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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Passing It On...

In the early nineties, during the first Friday in November, I committed a felony. In my defense, I did not KNOW that I committed a felony, although I don't think a deer-in-the-headlights look is an acceptable defense in court.

I'm still shocked that we didn't get caught. And when I say we, I mean me and about 15 other seniors at my high school who all had two things in common. First, we adored our advanced placement (AP) government teacher Mr. L. We'd spent the past six weeks listening to Mr. L rant and rave about our country's political process, the candidates and the Evil and Corrupt Political Action Committees. Second, we all thought of ourselves as hysterically funny.

So... the Friday night before the election, we decided to perform a little community service. We met up at a local hang-out after midnight, dressed in head-to-toe black because we were melodramatic smart like that, then stopped off along one of the busiest roads in the neighborhood. While at said location, we stealthily gathered up objects we declared litter, before traveling by car two miles and dumping that massive pile of litter in the front yard of our government teacher Mr. L.

Because we adored him. (We seriously did. That's not sarcasm, y'all.)

And the so-called litter? You guessed it. We picked up every political sign we could carry, paying no attention to party affiliation nor incumbency. It was the fall of 1991, amid a hotly contested election, in the center of a swing neighborhood within a state split along party lines. We must have gathered over 100 signs and stuck them in Mr. L's front lawn.

Weren't we stupid absolutely brilliant?

We didn't get caught. (Shocking, I know!) Still... three days later, during first period AP Government, we experienced the surprise of a lifetime. Mr. L creatively displayed ALL 100 signs, which he had stapled upside-down, with a layered effect, on one of the walls in his classroom. He also very kindly wrote out on his white board the federal statute explaining our illegal actions.


Sometimes I wish I could still gather up all the political signs I could carry and stick them in one person's front yard. Because wouldn't that be funny?

Except if you were the person who owned that yard.

Which reminds me... I received two wonderfully awesome bloggy awards recently. Lisa at Adventures in Jujuboo and Carolina Mama both braved ignored my But(t) Award and gifted me with some bling this past week. Not only am I an un-convicted felon, I am also supposedly a Superior Scribbler and rather Snazzy as well. (I assume CM doesn't refer to my fashion sense, since we all know how pathetic THAT is.) Thank you so much, Lisa and CM! I feel honored... I shall cherish these. I shall not, however, pass them along... mostly because the last time I truly did pass along some rectangle goodness, I could have gone away for fifteen to twenty.

Now don't forget to vote, y'all! I don't care who you vote for... I just care that you do it!


Briana's Mom said...

I voted absentee ballot. Thinking about standing in a long line with Briana makes me laugh. Seriously I am laughing. Briana is NOT good at standing in line.

Though illegal, putting all those signs in the yard is pretty dang funny!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I'm sure that your illegal actions warmed his heart!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

So much more creative than our toilet papering escapades!

Dawn said...

(Still chuckling!)

At least you had youthful ignorance to blame!

My hubby and I (recently) layed in bed discussing how ("wouldn't it be funny") to swap political yard signs in a few yards near us. Then, our local tv station did a piece on how that was illegal (gulp!) and that one police department was even using hidden cameras to captures these thieves and vandals (yikes!). When you're in your your 40's, married with children, living in the 'burbs, I doubt the deer in the headlights look would work in court. Just guessing.

Thankfully, we never to took it beyond the planning stage!

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh good heavens - aren't we ALL hysterically funny and brilliant at 16?

When I was in middle school, my friends and I decided that what our favorite teacher needed MOST in the world was a 9x9 mural, painted by us, screwed onto her wall in her classroom. Not just any mural, but one starring...us. We all had nicknames (Shamu, Ittsy (as in the spider), Thumper and Flipper (the dolphin - that was me.)) We made a big world, with a peace sign, because we were hippy like that, and cool. Around this world was a large killer whale, a large dolphin, a (Disney-esque) bunny and a spider. Why another teacher let us into her classroom on a Saturday morning, when we were getting ready to graduate 8th grade, carrying POWER TOOLS...and fully aware of what we were about to do...I'll NEVER know. She left that silly thing up in her classroom for about three years, until she transferred to a new school. I saw it one day in the garbage heap, as she was cleaning out her room, and I had DEFINITE mixed emotions.

Polar Bear said...

May have been illegal, but what a great story!!

happygeek said...

That's a great teacher.
And honestly, how fun. My brother and his friends used to just switch the signs. So a rabid Liberal could wake up and have a Conservative sign on his lawn.

redmaryjanes said...

Too funny, you little activist :)

I will be voting with the hubs after work tonight at a tiny Catholic church in a very small town.

McEwens said...

Well, now you little felon! I hope enough time has passed that you wont be convicted! HEE HEE

Great post! I voted last week! Should be an interesting election!!

Lisa said...

Oooh! I SO beg to differ...you WERE brilliant! And it WOULD make me giggle if I woke up to the delicious surprise that someone had done that to me. :) Especially since my loving husband won't let me post any political signs in our front yard. :) Hey...if you threw in a TPing, I might even send you a bloggy award. :)

Happy Election Day!

The Source said...

Oh my...way better than flocking a yard with pink flamingos. Too funny!!

prechrswife said...

Funny post! I voted this morning. The lines weren't bad, probably because so many voted early around here.

Carla said...

I did NOT know that. Makes sense though...and OH how fun it would be. Our house was on the market this year, so no political signs...which I was kind of glad for. :)

Heather of the EO said...

I love that story! You crazy hoodlums. Funny stuff.

I kind of want to do it now too. But I don't want my kids to have a felon for a mother.

More awards, lady! Just start to imagine them as trophies on your shelf in your living room. Then you can sit and look at them and smile.

CC said...

I think I am in love with Mr. L.

Genius teachers don't come along that often. But to turn your "prank" into a teachable moment? Sheer brilliance.

day by day said...

I give him credit...that was a clever way of handling it on his part. : )

Just voted and hit the polls at just the right time...no line...and since my 2 little ones were with me....that was a very good thing!

Saint Louis Family Robinson said...

TOO FUNNY! I and a friend (who later turns out to be my SIL) did the same thing... laughing the entire time... thinking it was totally funny and cool... until the next morning when someone informs us that what we did was a punishable crime! GULP! We were VERY tight lip after that and swore each other to secrecy.

Sent an email to said SIL this morning asking if she ever came clean... especially to my brother. She picked up the phone - said she had all but forgotten about the incident and that she NEVER mentioned it to anyone! Uhm? I question that! She closed with: "Get off the Internet and find something productive to do!" LOL!

You see, she now has teenagers and would be devastated if they ever found out she did such a thing!

discombobulated said...

Maybe I'm a little slow. Is the crime stealing a sign or uninvitingly placing a sign in someone else's yard? Sounds funny to me. What would really be funny is to switch signs (like placing a Go Obama sign in a die-hard McCain owner's yard). Just an example-does not reflect my political affiliation. Anyway, I don't vote for the one I like- I vote for the one I abhor the least.

discombobulated said...

me again. I just read Dawn's comment. Seems I am not very original in my idea. Seems I don't know the law very well either.

mommy24treasures said...

wow a felony... I didn't know that either. I can understand you thinking it was harmless...I am constantly hammering in Ryan's head how you have to be careful and not do ANYTHING that could keep you from adoption later if you decided you wanted to adopt when you are an adult. We had to do alot of leg work and extra paper to uscis because of hubbys stupidity at 19.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I have been waiting for this story!!

That teacher was pretty smart in the way that he handled the situation.....

No wonder you replied to my email the other night with lightening speed!! It was all done in good fun with people we know, but no one would have been laughing if the cops showed up!!

I voted this am....should be interesting to say the least....we are glued to the tv

The Byrd's Nest said...

You are so funny and I can TOTALLY see you doing that as a teen! You make me laugh!

Janet said...

I TOTALLY did that kind of stuff as a teenager. Shhh....don't tell my mom.

Sharie said...

We're the same age:) I was a senior in 1991 too. Although my gov't teacher was old and cranky...and my FAVORITE teacher ever. Seriously.

I remember back in the early 80's when one of my siblings got "signed" a group of friends brought EVERY realty sign they could find and stuck it in our front yard - HUNDREDS of them. We never did figure out where they were all supposed to go. Do you remember how BIG those signs used to be? NOT FUN to clean up!

Anonymous said...

Too bad you weren't around (invisible, of course!) to see his face the next morning when he stepped out his door and was greeted by the sight of all the signs that had sprung up in his lawn!

Reminds me of the colorful stories my father-in-law tells of all the pranks he and his brothers pulled growing up. Good wholesome fun!

Cheri H said...

I must have lead a boring life. You have the best stories! I love it.

Yes, I voted - emergence ballot due to a broken machine! BUT I voted, I did my part.

Michelle said...

I'm glad you didn't get locked away for your teenage prank, because that was pretty funny!! I am trying to picture your poor teacher taking apart 100 signs and then proceeding to staple them to his wall. That's pretty funny, too!

BQkimmy said...

I didn't know that was illegal. Sounds like a lot of fun and a really cool prank to me. You know... if your young and a bit silly that is. Fun times I am sure.