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No more toilet paper, please

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By Vince Luecke

I woke up one recent Saturday to find toilet paper strewn across my front yard. The dastardly act was one of the most popular of the autumn pranks and something I guess has gone on for years, maybe since there has been toilet paper.

During the night, while I slumbered away, minor-league terrorists armed with rolls of generic roles of tissue had draped my maple trees in white streamers that hung damp and limp by the next morning.

As pranksters go, they were creative, snaking toilet paper up and down the rows of blooming mums lining my sidewalk and even draped a single strand across the front of my car, brazenly just feet from my bedroom window. Curled under a cover, I slept soundly while the marauders worked.

My nighttime visitors must have been ultra-quiet and avoided any giggling or chitter-chatter while they went about their task. The best touch was the toilet paper wrapped carefully like ribbon around the fire hydrant by my driveway. A little knot held the bow in place. Who knew toilet paper could be art?

A quick note to would-be pranksters, I'm not looking for a encore performance, so please don't visit, but I didn't really mind the intrusion. I'd never been toilet-papered before and living in such a rural address and at the end of a dead-end road meant our house was never visited by pre-Halloween pranksters.

I was never much of a prankster myself, tossing rolls of toilet paper over high-school classmates' trees only a few times. We did more farm-type pranks such as throwing bales of straw in friends' yards or pulling up a forsale sign and putting it in front of an old farmer's driveway, making it look like his 300-acre farm was being sold. Once, a few friends went to the former Big Lots store in Tell City and bought women's undergarments (I chickened out and waited in the car) and hung them from another middle-aged bachelor's mailbox and the limbs in trees in front of his house. He apparently didn't see them the next morning and the bra draped over his mailbox and a pair of bloomers dangling oh-so-visibly in a tree along a busy road made him the butt of jokes for months.

In the old days pranksters would soap windows and cleaning that up wouldn't be much fun, but removing the toilet paper wasn't that big of a job and the rain last week helped pull down what I couldn't reach.

To my nighttime visitors, thanks for the laugh, but should you hit the road again hell-bent on terror by toilet paper, please pass me by. I need my sleep.