Doing Some Sneaking Around

Today’s post comes from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden.

Hey Mr. C.,

I can’t believe it’s August already!

Pretty soon I’ll be back at Wendell Wilkie High School (again)! Being a perennial sophomore, I know the routine pretty well – a lot better than some of the teachers.

This year will be extra exciting because it’s a presidential election year, and that means we can burn up a lot of time in first hour American History class if Mr. Boozenporn sees something on the news the night before that irks him, which he almost always does.

Four years ago we spent the whole month of October talking about political ads, and I hear that this year the ads are gonna be even wackier. I was watching TV last night, looking for something I could bring up on the first day of school, when I saw an interview with this Paul Ryan guy who is going to run for vice president, I guess.

There was a whole lot of talk about budgets and numbers and stuff that makes me feel like I’ve got bees in my ears whenever I hear it, so I really don’t remember any of that. But what did get my attention was when he talked about trying to sneak out of his own house so reporters wouldn’t know he was going off to meet Mitt Romney.

Sneaking out of the house is something I think about a lot. I’m not saying I’ve done it a lot, but if Jennifer Currie asked me to hang out with her at, like, midnight … I would definitely find a way. So that part of Paul Ryan’s story really resonated for me. But he had it easy – he just walked in the front door of his house and right out the back door and through the woods and a yard on the other side, to the street where somebody picked him up!

He was kind of boasting about how clever that was, even though there wasn’t anybody actually IN the house trying to keep him from getting out, and he had a convenient forest right there to hide in and a driver to whisk him away. I wish I had just ONE of those things working for me. Anybody could sneak out under those conditions.

I’ve got all kinds of people at my house (OK, mom and dad, mostly) always asking “Where are you going?” and “What’re you doing?” Most of the time the answer is “nowhere” and “nothing”, which just seems to make them madder. And instead of having a forest right outside the back door, I’ve got to cross this wide open stretch that’s like the exercise yard at Leavenworth. There’s no grass back there, which makes it mushy after a rain. And there are motion sensitive lights and a dog next door (Buddy) who flies off the handle whenever he hears somebody on our side of the fence breathing. And then there’s the fence itself – it’s so old and rickety, I know it’s going to collapse on me someday when I’m vaulting over it, just like the pole did for that jumper guy from Cuba. And then Ryan had someone to pick him up! I’d like to see him sneak out and get where he’s going by having to “borrow” a bike from the neighbor’s garage!

But I guess that’s how it is when you get to be a Congressman (and maybe vice president) – you get to do stuff the easy way and think you’ve had a real accomplishment.

I’m not saying I’ve done any of that, by the way. But in all the times I’ve imagined meeting Jennifer Currie at midnight, that’s how I got there – tossing a steak to Buddy, crawling on my belly through the mud in the back yard, vaulting over the fence and then riding ten miles on a stolen bike.

And when I show up, all mud caked and sweaty, she’s always happy to see me. That’s how I know it didn’t really happen!

Your Pal,
Bubby

Ever sneak out of the house, or travel under cover?

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68 thoughts on “Doing Some Sneaking Around”

  1. Well, well – Robme and Ryan are a great pair. They both have the secrecy thing down pat! Only one time did I ever try to sneak out of my parent’s home. My best friend had called, sobbing, to say that her dad had just beat her up. Desperately wanting to help her, I went out my bedroom window to rush to meet her at the end of my block. It was late afternoon. I got as far as a neatly-trimmed row of shrubs outlining our front yard and froze like a pillar of salt. I honestly could not make myself go one step further. I was gripped with intense fear about what my mother would do if she discovered that I’d sneaked out and literally couldn’t move. I rushed back up the yard, threw myself through the window, and felt terrible about letting my friend down. My mother never laid a hand on me, but her psychological hold was incapacitating and indelible.

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  2. i remember sneaking out when i was 12/13 14. it was always an adrenalin stirring moment. the way the tingles get to my legs would make me laugh as i was being sneaky. here i am trying to be cool and slick and my legs are tingling all over the place as i am tring to tie my shoes. it did make me laugh. usually just going out to meet a couple friends and walk around feeling like guys getting away with something. i remember waking up a friend who had a bed below a basement window by spraying the screen with a waking mist that got his attention and got him out of bed. another time i remember going 2 huses down the street to have a rendevous with the foxy babe who lived there to sit on her bed while she sat there in her nightgown knowing how much danger she was in of being caught and loving it. she wound up having here youth stolen from her with a baby at age 16 and turned to jesus as her answer. ran away a few times in jr high and moved out in high school. my sneaking out was great but the woods to a car in the driveway where i grew up 100 yards away. sounds like the gop agenda in a nutshell. by the way i found it interesting that romney called everyone else friday night, portman rubio macdonnell and christie all got the call on friday night and pawlenty got the call monday after if was over. what does that say about pawlenty? the guynot in politics? the guy we really dont care about? mr moot? timmy is on the board of directors for 7 new corporations in 2012 and is a hired consultant on another. can you imagine any other way tim could have raised himself up to a level of import without being a republican concubine? god bless the gop. long live the freedom of choice. we have it in spades in 2012.

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    1. With all due respect, tim, I really don’t see that it tells us anything about Pawlenty that he didn’t get the call till after after the fact. It does say something about Romney and his campaign, though, and may even say something about what they think of Pawlenty, but in all fairness, I don’t think it says anything about him. Maybe I’m hopelessly old fashioned, but I think it’s a mistake to infer something about one person by another’s bad behavior.

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      1. 5 people in the room 4 are informed 1 is ignored, tells me about the 1 who is ignored out there making a pitch for the team. he is an unrespected, unvalued member of the group. they may be twits but they are his twits.

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        1. Your probably are right about the late call to Pawlenty, tim. Still, we really don’t know why he was the last to be called. Maybe he was still in the running to be picked right up to the final day when Ryan was announced. That’s probably what Romney told Pawlenty.

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        2. tim, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Pawlenty’s politics any better than you do. I agree that you could surmise, and perhaps be right, that he’s not respected or valued by the group. I think it a whole lot more likely that the “team” recognized that Pawlenty doesn’t guarantee a lot of votes for the ticket, which tells me a lot more about what this “team” values than it does about him. In the end, I think it boils down to politics; you do whatever it takes to get the job done, a distasteful business however you slice it.

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    2. tim, go back and read the article. As I read it, Pawlenty was notified before the other candidates not after it was announced.

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      1. Officials said he had called all five to notify them of his decision. Pawlenty received a call Monday evening, the day after Ryan accepted, while the other four were all notified Friday, just hours before the announcement.

        pj what i love about this group is that even if it is tim pawlenty no one will get evil and venomous. i am afraid sometimes i may not fit. i am not cut of that cloth. i can get venomous with the venomest of em

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        1. A matter of style, tim, a matter of style. You’re a whole lot more likely to say what pops into your head without censoring it than I am.

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        2. That’s my understanding, tim, it’s an option, but as you know, we live in a free country, so you may choose exercise that option or not. (From what I see on the internet these days, a lot of people are opting NOT to.) Personally, I don’t have a thick enough hide to take the consequences if I don’t moderate my utterances at least a little. When I don’t, it’s usually because I’m really angry, and I’ve learned that things I say in anger I sometimes wish I could take back. So I’m cautious when I feel a tirade coming on. If I have to swallow my own words, I don’t want them to be too harsh or distasteful.

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  3. ryan in a basebal cap and sunglasses being picked up by someones daughter in an suv…can you imagine anyone looking more like the gop prototype than ryna in a baseball cap, sunglasses and an suv.(bet there was a crisply ironed shirt involved)
    i am going to love this election. something about the bella lugosi hair on ryan make me want to do a caricature of the serpent and the blood sucking vampire for the gop poster this year.

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  4. Buddie has to be careful! I’m not sure how many years he’s been held back, but if he gets lucky with Jennifer he could fall under the MN definition of statutory rape.

    Just as I predicted, WordPress has (for reasons of its own) decided I am no longer fit to be the Blue Doily. I’m going to take that as good news, but I wonder now if WP has me confused with Edith.

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  5. I was a pretty rule bound and obedient teenager and never snuck out of the house. To my knowledge, neither of my children have, either. My mother did the ultimate sneaking out of the house and eloped when she was 19.

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      1. In the fall of 942, my mother learned that my father was to be sent overseas to England with the Army Air Corp. They wanted to marry before he was shipped, so they decided that the best thing to do was to marry in December when she was on Christmas vacation from college. She attended Mankato State. She was 19. Dad was 21. They would have to keep it a secret until Spring and she was finished with her teachers training, since you weren’t allowed to be married and be in college. At the start of Christmas vacation, she left Mankato on the train to Wichita Falls, TX, where dad was stationed. The only people she told were her cousin and her boss at her part time job. Her boss gave her a bottle of Virginia Dare wine to take along to celebrate with. I have no idea where she told her parents she was going to be over vacation.They were married after Christmas Day services in a Lutheran church in Wichita Falls. My dad had two air corps buddies as attendants. My mother didn’t have any attendants. The whole congregation stayed for the ceremony, even though they didn’t know my parents at all. Mom returned to college after vacation, and my dad shipped to England in the summer. They didn’t see each other until 1945. No one knew they were married until a year or so had passed. My mom was living at home in Pipestone teaching in country schools, and my grandmother
        got suspicious about all the letters my mom kept getting from this guy in England. My mom finally told her about the marriage and she said my grandmother was really upset about the elopement. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this Christmas.

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  6. I just snuck off the trail for a few days to attend a wedding. As punishment one of my flights to VT was delayed and the 1st one home is now late too.
    Here in the land of Ben and Jerry there is no Mini-sota Donut Ice cream. Baboons can assore their access by daily votes at http://www.kempsnextflavor.com and app.facebook/kempsfav/contests/213564
    Thanks

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  7. Good morning. I liked to pretend I had I had left home and was hiding out, but I never actually did that as far as I can remember. I had some hiding places and practiced hiding. I think there were some places under bushes that I thought would be good places to hide and I would try them out by sitting in them. I didn’t stay hidden long enough to cause anyone to come looking for me. Perhaps they were glad to be rid of me for a little while.

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  8. Morning–

    Living out in the country, I didn’t have friend close enough to sneak off too. Sneaking would have involved the car or tractor and then there are dogs and cows and fence gates to open. Would have been a long, noisy, sneak.

    I was visiting my friend down in Florida and, having sunburned my legs to the second degree, I was lying on the cool tiles of the bathroom floor about 2:00 AM when his little brother sneaked back into the house through the exterior door of the bathroom. We sort of surprised each other.

    And once, when I was playing a butler for the Christmas Teas here at Mayowood (the home Dr. Charles Mayo lived in) I would slip through the basement between front door and kitchen and one rainy day, trying to find my way up the steps in the dark, I had stepped half way over the sleeping dog when he woke up and barked. That was both surprising and terrifying…

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    1. I do some sneaking around in my house in the middle of the night when I wake up. I don’t turn on lights to avoid bothering other people. Once I accidentally walked into a room where another person was sleeping. That person woke up and didn’t know it was me. The person who was terrified in this case was the person who woke up, not me. Now I am very careful to be sure I know where I am going when I get up in the middle of the night.

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  9. I don’t think I’ve ever sneaked out of our house, and I think I would remember if I had. If by traveling under cover you mean wearing some sort of disguise, I have never needed to do that. I have done some sleuthing though. When I began to suspect that wasband was sneaking around with one of his coworkers, I started checking up on him. It’s a long and complicated tale, pretty funny in retrospect, but at the time it was pretty devastating to realize that I had married a serial philanderer. I learned that I have pretty good intuition and can tell fact from fiction with the best of them.

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  10. Was difficult to sneak out of my house – to get to my bedroom, I had to walk through my parents’ bedroom and the drop from the window would have put me in the spirea bushes at the front of the house, ouch. So no sneaking out for me. My modus operandi was to just stay out later than I was supposed to…always with a good excuse like, “I didn’t want to come home from the party during bar rush so I figured best to wait until all the drunks were home.” Since I didn’t hang out with “bad kids” (and, unlike my big brother, I never came home less than sober) I got away with a lot.

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    1. Having to go through your parents’ bedroom would undoubtedly crimp your style, Anna; good for you that you found a way around it. I could have easily sneaked out it I had wanted to, but I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, so why bother? I led a pretty sheltered social life until I moved to Basel when I was 18. Once I got there, no one had any idea that I was the perennial wallflower (although heaven only knows I gave them plenty of clues) so by golly, I joined the dance.

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  11. The only time I sneaked out was with my slumber party (this was way before they were called “sleepovers”). We were probably 13 or 14, about 8 of us sleeping in the basement, and decided it would be a really good idea to TP Phil Mount’s house, which was I-kid-you-not at least 2 miles away. So in our wisdom we snuck out the side door IN OUR PAJAMAS at probably 3 a.m., treked across town which included going under the viaduct, down by the railroad tracks… TP’d his house and made it back with no mishaps, but I look back on this and go WHAT WERE WE THINKING?? My folks never heard a thing.

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  12. To my disappointment, I can’t remember sneaking out. I was a sweet kid who never got the hang of sneaking, and I didn’t have enough of a social life to tempt me into doing anything my parents would have banned. There was one argument with my mother in which she made some over-the-top charges about how expensive my college was, and I think I sneaked out a basement bedroom window that afternoon so I could walk to a Red Owl three or four miles away and get a job as a grocery bagger. My mom was mortified when I got back, which was the whole point, although I did have a job that I had to do for a few weeks that summer.

    When I was still in high school, I would sneak inside my head at night, lying on my bed in the dark while listening to spooky rhythm and blues music coming out of a clear channel radio station in Little Rock, music that would have turned my parents’ hair white, had they heard it. My folks thought I was asleep but I was tripping out on music never heard on Wonder Bread white radio stations in central Iowa. I later read that little Garry Keillor and little Bobby Zimmerman listened to the very same stuff at the same time.

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  13. I, um, was, well, um, far less angelic than all of you. I sneaked. Repeatedly. Out. I had a basement bedroom with a door directly to the patio outside and I used it. Often.

    There was a bunch of city kids with summer cabins every summer. We sneaked out at least once a week. We’d plan it in the afternoon while swimming at the raft. Everybody would go to bed and get up around midnight. We’d meet on the gravel road just west of my house and walk together on the causeway between Cannon and Wells Lakes to the bridge connecting the two lakes. We were just a group of teenagers walking in the summer night, looking at the stars, listening to the waves rolling on the shore, feeling the excitement of youth and adventure, the soft, warm wind blowing through our hair and the swish of the breeze on the tall grass. There was one kid, Jeff, who started all of this. Two of my girlfriends, Cheryl and Nancy, had crushes on him and would go to his family’s camper trailer and throw rocks at his window. I don’t know why his parents didn’t respond, but we rarely saw them. Jeff would come out, sleepy and grinning, and off we’d go. We usually stayed out for a couple of hours. I remember how bright the stars were and how quiet it was. It’s actually a memory that I treasure. It’s not like that around here anymore.

    My parents never knew about that, but they did know that I left the house and walked alone at night, almost every night, the year that I reached puberty, so maybe they wouldn’t have been surprised by it. Something about that change of life caused a year of insomnia for me. I didn’t sleep at all for my entire fourteenth year and I spent the summer nights dressed in my bib overalls, walking the county road to the bridge, leaning or sitting on the bridge, looking at the water, feeling alone and wondering if I would ever sleep again. I guess it was sort of normal for me to be out wandering around at night. It would be unacceptable for a teenage girl now, I know. But it was normal for me.

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    1. Krista, the fact that I didn’t sneak out had nothing to do with being angelic. Not at all. Just didn’t have anywhere to go or anyone to go with.

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      1. No, Steve. It’s the truth – I really didn’t sleep at all (I told you I’m not that great of a storyteller ;) ). I think I slept a little on two or three nights, but otherwise, I was awake. I don’t remember feeling particularly tired but I was scared and distressed about it. Night after night, just awake. I’d lay there in bed as long as I could stand it, then I’d get up. My mom said she’d give me a gift if I didn’t wake her up at night for two weeks. After two weeks, she gave me a Snoopy. That was when I learned to take my insomnia outside. I started sitting on the dock, laying back and looking at the stars. Then I just starting walking. There wasn’t anyone around. It ended as abruptly as it started. One night I went to bed and woke up in the morning as usual. I didn’t suffer from insomnia again until I moved to Waterville in 1999.

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        1. That’s just astonishing, Krista. I believe you, now that you have emphatically retold the story. But, wow! As I’m sure you know, the trend in recent research has been to emphasize and confirm the absolute need of the body for sleep. I’ve never heard of such an extreme case of insomnia.

          Do you think there were any long-term effects of this?

          You say you didn’t suffer from insomnia again until 1999 . . . which suggests you could have trouble sleeping now. Are you okay?

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        2. I’m fine, Steve. My difficulty sleeping in Waterville began with very noisy neighbors. It has evolved and now it’s due to another life change: the opposite of what I went through in puberty. Nobody ever said too much about my difficulties. I don’t remember going to the doctor. I’ve discussed my current sleep issues with my doctor, but he seems to think it’s normal. Sometimes, like last night, I sleep fine. Other times I don’t sleep at all. I’m pretty dysfunctional without sleep these days, but I don’t stress about it anymore. That doesn’t help.

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        3. I have trouble getting a full night of sleep. I was tested for sleep apnea. Apparently I do have some problems with Sleep Apnea. I was given a CPAP device to try which should help people with Sleep Apnea improve their sleep.. It wasn’t much fun and didn’t seem to improve my sleep. I stopped using it after two weeks and then tried it a few more times. The person who fitted me for the device said I should have given it a better try. I will see the doctor in October and ask him if he thinks I should try the CPAP again. I think the people who are involved with getting people to use the CPAP are pushing it too hard and I am not sure it will help me. I might give it another try.

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    2. li loved being out at night. it felt like such a private special time. lie you were all alone with your thoughts. during the day you got pummeled but at 3am you had all the peace and quiet to work it out. hmmm maybe i should listen to my own findings here. quality time vs wake time.

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      1. All I said was that I didn’t sneak around.
        Let me just say theater was quite the eye opener for this naive farmboy.

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  14. OT – I know Jim expressed concern last week about the absence of Clyde. Just wondering if anyone is in contact with him? Seems like a long time since he’s chimed in.

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  15. Another goodie-two-shoes with nowhere to go. Even though my parents were as liberal and rule-free as one could want, I wouldn’t have wanted to risk getting in trouble. Also, I went to high school in a different town so had no local friends with whom I could sneak anyway.

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        1. Japan, Connecticut… what’s the difference? Sorry, Lisa, I knew that Robin is the Japan connection. I might even have known that you grew up in Connecticut. At this point I’m not even sure where I grew up. Somebody, please help me.

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      1. Oh, tease away! Its just one of those odd Germanisms from my mother and grandmother that I come up with once in a while. It took me years to realize what I was saying when I insisted that frozen things had to “unthaw” to not be frozen anymore. My mother’s entire family uses that word.

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      2. Renee, don’t feel bad. My mother never learned to speak Danish very well. I still use some of the words she concocted that no Dane has ever heard before. I think of it as enriching the language.

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  16. Greetings! I don’ t think I ever snuck out of the house at night. Although I would get up really early at sunrise during summer just to dance in the dew on the grass. I loved sunrise and my bed always faced east.

    Like Ben, my youngest sister (of 7) got away with murder. Chris would even make a point of saying outrageous and shocking things to get Mom’s attention. Mom would just roll her eyes, nonplussed. It got to be a funny game after a while. And yes, being in Theater is a big eye opener for the naive and sheltered folks. I clearly remember the outrageous fun and debauchery of cast parties. Nothing holds a candle to them in general. I smoked my first joint at a cast party after watching 2 fellow actors go through the whole ritual and drawn out drama of “rolling the joints”. I think I’ll stop there for now …

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    1. Renee, please note, that while Joanne didn’t actually sneak out of the house, if she had, she would have snuck.

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  17. I don’t recall ever sneaking out of the house, but I did skip out of school frequently. This was pretty easily accomplished at the old high school, which was located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but more challenging when the new school was built out in a more rural area surrounded by grassy fields. Long walk with no cover.

    I probably missed out on all sorts of fun by not being a night owl.

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    1. Ooh, I would have loved to be brave enough to be that “bad”! Were there consequences when you cut out of school?

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