Ding Dong Ditch

We’ve only been in our new temporary apartment for a little more than three weeks. Our doorbell has chimed six times; only one of those times was someone actually at the door—and they were looking for the neighbors we hadn’t met. While we haven’t caught the ringer of the other five times, we’ll 95% certain who it is. All clues lead back to one door.

But when we started talking about it as a family, Brett called it “Ding Dong Ditch,” a term I’d never heard, but laughed anyway. It’s pretty much what it is, isn’t it. But that’s not what we called it back in the late 70s and early 80s, it was just “Ringing doorbells.” Not that “I” ever did it.

Okay, yes I did.

And the last time I did it, I got caught.

We’d been out “camping” (good suburbanite kids, we always camped in someone’s back yard…and then just played in the neighborhood until we got tired. We even watched the meteor showers in October.) and probably were just trying to think of something to keep us awake a little longer.

Normally, we’d ring a doorbell and then run and hide. We’d watch the people open the door and find no one there. Being a father now and having that happen, I know how that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Especially when it is night/dark out. After the person had returned inside, we’d wait a minute or two and move on down the street to find someone else. Generally we hit the houses of people we considered “mean,” or who had kids that were mean to us. Generally.

There were four of us that night and we’d hit random houses on the street behind mine. Once we got near the end of the street, rather than circling all the way around, we backtracked, be-bopping down the center of the street returning the way we’d come. We got in front of one of the houses we’d hit and a man stepped out of the shadows and off his front porch. “What’re you boys think you’re doing?”

Two of us took off running. Two of us were too scared to move. I’m not saying which I was, but let’s just say everyone in the neighborhood knew two of us on site.

So he called our parents and we got in big trouble

And mom made me apologize the next day.

To every single house my friends and I had hit that night.

Ugh. That was worse than a whipping—which I asked for instead of apologies but didn’t get. I had to look all those people in the eye and tell them I was sorry for ringing their doorbell at 2 a.m.

Oh, did I leave that part out? Yeah, it was 2 a.m. and needless to say, we startled a few people. Yes, that was the LAST time I did it.

Let’s not talk about TP’ing. 😉

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Ding Dong Ditch

  1. Jerri Mann

    If you didn’t do it again, evidently you learned a lesson.

    • patlaster

      Mrs. Jerri: You were/ are a good mother to make him apologize. Some mothers would laugh it off saying, “Boys will be boys.” Ugh.

  2. patlaster

    Good boy turned bad, then returned to good. Good tale of childhood.

  3. Ahh…the memories….

  4. It seems to be too tempting for boys (and sometimes girls) in every generation. The 2:00 part did compound the offense! Your mother was wise to make you fess up and apologize!

  5. Jerri Mann

    sounds to me like it is pay back…paco

  6. We had this happen to us a few weeks back. It was pretty terrifying; however, since I have never participated in ding-dong-ditch before, I’m not sure that I deserved it. I mean, unless I was paying for one of my husband’s mistakes.

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