Unexpected Night Visitors

I have been thinking about what I wanted share next. I have a few posts lined up, but I’m not ready to put them down yet. So this week, with all the kids and teachers going back to school, and some off to college for the first time, I thought I would share one of the many experiences that we had when we were in college.

First thing you need to know is that when I finally did decide on what I thought God was telling me to do with my life, I was a bit older than the traditional college student. So, I was designated as a non-traditional student.

Chrissy and I had 3 kids when we went back to school full time. That’s right, it wasn’t just me, it was both of us who went back to school. We both had started college a few years earlier, and I did go to school before we were married. I was an advertising art major, and I focused on photography and color and design. Then I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to be in school. So, I sought out my photography professor and asked him what I needed to do to start my own studio. He gave me some advice, and I was off.

Now Chrissy, she started in on studying early childhood education a little while after we were married. After some time, she decided that this was not what she wanted to do. Even though she enjoyed it, she felt that it just wasn’t the right time to be in school. So, she put it on hold.

That is until I felt the Lord telling me that He wanted me to be a pastor. When God says go, you need to go. So, we answered the call and went to school. I was about 26, and Chrissy was 22. We started our journey at a college that wasn’t a good fit for us. The next fall we transferred to another school better suited for us.

We were officially students of Lincoln Christian College-East Coast. It was a satellite school located in Bel Air, Maryland. The main campus was located in Lincoln, Illinois, which is now called Lincoln Christian University.

Chrissy and I both enrolled as full-time students. Our campus and student body was very small, but we had great faculty.

Chrissy and I lived in an apartment across the road from the men’s dormitory. The apartment building, we lived in also housed the girl’s dorm and two faculty apartments. The girl’s dorm was basically just another apartment above our apartment. And even though the school was small, it was situated on a really cool campus.

The campus sat on an old southern plantation that had been renovated to house a school. It was called Eastern Christian College back in the day before it became Lincoln-East Coast. It had a gym, 2 classrooms, and offices– it even still had the huge plantation mansion that we called Old Main. The office building was at the opposite end of the campus from our apartment. It had a Christian school meeting in it as well, and a small book store. This building also housed two more apartments at the very end of the building on the upper floor. Those apartments were numbered 1 and 2. Which was ironic, because we lived in apartment 2 also.

Side Note: Our apartment building, way back when it was a plantation, our little living quarters, was once the chicken coop. The  girls’ dorm apartment was #1, and our apartment was #2, then two staff apartments on the other end were numbered 3 and 4.

Back then, we had just started to scratch the surface of something called the Internet. We had a computer in our apartment; this was when we were still using something called dial-up. Our computer would use a modem to dial a number to connect to the Internet through the phone lines in the apartment, then hopefully connect, if there weren’t too many people using that server.

We also had a land line home phone. It was really confusing trying to get the phone and internet installed because the buildings were so old and the wiring was all messed up. One line that they had marked apartment 1 was actually apartment 3. It was crazy! Now, you may be thinking, what does that have to do with anything? You will understand in a bit.

The students on campus love to pull all kinds of fun pranks on each other. We did all kids of funny things. At one time, some of the boys decided to prank one of the girls by splitting apart Oreos and sticking them all over her little white car. It was pretty funny at first, but when they were removed each cookie left a round dot from the oils in the filling on the car. Overnight, the car became speckled.

This is why I was not surprised when Chrissy woke me up in the middle of the night saying, “Someone is outside our window,”

It was a school night when this all happened. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Chrissy and I got the kids to bed; Tori had her own room, Ben and Jonah shared a room. I’m sure we had just worked on some homework, watched some TV, and then went off to bed.

Everything was fine, that is until I abruptly felt a hard smack across my chest that woke me up from a dead sleep. I woke to find my wife grabbing me and frantically whispering in a scared voice. “Butch I think someone is outside our window. The head of our bed was in the middle of two windows against the wall. So, I lay there absolutely still as I intently listened for what she had heard. It was so quiet, I could hear my heart pounding, and Chrissy breathing quickly. Then I heard voices outside too. I sprung out of bed, grabbed some jeans and pulled them on when I heard someone pounding on the door. Then a deep loud voice said “Open up! It’s the police!”

“What the heck?” I asked myself. Could this be some kind of prank?

Chrissy had on a very short and silky nightie that had a lacy V-neck. I moved to the door quickly as Chrissy peeked abound the bedroom door to see what was going on. I flipped the lights on and opened the door. I really expected to see some of the boys from the dorm across the way.

To my surprise, there stood 3 of Harford county’s finest in uniform.

They said, “Sir, we received a 911 call from apartment 2. Is this apartment 2? I said yes. They then continued by saying, “May we come in? The call received was a non-responsive call. We would like to check and make sure everything is okay.” I said, “Ok?” Then the one officer saw Chrissy in the bedroom door way. He said to Chrissy “Ma’am, can you please step out here?” She was totally embarrassed. She stepped out, and they started to question her. Then they asked, “Is there anyone else here?” We told them our kids were sleeping in their rooms, and they insisted on looking in on them. They checked the boys room first. This room looked like a cyclone had torn through it. As they shined their mag light on to the beds they could clearly see the boys fast asleep.

Then they moved to Tori’s room that was just off the kitchen.

Side Note: Tori liked to sneak into the kitchen at night and get leftovers out or other food and take it back into her room. We never knew what we would find in her bed or room. We would smell something funky or weird and instead of checking Jonah’s diaper, we checked Tori’s room for food.  Honestly, most times it was just Jonah’s pants though. LOL!

Also when Tori was little, she loved to wear dresses. She absolutely highly disliked pants or anything that covered her legs tightly. In fact, dresses were all she would wear; it was dresses or nothing literally. If she couldn’t have a dress on she had nothing on.

So, as the officers in their investigation of our apartment moved to her room, Chrissy looked at me and I at her, knowing that we may find a crazy situation in her room. I can only imagine what the expressions on our faces were like. Chrissy told me later that it was at this moment that she had visions of the child protective services coming to our door the next day to take our kids.

The officer opened the door and shined the light around  her room that looked like Punky Brewster’s wardrobe room gone bad. I peered I with the officer, just praying that Tori would have something on. When his light rested on the little body of my daughter she was in her sleeping position that I still kid her about.

Side Note: Tori would sleep on her belly all scrunched up with her knees tucked under her with her butt up in the air. It was the cutest thing.

So the light stopped on her sleeping in her normal position butt up in the air. The only thing she had on was a head band that she had made in Sunday school that looked like a lion’s mane. That was it, nothing else. She was naked as a jaybird. The cop chuckled and turned about and said to the others “We’re all good here.” I was at a point of embarrassment that there are no words to describe. I looked at Chrissy and slowly shook my head, at that she knew tori had done something.

I was just glad he didn’t say to the others, “Dudes, come over here, you have got to see this!” The officers seemed to be satisfied with their investigation. As they walked to the front door, they told us that they were sorry to disturb us and again mentioned that there was a 911 call from apartment 2. Then they asked if there were other apartments on campus? We told them that there were 3 other apartments in this building, but there is another building with more apartments down the hill. So, they thanked us for letting them in, and they left.

After they left, I showed Chrissy what the cop was laughing at in Tori’s room. She was still in the same position with the lion’s mane. We stood there laughing at the situation. After covering our girl and removing her lion headdress, we then turned to each other, and agreed this would be one of those nights that we would not forget.

The next day we found out that in the office building down the hill there was another apartment number 2; the person who lived in that apartment had a phone that malfunctioned and somehow called 911 in the middle of the night. I still don’t understand how it happened. The police got the two apartments mixed up and ended up at our home. So, we were the lucky ones who received a visit in the middle of the night.

My take-away is that sometimes you may be the victim of someone else’s emergency, so the best thing to do is try to be cooperative. Chrissy’s take-away was, make sure you have a housecoat close by for those times when you have visitors in the middle of the night.

 

Pranks!

Pranks!
Over the years, Chrissy and I have been known to pull a few pranks. Mostly on our best of friends. These little mischievous acts are meticulously planned out with the greatest of attention to details and timing. Here are a few that we have successfully pulled off over the years.
When we were in college, it seemed like we were always involved in some sort of prank, whether it be covering someone’s white Chevette with Oreo cookies to make it look like a Dalmatian, or awarding someone for being the 100,000th visitor to the Historical Duck Decoy Museum that, they recently had visited.
That was when we awarded a dollar store lint brush in the form of a duck as a trophy. Upon delivery, the recipient opened the package to find a very official-sounding letter from the duck decoy historical foundation, along with the major award of the duck. The best part of a prank is watching how it unfolds. For us it was sheer joy to enter this person’s home to see the letter, along with the trophy, displayed in a prominent place in their home.
One of my absolute favorites was the Mickey Premium Ice Cream bar wallpapering.
This was where we took a few wrappers that I had saved from Disney’s most awesome ice cream treat in the world and photocopied them to make 10 x 8 sheets of Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar wallpaper. We covered our friend’s office with our wallpaper while he was gone on vacation to Disney World. He actually loved it. We have a short video of this prank on YouTube. https://youtu.be/psBUDfRDmEA
Then we had another friend who highly disliked snowmen. So we did a prank called “The Game.” We used left over garbage bag snowmen from a series I had done, and we strategically placed them in his office. We staged them as a scene from a mob movie. Again we made a trailer of this one too. It is also on YouTube. https://youtu.be/irdEB77gCbMI’m not sure why we did all the trailers. And I’m not so sure that he appreciated my humor on this one.
There have been so many more, that I just can’t think of all of them. But not all pranks go as planned or as you may expect. We had one such prank that we pulled with friends of ours. I will keep their names anonymous. I don’t want them to feel like I’m ratting them out or anything. Let’s just call them Dana, Bruce, and the twins who owned the gorilla suit.
Well, we were sitting around playing cards one night as we did often with our friends. This night was special because some of our children were gone on a camping excursion. The Hunter Boys were out with their cadet group.
Side note: The Cadets are a church-sponsored organization that is like a Christian Boy Scout group.
This overnight camping trip was serving a purpose. Our church was having an outdoor service the next morning, and the cadets camped out to guard all the equipment at the church in the yard. These brave boys ages 8-12 would fend of any unwanted, ill-willed intruders.
So, as we were playing cards one of us got the itch to be mischievous. That’s all it takes to set things in motion. We sat playing hand after hand, throwing out ideas as to what we could do to some poor, unsuspecting victim. Eventually, someone said we should prank the cadets!
The ideas starting coming, but we knew we didn’t want to go overboard and do something that would scar them for life. So, we finally cooked up the idea of launching water balloons onto and around their campsite. I have a launcher, and to make it even better, we thought let’s make it seem like a gorilla escaped from the zoo and was throwing the balloons at them. Dana made a call to the twins, who just happened to have a gorilla suit. The plan was in motion and could not be stopped. We made plans to meet the twins after we filled the balloons.
We parked in an area that was not conspicuous, and rallied the team for one last briefing on how this would go down. The four of us would launch the balloons and make gorilla noises as one of the twins would dance around acting like he was throwing water balloons in the parking lot under a security light. It was fun and not too scary, or so we thought.
The balloons started to fly and the gorilla danced, but we didn’t get much of a reaction. So we aimed for the tents trying to make direct hits. As we rained down our balloons of fury, a few of the boys woke up, most just kept sleeping. This is where it kind of went too far, remember the comment about not scarring the kids for life?
Well, the gorilla was told to charge, someone said attack, and we had balloons flying everywhere. The gorilla was shaking tents, and before we knew it, that jungle beast was unzipping tents and surprising sleeping campers. There were arms and legs going every which way. Screams of boys echoed left and right.  Then the gorilla came to one little boy who wouldn’t wake up so the gorilla entered his tent, bent down and gave a resounding gorilla growl. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this was a Hunter Boy. He sat straight up, screamed, and started crying hysterically.
This was a prank gone wrong. Luckily, most of the boys were laughing– all except for Jonah. He had just had the pee scared out of him. The good thing was that his  mom was right there to take care of him and help him out of this awkward predicament. Mom somehow just happened to be there to rescue her baby boy.
We still have a good laugh about this one, well, most of us do. We learned not to mix gorillas, water balloons, and cadets together in the middle of the night, unless you want to have gremlins.  
We do still do a few mischievous acts from time to time, but nothing harmful that may cause anyone years of counseling.