Cheap Toilet Paper: It Has Its Benefits

Where I come from, we call this “TP’ing” (toilet papering). Here in the south it’s called “rolling houses”. Either way, you buy tons of cheap toilet paper and thread it through trees and bushes and anything else you can find to cover.

As a teenager, I lived for October just to TP a house. A friend. Ex boyfriend (we bring out the paraffin for that and Vaseline and feathers), could be a teacher or principal. They have it coming. You know they do.

Point is, I can remember getting together with friends and waiting for that midnight hour when we got our dark spy gear on, grabbed black trash bags and filled them with our weapons, and shoved some rolls down our shirts and pants. Running back and forth to the car took too much time. 

Sometimes, we’d walk the neighborhood, sometimes we’d drive and park down the road, depending on where we needed to go.

The excitement of getting caught and chased was just as much fun as throwing the gleaming white paper into the darkness and watching it loop magically through the trees. In fact, we hoped we’d have to run.

Laughing in a ditch for two hours while our fingers froze was a thrill. Peeling out, leaving a spray of gravel and dust was exhilarating. 

My favorite TP adventure might have been when me and two girlfriends decided to get the guy on the hill. We tortured his yard and then a dog barked. 

We froze in place, tried not to breathe hard, listened. 

The sound of a door opened. 


We booked it across the yard and dove into a pile of wood and brush.  He flew across his yard. We prayed he wouldn’t see us. He scaled that dadgum pile of brush. I heard my friend, Carrie, groan. I covered my mouth not to laugh. He landed on her in his leap to further him along in his capture.

I guess with all that adrenaline racing through him, he didn’t hear her.

When he was long gone down the street, we took off the other way, hopped in the getaway car and showed up to school Monday grinning.

Funny thing about my friend we TP’d. He turned out to be a FBI agent. In fact, he’s my consult for my FBI series. I wonder if he went into that line of work because I, the ultimate villain, got away.

When I expressed that to him on the phone. He just laughed. The kind of laugh that tells me I’m dreaming and nice try, thanks for playing. 

Ah to be a teenager. Who am I kidding? I still go every year. I can’t run as fast or hard and I’m probably more cautious, staying away from windows and doors, taking the outer trees, hoping I don’t get arrested b/c Tim has informed me, “I’m not bailing you out for this, Jess, and try not to wake me up when you get home–which better be before daylight.” 

Yeah, I’ll be sure to consult the Farmer’s Almanac.

You know, it’s kind of like serial killers (not glorifying killers, people) just saying when the deed is done, you have to go back and stare at it. It’s satisfying.  And maybe, just maybe I keep a token, like a water hose nozzle from each victim. Nah, I don’t keep tokens. My junk drawers are full and I don’t have time to carve out hiding spaces. 

Have you ever rolled/TP’ed a house? Do you still? Or am I the only one with Peter Pan syndrome?

19 thoughts on “Cheap Toilet Paper: It Has Its Benefits

  1. I'm embarrassed to tell you – I've never rolled a house. But YOU crack me up!!!

  2. Oh no, I suddenly feel like I missed a vital piece of childhood…and am now bemoaning my goody-two-shoes teenage existence. Is it wrong for a just-turned-30-year-old to go out TP-ing? Hehehe…

    Hilarious post. Love that your TP victim is now an FBI agent!

  3. LOL! It's probably a good thing we don't live near each other. 😀 The house down the road got TP'd last week…it wasn't me…really!

  4. I want to do this with you! Promise me if we meet, we'll tp something together?!

    We buy the cheap stuff b/c that's all our toilet will handle. Fun, huh?

    And so funny about the FBI agent.
    ~ Wendy

  5. I am going to stay far far away from you because we are simply too similar. The trouble we would get into would be … scary! 🙂

  6. Never TPed – never BEEN TPed – but I'm really regretting it right now LOL. You TOTALLY make it sound like a blast!

  7. Yes, I've TPEED…many times in high school.

    We had a 3 man system to loop it through the branches so the paper only came a foot off of the ground and looped back up…very professional system and hard to get out of the tree branches…haha. Never got caught.

    Fun post.

  8. Hey, to admit this? You have guts, girl!

    I never TP'd a house, but I had friends who did. I do have to admit that I certainly wasn't perfect though. Nope, this PK was known to be a bit of a prankster in her own right. (I "assisted" in removing a real estate sign once and putting it in someone else's yard. We thought THAT was going to land us in the clink. I worried about it for months…) 🙂

  9. Oh how funny/ This reminds me of crank calling and knocking on doors and running away.

    Thanks for bringing back some fun (but naughty) childhood memories 🙂

  10. I have never rolled a house. Ever. My parents would never allow me to do so because they'd known someone who had been rolled on the same day a family member died–bad timing. My parents didn't want me to ever be involved in something like that and cause someone to have to clean it up if something else was going on in their lives, so I never did it. And I've never ventured out to do it in my adult years. 🙂

  11. I've done my share. Not for a few years though. Hey, when your grandkids are old enough to pick up the tradition, it's time to slow down.

  12. Oh, you inspire me! My girls and I might have to go out for a little while tonight! Hee Hee! Now who shall we challenge???

  13. A friend of mine conned me into once when I was a teen. I felt pretty "bad girl" after that! But, never did it again!

  14. LOL. Great post. TPing was a big deal for us. Every year during homecoming, the junior and senior girls tp'd the football players homes. My senior year, one of the football players dad's was waiting on the porch and scared us to death. My friend was so scared she raced down the drive and slammed into the saran wrap she'd just ran between two trees, lol.

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