Mike Brown’s Monthly Dirt: Vandalism
Something is happening to my social circle as my life moves into its early 30s. I’m losing friends at an astronomical rate—not because I’m becoming more of a dick as I get older (I am), and not to drugs and alcohol (those two things bring friends together). No, I’m losing friends to what I like to call the two “Ms”: Marriages and Mortgages. Once one of my buddies gets hitched, I rarely see them again, and when one of my pals buys a house, an equally solid ball and chain is attached to their social life.
And if one of my friends has a kid? Forget about it. They might as well be in prison with all my visitation rights suspended. But I guess if my friends are hanging out with their kids as opposed to getting wasted with me, then they are clearly being rad dads, and that’s a good thing—the world and my wallet can only handle so many strippers.
If there was a clinical diagnosis for Peter Pan Syndrome, I would clearly have it. I know this. Refusing to grow up runs through my veins like heroin runs through Nikki Sixx’s. My life is almost exactly the same as it was when I was 22, except I have a cell phone now, a nicer car and a way better credit score. The point is, most of my friends are growing up and I’m not, and I’m not OK with this because I am selfish.
This recently led me to make a decision. I’ve decided to give all my grownup friends a reminder of how kick-ass being a kid can be. I was mostly thinking of my early, teenage years, when vandalism was one of my favorite pastimes. Sure, there is all the awkward puberty shit and bad self-esteem stuff you deal with when you are 14, but throwing eggs at the neighbor’s house and whacking off all the time is pretty sweet.
When you are a kid, vandalism is a lot like drugs. That first doorbell ditch is just like your first cigarette. And that flaming bag of dog poo? You might as well use the burning bag to light your first blunt. Making white lines with rolls of toilet paper in your neighbor’s trees is akin to white lines of cocaine. Before you know it, you are a junked-out graffiti artist. Like drugs, as long as you stay away from the hard stuff and aren’t pawning your roommate’s amp to buy rolls of toilet paper, vandalism can be pretty fun!
I decided to start with my friend Danny Woodhead’s house. He recently got a mortgage and has been more concerned about how his lawn looks than hanging out with me. Make no mistake, his lawn is quite nice, but turning down beers with your bros because you need to rake leaves? Like, can’t you pay some stupid boy scout on your block five bucks to do that for you so you can go get drunk with your friends?
Basically, I decided that toilet papering Danny’s house would send the perfect message that we need to hang out more. If he’s going to clean his yard instead of hanging out, then I’m going to give him something to clean. Things went a little differently than when I was a kid, though.
First off, instead of having to wait for my parents to fall asleep, steal toilet paper out of the bathroom closet and sneak out of the house, I left my apartment at 7:30 p.m. and got into my car with Abu, made four of my other buddies follow me, and made Abu steal a bunch of toilet paper from an undisclosed chain restaurant near my place. In fact, it was easy enough that I don’t think I’m buying toilet paper ever again.
Another massive difference between toilet papering a house when you are a grownup as opposed to a kid is that I really didn’t care too much about getting caught. In fact, a cop drove by and pulled over. Dick Snot said that I should tell the cop that I’m asking a girl out to a dance, which I thought was a great idea. Instead, when the cop asked us what we were doing, all I said was that I had permission to turn Danny’s trees into works of “art” and the cop told me to have a good night and was on his way. I would have peed my pants if a cop caught me fucking up the neighbor’s house as a teen.
As it turns out, Danny didn’t really seem to care too much that we were messing with his house. I didn’t want to fuck his house up too much, mostly because Danny is bigger than me and has guns. It wouldn’t be hard for him to convince me to clean up the whole mess, and it’s been cold as shit outside with this damn inversion and all.
But, I do think I got my message across. Needless to say, Danny and I did go out and get beers that weekend. This makes me feel that vandalism really does work, and it reminds me that I’m getting low on spray paint, eggs and toilet paper, not necessarily in that order.