Last weekend, my teenage cousin got very drunk and went missing for 12 hours. She was found
unharmed thank goodness. The incident got me thinking of all the dumb things I did in my teen years.
I belonged to a summer theater troupe and after rehearsals we liked to drive around and goof off. One
particular summer evening, we had a good mix of people in my parents’ minivan that I was driving. The back row of seats was taken out so half the fun was standing back there while I was driving. We decided that we wanted to steal a street sign. But we wanted to grab one from a deserted area of town. I was driving through an industrial park when my friends and brother told me to pull over. I did thinking that they saw a wobbly street sign to grab. I sat in the minivan with a couple of other people waiting. Then I heard the sound of running feet behind us and looked in the rearview mirror to see my brother running down the street with a newspaper machine and another friend hollering “Pop the trunk!!” I did not think, I did. Once it was loaded in, I sped away from the scene. We were all screaming with laughter. I asked why did they grab the machine. There was no reason, they just did. So, we decided to try to crack it open to get at the quarters. The change compartment was impenetrable. We got a lot of free newspapers. I still remember driving through the night with my friend straddling the machine, beating the hell out of it shrieking, “Why won’t you open!?!?!” You know how you always have that friend whose parents don’t really pay attention? We decided to stash the machine at his house. He tried a sledgehammer and various saws. Nothing worked. Somehow later in the summer, my parents found out and we returned the machine intact. My parents might have clued in from the entire minivan being carpeted in Boston Heralds.
The next summer, one of the summer theater kids had a party at their house. Their parents were away on a trip and the house was in the midst of renovation. The house had a wide variety of booze I had
never had before. I remember there was something called Aftershock. I also remember getting myself
locked into a bathroom because the doorknob fell off. The house was down the street from mine so I
decided to walk home. After the first block, I had already urinated on myself. I ran into another theater
kid walking back to the party. He claims I told him, “Two blocks, two steps, I home.” Thank God he
didn’t notice the pee smell! I walked up to our front door and I think I must have knocked. My mom
opened the door and told me that I smelled like a brewery. This is where my memory gets spotty. I
remember throwing up in my bed. Somehow being naked under a desk tangled up in computer cords
with my mom standing over me demanding, “What did you take?” Then it’s the morning and I was
sleeping on the living room floor on a couple blankets. The first thing I saw was my father’s foot. I was
told there was a whole other blackout chapter of me puking, my mom and brother babysitting me, lots
of spitting and moaning nonsense. Needless to say, I was in huge trouble