Saturday, July 26, 2008

Teepee Weirdness

I took the dog out the side door to do her business this morning and noticed that the neighbor's tree had been teepeed. A little look around and I saw that most of the teepeeing was in my yard. Oh, joy. They must have thought this tree was mine (it's close to the line in that midwest way).

So that's weird, isn't it? I'm a middle-aged woman with no kids, and my house gets a half-ass teepee job. Must be some weird mistake, or kids out causing minimalist problems? But then I looked and saw that they'd written a word on the driveway in plastic forks, a word I tend to say as a greeting. It's a fine word, but not something folks around here use much by way of a greeting. But I do. If you've met me casually, you've probably heard me say it. But it's a normal word, too. So maybe they really were teepeeing MY house, and maybe just a random house? But the word made it feel more personal.

I just don't get it. Who would teepee my house, and why? (My friends tend to be in bed in the wee hours, and generally fairly environmentally conscious. They'd be more likely to make a donation to a local food charity in my name than to spend the money on toilet paper.)

I don't have much experience with teepeeing. At my highschool, some folks teepeed our rivals and vice versa, and I seem to remember that the football stars' homes were supposedly teepeed before big games. I wasn't involved for so many reasons that it's laughable.

The weirdest thing, which you can see in the second picture, is that they stabbed all these plastic forks into the ground. I've never seen or heard of that. You folks?

I went and got it cleaned up in about half an hour, so there really wasn't much. And in fact, it was less troublesome than I thought it would be when I initially looked out. I couldn't help think about the waste of resources. I should have bagged the plastic forks separately, and put them in the recycling bin, eh?

The thing is, I was up into the early hours this morning, and because I'd been working on sanding that chair and stuff, had left the garage door open until about 1 am to air out the chemical smells. And when I closed it, I didn't notice anything, but it would have been dark, and why would I have noticed anything in the process of convincing the dog that she needed to go out one last time?

But there's nothing missing or amiss in the garage. And no damage to the house or anything else (there's a bit of paper on the top of the tree still, that I couldn't get down even with a ladder, but it will come down or get torn up by birds in a few weeks, I bet).

So it's no big deal.

Anyway, when I first looked out, I had been thinking to go for a morning ride before the 11:30 meet up to go see a play for the summer Shakespeare thing, but then I got discouraged and hung out feeling whiny for over an hour before finally going to clean up. If I'd gotten right on it, I could have cleaned up and gone out anyway, but I didn't, so I didn't get my ride in this morning. Still, it feels like someone wasted my time, and while I waste plenty of time myself, I resent that a bit.

More than that, though, is being teepeed reminds me that I'm vulnerable. Yes, we're all vulnerable. I do my best not to fret overly much about it, and usually I'm reasonably cautious without being paranoid. But something like this is a sort of in my face reminder of my personal vulnerability, and I resent that more than a bit.

Addendum: As I was finishing up, my doorbell rang, and it was one of my neighbors with a long pole offering to help with the last bits of paper up in the tree. So now there's nothing left up there, even. I have really nice neighbors! (Which helps with the feeling vulnerable thing.)


  1. Forking was common when I was in high school and middle school. Nothing new. Another popular tactic was to use toothpaste to write on peoples windows. It's a pain to wash off, especially the gel varieties. I'll stop there b/c I don't want to give anyone any ideas. :-)

    (I'm not, btw, saying that I participated in these activities. I just know how common they were.)

  2. Anonymous9:49 AM

    yes, I have forked someone's grass. I'll admit to participating in it. I heard of the toothpaste thing but we didn't do it, even on windows, because we were told it was destructive to the car's finish.

    now that I've admitted by ill-doings, I have to add that I never, never tp'd a house that didn't belong to a youth pastor.

  3. Anonymous9:50 AM

    my ill-doings.

  4. Eep - creepy!! I'm sorry!

  5. The beauty of the toothpaste (and it should only be used on windows) is that you can easily write messages with it.

  6. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I am actually guilty of "sporking" a friend's yard.


  7. That is just bizarre. Maybe it was people who just wanted a place to fork/TP, and nothing personal at all?

  8. Yes, that is rather odd and I understand what you mean about feeling vulnerable. But now you have plenty of forks for your personal protection...

  9. I've not seen t.p./forks any place other than a high school.

  10. How weird and rude. I'm sorry this happened to you Bardiac.

  11. i've never heard of forking. back in high school, i participated in one or 2 TPings -- but i'm 51, didn't know anyone did that any more.

  12. K8, forking? Is that a wordplay on fucking, as in fucking with someone? Is there more implied? What's with the forks?

    Anastasia, so why the forks? What are they supposed to communicate?

    Hilaire, thanks :)

    K8, I hope you aren't giving my TPers any ideas!

    Roaringgrrl, you used sporks? LOL, somehow, that's funny to me.

    Susan, Could be just random. Just weird to me!

    PhD me, I should wash them and take them to a department picnic or something!

    Coffee-Drinking Woman, Yeah, me neither. But I don't think I'm back in highschool. I hope to hell not!

    kate, thanks :)

    Kathy A, They probably think it's a new thing, like my generation did back in the stone ages...

  13. I don't know if that is how this version of the word forking came into existence, but the term is also used to describe certain sexual positions (these are probably in

    I could tell a tale of some turnips and onions, but I'll leave that for another day.

  14. Odd, odd, odd. I associate TPing w/fourth through, oh, eighth graders. At least those are the years we snuck out (occasionally chauffered by a cool parent, who knew we'd sneak out anyway), to toilet paper someone's house. I've never heard of forking, though. That's bizarre.

    I'm hoping this is just a case of mistaken identity, but I do understand why it would make you feel vulnerable. Here's hoping you find an explanation soon. . .

  15. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Never heard of forking....

    Re creepy/vulnerable, the only time I ever helped TP a house, it was my coach's house at the end of a season, and a sort of celebration. No sort of attack at all.