bags of leaves and grabbed up about four and raced to the bed of my truck and tossed them in. My other friend grabbed the corn stalk decoration in a bear hug and turned to run for the truck. As he did this in one quick motion, I guess he didn’t realize that the corn was a lot heavier than it probably should have been. It is then that I realized a second truth in Halloween vandalism…booby traps.

Apparently the owners of this residence were more than willing to give up their jack o lantern bags of grass, but when it came to the cornstalk feature, they were not going to give in without a fight.

Now, none of us really knew what was used to tie the concrete cinder block to the bottom of the cornstalks and we really didn’t care, but there was indeed a concrete cinder block in the bottom of the corn stalk decoration of death. My friend realized this was the case when in the aggressive jerk and run technique he used to procure the corn, he caused the cinder block to slam into his shin (or shins, not sure) causing him to scream out in pain. He then let the expletives fly.

It was at this point that my other friend and I were ready to get the heck out of there, but the injured friend decided it was now a matter of pride that he gets the cornstalks into the truck. He finally destroyed the creation and dragged bits and pieces of it and threw it into the bed of the truck looking to be in extreme pain, if not a little proud and we were off.

We raced out of town, as if the bags of leaves and cornstalk thievery would be turned into roadblocks and all points bulletins. We went to my grandmother’s house and stashed our booty in an old chicken house and went back into town satisfied we had done a good Halloween deed.

The next night we retrieved the ill gotten leaves and went to the closest overpass we could find and began the launch sequence countdown. There were more friends there with us than the night before and I was content to stand back and let them do the actual throwing over. Maybe I thought that I could only be charged as an accomplice this way.

A car was racing down the parkway and a bag was launched. It landed in the right lane and 15 seconds later…BOOM!! It sounded like a shotgun. The car kept on trucking, never slowing down. I found that odd, I think I would have at least slowed down to enjoy my heart attack. We…I, uh, mean they did this a few more times and when the ammo ran out, we loaded up and rolled into town with the glow of destruction beaming from our faces.

That was the first time I was involved in Halloween destruction. I would soon find it would not be my last. I was on a downward spiral that would last for 4 or 5 years. You can join me on it when I continue the cleansing of my soul in the next installment of my tales of Halloween mischief.

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