Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Two words all school goers love are "Snow" and "Day" used sequentially. Usually, these words are proceeded directly by hours of crappy TV shows, like "The Price is Right" and reruns of "The Andy Griffith Show". Sometimes, all it takes is for a naive young exuberant weather man to proclaim "flurries" and the whole township freaks out like the apocalypse is coming. They rush to the grocery stores and complain about the long lines of people stocking up on water at and canned goods.

One night, a few inches of snow fell, but school had already been called because of the mass hysteria caused by the innocent sounding news reports the night before. My friend Aaron and I were looking for something extremely exciting to do, so we headed off to work, not to work, but to hang out. We found our friend Nathan working there that day, called in cause someone else was "sick". He needed a break so one of us suggested...

"Let's climb up on the roof and throw snowballs at people."

In retrospect, I should have stayed home and read the labels on all our mattresses or something, but the snowball thing just seemed right.

We sprightly climbed up the cold metal ladder bolted to the back of the shopping center. It practically had a sign hanging on it that read, "Teenage punks, please climb me and do bad things."

We found ourselves staring out over a vast expanse of untouched, white, virgin snow! Perfect raw material for snowball manufacture. Some of our friends were working for the attached grocery store and busily pushed carts through the dirty slush that carpeted the parking lot. Wet shoes, wet socks, and tips if your lucky... Sounds like a great job. The only thing that could make it worse is a nice hard ice packed snowball splattering onto your already soaked noggin and raising a nasty frostbit welt!

We managers to raise more than a few frostbit welts that day. There wasn't enough hot chocolate in the world to fix those! We had a great time, reigning havoc down upon the masses below, until it was so rudely interrupted by a noise behind us. We turned around. Two people stood there looking slightly aggravated.

"Come with us." One of the men said.

Now, on further consideration, we should have just started running. It would have been very easy for us to outrun the fat guy who was scowling at us. Instead, we did as he said (as if controlled by some government mind control device), and followed him, down a ladder and through a tiny tunnel that led to the back room of the grocery store.

We climbed down into the part of the grocery store you never see, where stacks and stacks of dog food await consumption. It looked a lot like Sam's Club, concrete everywhere. The smokers seemed to have set up a little country there, they gathered around a fold out table as if they were doing something important other than puffing addictive smoke into their lungs and exhaling whatever is worse than the smoke that went in. They looked at us like we had just spit upon them and doused their cigarettes. Clearly, we were cretins compared to them.

The man led us out into the grocery store, Aaron, Me, and Nathan (still proudly wore his pizza eatery shirt). He covertly ripped off his name tag and sent it flying over the twizzlers into the next aisle over. Something was going on in that head of his. He was developing a plan and I had an inkling that it had a lot to do with false identities.

The man lead us into his tiny office. Coffee rings decorated the papers scattered out over his desk. He told us to sit, and wait for the security guard.

An old man eventually showed up. Detective Sipowitz he was not. Detective Fife plus 100 pounds or so was more like it, but what do you expect from a private security company no one had ever heard of. He sat us down and gave us his "throwing snowballs off the roof is bad" speech. Then he shoved a piece of notebook paper at us and told us to write our names and numbers down.

We did.

He picked up the phone and called Nathan's parents.

"Hello?" He said into the receiver, "I have your son Nathan here and I-. Excuse me? Oh right, I'm sorry I must have dialed it wrong."

Nathan hadn't expected him to call while we were still standing there! HAHA, I nestled into my chair for a show. The guy ogled the notebook paper, trying to pinpoint his error. Nathan leaned over and pulled off perhaps the most amazing lie I've ever heard.

"Oh, that's a ZERO, not a ONE" He said pointing to the last number in his phone number, clearly a ONE.

Now, to me, it seems like a 1 and a 0 are different looking enough, but the guy said, "Oh, I see." Then proceeded to call the proper number and relate the situation to his parents.

Nathan got in trouble. His mom came and took him home.

My parents weren't home, so he resolved to call them later, but didn't. Aaron's mom came and took us home and gave us another, entirely different but similarly satisfying, "Throwing snowballs is bad" speech.

Then the problem was: we were all at home while my car and Nathan's car were both still at work. So Aaron arrived, picked us up in his car, and we went back! After all, Nathan was still on his break.

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