Ah, teepeeing. There’s nothing quite like it. Not too long ago, I mentioned to a few friends my yearning to return to those innocent days of toilet paper throwing and occasional forking. Their response? Utter distain and absolute ridicule. My response? Not anger. Not shame. No, I could feel only sadness for these poor souls. These folk who have never felt the exhilaration of that first roll sailing high into the lofty branches of a mighty oak. These individuals who have been denied the joy of seeing a house covered in white streams of two-ply. These unfortunate people who would never feel that incredible rush of victory as you ran like hell for the car after your mission was finally completed.

It was then that I decided to impart my wisdom regarding all things teepeeing to those who have never participated in this life-changing adventure. My great hope is that they may read my words of guidance in order to experience the pleasure for themselves one day. For those kindred spirits who have already engaged in the ultimate thrill, may you enjoy the ride once more…

First, preparation. On this all else depends. Should you not properly lay down the groundwork for your mission, you will fail. Of utmost importance is the assemblage of your crew. You’re looking for stealth and speed. Totally useless are the morons who just stand there and laugh. When it comes to teepeeing, you can’t afford to have any weak links. Also, seek out those individuals that exude courage. When that light goes on in the master bedroom with one tree to go, you need peeps that are willing to put themselves on the line to finish the job. No one likes a pussy. Next, camouflage. This is relatively easy. Black is mandatory. Last, ammunition. Some might refer to this as “the midnight run.” Gathering supplies can actually be a lot trickier than you would imagine. Grocery stores have seen many a teepeer (the head-to-toe black kind of gives us away). If possible, split up your crew to avoid arousing suspicion. Also very important? Picking a cool cashier. You don’t want the fifty-something hag who’s bitter that she’s working the midnight shift at a grocery store at fifty-something. Instead, go for the thirty-something deadbeat who winks knowingly and whispers, “So cool, dude. Wish I could go with you.” Lastly, don’t forget your ride. I highly recommend that your driver not be a part of your team – too risky. Should your mission be compromised, you don’t want your driver caught in the line of fire. Then you’re all dead. Sidenote: I myself started teepeeing relatively young, before any of my peers could drive. Translation? Many a time my father would take me and my friends to our victim’s house. (Hells yeah, I got a cool dad.) I don’t think people quite realize the familial bonding that teepeeing can provide.

Second, victim selection. Back in my day, teepeeing was done without discrimination or malice. Everyone was a potential target: friends, enemies, teachers. Ultimately, the victim selected depended purely on the crew’s mood that night. Who was the last person to piss us off? One disclaimer: Beware those evil souls that will call the popo on your ass should you get caught. You don’t wanna mess with them. Too much trouble. Regardless, your goal is to have no members of your team taken prisoner. Should even one person be apprehended, it will result in the failure of your entire mission. Though most victims won’t call the cops, they will however make you clean up your masterpiece before anyone’s even had a chance to appreciate your handiwork. Like throwing away a Picasso.

Third, the mission. Always remember that time is of the essence. For every minute you’re out there on that lawn, bumping into friends as you frantically scramble to cover the joint in ribbons of white, the odds are increasingly against your favor that all will escape unscathed. But is it worth the heat, you ask? Damn right it is. No risk, no reward. Also, it’s extremely important to decide on concealment checkpoints ahead of time should a stray car come down the street. I have experienced more than one teepeeing attempt gone awry because some kid saw headlights, freaked out, and started to run for it, thus jeopardizing the entire operation. Once those spots have been secured, however, it’s time to roll up those black sleeves and get to work.

A successful teepeeing mission requires individuals that possess a subtle kind of artistic flair. It’s not just about being quiet and throwing rolls of toilet paper into trees. I wish it were that easy. No, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that either one has or one hasn’t when it comes to the act of TP throwing. You can’t just throw at anything. If a branch is too high or too leafy, your roll will get stuck. However, toss your roll over a barren branch, and you’re just wasting your time. Utilizing a simplistic over and under approach won’t do the trick. You’ll be there all night. What you’re looking for are those branches just high enough and just leafy enough so that upon throwing your roll, you’ll witness a perfect cascading of white that stutter steps from your intended branch onto all the lower-lying branches just so, resulting in a beautiful waterfall of Charmin that streams a good thirty or forty feet from tree to ground. Should you be able to accomplish this, my friend, your teepeeing future will be bright.

Finally, the celebration. Though you mustn’t risk detection by sticking around any longer than necessary, taking a moment to relish in your victory is encouraged. There are those that might even take a camera along to record for posterity their moment in the sun (relatively speaking, of course). If you’re feeling extra cocky, you might even drive past the next day to see if the target was able to extricate themselves from your web of humiliation. And the ultimate triumph? Should you still see bands of white flying among the treetops days later, then consider yourself a member of the teepeeing elite.

Soldier, we salute you.

Photo courtesy of Kenn W. Kiser

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