Photo: Crispin Cannon
Getting kicked out of a spot is kind of like stepping in shit—it usually really sucks. Sometimes it’s not that bad. Like, you step in some old shit and it’s had time to age and get crusty, so it doesn’t stick. It’s like when you get shut down, but the person was really nice, so you can’t get mad. Other times, it’s like stepping in a fresh pile of stinky warm dog shit. You know when it fills the tread on your shoe and the only way to get it out is with an industrial-strength pressure washer? That’s like shoveling for a few hours and battling to get a trick for a few more, only to get harassed by some power-hungry police officer who makes you shovel all the snow back. One night in Boston last winter must have been the exception. It was like stepping in golden shit.
I had already been to this spot and gotten a trick, but that night sucked and was raining, so I wanted to go back to try to get it better. I was with Kas Lemmins, Toni Kerkela, Alex Sherman, Johnny O’Conner, and Skylar Brent. We showed up and started getting ready to set it up. Johnny had already been there once with me and he must have been over it because he stayed in his car and passed out. It had gotten super cold that night and the snow was rock solid. A few minuets into shoveling, I realized it wasn’t going to happen, so we called it and went to pack up the cars. Johnny didn’t even wake up when we were loading his car. He was way gone, so naturally, we had to prank him.
The plan was that we were going to pack everything else in Skylar’s car, drive it to the other side of the parking lot, and call Johnny like we had already gone back to the hotel and were wondering where he was. The spot was at a two-story public library with easy access onto the roof. We would call Johnny from the roof with a perfect vantage point of his car, so we could see his reaction, then we would climb down and show him we were just fucking with him. It was a pretty basic snowboard trip prank.
As we moved the car, the two Euros found toilet paper and wrapped his car. We started to head for the roof when a random family showed up to get into their car that was parked in the lot. All of us stopped in our tracks and tried to play it cool, but unfortunately, five snowboarders wearing facemasks at night in a library parking lot looks very suspicious. The family drove off and we hopped the fence onto the first story of the building, but Skylar got his jacket stuck and as he was struggling to get over the fence, the family drove back around to see what we were doing. When they saw Skylar, stuck on the fence and trying to get on the roof, they stopped, but didn’t do anything. Skylar made it over and then we all got on the second roof. We were getting ready for the grand finale, and little did we know it was about to be way better than we could ever expect.
We called Johnny once, but he didn’t answer. As we were getting ready to call him again, someone joked about how insane it would be if the cops showed up, and right then, the cops showed up. We called Johnny again and an undercover cop car pulled up to Skylar’s parked Jeep. Two guys got out and started searching it with flashlights. I heard one of the cops say the word, “burglars.” All of our hearts started pumping and then all hell broke loose. Police cruisers came into the parking lot from all angles, blocking both exits. I think there were six in total.
At this point, there was a sea of fucking cops down below and they were all looking for us “burglars” who were trespassing on the roof of a government building, two of which were foreigners, while our friend Johnny was passed out in his car. This prank was going swimmingly. One of the cops pointed out Johnny’s car and commented on how it was covered in toilet paper. Then another one yelled, “Yeah, that one’s still warm.” All of the cops moved towards Johnny’s car like the final battle scene in Braveheart. It was a war zone.
It was my favorite moment when Johnny woke up, but his reaction was a little different than we expected. Instead of him waking up with his friends missing and his car toilet papered, he woke up with his friends missing, his car toilet papered, and surrounded by a mob of armed police. I couldn’t actually see his reaction because we had scooted back from the edge of the roof, so I can only imagine the look on his face.
Johnny woke up and was still pretty tired, so they were accusing him of being drunk. It was time for us to get off the roof. I climbed down to the first story and addressed the crowd of police. “Umm… Hey guys!” I said. “Sooo, this is just a big misunderstanding. We were just trying to prank our friend there.”
I hopped down and started to explain our situation and one by one we all started coming down off the roof. “How many are you?” “Where are you guys from?” they asked.
I said I was from Oregon, Skylar was from New Hampshire, Alex said Utah, and then Kas came down with a big grin on his face and said, “I’m from Holland. Isn’t that Veird?”—a quote from Austin Powers in Goldmember. The whole thing ended in laughs and most of the cops were down because they could see the humor in it. They did end up kicking us out, but that was the best kick-out I could’ve asked for. It was some good shit.
Lipslide, Boston, MA. Photo: Crispin Cannon