Take a moment to join The Toast in remembering your dirtbag years.
In seventh grade, Meghan Hood taught me how to use Bath & Body Works body spray as a flamethrower — you stand in front of a lit candle and then spray Vanilla Mist at it, creating a beautiful, hovering flame sphere. After we set her cabinet on fire, her mom made us take it outside.
When I was fourteen, I split both my kneecaps open rollerblading home from a garage sale where I had just purchased a Dave Matthews CD. I did not know how to use the brake while rollerblading; every time I wanted to slow down I leapt off of the street and flung myself onto the nearest patch of grass. This strategy worked until it didn’t.
When I was sixteen, I totaled my car when I reached down to change tracks on a Jason Mraz CD. My friend Emily was riding in the backseat, and broke her sternum. She had to quit her job at Oberweis Dairy that summer because scooping ice cream hurt her chest. She started smoking Camels that year. I didn’t approve of it, but then I started smoking Marlboros the year after and I didn’t mind so much.
When I was seventeen, my friend Kyle put an entire turtle cheesecake in the dryer to see what would happen. The dryer broke.
When I was eighteen, my buddies Mark and Tristan and I dared each other to grind out our cigarettes on our forearms. I did it four times in one night. I still have the scars. It wasn’t a very good idea.
On his 21st birthday, Toast publisher Nick Pavich wore at least one puka-shell necklace. On my 21st birthday, I [redacted]. Nicole was never a dirtbag.
“Once I set the corners of an envelope on fire,” she said, “but it was only to give it an ‘aged’ look for a history project.”
When I was 22, my friend Jon and I made 100 newspaper boats and floated them in my parents’ pool, then set them all on fire. The ashes clogged the pool filters and we had to have a pool repairman come fix it.
What did you set on fire? What structures did you jump off of that were never meant to be climbed? What did you bootleg, where did you go for off-campus lunch despite the fact that you were supposed to stay on school grounds until senior year? You can tell us.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.