When I was younger, my brother and I got into the habit of doorbell ditching. I guess you could say there was something about the thrill of it all. Maybe it was the escape, maybe it was the fear of getting caught or maybe we just liked to see people open doors when no one was there. Who knows? Regardless, my brother, Trav, and I had become experts of our neighborhood. We knew every tree, bush, and backyard. Frankly, we were amazing. We doorbell ditched countless neighbors and never got caught. Until Blaine.
Blaine was a leader at our church. His responsibility was to work directly with the young men of the church and inspire us to be better more upstanding citizens. Of course for this dastardly act of trying to inspire us to be better, Blaine would have to pay. What better way to make someone pay for their crimes then to leave them standing on a unanswered porch after they were sure that their doorbell had rang! Ha, it was pure genius.
Thus began the preparation. Now for an beginner, doorbell ditching (or DD has it is known in certain groups) is just ringing a doorbell and running, but for true masters like Trav and I it was nothing short of pure art.
You start by covering your face and upper body in your environment. By this I mean, putting mud, dirt, or gravel on your face if you are outdoors. If you are indoors, such as an apartment complex or your sister’s room, you want to coat yourself in indoor scents such as spaghetti sauce, air fresheners, or the smell of your bathroom. (Note: to get a genuine bathroom scent you will need to use animal or human feces. If you are going to resort to putting feces on your face, you may want stuff you nostrils with those yummy mints from Cafe Rio. Also keep in mind that with feces you will officially become a poo poo face or sh** head, which you may have been called in High school, which may stir up bad memories (fyi)).
As we settled into the bush, we saw the door open and the puzzled look on Blaine’s face as he saw no one at the door. Ha! Sweet victory! Then something new happened. He stepped out of the door. He began turning his head back and forth, back and forth as if he was…(gasp!) looking for someone. Suddenly he began to stick his head into bushes, look up into trees, and look over fences not just in his yard but in other yards. Then it dawned on me, he was going to find us.
My brother must have realized this too because he was sweating…a lot! I was also sweating and the last thing I needed right now was two guys sweaty arms touching each other in a small bush so I nervously shifted my weight. SNAP! Oh jeeze, a twig just snapped under my shoe. This was a beginners mistake. Maybe Blaine hadn’t heard it, maybe he would just think it was crickets. I looked up and Blaine had stopped searching. Slowly his head turned towards our hiding spot and he began to move towards our bush.
We were going to be found. He was going to find us and then kill us. I was about to become a victim of one of those rage killings. I began praying to every God I had ever heard of. Right in the middle of my prayer to Aten, a Pharaonic God of early Egypt, Blaine looked over the bush and looked me right in the eye. Looked right in my damn eye. I stared back in his eye. I saw nothing, nothing but anger. Anger and cold…pure…evil.
So there I was staring into the face of death when something odd happened. Death started laughing, “I found you!”
“huh?” I said (opening my eyes just a pinch)
“you guys honestly thought you could get away by hiding in this bush.”
“I…uh..” My voice was cracking like I was thirteen all over again.
“Well have a good night, try again some other time…amateurs.” Then he just walked off into his house laughing all the way. It was a creepy laugh. Like a crazy old woman who had a sex change or something.
Defeated we walked home. As we walked I thought, “Try again we would and fail we would not.”
We did fail. A lot. We must have rang that doorbell a hundred times. We hid in trees, bushes, sheds, under cars, and in dog houses. We covered ourselves with all sorts of scents. Some I am too ashamed to admit (cat pee anyone?). Needless to say we were always caught and Blaine always crackled like a hyena on coffee. Black coffee. Winners coffee.
Four months went by, we were once again on our way up to doorbell ditch Blaine. It had become tradition and in that way it had lost it’s magic. We needed to spice this up some how. That’s when I saw the sprinkler watering the lawn. It was attached to a hose and could be moved to any location on the lawn that needed to be a little greener. Then I thought of it. The front porch could sure use a little water! Ha ha!
We kinked the hose, and moved the sprinkler head to the porch. I kept the hose kinked and waited around the side of the house. My brother Trav rang the doorbell, and ran around the corner of the house. I waited until I saw a shadow from the light of the house and I un-kinked the hose! I felt all the water rush through the hose and heard it spray out the end. This was followed by a blood curdling scream. Sweet victory. Then I noticed something. The scream was girlie. I mean very girlie. We peeked around the corner and saw Blaine’s six year old daughter soaking wet screaming as water sprayed all around her and into the house.
Blaine jumped out a grabbed his daughter, getting him wet too. “you’re dead meat!”, he shouted.
“holy hell”, I mumbled, “we have got to get out of here”
There was no hiding, no fun, just running. Running for my life. We heard him get in his truck and so we just started cutting through backyards. We had no regard for anyone else, we tramped through flower beds, braved scary dogs in yards, and stepped on and over bikes and toys. We reached our yard in about, oh about 6 seconds. We hid under our trampoline for hours until we felt Blaine had given up. We had been afraid to go in cause he could be staking out our house, he knew we’d have to eat eventually. We slid into our basement and into our separate bedrooms.
As I laid in bed that night, I began thinking about the poor little wet girl. A causality in a war that had gone too far. Perhaps we had pushed it soaking his daughter and half of his living room with a sprinkler. But then slowly a smile came to my face as I realized that we got away! We had escaped and we taught him a lesson. What a dastardly deed he was trying to accomplish by making us better citizens. It was poetic in the sense that he had probably made us worse citizen, sinking to lower levels to accomplish our goal of punishing him. What a dastardly deed he was trying. What a dastardly deed…