The Old Switcharoo: Teens and Partying


We’ve been there and done that. By which I mean that we’ve written a few CHAPTERS in the book of “Teen Party Sneakiness.”

And yet we still get duped.

"I am staying at Jackie's house for the night, mom."

"I am staying at Katy's house for the night, mom."

At about 11:00 pm, I received a very interesting call from Jackie's mom. "Can I talk with Jackie for a minute, please?" she asked.

"Certainly, Mary, she is at your house where MY daughter is spending the night."

That was about the point where all hell broke loose.

Joe, my husband, remembered that our daughter had asked earlier in the week if she could go camping with her boyfriend and a bunch of friends up on Smith-Jones Mountain. He had said he would talk with me and get back to her. It appeared she didn’t wait for the answer.

Then, it ALL fell into place.

About 12:15 am, and after talking with the other family involved several times, we decided to call the boyfriend's parents.

I woke them out of a dead sleep and asked where their son was. Of course, he was camping at Smith-Jones Mountain.

And that was RIGHT where we went. ALL of us.

What we found was that this was tent camping, and no one had cell phone reception, so we made the bold decision to go up on this large, wilderness-filled mountain to find them.

There were camp trails/roads in this very remote location about 30 minutes from our town, but no houses or civilization. We caravaned up the mountain and, with the help of Jackie's older brother who had done his fair share of camping up on the mountain, we thankfully did not get lost.

As we are searched, more than one car passed us with loaded with young kids with white painted faces -- there had been a high school football game that night. That comforted us, as we knew we were on the right track.

It was about 1:30 am.

Finally, after driving around for an hour, we spotted a tiny campfire way down the side of the mountain and a huge bunch of cars. We stopped and saw the boyfriend's car. Eureka!

The four of us start heading down the mountain on foot (now about 2:15 am). Joe was stopping kids and asking them if they had seen our daughter or the boyfriend.

One very drunk high school student happily said to follow him. He led us down the mountain, though thick wilderness, over fallen trees and across a creek. The creek had a log across it that we had to balance upon as the sweet young man turned to Joe and said, "Careful, Old Dude."

Upon reaching the fire -- which, by the way was a roaring bonfire that only looked like a nice, tiny campfire from the far distance where we parked our car -- Joe approached a young girl with a beer in her hand and asked if she knew where the boyfriend was.

Her comment, in a very high-pitched, holy-hell kind of voice, "Who are you?"

She pointed to a tent and went to the outside of it. It was full of kids that were very loud and laughing, and Joe says, “KATY??!!?!"

The boyfriend's voice was the first voice we heard, "That is Mr. SMYTHE!!!"

Katy got out of the tent and said to us, "You don't need to be pissed."

Ha! We marched her and her friend all the way up the side of the mountain and to the waiting cars. You can imagine just how coordinated they were at fording the stream after several beers.

Then came the longest ride home on record.

Besides the lessons learned that night by father, mother and daughter, another was learned a few days later.

Joe was at work when a man came in to buy something. He began by introducing himself to Joe, and asked about Katy and the night on the mountain.

Confused, Joe asked who he was. He was the father of one of the boys who was in the tent that night.

He added that he knows all about the story because "The Legend of Old Dude" was all over town.

The moral? Remember back to your old tricks -- odds are great that your kids will be using them, as well.

Photo Credit: Sandy Zieba.


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