My (First) Desperate Attempt to Become a Criminal

 A little backstory…

When I was in college, I was a faithful reader of our campus newspaper, “The Michigan Daily”.  My favorite part of the newspaper was a tiny section about two inches wide called “Crime Notes”.  I loved the “Crime Notes”.  It wasn’t just about the petty crime; in order for a crime to make the campus crime notes it had to be absolutely ridiculous.

For example:

Naked dude steals biology book from unsuspecting sophomore.  Sprints across library before being apprehended by campus security.  He probably wouldn’t have been caught, but his public nudity made him rather noticeable. 

Purple bike stolen from South Quad.  Owner of said bike extremely downtrodden over the loss of bike basket.  Forced to walk home and carry backpack in traditional manner.  Later she consoled herself by buying a goldfish, but life just wasn’t the same.

Never mind that all of the stories were beyond trite, I eagerly awaited the campus crime notes every week.  Eventually, it dawned on me, that germ of an idea.  Maybe someday I could make the crime notes!  Maybe, just maybe…  I know.  I know.  I was supposed to aim higher than that.  However, I never wanted to be president.  Nope, I wanted to wow my grandkids with a magical story about how I made the campus crime notes.

And now for the actual story… 

It all began one autumn day when a dead possum appeared on the curb right in front of our house.  First, we did exactly what we were supposed to do.  We notified the University and requested the revolting dead possum be removed.  However, after a week of so of looking at mulching dead possum, other ideas began to fester in the mind of one Susan Calamine.  To Susan, the dead possum represented a whole world of possibilities.

Shovel types

Super Snazzy Criminal Accessories! (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

At heart, Susan was a prankster.  She DID want the offensive dead possum removed; her methods were just a little “outside the box”.  Why simply call campus maintenance when there were shovels in the basement and snooty sorority girls right across the street?  Plus, secretly she was relishing the opportunity to wear black and participate in nefarious activities.

Luckily for the residents of the house, it was late October when the dead possum landed on their front curb.  So the carcass didn’t mulch too quickly, and the smell wasn’t unbearable.  i.e. There was plenty of time for Susan to hatch her plans.

The hardest part was organizing a task force.  Susan couldn’t execute the plan by herself, and really needed the help of her housemates.  She would need to be careful though, and pick only the craziest.

Susan quickly narrowed in on 5-6 girls.  Nadine was an obvious choice, as she was openly wacky.  Tall, solid, courageous, loud, and bizarre, Nadine would be an asset at each stage of the planning.  Her next selection was Nadine’s roommate Tara.  Smart, diligent, observant, and loyal, Tara would make an outstanding lookout.  Next she asked Sally, one of the quietest girls in the house, but also the prettiest.  Sally turned her down at first, but then Susan told she would get to dress in all black, and Sally couldn’t resist.  After all, black was her best color!

Next came the least obvious choice.  Me.  I was new to the house, and still too shy to even come down for dinner most nights.  Susan had started to befriend me largely out of pity.  (Well, I assume she befriended me out of pity.)  I think she also realized my unassuming ways would be particularly useful for committing petty crime.

Anyway, once she explained the plan to me I couldn’t resist, especially when she told me I’d be able to skulk around my own front yard in a black ski mask!  This appealed to my highly romanticized notions about crime.  Also, I was kinda hoping maybe it would be ridiculous enough to make the crime notes.

Susan really wanted to transfer the possum on Halloween or Devil’s Night, but due to scheduling conflicts, we had to settle for Tuesday, November 3rd.

Tuesday, November 3, 1998

Ski Mask XVII

This is probably about how we actually looked… (Photo credit: Ski Mask Kid)

After gathering together our supplies, black clothing, rubber gloves, rubber-soled shoes, shovels, and chalk, we began to watch the clock.  It was important that no one see us transferring the possum carcass, and in Ann Arbor, the streets didn’t really empty until about 2 a.m.  Even then there were always stray students stumbling home from bars and libraries.  Tara would need to keep a sharp lookout.  The problem was she always had her biology textbook with her, and this worried Susan.  Nadine ended up distracting Tara while Susan hid her books.  Better to be safe, and have our lookout paying attention.

Susan hid Tara’s books while the rest of us changed into black outfits, and then we were ready.  Nadine wanted a picture first; she thought a snapshot of everyone wearing black and carrying shovels would be cute.  She claimed if anyone did find the picture, they would think we were goth.  Since we weren’t very accustomed to thinking like criminals, we ended up taking the picture.

At the last-minute, we hit several snags.  Sally, despite her penchant for black clothing, decided it was too risky, which left only four of us to execute the plan.  Shovels in hand, we crept outside.  Nadine was the first to reach the disgusting carcass.  With all of her might she struggled to lift the possum, but couldn’t.  I walked over and tried, but I couldn’t lift it either.  Susan would have tried but she didn’t want anywhere near all of those germs.  Even though she had layered her gloves, the thought of rabies still left her squeamish.

Since neither of us could lift that inexplicably fat possum alone, we decided to try lifting it together with each of us holding a shovel, but layered so that we were both supporting it.  Together, with Susan guiding us, we heaved the dead possum across the street.

As we darted across the street, we hit our second snag.  Our neighbor’s porch light snapped on!  Without knowing what else to do, we dumped the possum on their driveway, and raced off down the block, three blurs of black from head to toe.  Since we didn’t know what else to do, we ran around the block, and then crept back to our house through the alleyway behind it.  When we got to the back door, Tara was already holding it open.  Sure enough, her blue and white biology book was on the kitchen counter!

And so it was.  We had planned on outlining the carcass with chalk and leaving a creepy poem, but we were unable because Tara decided being a student was more important than being our lookout!

When I looked out the window the following morning, the sorority had already covered the dead possum with paper bags.  By noon,  someone came and removed the carcass.  Although I was hoping our crime would be ridiculous enough to make the campus crime notes, sadly it did not.  One can really only hope and strive when working toward such illustrious goals.


*All names were changed to protect the privacy of those who don’t wish to blog about petty crimes they committed in college.

Alright, I’m not sure if people were voting to find out about my desperate attempts to make the campus crime notes or for drinking stories… but I’m sure those will come out in due time.  This was fun to write regardless.  Also, my husband actually DID make the campus crime notes, but that’s another story for another day… 

Any ridiculous stories from when you were nineteen?

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25 Responses to My (First) Desperate Attempt to Become a Criminal

  1. I would have been TOTALLY down for this stunt, except that I would have cried for the poor dead possum.

    Too bad you didn’t manage to get it to the sorority, that would have been perfect. But “To be continued”??? You can’t tease us like that.

    • Oh, yes, our attempts to become criminals didn’t end there… but my word count was already so high!

      Plus, I’m definitely going to need to embarrass my husband with the story about how he made the campus crime notes! (He loves it when I blog about him…)

  2. L. Palmer says:

    Great crime story. I’m sorry that your scholarly friend failed you. It was a good attempt at a crime.

  3. clownonfire says:

    I will not comment until I have the full story.
    Le Clown

  4. Mooselicker says:

    Act like you’ve been there! That was the mistake you made. If you gals went about your way as if you were minding your own business you would have pulled this off great.

    I drank too much when I was 19. Never has a drunk idea been brilliant than followed through on. Except that one time I told the group we should order chicken delivered to us. I never could regret that decision.

    Some people are meant to be victims, not the criminal.

    • So true. Pretty much all of my drunk ideas were terrible, especially the time I got drunk at one of my sister-in-law’s wedding parties. (She had about nineteen, so I can’t remember which one.) I was trashed, and decided to use her disposable cameras to take pictures of feet. Since my friends all found this hysterical, they gave me their cameras as well.

      Sister-in-law ended up with five rolls of shots of feet, and all badly out of focus. She was displeased.

      And so true, on that last part, which you’ll find out in part two…

      • Mooselicker says:

        Search around on the Internet long enough you might find a website where those feet shop can make you some money.

        • True, but I’m told they were crap quality and out of focus. And I’m getting too old to try for that level of drunkenness. (Sober, I wouldn’t have the guts to ask my friends to let me take pictures of their feet…)

  5. jimmydevious says:

    Plus, secretly she was relishing the opportunity to wear black and participate in nefarious activities.

    As far as I’m concerned, Every self-respecting woman of taste and breeding should own her own ninja costume for just such an ocasion. But that’s me. 😛

    Any ridiculous stories from when you were nineteen

    Not at 19, but, have you ever seen Dazed and Confused when the guys go riding around to Black Sabbath and start playing “Mailbox Baseball??”
    Yeaaaap. I was battin’ 1000.

    Not to mention we also had a game called “T-Bombing” (G-Rated Version on the title 😉 ) It involved a 1-lbs bucket filled with water balloons, a couple of drunk young hooligans, a fast motor vehicle of some type (preferbaly NOT a moped) and a good pair of peepers…to spot the young lasses who were…umm well endowed, but of course.

    I think you can draw your own conclusions from here…

    (I batted 1000 in that game too.Tee hee. 🙂 )

    • Alright, thanks for giving me the G-rated version, although I think I’ve figured out what’s going on here.

      Fortunately, I never fit those qualifications. So, I’ve stayed quite dry. Plus, it makes running a whole lot easier… :p

      I do need a Ninja costume. That is an excellent idea!

  6. amb says:

    Turns out it’s probably a good thing my Corporate World computer won’t let me read your blog at work, or I would have snorted my morning coffee out my nose! 🙂 Such a great story!

    I didn’t pull any epic pranks when I was 19, but I did get pranked myself. It involved about a million sheets of newspapers covering every. single. thing. in my dorm room….mind you, once I finally peeled it all away a pair of Rolling Stones tickets were found taped to the floor, so I can’t complain! 😉

    • Oh, that would be awesome, and make it totally worthwhile! I remember getting Rolling Stone tickets my freshman year (and being so excited for it)… and then having to sell them. I don’t remember why I couldn’t go, but I still haven’t gotten the chance!

  7. Andrewelizabeth says:

    The problem with most of your criminl enterprises is that wearing thigh-high Donald Duck socks with heels makes it a) hard to run fast and b) easy to spot you (Donald glows in the dark on those socks). Luckily for you, those lepruchaun skills do come in handy when the police try to arrest you. Hasn’t happened yet, has it? Though there have been a few close calls….

    • Do the socks glow in the dark? Dammit! That does throw quite a wrench into my genius master plan.

      Leprechauns are extremely difficult to catch because they’re so small. They have the option of hiding as well as the option of running.

  8. Andrewelizabeth says:

    Oh, but if it helps, one half of this posting pair researches ways to evade capture for various crimes as part of her job….just in case you have another nefarious adventure in your near future…

  9. Andrewelizabeth says:

    You are one lucky Leprechaun! Not only do you now know to ditch the glow-in-the-dark socks (and maybe the heels???), but I do have some availability when it comes to assisting you in your ill-advised attempts at making the Ann Arbor Crime Reports.

    • Oh, I am a lucky leprechaun. And I hope you’re the short one because I’m expecting you to wear four inch heels regardless. (At this point, I would consider two inch heels cheating.)

  10. AndrewElizabeth says:

    I think we’re about tied on height, Little Leprechaun. But if we BOTH wear four-inch heels, that seems fair. I have tested and confirmed the theory that I can run and shoot in heels (yes, yes, this is the Andrew half of AndrewElizabeth ).

    • Ha! I have not tried shooting in heels, but I have tested my shooting skills. And I was surprised to find out I’m wicked good! 58 kill shots… our of 58 shots! Not all bulls eyes though.

  11. Yes, now why is that so difficult for some folks to grasp? Sheesh!

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