If you were to ask me what the dumbest thing I ever did in my life was, I’d struggle with the response because I’ve done a LOT of stupid things. I’m much better today, but in younger years I had always been that type of person who didn’t ask others for their advice or opinion before taking action. I would learn from my mistakes. Learning from your mistakes is a good thing, but what if that thing you’re doing is so stupid that you don’t get a chance to learn from it? I suppose I have more than my fair share of those types of dumb things. This is a story of one crazy night of high school antics which included one of those stupid acts; an act that could have gone badly and yet again, here I am to tell about it.
Summertime in Hamilton, Ohio in the 70’s was honestly a blast! In the elementary years we played a lot of daytime baseball and then the evenings would be filled with games like kick the can well into the late evening hours. In the junior high years, we had to alter the position of our ball diamond in the park because we had gotten stronger. The evening games became a little more creative; games like Purse and Batball (read me). And then of course there were other neighborhood antics (read me) we created in order to feed our hunger for cheap entertainment.
The high school years came and so did the automobile into our evening games. On one weekend in particular, the big summer game was ‘The Great Egg Wars’ of ’75. The Great Egg War was played out on a Friday and Saturday night between our ‘gang’ and their gang. A gang consisted of 4 stupid teenagers. There were plenty of those in my high school. I remember our gang consisted of myself, Joe Copas (read me), Rob & Tim Menzer. Tim was driving his dad’s car so he of course was our designated driver. The rest of us were the egg-wielding warriors. I seem to recall the opposing team being driven by a kid named Kenny Denny.
Hamilton is like a lot of towns in that it has a river dividing it into two sides. Our rules were simple – stay on the west side of town, hunt each other down and then pelt each other with as many eggs as you could. We also had to obey traffic laws – no speeding, no running red lights, no cutting through the shopping center parking lot. Our team was thrifty! We stopped at Marsh Super Market and loaded up on about 6 dozen eggs (on sale of course).
The trick was to find your opponent and hopefully be able to wing off several shots before you were spotted. On Friday night we got a few good shots in, especially when we were both driving next to each other on Main St. I’d give the nod though to the opponents as at least 3 eggs made their way into the inside of Tim’s station wagon. We later had to stop at the car wash and scrub away all the evidence.
Saturday night was a repeat however and on this night we evened up the score. We had spotted the opponents’ vehicle parked on the street, empty in front of a house. Likely they were all inside refueling. We unloaded about a dozen eggs on the outside and inside of the car. What’s worse, we had a bag of flour with us so guess where that ended up. Score a victory for us on Saturday night!
The evening was still young so we capped it off with what I’d have to say was the most stupid act performed by us “deliberately” (we were famous for stupid). I don’t know whose stupid idea this was but one of us super geniuses decided it would be ultra fun if we rode on top of the station wagon! Oh c’mon, you’ve done that too, haven’t you? I mean, it wasn’t a surfing stand on the car. It wasn’t even an Aunt Edna.
No, we were ‘smart’ station wagon top riders – we laid down on our bellies, facing the front, three aside all holding on for dear life to the front railing. The brave idiots were myself, Rob Menzer and Joe Copas. Meanwhile Tim is driving on one of the curvy roads out towards Potter’s Golf Course where it’s a little hilly – you know, where the ride would be more ‘fun’.
Thank God Tim was sober! At least being sober I think he was careful not to speed too fast. After about 5 minutes, one of us beat on the top of the roof, giving the signal to let us down off the roof. If memory serves me right, it was Rob Menzer who first spoke up – “that maybe wasn’t the brightest thing we ever did”. That made us laugh out loud, albeit a bit nervously.
The egg wars ended peacefully and we had done something perfectly idiotic; the type of thing dumb teenagers were famous for….and we survived. Sometimes I marvel at that fact, that we survived, but we did. Today when my son tells me he’s going out tonight to hang with the guys at Starbuck’s, I just nod and tell him to be careful – I really don’t want to know.