Saturday, November 24, 2012

Maximum Padding

I spent a lot of time in my high school years playing jokes on people, and sometimes people got me back. One of those paybacks happened late on a Saturday night, long after I was in bed. My mom woke me up Sunday morning and said I needed to go out and do something about my car. It was an old, green 1973 Chevy Impala that broke down a lot. I wasn't sure what mom was talking about and figured something must have fallen off of it again.

I rubbed my eyes and looked out the window. It had snowed a thick layer during the night, but only on my car. What was it? Mom gave me her "I don't know what kind of friends you hang out with" look. I threw on a shirt and went outside to investigate.

The Impala was parked out in the street. I approached it and quickly found out what had happened—it was covered with a fluffy carpeting of feminine hygiene products.

I'd been padded.

I stood there assessing the damage. Then I heard some honking. Our street happened to be the connecting road between two parts of the neighborhood, and everyone was on their way to the local church—while I was standing there, barefoot and wearing pajamas, staring at a pad-covered car. You know what the conversation at church was about that week.

Somebody's Datsun that we were in the midst of padding
It took a while to get them off the car. Some of the adhesive never came off. But it didn't take long to find out who'd done it. It seems these were a new brand of pads that the manufacturer had sent out to mailboxes all over the county as free samples. (Can you imagine some old widower living alone and opening his mailbox—"What the crap is this?") The post office ended up with many cases left over and didn't know what to do with them. They decided to give them to the nearby Girls Village, which was a group home for girls with family issues.

A whole building filled with girls our age was a strong temptation for me and my friends, so we hung out there a lot. And we played practical jokes there a lot. And they finally got me back.

Later, we stole some of the pads from their shed—yes, they had a whole shed full—and padded other cars. It kept us entertained for a while.

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