Friday, September 18, 2009

the senior committee on pranks


so, i'm talking with my friend, mike johnson, in study hall.
we're trying to decide what we were going to do for our (first) senior prank.
it had to be wild, it had to be crazy, and it had to be practical--no one gets hurt.
mike was the class president, i was the class...clown. we were great friends and big into saturday night live. (a year or so before that i had memorized and learned to recite steve martin's comedy bits word for word and had risen to the top in the high school comedy world.) when we were together, mike and i were the festrunk brothers, the outrageous czech guys who hit on all the foxes and said the word 'buttocks' a lot.
this time though, we were going to be the blues brothers, jake and elwood, on a mission from god--or maybe better, bluto and d-day...although, to tell you the truth, i think we were both belushi...

we agreed that a greased pig would be the best. getting into the school at night wouldn't be a problem. my dad had been a cop in the city when i was little and had confiscated a few sets of really nice lock picking tools over the years and had taught me how to use them. we talked to one of our friends who we knew worked on a farm and we asked him, very secretively, where a couple of young guys like us could find a piglet and if he'd be into helping us 'borrow' one from someone. that's how ray krumenacker got involved.

ray thought it would be a lot easier if he went and stole the pig alone--less chance for noise and the other pigs wouldn't get so riled up. so it was agreed that we'd meet him at 8:00. my only job was gonna be getting into the school, which ray was pretty skeptical about, mike said, you just bring the pig, we'll get him where he needs to go.
i can remember mike coming into my house, both of us dressed in dark clothes, our faces blackened like on hogan's heroes, and my father asking what we were up to. the less you know the better, we told him , and drove off into the night. i remember the blues brothers 'groove me' blasting on the radio as the headlights of mike's dad's volkswagen scirroco bounced off the puddles on ackert hook road, reflecting up into the trees, into the night, as we sang and laughed and yelled at each other in ridiculous eastern european accents.

we met ray at the predetermined location, he in a beat up volkswagen of his own. somewhere along the line, ray had picked up a couple friends of his, juniors, mark welch and albert curnan, who had been hitchhiking down the road. apparently, having a pig in a burlap bag in the back seat was too much for ray to keep to himself and the idea of picking these guys up and telling one of them to sit in the back with the pig was one of those can't pass up moments. ha! i woulda done the same thing.

now it was time for me to get us in and i was pretty confident...until i saw that the school had recently replaced the old kwickset locks with these brand new, state of the art, schlage 1150's, the lock that had the reciprocating variable tumbler in the back!! i didn't have a pick that was long enough to reach back there and for just a second i thought we were sunk. then i remembered that far in the rear of the school, outside the building, was a grating that was locked with a basic master lock i had tricked once or twice for kicks and knew that we had a way in.

telling ray--and mark and albert--to sit with the pig in the car out front and wait for us to come to the front door, we went around the back of the school and i popped the lock. unfortunately, it meant that mike and i had to get in through the cinder block tunnels--roughly about 2 feet high and three feet wide--that labyrinthed under the school, housing the big green iron water pipes. so like bronson in the great escape, we crawled the length of the school, roughly 300 yards, and came up in the boiler room.

it took forever.
we were sure that ray and they guys--plus our new little pal--would be long gone.

but they had faith.
we let them in, posed for a picture--mike was in the photography club and terrific photographer--and i picked the lock to the classroom we we going to leave him in. (i will say now, this was never meant to be personal on mr. hryshko. we just didn't want to leave the little guy running the halls of the school--a classroom would be a little more cozy--and we were just trying to figure out which teacher's reaction would be the best. mr. hryshko was the obvious choice.)

it was a good night.

back: me, mark welch
front: mike johnson, ray krumenacker, albert curnan
down front: a pig


i don't watch the news, i don't read the news--the only news i get is from jon stewart and that seems to be enough.

i don't watch or read it 'cause:
1.) the news is usually very depressing and at times will make you feel extremely powerless
b.) the big news agencies are all owned by major corporations now so you know it's gonna be "corporately edited"...

so i don't get the news and am usually pretty outta the loop.
but i do glance over the AP news i get on my yahoo home page and so i know what they'd like you to think are the top stories of the hour...
anyway, not being a news guy and not being up on all things current, i still would like to introduce this new feature i'm calling

this is where i will randomly select a photo from the news feed on any of the ones that come my way, and comment on it.
for example;

this is senator max baucus (D-Montana) who is currently on the finance committee looking into the american health care situation.

my comment:
he looks a lot like the professor from gilligan's island

and that's how that's gonna go.


"five for friday"

1. who played the professor on gilligan's island?

2. what was the name of the blues brothers first album?

3. what were the first names of the two czech wild and crazy guys, the festrunk brothers?

4. where should the reciprocating variable tumbler go?

5. how did the principal find out about the pig...?

i'm off to do reunion things.
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!


Brian said...

Great story, Todd.

As for the news, you are right about The Daily Show, the most honest presentation out there. I love how they go to clips of the Fox News Clowns a few years ago denouncing left wing protesters' tactics and then show the very same person praising right wing protesters for doing the same thing.

Have a great time at your reunion.

On to the Five For Friday

1. He's been doing a radio commercial lately, but I still can't pull his name out of the grey matter.

2. Briefcase Full of Blues (The Blues Brothers was one of the most surprising, amazing things they ever did on that show. Totally unexpected and totally awesome)

3. "Jor-hey" and "Yor-ga" (phonetic)

4. To the left of the Flux Capacitor

5. He worked part time at the drug store where the incriminating photo was developed?

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha! That's great!!! So... did you ever get caught?!?!

Matt Wieringo said...

Mike would not have approved. :)

1. who played the professor on gilligan's island? Senator Max Baucus. Duh.

3. what were the first names of the two czech wild and crazy guys, the festrunk brothers? Todd and Mike.

4. where should the reciprocating variable tumbler go? Under the frazzle, next to the boham. With three inches of clearance on both sides.

5. how did the principal find out about the pig...? He woke up and rolled over?

Christian D. Leaf said...

"down front: a pig"

Well played, Todd. Well played indeed.

Anonymous said...


What an amazing magnificent story. NOW I have the full account. So great to read that.

And you're right!! Max Baucus DOES look like the professor from Gilligan's Island!

Unfortunately he also looks like a Blue Dog Turncoat who has received $2,880,631 in campaign contributions from the healh care industry and has specifically modeled his bill to give insurance companies the biggest subsidies they've ever had, destroy any chance for a public option and impose fines on Americans who don't purchase their wildly overpriced policies.

Little did we know, "healh care for all" meant "buy health insurance or pay the price."


Jared W. Adams
Grand Minister for General Mayhem
New York, New York
September the 18th 2009
12:56 PM

~ Wendy ~ said...

Love the story! I know you keep saying you are trying not to share so much personal stuff but ya' know what? I dare say I speak for us all when I say "We LOVE these personal glimpses into who you are!" .. so keep them coming. :-D

I think between Brian and Matt they answered all the 5 for 5 correctly *except* for #4 because everyone should know that the reciprocating variable tumbler goes right next to the whatchamacallit and behind the thingamajig. geez

Have a great time at the reunion!

Heywood Jablomie said...

oh man that's classic!! helluva lot of work for a prank but man it sounds like it was great!

Matt-your answer to number 4 made me damn near shoot iced tea outta my nose! that was great.

and yes i agree with wendy-these glimpses are always welcomed, nay, awesome. it's nice getting to know more about the man behind the pages.

todd said...

for those of you interested in hearing more of the god's-honest-truth from our pal jared (see anonymous), check out his wonderfully sharp and at times infuriating blog at:

it's informative, fun, and funny!
bookmark that baby--you'll be glad you did!

Alisa B said...

I finally get to see the infamous picture from the night of the pig!! You guys look so young in that picture, like babies!! Cheers to the best class ever that graduated from RCHS.

Kelley said...

Your pictures has made the wall of fame in my office!! I loved hearing all of the details. I never made it into the school basement. I think now that I am glad I didn't. My cousins the Kallops told me, when I was little, that they kept the wild Indian down there.

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