Hey guy's this will be my first article on Retrojunk,hopefully the first of many.Keeping in mind that this is indeed my first article...be gentle!!!

Today I am going to tell the tale of the first time I ever really got in TROUBLE.You guys know what I'm talking about, my parents were always throwing that word around.Hoping that such a hefty word would keep me in line by virtue of it's implications alone.Unfortunately for them,at the age of eight I had no practical concept of what it meant...You see I was a good kid, my older brother Josh was the one getting in all of this TROUBLE.

It all started when my mom agreed that my brother Josh, his friend TC ,my friend Billy and myself could camp out in the back yard one fine weekend in May of 1984.

I'm sure most of you have camped out in the back yard.I used to love it,there's just something magical about sleeping in a tent right below your bedroom window.But my parents would hardly ever let us do it for some reason.So this was a special treat and you have to understand how slowly the week dragged by at old Francis Asbury elementary school.

That very week on Thursday I got my first glimpse of what TROUBLE was all about.My friend Billy got in to a minor scuffle with another kid at the swing set during recess.I swear we used to fight over those swings all the time but...this time a teacher saw it.I mean it wasn't anything that Billy was going to get suspended over but he did get detention on Friday afternoon.Worse than that though...they called his Mom.

Billy's Mom was none to happy about the whole business of him fighting at school.She decided that in addition to detention on Friday afternoon, he would also be GROUNDED (Oh Noes!) that evening.She did agree to let him camp out Saturday night however.That's good enough right?Hell no it aint,we hatched a scheme during lunch on Friday that would allow him to enjoy both nights of glorious camping.

I ran the scheme past my older brother Josh and his friend TC while we were setting up our tent and rolling out the Empire Strikes Back sleeping bags.It was simple, after we were to have "lights out" at 11pm I would sneak out and throw a pebble or two at Billy's window.He would then climb out of the side window and hop down to a chair he had strategically placed earlier in the afternoon about 6ft under the sill.We'd sneak him back in before his mother checked on him in the morning.Josh and TC loved it, the simplicity...the elegance...it had to work.

Now Billy's mom worked nights and I was a little worried when I noticed the car still in the drive way after 5pm.But these worries were quickly melted when we were sitting around the fire pit roasting marsh mellows and listening to Michael Jackson on the radio.Talking about wrestling and Star Wars and all of the things that little boys talk of in these situations.Yes...life was good, Me, Josh, TC and Zak sitting around the fire...wait a minute ZAK?Unbeknownst to me my mom had decided to let my little brother stay with us too (groan) I just knew he was going to ruin the "plan".

No matter, it was a done deal.I would have to pull it off with Zak nosing around being a typical little brother.As the night flew by and much Kool aid was consumed it was time for "lights out" and my parents went to bed.Well as soon as the house went dark MJ came out of the tape deck and Eddie Murphy went in.We huddled around the radio cracking up and rolling on the tent floor to jokes we couldn't possibly understand.To us, he was cursing a lot and that automatically made it funny.Better still it was distracting my little brother.

Josh reminded me to get on with the plan and I slipped in to the night, undetected.I stood below Billy's window and grabbed a pebble from his drive way.Nervously eyeing his mothers car I zinged it at the screen....nothing.I threw a second, a third...still nothing.Then in a hushed tone I cupped my hands and cried out "Billy, Billy it's Jason...get up".It was at that point that I realized my call had been echoed.I looked back and standing in the street wearing a bright red hooded sweatshirt was Zak.This was bad the mission surely would have to be aborted.

That's when Josh and TC walked up.They were curious as to what was taking so long and realized Zak was missing so they came to get some answers.I brought them up to speed and they just sort of shrugged and started horsing around.One thing led to another and we were throwing mud at each other from Billy's drive way.There was just something cool about being out that late on the street with no one to tell us what to do.The mud throwing escalated and someone hit Billy's Mom's trunk lid which splattered everywhere.Next thing you know we're all throwing mud on the car...I still to this day can not figure out why but it was like we were getting her back for locking Billy up in his room.

After we got that out of our system and were having a good laugh TC says "guys look at the car".Damn I hadn't really thought about what we were actually doing.The car was a mess and in the morning light we would be the only suspects.TC quickly grabbed the garden hose from Billy's house and tried valiantly to wash the mud off, and in our young minds he did a hell of a job.We stole off in to the night once again and crawled in to our sleeping bags vowing to never speak of the incident.

Morning came and we all rushed to the house to devour the pancakes my Mom had promised us the previous evening.What we were met with however was far from the culinary treat we had envisioned.My Mom stood,arms crossed in that pissed off Mom stance we are all so familiar with.Josh was the first to speak "How bout them pancakes Mom"?She was in no mood for it..."I just got off the phone with Billy's mother and she tells me her car has mud all over it and her water hose was on this morning flooding her drive way"."Would you boys know anything about this"?

We all tried in vain to play it off...of course we knew, it must have been written all over our faces.On the spot TC came up with a story of hearing other kids fooling around in the street.She wasn't buying it..."Josh, Jason,TC...go to Josh's room and shut the door...Zak you stay here".We ran to Josh's room leaving Zak to his fate.Of course Zak buckled like a belt within seconds, spilling everything and crying.The jig was up, we were doomed.

We were all interrogated one by one and we dropped the "other kids" nonsense when it became obvious it wasn't working.My Mom even called my Dad who left work early on an over time day to deal with us.Boy was he pissed, never before had I feared my father would do me harm.It was all over but the crying and there was plenty of that going on.

It turns out Billy's mom had taken him to his grandparents house for the night.Apparently she had a feeling something fishy was going on and she cut us off at the knees.Billy's grand dad drove her to work and back and that is why the car remained.My parents sat us all down on the couch and informed us that we would be apologizing to Billy's mom when she got home at 4pm.In addition we would be paying for any damages done with our own allowances and all be confined to our rooms for the next week.Four pm seemed to take forever to arrive.

At the appointed hour we shuffled across the street and gingerly rapped on the door.It felt like an eternity but she finally answered."Can I help you boys" she said from the same pissed off stance my Mom had used earlier.We spilled everything and apologized through streaming tears.She took this opportunity to lecture us on everything we had done wrong.we offered to pay for any damages but she said it was nothing a car wash wouldn't fix.

We shuffled back across the street defeated...utterly.My Dad told me and my brothers to get to our rooms.Then he told TC to head home his grandmother had already been informed and was waiting angrily for his return.As TC shut the door behind him I looked out of my window and remember seeing him with his head down and hands in pockets slowly amble across the field to his destiny.The worst of it was over though.

The week dragged on of course.No TV, No friends, No anything that even hinted at being a good time.I talked to Billy at school and he was bummed about the whole situation.It's amazing that during these periods of being grounded you actually look forward to going to school.The week ended, the punishment lifted and it faded from our memories like so many child hood experiences.Though it would be two whole years before we would be allowed to camp out again.

Looking back on it today, I can see how silly "the plan" actually was.If we had just sucked it up, Billy would have joined us on Saturday night and it would have been a blast.But, I also would have been deprived of learning first hand that week end what TROUBLE really is.Thank you for reading this article.Any questions or critisisms are most certainly welcome.Till next time...Stay out of TROUBLE!!!