Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

The art of sneaking out

My dad reads these posts sometimes.

Dad, maybe you should skip this one.

Dad? OK, fine. Do what you want. (smile)

Don’t worry. We never did anything worse than doorbell ditching.

There were some guys who stole bikes and bought beer at the gas station down the hill but we stayed away from them.

Sneaking out.

Start by sleeping in sleeping bags in the back yard. Choose the part of the yard furthest away from your parent’s bedroom.

You’ll be heading outside in pajamas so you’ll need to stuff extra clothes into your sleeping bag. I prefer black cargo pants, black shirt, and baseball cap. It’s hot in pants but the extra coverage is worth it.

You can try to arrange your sleeping bag so it looks like someone is still in it, but it probably doesn’t matter.

Now there’s a choice to be made. You can go over land but there can be people out asking questions and too many cars.

Or you can go down through the woods. This is more private but also dark and scary. This is the way you usually go. It’s not as bad with a couple friends. You can all pretend you’re not scared.

Then it’s easy. You can run around the little playground. Ring doorbells and run away. Maybe toss off a couple of leftover fireworks.

You’re close to the woods so its easy to hide if someone comes out.

The walk home is always the hardest. You don’t want to leave but you’re exhausted. You always wish you had bikes for the way home. But bikes complicate things. You can’t get away as fast.

So it’s walking and walking through the woods. Carefully opening the back gate and collapsing into a sweaty heap on top of your sleeping bag.