Forgive me, y'all, for I have sinned.
I got into all kinds of mischief when I was a kid, but none quite so infamous as what we got into at the church that was adjacent to my neighborhood.
(If you're going to get all church-lady on me and faint over the idea of, say, kids stealing donuts from a Bible study meeting, you should probably stop reading now.)
Growing up in the sprawling suburborural reaches of outer Nashville meant that my little subdivision was surrounded by country roads and cow pastures and other subdivisions and not much else. I liked to read Baby-Sitter's Club books, and I was always baffled when Kristy and the gang would walk "around the corner" to grab a candy bar or walk to the library. Around what corner? All that's around the corner from my house is more houses that look like my house. And a church.
My best friend Bradley and I used to ride our bikes in the church parking lot pretty much every day. On weekends, kid's soccer teams used to play matches in the churchyard. Sometimes they'd leave the refreshment truck parked at the church through the week. Brad and I were fixated on breaking into that truck, perpetually mocked by the enticing Pepsi logo on the side.
Once, we got caught trying to break into it. I tearfully pleaded for forgiveness. Brad rode his bike into a ditch and pretended he was dead. I'm think Brad eventually got into that truck, but I ran away before I could partake in the endless fountain of Mountain Dew.
A whole new world of mischief opened up to us when the congregation broke ground on a beautiful new chapel.
I can't go into a lot of what happened. I do not recall anyone ever rollerblading in the sanctuary while it was under construction. If anyone ever walked in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the sanctuary during Sunday Mass while wearing an elaborate Godzilla mask, I don't know anything about it. And I swear up and down that, to this day, no one can explain how the Virgin Mary statue's missing thumb ended up in Bradley's mom's junk drawer. Our mothers are still horrified over that one.
There is one crime I am prepared to own up to.
Let me set the scene for you.
It is 1989 or 1990. The Simpsons is a cultural phenomenon. And Bradley has somehow managed to secure a can of red spray paint.
We are drunk with power.
We creep over to the church construction site under the guise of riding bikes. I spot the perfect canvas immediately.
Brad hands the can to me. I feel the weight of it in my hand. I squint up at the white construction trailer in front of me, almost blinded by its gleaming blankness. I push my glasses back up on my sweaty nose and take a deep breath.
I write, in three-foot-tall letters, the worst swear word I can think of.
I never got caught.
Discussion Question: What kind of unbelievable mischief did you get into as a child?