I suppose it doesn’t matter whether you’re raised in a small community or a large city; boys being boys, they will eventually get up to no good. What does matter, is that small towns, like the one I was raised in, are often more conducive to late night bouts of boredom due to their generally dozy atmosphere. When the entirety of the town is tucked in by 9:30 one doesn’t need even brake curfew waiting for the empty streets required for the best kinds of mischief.
Throughout my teen years my curfew was midnight, and on the night in question I was home with time to spare. However, being late was the least of my worries. Normally by this time my parents were in bed, but on this night the lights were ablaze and my parents were waiting, phone in hand, as I entered the house. On the other end of the phone was the police.
Let’s rewind a few hours.
The best place to start is probably with me behind the wheel of my car, parked on the side of the road, the back seat fully loaded with three friends. The passenger door was ajar with another friend standing outside frantically swinging a baseball bat at a mailbox — nothing new here. At the other end of long driveway a porch-light lit up and the front door swung open. My friend jumped into the car and away we sped.
We were having a good laugh until we noticed that the road dead ended after about a half a mile. We had no choice but to swing back around and drive passed the mailbox we’d just demolished — yep, we were that stupid. There was a full sized truck waiting for us so I had no choice but to mash down on the gas pedal and attempt an escape. A fully loaded Civic is no match for a moped let alone a truck. Understanding this, my strategy was to brake every traffic law I could and hope that whoever was behind the wheel of that truck wouldn’t have the fortitude to follow.
My hopes were wasted. I went the wrong way down one-ways, ran stop lights and signs, turned my head-lights off and ducked down alleys, but still the truck followed.
Eventually, we got just enough ahead that I thought it wise to hide the car and go on foot to a friends house. I shut my lights off again and pulled into what looked like an empty lot between a house and some rail-road tracks — it turned out to be someone’s lawn, but I didn’t find that out until the next day when my mom brought be back to pick up my car. From there the five of us scattered and, after a few close calls, made it to our friends house.
We decided it was best to leave my car over night so one of my friends offered to take me home. On the way we decided to swing near my car just to see. I don’t know what we expected to see, but it wasn’t the four police cars quietly parked on every surrounding corner, waiting for us to return. Now I know that you probably don’t that half of the local police department was out looking for me, but that’s because I neglected to tell you that prior to using sports equipment to destroy mailboxes, we were using dry-ice bombs — they can do some real damage, look it up on youtube. Apparently the police had been called multiple times and they were pretty serious about nabbing the culprits.
At that point I knew I was pretty much screwed. I knew my parents would be livid but I had no idea they’d have the police waiting for me on the phone. Looking back I can’t believe that I was actually stupid enough to try and plead the 5th.
“Are you Philip Chiappini?”
“Are you the owner of the red 1982 Honda Civic parked at… ?”
“Can you tell me why you parked and left your car there?”
“I was tired of driving.” — IDIOT!
Looking back, I’d like to believe I was simply coming to terms with my blossoming Libertarian views on the government’s overreaching power and wasteful inefficiency; channeling my inner Ron Swanson and grinding the government to a halt one demolished mailbox at a time. But really, it was quite the opposite. I was just bored and listened to way too much Rage Against the Machine.