"What does it mean to have people throw toilet paper into the trees of your yard?"
Really, people, have we descended into such a state that we do not know what it means to have your yard "TPd"?
It is a badge of honor, or at least it was in the mid-70's in East Cobb. Only the cool people had their yard "rolled". That's what we called it. We would say, "Yeah, did you hear Alan got rolled Saturday?"
Actually, we wouldn't say that. Alan wasn't cool enough to get rolled. I still blame that on not being selected for The Key Club, which would have meant I could have worn a cool goldish-yellow shirt and have my house rolled. Maybe being short, skinny, with major league zits, Coke-bottle glasses and the hint of b.o. had something to do with it too.
For the young people out there, here's how the pros did it.
First of all, you went out late at night, when all of the adults have gone to bed. You go to the store and buy some toilet paper and you throw it up into the trees of your buddy's house (note: it was important to make sure your buddy was inside his house and not out rolling his own home). That's it. That's what we did in the 70's besides sex, drugs and listening to records. (Another thing kids: we listened to RECORDS not VINYLS. Don't make me repeat myself.)
Once you have thrown the paper into the trees, you stand back and marvel at your work. Then you rush back into the car, laugh, and go home to watch Blue Oyster Cult on The Midnight Special.
When you got to school Monday, you asked your buddy about his weekend. He would say, "Man, somebody rolled my house. Man, my Dad was super ticked. Man, he made me clean it up, man. Then it started to rain. Man." When he walked off, you laughed at him behind his back. It was a great preparation for adulthood.
One of my friends says he must have gone "rolling" at least ten times. They did such a good job on a yard that it made the newspapers.
Another friend had a boyfriend and his pals roll her yard. When they completed their task,they piled the empty roll tubes on her front step and rang the doorbell. When her family answered the door, the boys were already at the top of the street. The family was treated to a Wheeler boy version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas". She was, in her own words, "extremely flattered".
She still had to clean it up the next day.
There were different groups that "rolled". One group, a bunch of Baptist kids, called themselves "The Holy Rollers". The band rolled everybody in the band. Heck, my friend Moody was in a group that rolled with people from our Latin class. It was called "The Roman Rollers " and they had their own song.
Oh we're the Roman Rollers you've heard so much about.
Mothers hide their daughters whenever we are out.
We fight with knives, forty-fives and broken bottles, too.
Oh, we're the Roman Rollers, who the (blank*) are you?
*Back then we censored even the mildest of profanities.
And yes, I even went rolling one time myself.
On the evening of the Senior Prom, the group I was with went and rolled this guy's house. There was a girl in the group that had a crush on this boy and when he failed to ask her to the prom, she ended up having to go the prom with a geek. Therefore, she initiated a "Revenge Roll". Or maybe it was a "We're Still Friends Roll". She was bound and determined to show this boy her true feelings, no matter how complex they were.
We arrived at this house at around 2:00 in the morning. From there, we just threw toilet paper into the trees.
The sound the toilet paper made coming down from the sky was absolutely beautiful. Kind of like The Fourth of July, except with toilet paper.
What made me think about rolling was not that it is getting to be Prom Season. It was David.
I have known David since I was six years old. He was born missing a heart valve and wasn't expected to live past the age of twelve. There he was, at age seventeen, rolling this house with us.
When we finished rolling the house, we scampered off to the cars. We got in and began making a slow roll out of the area. We heard "Wait!" and stopped the car. Then we heard a thud. David ran into a stopped car.
Instead of being mad with us, David laughed that laugh. I can still hear it now. He always laughed at my stupid jokes. I can't describe how much that means to me.
After high school, David had other health challenges, but he always bounced back. He graduated college, got married and had a career.
David died the other day.
Now when I think about rolling yards with toilet paper, I think of David. I am extremely flattered to have known him.