J. C. Mogensen

Reality with a Healthy Dose of Humor


Do Great Things

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 11:35 PM

I have a lot of reasons to be proud, but if someone asked me to make a list off the top of my head of the first things I'd brag about if given the chance, the things that come immediately to mind might surprise you. Sure, I have great kids and friends I can count on, but who doesn't? No, the things that I'd like people to know about me are decidedly less wholesome.

My dad has 7 brothers and they like to tell stories of the cunning stunts they pulled in their younger years whenever they get together. When I heard about them blowing up a shithouse or stealing the driveshaft from a cop's car, I took it as a challenge.

A quick disclaimer:

These things happened at least fifteen years ago. I've been a good, law-abiding, volunteering-to-teach-old-people-how-to-use-computers citizen since then. Swear.

Banned for Life

I was far from the wildest of young men, but I was no saint either. I got into my share of scuffles and taunted fate more times that I should have reasonably been able to get away with. Everyone has stories of dumb shit they did before they were old enough to know better. But, I doubt there are very many people who can say that they've been banned from a state park for life. I have.

Back in the summer of '98, my closest friends and I decided that what we needed was a break from drinking at home or the bars. So, logically, we decided to end the monotony by drinking while camping.  We borrowed a 20' camper and headed to Sibley State Park to enjoy some nature for a couple days. After two days and two nights of debauchery that may or may not have included the ritualistic burning of a Ouija Board, streaking, a fifteen foot tall bonfire, what I'm sure sounded like a death metal concert, a fist fight in the public showers, and the forced removal of a few parking posts with the help of an old Ford 4x4 in order to make room for a larger bonfire, a park ranger rolled up on Sunday morning and told me that I (because the whole thing was registered to me) had been forever blacklisted from the park. It was suggested that I leave before they forcibly removed me and mine from the park. We left, never to return.

Everything's Legal in Mexico – That's the American Way

In '96 a friend and I decided on a whim to take a trip to Arizona. We spent a week in Tucson and a fair amount of that time across the border in Nogales. Now, to be honest, I don't recall exactly what transpired, but what I do know is that we were kicked out of a bar. Twice. In Mexico. Wrap your head around that for a minute - Two white boys with pockets full of foldin' money behaving so badly that a dive in a shitty Mexican border town threw them out. Twice. Because we went back the next day.

Everyone should be 20 and in Mexico at least once.


 Screw Disney, this is the most magical place on Earth.


White Water

My sister decided to move to Idaho when she was about 19. A friend and I loaded her up and helped her move. After dropping her off, we decided to swing though Oregon on the way home to Minnesota, like you do. I had some extended family out there so it wasn't just a sight-seeing trip. When we arrived, a plan was put into motion to turn the night into more than just a quiet evening of catching up. What started as a trip into the mountain to do some four-wheeling quickly deteriorated into shotguns being used to gather firewood, a flaming, severed deer head on a stick as a torch, and a mid-eighties Toyota truck being lifted back on its tires after falling over like a fainting goat.

The highlight of the evening was when we took our considerable supplies and broke into a YMCA at 2AM. Why there was a set of kayaks there will always be something of a mystery, but it wasn't long before I rode one off the high-dive like a goddamn hero. When I get a neck ache in the middle of the night these days, I sometimes wonder if the fifteen foot drop in a plastic canoe had anything to do with it.


There are plenty of other stories, some that I'm not sure I can't still be prosecuted for and some that only come to me when they're triggered, kind of like a 'Nam flashback.

  • I once yelled at a topless woman who was sitting on her boyfriend's shoulders to get out of my way because she was blocking my view of Chris Robinson during a Black Crowes concert. I remember thinking I should throw my beer at her. I don't remember if I did. I probably did.
  • "Breaking in" is a strong term, so I'm not going to use it again. I picked up the bad habit of smoking after finding a way into a closed country club in the midle of the night and helping myself to their impressive collection of top-shelf liquor. One of my co-conspirators was rooting around in the kitchen for some grub and came back with a pack of the cook's Camels.
  • I once set my best friend on fire. Accidentally. And I don't mean burning the fuzz off his new socks - he was doing a pretty solid Ghost Rider impression. I don't feel bad about it though, since he had knocked me out cold with a blow to the head from a 10lb wooden block on a rope just a few months earlier. He had it coming. 
  • I flirted my way into a great SubWay scam. It was surprisingly easy to get the sorority girl to hand over an entire roll of stamps and a stack of SubClub cards. I didn't pay for a sandwich for a year.
  • Then there's the story of my bookend, which I will never commit to public record.


 I'd like to invoke my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination


Yes, some of my proudest accomplishments were fueled by booze. Yes, I should have been arrested a dozen times over. No, I don't want my girls anywhere near a person like I was.

But, man, I've had some fun.


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1 Comment

Reply Jeny Adam
6:03 PM on May 31, 2018