screencaps via Fox 6 WBRC
Cheryl Crausewell, of Dora, Alabama attempted, with the help of her son, to clean up her toilet-papered house on Monday afternoon. A persistent piece of toilet paper was stuck in a magnolia tree, so they tried a little of nature's Hoover: fire. Now they have a burned down house, and the kids who TP'd their house over the weekend are, one assumes, getting laid non-stop.
Crausewell gave a moment-by-moment breakdown of the incident to a TV news crew, which I will paraphrase below:
They were out cleaning up their home that had been, in Alabama parlance, "rolled," along with other houses in the Hickory Ridge community of Dora. They'd done a pretty satisfactory job, but there's always that little bit left in the magnolia isn't there?
Where most people would have turned to Wikihow, Crausewell turned to her Zippo. She says they lit just a few squares, which got caught by a breeze and landed in the yard. Only seconds after the plan was hatched, the lawn was ablaze—casting some doubt on that whole "we only lit a couple squares" thing—and the fire looped around the house.
She told WBRC News, "It just popped out into a little patch and we tried to put it out and it just kept going, so I was trying to keep it from going down the front porch and came down the bank and around the back of the house." At this point the fire caught a propane tank, which Crausewell thinks leaked or exploded, and soon the fire had spread to her house of 12 years.
Now I hate to point this out, but news footage of the fire being put out happened to give a progress report on Crausewell's cleanup job. Looking at the left of the frame, it looks like the fire method didn't accomplish the one thing it was designed for:
She also failed to provide the TV news a detailed explanation of her thought process. For those who don't know, TPing a house is a game, and the objective is to place a few pieces somewhere so high or hard to reach that the victim can't clean it all. You hope some of it stays there for days, or hopefully weeks. These bits of toilet paper are called "the angels' share," and they'll be cleaned up by things like birds and wind. You're forgiven for litter because it was the work of those damn neighborhood hooligans, not you.
Crausewell and her son successfully evacuated her elderly aunt, her mother, and her aunt's caregiver, who were all home at the time, and no one was injured. In other news that makes it okay to laugh at Crausewell, she had homeowner's insurance, and plans to rebuild on the same property, because the property holds "a lot of memories. You know?"
It would hold a lot of memories, I suppose. But in the coming days and weeks, as Crausewell replays the incident in her head, I wonder if she won't want to move to a piece of land with fewer memories. I sure would.