Monday, May 2, 2011

Item #20

I have never been much of a vandal.  I've always seen acts of vandalism in a somewhat romantic light, as if they were rights of passage or little acts of public art, but I do not have a vast portfolio of which to boast.  Even when I joined the notorious gang The Wellingtons freshman year, our acts of vandalism were of a mostly benign and whimsical nature.

So imagine my surprise when Kortney suggested that we toilet paper somebody's house.  She was living in TN and I was in UT and when we would email back and forth, we would add an item to a growing list of things that we were going to do once we were reunited in Provo.  She added #20 TP Somebody's House 

Once she had moved back, we started chipping away at the list.  We would have done more of the list if more of the items had been "make out" and "watch TV" but we did do about half of them before leaving Provo and as of today we have done about 2/3rds.  Anyway, one day after we had been married about a month and a half, we got ambitious and decided to start tackling the list again.  After checking off a simpler item, we turned our attention to #20.

"Who has a house?"

"My brother and sister-in-law do, but they live in Eagle Mountain, and there's only like one little tree in their front would be lame"

"Your parents have a house..."

"That's not happening"

Then we had a stroke of genius.  Two of Kortney's former roommates had moved into a house on 9th East.  It was loaded with trees in the backyard, and best of all, they would never suspect us because of one essential fact.  Married couple do not go toilet papering.

We stayed up until about 2:30am and we headed out, dressed in black, adrenaline pumping, to live out the adolescent troublemaking we had missed out on.  We parked across the street, carried our ammunition with us, and set to work.  I believe we had 48 rolls of toilet paper with us.  If you aren't familiar with toilet papering, rest assured that it is enough to do a good job.

We spent about 35 minutes in the backyard of the house, launching toilet paper rolls through the trees and having a grand old time.  No wonder this was so popular I though to myself, this is a blast.  I proved myself very adept at it and lamented that if only I had started earlier in life, I might have had a chance to go pro.  Alas, it was too late now (there would be almost no way to hit the magic 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell   holds as the necessary time for expertise.)

I took on the tall trees and Kortney took on decorating the ground level objects like the car in the driveway and the posts of the porch overhang, and once we were done, we were very pleased with our work.

We drove home through the empty streets of Provo, seeing as it was four in the morning and we headed up to our apartment.  Once inside we prepared for bed and I realized I did not have my phone with me.  I had a bad habit of leaving it in the car and I was pretty sure it was there.  Kortney was less sure and wanted to go back to the scene of the crime and make sure we hadn't left such an incriminating piece of evidence.  I assured her that it was impossible.

About 70 minutes Nicola and Jamie woke up and looked out the window.  Needless to say, they were shocked.  They began to mentally line up all the boys who might have been responsible.  They stepped outside to assess the damage, mentally calculate how long it would take to undo what was done.  And right at that moment...


My phone's alarm went off!  There it was nestled in a soft little bed of TP.  It took them all of half a minute to figure out who the culprits were.

Two hours later we awoke to a text on Kortney's phone that said "When are you guys gonna come over here and clean this up?"  After feigning ignorance for a few texts, they revealed their hand and told us they would be holding my phone hostage until we cleaned the whole yard up.

When we went back to the site of the crime, we realized that we might have done too good of a job.  It was like the reverse of the parable of the young man who marries the daughter of a wealthy merchant who wishes to start his son-in-law's budding career as a contractor off to a great start and commissions a huge, beautiful house.  The young man soon the old man does not care about the cost and quickly starts to cut corners, use sub-par materials, and hire underqualified workers so that he can pocket the change.  When the house is done, the father-in-law announces that it is to be the newlywed's home.  He then has to live with the drafty creaky house for the rest of his life as a reminder of his dishonesty.

We on the other hand, would have had the greatest home on the planet if we had been building a house instead of vandalizing one.

We spent the next two hours or so returning that yard to its former glory.

Believe it or not, this was our last time TPing.  


  1. Sometimes, I am honestly amazed that Kortney hasn't strangled you yet. Leaving your phone at the scene of the crime??? Dah!

  2. You guys are so fantastic. And I love you for referencing Malcolm Gladwell.

  3. Hahaha this was hilarious. And I too loved the Malcolm Gladwell reference. He's a favorite at our house :)