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BangShift Question Of The Day: What Was Your Dumbest Teenage Stunt, And Did You Get Away With It?

BangShift Question Of The Day: What Was Your Dumbest Teenage Stunt, And Did You Get Away With It?

Sergeant Tracy Frost, a school resource officer, had noticed a hopped-up pickup truck with a high-school kid at the wheel last week. The driver noticed the cop, looked him dead-square in the eyes, and proceeded to light ’em up…the rear tires, boiling, in front of the school cop. That takes shiny brass ones…or overconfidence bolstered by a slight oversight. Once Frost had the kid pulled over and had proceeded to lay into him left, right and center, he learned why the kid had no trouble going full John Force right in front of the cruiser. Per the Boston Globe:

The student, confident he did nothing wrong, told Frost, “You can’t do anything about it anymore,” Frost said, and then pulled out his smartphone to show the officer a news article that claimed Maine’s Supreme Court had ruled recently that burning rubber is “now protected free speech.”

Oh, if only. What happened was that the student had read a satirical bit of writing that had a faked quote from a “chief justice” that really was making fun of hopped-up pickup trucks. Junior, however, saw it as the gates of Heaven opening and a hand offering up a full-on pass. Luckily, the only thing that the truck driver got was a good ass-chewing and some internet fame after Frost wrote about the incident on the department’s Facebook page. No ticket, just a lesson to double-check legal references before you go punishing some Nittos in front of the cop car.

It’s an interesting story, but it brought up a memory of one of the many things I did with a car in my teenage years that fell directly under the category “Stupid Shit”. That 1978 Chrysler LeBaron was my second high-school ride (my first was the 1987 Monte Carlo SS that preceded it) and my eighth car total. It was a good ride, tolerating not only my abuses but cross-country trips…this was the first car I drove across the country, and I did it in the dead of the winter in 2000 when I moved from Colorado to Illinois. Part of that move involved a new high school, and that school had an open campus policy…that meant that if I moved my ass, I didn’t have to suffer cafeteria food. I could make a run up the street to Subway, or McDonalds, or whatever and enjoy a few minutes away from school. One rainy day, I was in a particular hurry to leave. 

This was completely my fault, but in my rush to get to “real” food, I took that brilliant Z-shaped chicane way too fast. I started a power slide when I came out of the left-hand kink, and didn’t let the Chrysler calm down before hitting the right-hander. I was having a blast with delusions of the General Lee sliding around on dirt in my head as I was whipping that barge around. But coming out of the right-hand kink, the car was too far gone to correct and I wound up spinning into the grass, nose facing where I just came from…just in time to see a staff member drive past with a facial expression that told me that this story would make it home before I ever would. It did, and I only heard the line that told me that I needed to look for the life lesson in the story from my dad: “Bet you won’t do that shit again, will you?” I guess I got off easy because it was my car and it was a no-harm, no-foul situation. He wasn’t so easy-going when he learned that I was using his Grand Prix to repave some roads around Southern Illinois.

So there’s one of my stories from high-school that I look back on with a tinge of regret. What do you have, and better still, did you get away with it, or if you weren’t so lucky, what was the fallout like?

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13 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: What Was Your Dumbest Teenage Stunt, And Did You Get Away With It?

  1. Loren

    A similar intentional drift situation, holding it steady-sideways through the 120-degree right-hander Zoo Drive offramp of the I-5 in Burbank CA. Went in a little too fast I suppose and wound up crossing the center and stuffing it into and up the brush-covered embankment opposite. A good bump but no real harm. I couldn’t back down as the car would keep getting caught onto a small tree but I got it out forward and down, taking out some more brush. I crossed back over the road into a dirt area to pull the branches out of under the car, leaving a trail of skid marks on the road, cleared area on the hillside and pieces of sticks and leaves etc. leading across and up to where I stopped. This was all about 5-6 miles up the freeway from the Los Angeles Police Academy, and at this point I believe it was eight motorcyle cops possibly on a training exercise happen to exit the freeway in a line, slow when they see me, and circle. Around me they went, circling and staring, then the front guy stopped and got off his bike. Without removing helmet, he walked up to me until his nose was about six inches away from mine and stood there (none of this is a lie). He wasn’t smiling and didn’t say a word. I’d had plenty of practice with this-type thing already from school principals and stood my ground but having seven other cops there was kinda unnerving. After about twenty very long seconds of it he turned and still not saying a thing, got back on his bike, started it up and they all rode off in a line.

    So I guess I got away with it.


    My teen years were interesting. I had been “adopted” by not less than 3 other families in my area. These were my friends parents and they knew my situation so, they took care of me and I loved them for it. It was this kindness that led to one of the most stupid, reckless and insanely fun things I have ever done til that point and quite possible since.
    Mom #2 had been rear ended twice in the car she had. It was a newer car but after the first accident it was not quite right and after the second it would crab walk down the road. Insurance company said it was fine and the body shop that did the work said it was fine but, anyone could see it was not.
    She fought for months to get it right but to no avail. So, she quit making payments. The bank said they were coming to get it in late November of 1991. That’s when her son (my best friend and closest thing to a brother I’ve ever had) decided that if they were going to take it, it was going to be less than desirable to anyone.
    I had never been airborne in a car until that night. I had never driven a car through a field until that night. I had never dragged the passenger side of a car along a guardrail until that night. I had never done Rockfords, donuts, reverse donuts and had never heard the sound of a car strike a tree at speed before that night. Lastly, I had never beat a car with a baseball bat until then.
    As a teen filled with angst and testosterone it was glorious fun, it was almost therapeutic. And the thought of sticking it to the “man” for someone who cared for me like a son and did not have to was somewhat comforting. I keep a picture of the car after the fact in a box in the back of the closet. A reminder of a time when stupidity ruled and life was simpler.

  3. KCR

    Like all of us ,in high school I had a different vehicle every 6 months or so. In 78 I swapted around and got me a 65 Ford F-100 short bed stepside pickup.240 six cyl with an Indy 3 speed shifter on the floor. In shop class I made a rollbar for the bed.It was really in very good shape ,just needed paint. Well it being a truck ,and I being 17 yrs old.Let me just say this ,Henry Ford’s company made a real good truck in 1965. There was not a bridge in the south end of our county I had not jumped .Not just a little .I mean I new were each bridges launch line was best. And the old F-100 never gave up,you’d think I was working for Joey Chitwood.Well one day as I was cruising around town .The local officer pulled me over. I asked him what I did wrong .He said nothing today! He asked ,is this your truck? yes sir.Does anyone other than you drive it ,no sir. YOU ALMOST KILLED ME AND MY WIFE A COUPLE DAYS AGO. Yep he was pissed.Turns out on one of my bridge jumping routs .I am able to remember it to this day .I had a couple knuckle heads in the truck with me .I’m flying down an old country “crowned” road .Trying to get it lined up for the jump,this bridge was a good one. And I still remember, a couple on a motorcycle coming from the other way. As I got close to the bridge they pulled off into the grass. In pure dukes of hazard style .I flew that F-100 up and over the bridge ,never touching the deck. Landed and went on our way.Just another jumped bridge. Back to the pissed officer .He said We were on the motocycle pulled over in the grass ditch. I do remember that ,smart on his part. The officer said when you flew by us .Your lug nuts were at eye level.I think that would be 3 to 4 feet of air. Well he chewed my ass for a bit,times being different then.He could not give me a ticket ,he was off duty when it happened. You know I stopped jumping bridges after that .I figured I was at my lucks end . But I got away with it ,kinda

  4. Dick Sappington

    Same kind of “Z” turn set as yours, same kind of entry, same results. 1963, ’52 Chev torpedo, no harm, no witnesses, no foul. 😀

    1. Dick Sappington

      Also; ’51 Chev S/D, cherry hood & front fenders bought & installed out of town for just $15.00. Couldn’t get the main latch to line up right with the tools I’d brought along, so just latched the safety one for the drive back home.

      Of course the safety latch let go at around 65 mph.

      Result; both windshield panes shattered, windshield center bar bent, both fenders punched at the rear by the hood ends, and the hood bent in half backward over the top of the windshield.

      This, on what was at the time a two lane road out in the grape fields toward Fontana. No witnesses, and yet another lesson learned the hard way.

  5. bob

    Doing doughnuts in a church parking lot with Mr. Policeman sitting there watching me. Made a quick exit and tried to lose him. No, I didn’t get away with it.

  6. old guy

    Probably looking at my buddy and asking if he thought we could ‘get this thing airborne ? ‘ There might have been a little weed, etc involved….
    We were on a back road that had two humps one bigger than the other
    on a straight stretch – pushed the peddle down and damn ! We did get
    my mother’s 64 Galaxie airborne – had a loud landing but no other problems
    That car should have been bronzed when we hung it up -it got my sister and I through high school .We abused the living hell out of that car and it never quit or let us down …still smile when I see one

  7. Nitromike66

    ’69 El Camino, same type of “Z” turn, only in snow and visions of Steve Kinser going through my head. Went off the road and down about a 6 ft. embankment, luckily my step dad owned a towing company and pulled me back onto the road!

  8. Nitromike66

    Oh, just thought of a new one! Changed the oil in my first car, a ’76 Datsun pickup, on my mom’s concrete driveway. My buddy and I got the great idea to pour some oil in front of the rear tires and do a big ol’ power brake burnout. After figuring out how to heel and toe the gas, brake and clutch, I managed to send a huge cloud of smoke into the air. Well, that was great, but the mess it made on my mom’s driveway was not, she was pissed! Made me go out with Dawn dishwashing soap and a broom and scrub the driveway clean!

  9. Luther Hopp

    High school, late night drive the friends home from the party in my 67 Malibu 396 that I had hot-rodded, headers, carb work, heavy duty clutch….. Sitting at the left turn light waiting for it to turn, friend in back seat says “burn em off man, there’s a cop behind you”. Without looking and thinking he must be joking, rev engine,, dump clutch and start into sideways, smoking drift through corner. Immediately as I am going straight down new street hear the siren and see the lights behind me. Turn down next side street he lives on, stop car abruptly and jump out to find myself face-down in hood, handcuffed and in back of cop car. They impound my car, and I spend the night in jail. Cop had had gun out before he subdued me and on the way to jail advised me he had almost shot me since I came out so fast after clearly trying to “escape”. No field sobriety test(i was DRUNK), wrote me up for reckless driving and when I went to court not only did officer not appear but the record of the event was not available. I confessed my hideous crime, partly, to the judge and he gave me the minimum fine for reckless. This was back in 1973 if I had done all that today no doubt I would have been shot to death when I jumped out of car. Good times.

  10. Chris

    Summer of \’88, just after graduating HS, my best friend John and I made plans to go visit my girlfriend and her best friend on a Friday night.
    My mom never let me drive her \’75 Malibu (which was still in pristine condition by then), so when the hour arrived John and I hop out my bedroom window (I used to keep the window channels greased so the window would slide silently– this wasn\’t my first rodeo).
    We head over to my girlfriend\’s place, which was about 2-1/2 miles from my house. We park in the usual place around the corner (so her dad who was a mean drunk) wouldn\’t hear the car door shut as we got there. We spend most of the night with our respective girlfriends (at opposite ends of the trailer house my girlfriend lived in on her parent\’s property there– it was a semi-rural area — get your mind out of the gutter!).
    At 4:30 it\’s time to go so we can sneak back into my room before my mom wakes up. We get to the car, I put the key in the ignition and give a twist. Nothing. No sound at all. Dome light and headlights come on strong, so battery not dead. Turns out, it was the firing pin in the ignition column. Of all the times, it chose THAT night to give up!
    So we sit for 15 or 20 min. trying it over and over, then trying to figure out what else we can do. We didn\’t have AAA or any money for a tow, so being two dumb guys we decide to start pushing it back toward my house. We push for about an hour. Now it\’s almost light outside. We had pushed it almost a mile when we came upon the railroad tracks that we had so easily crossed on the way there the night before. Now, in our present state we became keenly aware that the tracks were on an elevated berm (it tended to flood sometimes in winter there).
    We tried several running starts until we were totally exhausted. It would NOT get up enough momentum to get over the tracks.
    Finally, about 20 minutes later (by now it was like 7:00 a.m and we knew we were totally gonna get busted back home), a guy in an old pickup saw our plight and took pity on us. He pushed us up and over tracks and all the rest of the way home.
    Arriving at my driveway we coasted the car into its spot and got out and went to the back of the house to go back in my bedroom window. I slowly slid the window open and peeked inside. Right away I noticed my door was open so I knew then it was up.
    My mom was really mad, needless to say. She wasn\’t as mad about us sneaking out as she was about me breaking her ignition switch. She ended up having a local shop wire up a new ignition switch to the outside of the column, zip-tied to the side of the column.
    She drove the car like that for about another 10 years! Needless to say, that was the last time I drove it.

  11. John T

    I suppose like most I’ve got a few… hired a car trailer once, 2 axle job and when the guy at the servo put it on the car he said your towball’s too small and theres nowhere to hook the safety chains… it’ll be right, I said, not going too far..went past a bus stop at speed on a bumpy road and it came off the car completely…turned a sharp right, missed the bus stop by about 6 inches and impaled itself into a wooden fence. Very awkward 10 minutes of trying to pull it out by hand while 4 or 5 people sat at the bus stop giving me icy stares

  12. Darryl nagy

    I was 17 in trade school class was from 1.oo to 830.pm. it’s about 3.5 miles back to town back then more of country road, we’ll the race was on everyone passing each other foot to floor. My little 64 falcon with hi po 289.well it’s just dust so us nut jobs are doing doing are regular leaving class. Rat race Into town my buddy Jim slams on the brakes I almost reAR end him.I pass he pulls over. .my buddy riding shotgun goes it’s the cops.well when they finally go t me down the road , like a mile later ,got the 3 degree and nice fat ticket. Today be jail, car impounded and Lawyers and fines it would be huge headlines.the only think I remember was the cop asking what was under the hood ,this was back in 19 76 cop cars back then low hp. Smog up ,and slow.the only reason they got me is I couldn’t out run the radio.

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