My Mischievous Past

The late Jeff Glenn and Allen Biehl on "The Swing," Idlewild, New Mexico, June 1981
The late Jeff Glenn and Allen Biehl on "The Swing," Idlewild, New Mexico, June 1981

Here are some important discoveries my friends and I made when we were younger, probably because we were among the few teens we knew who didn’t drink. In the present climate, however, I would not recommend any of these activities, some of which might be regarded as threats to national security.

  • If you hang out the t-top of a Camaro late at night and hold on to a shopping cart, you can get it going really fast. For some reason, it’s hysterically funny to watch a shopping cart race down the road at 40 miles per hour after you let it go.
  • A college ID card can, in some circumstances, be used to open the outer doors of a dormitory elevator, even if the elevator car is on a different floor. If you open it when the car is one floor below you, you can ride on top of it. It is a myth that you will be crushed when the car goes to the top, at least on the elevators I rode.
  • If you open the outer elevator door from the eleventh floor while the car is on the twelfth floor, you can throw cool stuff down the elevator shaft, like tv sets and bean-bag chairs.
  • If you are stranded in the west Texas panhandle late at night after a double blowout, shooting railroad tracks with a .22 survival rifle makes a ricochet sound just like in the movies.
  • If you don’t secure the cargo in the bed of your pickup properly, it can cause double blowouts in the middle of the night in the west Texas panhandle.

    Electronics "experimenter" Chris Slaybaugh
    Electronics "experimenter" Chris Slaybaugh
  • You can replace the overhead light in your dorm room with a chandelier, assuming your parents are throwing out an old chandelier.
  • An empty Kodak Rapid Fixer 2.5-gallon cubitainer filled with boiling hot water makes a cool explosion when tossed off the second-story landing at the top of stairs in some high schools. Caveat: only on Saturdays when the only people at the school are yearbook staffers.
  • 13 phones in a dormitory room are very loud when they all ring at once.
  • Police are offended when the passenger in the back seat of your buddy’s car shouts “OINK!” at them at the top of his lungs.
  • Construction workers are equally offended when they believe (even erroneously) that you have shot a gun at them. It will anger them farther if you are teenagers wearing three-piece suits.

    Robert Edison Stinson in his notorious "hanging chair"
    Robert Edison Stinson in his notorious "hanging chair"
  • If you get a running start, you can slide all the way across a frozen golf course pond on your butt. It may ruin your ski jacket, however.
  • If your 15-year-old buddy crashes his grandfather’s “borrowed” car into a light pole, you can ditch it in the country. Sheriff’s deputies apparently can’t tell real hot-wiring from pretend hot-wiring.
  • Photographers tend to get upset if you replace their camera gear with pictures of their camera gear.
  • If you are on a homemade tree swing that goes out over a canyon, you can leap off of the swing at the apex into pine trees. The swing, however, won’t come back for you.
  • An antenna is not strong enough to keep you from falling off your buddy’s car as he goes around a corner. You may break arms or legs.
  • You can take the big capacitors out of old tv sets and charge them up, then play “shock catch.”
  • A legless armchair can be hung from drain pipes in the basement apartments of certain rooming houses.

I’ll have more later, assuming I am not in jail.

The so-called "Money Shot," 1982; there are a lot of things deeply, inherently wrong with this photo, but one thing is right: the "R" above my head is my first initial
The so-called "Money Shot," 1982; there are a lot of things deeply, inherently wrong with this photo, but one thing is right: the "R" above my head is my first initial
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2 Comments

  1. I LOVE the pic of the best guys I met in 1983! I already had a crush on you, but now that I see this photo of the two of you history has changed and I also had a crush on Michael. Don’t tell him cause I was kinda shy in those days and I would have been embarrassed.

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  2. Interesting observations.

    In my experience, sheriff’s deputies also cannot tell the difference between “chute” and “shoot,” at least in some of the reports I had to decipher for the stories I wrote…

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