Sometimes things get pretty boring on the farm, and as we know, idle hands make work for the devil. My dad was well loved in the community. He had a special heart for kids, especially those who loved horses. He was easy going, but you didn’t want to cross him. And there was one thing that he wouldn’t stand for: kids toilet papering the farm. For some reason he had a real stigma about it. He made it known that if he ever caught anyone “TPing” his property, he would shoot first and ask questions later. My friends believed it. But that didn’t stop me from joining in or even instigating TP parties across the county. It was just something we did that broke the boredom, was exciting, and it wasn’t harmful.
Throughout high school, there were many TP adventures. All along, our farm never got the treatment. One time, someone tried and Dad fired the shotgun in the air through the bedroom window and the perpetrators left so fast they didn’t even pick up the rolls of toilet paper they had piled up along the ditch to use. The reputation went far and wide: Don’t do the Wilson’s if you value your life. And that was how it was. Until my senior year in high school and the weekend before I went to college. Our 4-H advisor Sue Baer threw a send-off party for me. She and her husband went to Ohio State and that’s where I was going. They were excited about that. So we had a party at her farm. It was time to pick up the pizza.
Jane, Holly, and Chris (yes, my future wife) volunteered to get the pizza at Sam’s in Newton Falls. They left. I thought nothing of it. They knew Mom and Dad were away and, scoundrels that they were, they schemed to TP my house. The girls stopped at Ensingers, a local general store, and bought 30 rolls of the cheapest toilet paper they could find. Being that our farm was on the way to Sam’s Pizza, it was an easy target. They made quick work of the 30 rolls, got the pizza, and were back at the party as if nothing had happened. I left for home around 10 pm, and behold I pulled into the driveway to a wonderland of toilet paper. The maple tree in the front yard was like a May Pole with streamers emanating from it in all directions to the house, the fence, the mailbox, and driveway. It was the mother of all TPs, an artful job.
After all those years of masterfully TPing other’s houses, I had finally been had. I knew Mom and Dad would be home shortly so I had to hurry up and get all this toilet paper picked up. Working fast, I got most all of it up in about an hour. They had written with many rolls “Good Luck Bill” across the front hill leading up to the house. I was kneeling to gather up the last “L” in the dark of the night when I felt something fairly large struggling to get out of the toilet paper bunched up in my arm. It slithered out of my arm and down my leg and disappeared into the night. Frightening, really. After composing myself, I got the rest cleaned up before my parents got home. Hosea 8:7 says, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” That night I reaped 30 rolls of a whirlwind for what I had sown. The joke was on me. Paybacks.