Monday, June 22, 2009

Misadventures of a Misspent Youth, Part III

Here’s yet another installment of shameful things I did as a kid. Except in this one, I really wasn’t a kid. I was 19 years old. Which by some definitions of the law made me a legal adult. (Meaning I could vote or join the military, but I couldn’t pick up a case of Cuervo at the store. Not that I ever tried. I don’t even know what Cuervo is. Really.)

It was the fall of 1990. My sophomore year in college was well underway. Then something notable happened. A dating relationship I was in ended rather badly. I don’t mean “badly” as in having an unpleasant conversation and deciding to part ways. The kind of “badly” I mean is more like the way WWII ended badly for Japan. Or the way that little volcanic eruption ended badly for the people of Pompeii. Or the way a few dishonest business decisions ended badly for Ken Lay. The way this relationship ended badly was of biblical proportions. Ask anyone who knew me then. It’s true.

What made this situation worse than it had to be was that after it ended badly, it kept ending badly. The guy (let’s call him… oh, I don’t know. Wait, I’ve got it.) Dick Cheney started being mean. Just plain mean. He talked smack about me to people I was friends with. He folded up my photos and sent them back to me through campus mail with an ugly note attached. Once, when my bff Carol and I walked past him, he yelled the “b” word at me. (OK, there is a little more to that story, but that’s the version I like to tell.) All of this silliness was BUGGING me. I just wanted to get on with my life. But I also wanted to get him back for all the harassment.

One weekend, I came up with a plan. Something that wasn’t illegal or even that big of a deal, but something I knew would annoy Dick Cheney and give me a nice sense of satisfaction. Dick Cheney happened to be what we then called a “metalhead” or “headbanger.” If music didn’t have people screaming and farm animals being slaughtered in it, he didn’t like it. On this weekend, I knew Dick Cheney was going to be out of town. So all day Saturday, I kept calling his phone and playing Debbie Gibson (someone he found particularly annoying, but didn’t we all?) on his answering machine until I filled up the entire tape. When I called one last time and only heard a “click,” I knew the tape was full and my work was done.

But you know, this still didn’t quite do it for me. He had been SO MEAN to me. I had to do something else. I thought long and hard about sugar in his gas tank. Oh yes, I did. But rational thought prevailed and I decided to do something less destructive. One night, my friend and I saw Dick Cheney’s car in a campus parking lot. (Once again, I must emphatically declare that this friend was not my bff Carol. Carol would never dream of participating in something so juvenile and… well, illegal as what my other friend and I did that night.) Let’s call my friend Marilyn Monroe. Just for fun.

So Marilyn Monroe and I spotted Dick Cheney’s car. I said, “Hey, let’s steal his gas cap. In a few days we’ll put it back. Just to mess with him.” So we did. Stole his gas cap. A few nights later, we spotted his car again. We opened the gas tank cover to put the gas cap back, and wouldn’t you know it, he had bought a new one. So we took that one, too.

Marilyn Monroe put the two gas caps in a box and they moved around with us from dorm to apartment to apartment over the next couple of years. Then we graduated and Marilyn Monroe took them home to her parents’ house in Missouri. (Where her perplexed mother discovered them one day.) Marilyn Monroe and I had talked about waiting 20 years or so and then mailing them to Dick Cheney from some random address in a random state. I’ve stayed in touch with Marilyn Monroe and just about every time we talk, she says, “You know I still have those gas caps.” And now it’s been 19 years. So I have a year to figure out if I should mail them to Dick Cheney or not. I’m not the type to hold a grudge, especially over a relationship that ended so long ago. But I am just obnoxious enough to think that mailing the gas caps to Dick Cheney would still be pretty funny.

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  • At Mon Jun 22, 05:37:00 PM, Blogger courtney said…

    you are my kind of gal! i would totally send them back to him--definitely nothing illegal in doing that! what *would* be wrong would be tracking down the car he drives today and stealing a 3rd gas cap! ;)

  • At Mon Jun 22, 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Keith Brenton said…

    Sometime I'll have to tell you about the time I squeezed my ex-wife Alison Arngrim in her little bitty blue car out of a parking space in downtown Little Rock at lunch hour using my big silver van.

    (Okay, that isn't really her name. I don't even know who Alison Arngrim is. Really.)

  • At Wed Jun 24, 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Dad and Linda said…

    we can mail them from here if you'd like :)

  • At Wed Jun 24, 05:52:00 PM, Blogger Paige said…

    Cuervo is tequila and that's really funny! :-D

  • At Thu Jun 25, 09:48:00 AM, Blogger SG said…

    You know after posting this, he may find out a bit early who did that. The ACU circle isn't so big that he would be completely out of the loop from some of your readers... But since I have no idea who "Dick Cheney" really is, your gas cap stealing story is safe with me! :)

  • At Thu Jun 25, 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    As far as I know, he cut himself off from all things ACU long ago. If he ever gets a Facebook, we would have some friends in common, though. There is a chance he's known all along who did it. Either way, I don't really care!

  • At Fri Jun 26, 03:17:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Love the Dick Cheney placeholder.

    Fortunately for you, you never had to actually date Dick Cheney.

  • At Mon Jun 29, 05:35:00 PM, Blogger qb said…

    Hey, Deanna, funny blog. One question, tho: why do you hate Dick Cheney so? I mean, the real one. I mean, specifically why?


  • At Mon Jun 29, 07:09:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    I never said I hate Dick Cheney. (At least I don't think I did. If I communicated that somewhere, please let me know.) I just needed a name that wasn't the real one.

    I don't hate Marilyn Monroe, either. Just for the record.


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