Okay, let me start by saying it wasn’t my fault. No, honestly, it wasn’t.
I was in college, and my roommate and I needed to decorate our room for Halloween. Not like everyone else. In a unique way. And a stroll down State Street gave me the perfect idea. In front of an army recruiting station was a huge “Uncle Sam Wants You!” sign. We could borrow it and set it up in such a way that Uncle Sam pointed right to our room. How cool would that be?
That was one huge sign, so we went back to school to find someone with a bigger car trunk. Since it was dinner time, we waited until after we ate. Then we had to find an available (and willing) car-with-driver. That took more time than we expected. So did Heather, who stopped by with a box of cookies. It was almost 9:00 o’clock when we finally got back to the recruiting station. Bummer! The office closed at 6:00. The good news was that it would be closed for the next two days. Which meant they wouldn’t be needing the sign. Which meant good ol’ Uncle Sam surely wouldn’t mind if we borrowed it. So the three of us–roommate, car driver, and I–grabbed hold and pulled.
Who knew it was solid metal? And chained down? And weighed something like a ton? But we were young and determined. We got Uncle Sam loose, and almost to the car, when three police cars screeched up to us. We thought they were nice guys who wanted to help us. We were wrong.
We explained our situation, and how much we would appreciate Uncle Sam pointing to our dorm room. This was well before 9/11 and the resulting zero tolerance for shenanigans, so the police drove off to look for worse criminals. Which meant we were left to get that ton of steel into the car alone. I’m proud to say, we did it.
I’m glad to report our room decoration was a resounding success. And, yes, we did get Sam back home–at 3:00 a.m., when we were certain no one would be around. We made it back with two smashed toes, a badly bruised hand, and a dorm mate with a large car who never spoke to us again.
But it was worth it.
“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”