Sunday, February 10, 2019


(Woot. Strangerville Live is next week. Get your tickets if you haven't already. Support Jolyn. She supports you.)

When I was 14, my older sister Krisanda offered to drive me and my best friend Sam to our local movie theater. I don't recall what movie we were seeing. This would have been around 1998. I want to say it was Titanic, but I know that Cathie McCann would never have allowed me to go see that film without her and her hand over my eyes so I wouldn't be tempted by boobs. Sam had been issued a similar embargo.

I don't remember why, exactly, but neither of us ever seemed tempted to break the rule and sneak in to see Titanic without our parents.

In any event, Krisanda offered to drive us to see a movie that was definitely not Titanic and certainly contained zero to negative zero boobs.

We were on summer break and it was a rainy day. Krisanda was in high school and had regular access to the white family Astro van, which was something of a sexmobile in the 90s.

We were free, independent, and cruising the streets of South Jordan Utah, nary a parent or guardian in sight, when suddenly, for reasons I still don't know to this day, the van swerved off of the road and into the front yard of a little house.

In my memory, we were careening straight toward the porch at 60 miles per hour for nearly a full eternity. If I could play back the video, we would probably see that the whole thing only lasted about three seconds.

I do remember Krisanda screaming as she pounded the brake with both of her feet. The van slid to a stop, mere feet from the house. Krisanda yelled "IS EVERYONE OK" while simultaneously throwing the van into reverse and hitting the gas.

You know how they always say that criminals frequently revisit the scene of their crimes? We drove by six or seven times over the next week to see whether the tire marks in the lawn had gone away yet.

We never told our parents about this. I don't remember agreeing to keep it a secret. I think it was just an unspoken rule. So I guess this is me finally coming clean.

I hope I we don't get grounded or lose access to the family van over this.

And now I want to hear your confessions to your parents. Go!

And please enjoy the return of Meg in the flesh on this week's Strangerville.

This time in Strangerville, Meg apologizes for her entire pregnancy, Eli can’t believe how old the cast of Friends is now, and a young woman has the worst experience anyone could possibly have while delivering a class presentation.
Class Presentation (Repeat), by Lauren Mortensen 

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. When I went to college, I said I would handle my own doctor and dentist visits. I was a grown up, after all. I didn't go to the dentist or doctor for the next eight years. I had a tooth literally fall apart, and I just ignored it. There was a week where every morning I had so much crusty gunk in my eyes that they were stuck shut for 10 minutes after waking up, but I just waited and it went away. "Everything's fine!" was always the answer to my parents. Still is.

  2. In the far back corner of our back yard, there was a semi-private clump of trees and bushes, plus an old decayed-in-the-middle stump. When my siblings and I were little (like between 3-7), playing outside all day, and not wanting to take the time to go back into the house, that stump was......our bathroom. We grabbed any nearby leaves for toilet paper. If Mom ever noticed the smell, we would either shrug pretending ignorance or suggest the neighbor's dog.

  3. I would often go weeks without showering. I also pooped quite often in my moms shower. I would proceed to then stuff it down the drain with ... drum roll please... my foot! My feet would smell so terrible that my mom would tell me to go continue my shower... then I would poop again.

  4. When I was 16, I took my parents’ minivan and picked up a friend and drove around town. This was completely illegal because my state had a law that minors couldn’t drive other minors during the first six months they had a new license. Anyway, things were going fine until we decided we needed to go to a bank. I managed to sing three out of four corners of the van’s bumper getting through that damn driveway. And apparently I was a blind teenager in denial because when I inspected the van I didn’t see any damage.

    So I dropped my friend off and returned to church to pick up my parents. Naturally the first thing my dad notices is that most of the corners of the bumper are damaged and asks me what happened, to which my super smooth and innocent teenaged self replies “what do you mean?”

  5. I had a crush on this guy in middle school. My friend was friends with him, so she gave me his phone number. I called him about 6 times in one day, but every time he answered I hung up, too scared to actually talk to him. Finally after the 6th time of dial-hang up, our family phone rang back. I knew it was him before I ran away, forcing my mom to answer the phone. Imagine her genuine confusion when this kid *69 dialed us to find out who the flip kept calling him, and she had to answer that she had no idea what he was talking about! She still doesn't know.

    Another day I'll tell you the story of some infidelity in my parents marriage that I figured out as a 10 year old, and they still don't know that I knew.

    1. I’d like that story now, please.

    2. Yeah, you can't just lay that out there and not tell the story. Do tell...

    3. Make that a third anonymous requesting said story!

  6. Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I grew up in a small town that was bisected by the railroad tracks. A freight train used to come through about 4:30 every afternoon and for some reason it would stop on the tracks in my neighborhood, so if we were playing with someone who lived on the opposite side of the tracks, all the kids would climb over the couplings between the freight cars to get home for dinner (always at 5:00!) without having to walk half a mile to the grade crossing. This was, of course, a big secret from all the parents, who thought we knew better. I did eventually tell my mother about this, but not until I was in my late 30s, and she still screamed, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF? YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!" and wouldn't speak to me for about two hours.

  7. Hilarious, this same thing basically happened to me except I was the driver and I careened into the yard because my sister was goofing around and grabbed the steering wheel and I panicked and overcorrected. Not only did we leave deep tire marks in the yard, I also hit their mailbox and broke the wooden post in half.

    I drove away in a panic and went home (it happened about 2 blocks away) There was a big old dent on the driver’s side and I was frantically wiping the paint from the mailbox post off when 2 people strolled up walking their dog. They warned me that they had seen what I did and called the police. I reluctantly went back to the scene of the crime just as a police car pulled up. The couple who owned the house came outside and I started crying hysterically and apologizing. The husband said I seemed like a nice girl and since I had done the right thing and come back (not knowing I only came back because I had been caught), they wouldn’t press any charges. the police officer told me to be careful in the future and let me leave.

    Later that day i went with my mom to the store and when we came out the sun was shining on the car and highlighted the big dent. She started complaining about how rude it is to hit someone in the parking lot and not even leave a note. I agreed that some people are just disgusting pigs.

    10 years later I finally told her the truth. I was that rude, disgusting pig. But at least I was one without a police record.

  8. I moved to Utah a few months ago and with my newfound freedom, I decided to be social and go out late for the first time. My friend and I met these guys at Chik Fil A and they lived close by so they invited us over to their house. My mother would be mortified to know I went home with boys I just met. I also had my first few drinks that night and embarrassingly excused myself, went outside and not wanting to throw up in their yard... walked into the neighbors yard and threw up in a bush in the back corner of their yard. I hightailed it out of there after that. I know what you’re saying about revisiting the crime though; I went by a few times and there was the cutest black dog sunbathing in the window.

  9. two of them.

    First one was NBD, but to teenage me it was. I was driving a family car up to a cabin in the woods to meet our family. I was barley a new driver, but somehow i got to drive by myself. I'm going and suddenly a cop pulls up behind me. OH crap. i'm speeding. I get a ticket.

    to me this was the end of the world. I would never be able to drive agin. I would never be trusted after violating the laws of our nation and the sacred trust of my parents.

    so i never told them. the only problem was i didn't have the $80 dollars i needed to pay the ticket.

    i told a coworker and he agreed to loan me the money.

    I never told my parents. I assume they must have found out. You know, insurance and stuff. but they never said a word.

    number two.

    This is east idaho. I'm a young mormom prepping for my mission in a few months. My friend and i are driving around in my gold GMC safari van. suddenly a woman cuts us off.

    this gets our adrenaline pumping, and i tell my friend to prep his butt. at the next light we speed past her, and he moons her.

    we go on our way.

    about 30 minutes later a cop pulls me over. i get off with no problems.

    my friend gets charged with indecent exposure.

    He spends a whole year on probation and can't leave the state.

    in an odd twist of fate, the police report in the news paper mentioning him is on the same page a my grandma's obituary. for a long time i kept a copy of it, so i could see her face... judging me.

    I never told my parents. I'm not sure if they ever found out.

  10. At the local college for a soccer game with my cousin (we were 6-ish), went inside to use the bathroom, called 911 from a payphone, said, "Help!" and hung up. Came out of the bathroom, a police officer was questing people nearby to see if they saw anything. We snuck back outside and spent the next 30 minutes hiding in the back of my aunt's car while a cop car circled the block.

    When I was 7-ish, and I had a huge knot in the back of my hair. Instead of getting help with it, I cut it out. When my mom discovered it, I blamed it on my friend. I told my mom that I was at her house and we were playing beauty parlor, and she cut the knot out while she was playing with my hair. I was so nervous that my mom had called her mom and she got in trouble, I didn't play with her for months! I still don't know if my friend got in trouble for it or not.

    My cousin and I came to Provo one summer to visit my sister, we were about 15-16 years old. My other cousin came up from St. George to visit that week as well, and the 4 of us together can't help but cause some trouble. We decided to go up to Squaw Peak and throw water balloons at all the couples making out up there (because that's the only reason people go up there, right?!). Turns out, some people don't take too kindly to that! We went around the loop, threw water balloons, went down the mountain, turned around, and went back for round two. As we went around the loop to head back down, a pickup was coming towards us ... two trucks full of guys trapped us between them and started throwing rocks at our car. One guy came up to the car and asked us to roll down the window so he could "chat" with us. My sister cracked the window and the guy sprayed pepper spray inside. We freaked (obviously), and tried to drive away ... after a few minutes, they finally let us get by, and then proceeded to follow us (very closely) down the mountain, down the canyon, and back into Provo, throwing rocks at our car. As soon as we could, we called the police, but I don't think anything came of it (we didn't have license plate numbers or anything). It was pretty scary! We still haven't told our parents! I ended used this experience as a final book project for my high school senior English class and got an A+ on it, so I guess something good came out of it!

  11. Brake....not break. :)

    Good you weren't all killed or maimed!

  12. My friends and I used to skinny dip in the pool in our backyard while my parents were sleeping when we were tweens. I finally mentioned it to my mom this past Christmas, some two and a half decades later. She was so shocked and kind of felt like suddenly there was no end to the possibilities of what she might not know about me!

  13. My parents never gave me a curfew and for the most part I would come home around midnight when out with friends or on dates. My mom always asked me to wake her up when I got home. Those times I was really late, I would go downstairs in the dark, walk into her bedroom, barely touch her foot and whisper very, very quietly “Mom, I’m home” and go to bed. When she would ask me the next day why I didn’t wake her up when I got home, I would always tell her I tried, but she wouldn’t wake up. She still doesn’t know what I did to this day.

  14. I grew up with two older brothers and once I was old enough, my brothers taught me how to break into our parents bedroom closet and check out the Christmas gifts. They always insisted they would stand guard and let me know if our parents were coming, but as soon as they heard anything, they'd hightail it out of there and still expect a full report later about what presents to expect. We were never caught, but we just told our parents a few years ago about our escapades as kids at Christmas-time (we're all in our 30's now) and our dad has never lets us forget it. He brings it up at every opportunity and as the youngest and only girl, I continually insist it was my brothers' fault for being such bad influences.

  15. When I was 14 my cousin from a few states away came to stay with us for the summer. A few months before he came he called me and told me we needed to start “plotting”. He asked me if I had a ward map (of course I did, my mom is a great Mormon mom). We picked a house on the map without a fence and started to plot how to best toilet paper the house. We knew that construction was happening across the street so there would be some good items to use in the useless vandalism. When the night we had been plotting finally came we went out with dozens of rolls of toilet paper and set to work. This house was odd, it had a false rock face, so we stuffed wet toilet paper between every rock. We covered the house, the lawn, and the trees. Once we were done we noticed the construction site across the street had thrown out the largest roll of carpet we had ever seen. The two of us carried it over the the vandalized house and rolled it out. On the carpet we spray painted some hearts and ran home. Oh, and we tipped a port-a-potty on our way out. The next morning when we got up we heard my mom talking to the neighbor we had targeted. She somehow convinced the neighbor that HAD SEEN US, that she was mistaken. We still haven’t confessed 12 years later.

  16. Eli! Krisanda! You were lucky!!

    Mom XOXOXO

  17. Also car related! High school/middle school age, kids' car was a 1998 Nissan Sentra, manual transmission.

    We were going to visit some friends one time, older brother driving, all four of us in the car. We're driving down a two-lane highwayish road, about 55 mph, and my brother is about to blow the stop sign and miss our turn, so we shout.

    He does drive through the stop sign, but he makes an abrupt left turn to try to make our turn.

    We slid off the road into an (irrigation?) ditch. Got out of the car, looked at it, pushed it back onto the road, and never told our parents.

    It's been seven, eight years?

  18. Haven't told my parents yet that I'm bisexual and I had a crush on my best friend all through high school. Does that count as a confession?

  19. My boyfriend used to come over every night at midnight during high school. He'd park down the street, come to my window, take out the screen, and come in my bedroom. He'd sleep there until 3 or 4 am an leave before my dad went to work. One night my brother unlocked my door and came in to get help because he was sick, and somehow didn't notice the boy in my bed. Another time my mom needed something and knocked on my door. My boyfriend hid in the closet, that only had a curtain for a door, while she talked to me for 30 minutes. WereW pretty sure the neighbors across the street saw him leave a couple times when he overslept but they never said anything. My boyfriend and I have now been married almost 20 years and we've never told anyone!!! My parents would die!

  20. My brother and I were coming back from a church activity one Sunday evening. It was in the next town over at a different building than we normally attended, so he had been given specific instructions on how to get to the church. I think our parents were gone that evening, so it was all on us to get home at a reasonable time once the activity was over. Heading back from the church, we somehow got very lost. We drove around dark neighborhoods for what felt like forever, but was probably only 10 minutes. We were both starting to freak out about finding our way back and I think my brother was trying to hide his concern in not recognizing where we were. We were nearly up into the mountains when I noticed a large sign that I knew was close to the freeway and we managed to work our way back and get home. As we pulled into the garage, we agreed to never tell our parents about what happened.

    A few years later, I was driving friends back from a dance at that same church building and once again got lost despite having been given very specific directions on how to get to the building. Freaked my friends out quite a bit when we got to the end of the streetlights in a neighborhood, but I managed to work us back to the freeway, having gotten lost in nearly the exact same place before. I figured out, upon telling my parents this story, that there is a road that changes names when you cross into the next town, which just happened to be the road that I needed to take. I'm fairly certain that was the exact same problem my brother and I had years prior. We've still never told our parents about that time we got lost together.