Unspeakably Stupid Story #20:
Sign Pullers

Life can be terribly boring for people between the ages of 18 and 21. You're not allowed to drink in bars, so you tend to gravitate toward wherever the beer is.

This is why I tended to hang out with a neighbor named Mike, who attended a major university elsewhere in the state but returned home every weekend, where his mom would buy us all the beer we wanted and didn't mind hosting parties for Mike and his friends.

Usually, we would invite the girls over and we would all get loaded, play records really, really loud and watch Saturday Night Live, way back when it was actually a cool TV show.

Occasionally, my parents would leave town and we'd have a party at my house instead, after having Mike's mom buy us beer.

Sometimes, the parties were rockin', uproarious affairs that lasted until sunrise. Other times, they would peter out too early and we would find ourselves both drunk and bored with nothing to do.

Now, if you passed out during a party at my house, bad things would often happen to you before you woke up. One time, Mike passed out and woke up with his sinuses outlined nicely on his face with a red felt-tip marker, with a "4" on the side of his nose, representing Vicks' 4-Way Nasal Spray. A neighbor from down the street, John Warthog, had done the artwork. I added my part, writing "Fuck Mike" in black marker on the back of his arm, right above the elbow, where he'd never see it, but the next day, his mom would.

Another time when Mike passed out at the end of a party, we piled up a whole evening's worth of beer bottle caps on his head, then suddenly cranked up Aerosmith on the 160-watts-per-channel stereo. Instant bottle-cap catapult!

It was one of these boring nights when Mike and John pulled perhaps the most risky and stupid stunt I can remember.

On this particular night, most everyone went home early, and it wound up being just the three of us in my party room downstairs. If I recall correctly, I decided to go to bed, and told Mike and John to lock the door on their way out. It was around 1 o'clock in the morning.

About an hour later, I woke up to some major noise coming from the back yard. By the time I got up, put some clothes on and made my way downstairs, there was not a soul around. I poked my head out the back door to see if I could find any clues as to what made the noise. I was sure Mike and John were up to something, as they often were. But I was unprepared for the sight waiting on the patio.

Sitting in a huge pile just outside the door were about a dozen road signs, which I recognized from the neighborhood. They had uprooted them, large, wooden, white-painted 4x4 posts and all, and dumped them in a pile outside the door!

I wondered how the hell they did this, since their only available vehicle was John's green 1968 Mustang hardtop.

I inspected the pile. Speed limit signs. "Fire Station 500 Feet" signs. And, oh my god... Stop signs! And even a Railroad Crossing sign! Clearly, this was not something I wanted piled up right outside the door.

Soon, they pulled into the driveway in the Mustang. They emerged from the car, laughing like hell, and just beginning to realize the insanity of what they had done. They had just come back from Mike's house, where they acquired a ratchet to begin disassembly of the signs.

It was then they revealed their method for transporting the freshly pulled signs: With both windows rolled down in the Mustang, Mike would pull the sign, yell "Duck!" at John, and insert the signpost into the car, protruding from both windows! They had made two trips, each netting about a half dozen signs, and drove to my house with the white 4x4s sticking out of both sides of the car! If they had so much as passed a cop during this, they would both be in jail by now.

Mike began unscrewing the signs from the posts as John took off to find another ratchet at his own house, not that anyone had a plan for getting rid of the signs once they were taken apart.

Mike finished taking the signs apart while John was gone, and promptly passed out on the couch. When John returned, we decided it would be a good idea to tie Mike's shoelaces together, then wake him up and convince him the cops were here. But this didn't go as planned. I went outside through another door, then came over and pounded on the party room door, pretending to be an angry county sheriff's deputy. However, Mike didn't wake up at all. We finally shook him and yelled that the cops were here, but he simply sat up and began talking incomprehensibly."Scotch-ja?" he uttered. "WHAT?" yelled John, all excited to be witnessing Mike talking in his sleep. "Scotch-ja mutha," said Mike, who then laid back down and passed out again.

We wound up hiding the signs against a wall behind some crap in Mike's garage, until his mom found them months later and made Kerry, another neighbor who had nothing to do with the mischief, return them to the county under an ongoing sign-pulling amnesty program. We put the posts in my parents' woodshed, and my dad eventually carted them off without saying anything.

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