Photo by FLLewis
Some pranks never really die; they just get passed onto a new generation. TPing or toilet papering is one of those pranks that is repeatedly resurrected by neighborhood kids.
If you are not familiar with the term or act, here’s a brief description: TPing is when a group of young marauders swoop down, usually at night, and drape a particular property with streams of toilet paper (white is the preferred color). TPing appears to be a suburb thing. I’ve never seen twisted toilet paper hanging from city dwellings, not yet anyway.
The house in the photo I took is on Bel Aire Drive in Burbank and it got a mild treatment of TPing. The house was, ah, decorated a few weeks ago when a rash of TPing swept through the hillside area. Not only are homes targeted, but also so are trees, cars, and just about anything that stands still long enough to get the draping treatment.
The latest series of TPing in the neighborhood began at the start of summer when a lot of idle young minds were apparently searching for something to do. I would see the TPing band’s handiwork during my early morning walks. For a while, it seemed like every morning the long tissue strips were hanging on a new location.
I can tell ya, the clean-up can be a pain. A large tree in my yard got hit a short time ago. I had to use the garden hose to bump sections of toilet paper off the high branches. Then, I picked the wet tissue scraps out of the lawn. Not a fun chore.
Should the culprits be punished for their deeds? I asked Burbank Police Lieutenant John Dilibert and he says there is nothing against TPing in the city’s municipal code. Lieutenant Dilibert then explained TPing falls into the category of malicious mischief or littering — because the deed-doers leave something unwanted behind.
Also, the Lieutenant revealed his home got TPed this year — more than likely by some high school athletes he once coached. He doesn’t see it as a major problem, but admits TPing is one of those nuisances that increases when kids go on summer break.
In time, kids outgrow TPing, however, there is little relief in some areas where a new crop of toilet tissue aficionados always seem to be waiting in the wings.