Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Stop Sign
This may or may not be the scene of a crime that may or may not have been committed. But know this: No stop signs were harmed in the making of this post.
One of the first Halloweens where I was too old to trick or treat was the saddest day of my life because I love candy, and free candy is even better. OK, not really on the sad part. But really on the candy part.
That particular Halloween I could not and would not accept that I had to sit by idly while every one else had the fun. (Where fun was defined as anything besides the infinite stretch of Nothingness there was to do.) So, my friend Alda and I decided we were going to participate in the only way we knew how: focus on the trick part of trick-or-treating. (At the risk of repeating myself, there is absolutely nothing to do in Mathews. Except cut grass.)
Alda was nothing short of a genius at planning such activities. I readily and gladly accepted the role of sidekick, which in this instance meant that I would be driving the getaway car. (STOP EVERYTHING: Now that I am re-living this incident, I realize that I must have been 15 or 16 if I was driving. Well, that's not exactly true, since I learned to drive when I was about 11...Did I mention there's not much to do around here?)
The plan was really quite simple: We'd steal a stop sign and then go toilet paper our teacher's house. That's the first thing YOU'D do, isn't it? Right. We left at dusk, so there'd be enough light to fulfill our mission and yet just dark enough to work in stealth mode.
The particular vehicle we were using was my parents' VW bus that had a faulty horn. By faulty I mean that out of the blue, even if the driver's hands were tied behind her back and she wore a straight jacket, blindfold and were encased in a tomb, that horn would honk. By itself. A very distinct honk. A VW honk.
We decided to tackle the stop sign first. We drove to the end of my lane where the road intersected one of the Two Major Highways in Mathews, Route 198. I pulled the bus to the side, right in front of the sign. We waited until there were no cars coming. Alda got out and began pulling and tugging. She pushed, she heaved, she wrapped herself around that sign and began to make some progress, when all of a sudden----HONK!! HONK!! HONK!! HONK!!--- That VW bus decided right then and there it was going to participate in our venture and BLOW OUR COVER. We began to panic. We could NOT draw attention to ourselves. (After all, isn't a stop sign state property or something?) Undeterred, she continued to tug, and the horn continued to honk in synch with her moves like the accompanying orchestra for a ballet. And, while Alda was putting some creative moves on that stop sign, this GRAND THEFT OF STATE PROPERTY was hardly a ballet.
Due to the absolute horror of potentially being discovered thanks to that VW bus, and the impending INCARCERATION that likely would follow, I don't even remember if we ever did get that sign out of the ground. I do know that we laughed until we couldn't breathe, while adrenaline coursed through our veins with all the speed of Niagara Falls.
Then, with all the reckless abandon and glee of IDIOT SAVANTS TURNED LOOSE IN A CANDY STORE, we toilet-papered our math teacher, Mr. Brown's, house. (I'm sorry, Mr. Brown.) We definitely made up for our first botched mission.
Stupid VW bus.