Working at Dairy Queen was monotonous. Flipping burgers and blending blizzards gets a little old after a few months. My teenage coworkers remedied this situation by playing pranks. Jokes ranged from adding salt to soda cups to filling each other’s pockets with whipping cream. Teenagers are also very stupid. That’s why the walk-in freezer does not let you get locked inside.
I worked with a fun group of people: Brian La Croix, Debbie Caulkins, Jason Mills, and our friend Perry to name a few. Being around that group made flipping burgers bearable and even enjoyable.
At some point a toilet paper war started. There is some confusion as to who started the war and about how many times a pocket got filled with whipping cream to instigate the war, but it started and no one was backing down. Most weekend shifts ended with a run to the grocery store to buy 12-packs of toilet paper.
Now you wouldn’t think that people making $4.25 per hour would want to blow an hour’s wages on toilet paper, but when you get out of the mindset of it being toilet paper and consider it more like a badge of retaliatory honor, the value of the water soluble paper increases.
There is an art to toilet papering a yard. It starts with parking down the street from your intended target and preparing the rolls. You have to open the bag and get each roll “started” so it is ready to unravel when thrown. We got really good at gauging the perfect parabola over our friend’s trees to make toilet paper stick for months to years well out of reach of ladders and rakes. In fact, toilet paper in my parent’s trees once took over a year and a half to break down and blow away.
Our toilet paper war went on for months. Keep in mind this was happening in California where there is no winter peace season. One night the crew closing the Dairy Queen decided it was Jason Mills turn to get TP’d. But the problem was, Jason knew it was coming. We knew he knew. He was really good at waiting up for us.
This week, we changed tactics. I ran up the driveway first and grabbed his garden hose and quietly turned on the water as everyone else flung toilet paper rolls in beautiful arching curves in the sky. Jason heard us and came running out the front door in his white briefs underwear. I stepped out of the bushes and pulled the trigger on the hose nozzle and hit him square in the chest. The blast caught him off guard and the water sent him hydroplaning right off his feet. He went down straight on his back on the concrete and landed with a thud. Time stopped. But then it sped up as he lept to his feet and chased after me with a speed generally reserved for Cheetahs on the Nature channel. He almost caught me, because even with shoes on, it is really hard to run when you are laughing uncontrollably.
OK, working at Dairy Queen was anything but monotonous.