My epic return

Saturday, December 8, 2007
Posted by chelsea

So, I guess it's about time that I officially reveal the fact that I'm back in The States. I arrived in New York City last Friday (Nov 30) and stayed with some friends until Monday when I took a train down to Philly and stayed with JCliff through Thursday. I made it back to Searcy last night and was biting at the bit to reveal myself, but only managed two surprise visits before it was too late to go knocking on anyone else's door, so the rest had to wait until today.

I've known I was leaving Greece for close to a month now, so the anticipation has been building for quite some time. I was determined to keep it a secret and made a point to only inform those that just had to know (like my mom, who would have started to get suspicious had she believed I was still just hanging out and being a jobless bum in Greece).

A huge element lending to the glory of my epic surprise return was the fact that I was coming back just in time to participate in the annual Christmas tree stealing out of Renee Lewis' office. Dustin Vyers has always been my partner in crime, and the first year (2005) started out as a war of tree snatching between the Student Publications Office and the Student Life Office. I, of course, immediately sold out and stole the Stud Pub's tree, showing my allegiance to Dustin and his cause.

Last year definitely raised the bar, as Dustin had accepted a job at Pepperdine and now lived in California. I connived as always, and stole the tree to send it off to Dustin at Pepperdine, who glady received it and later brought it back in person on a surprise visit to Searcy. During this visit, he and I secretly infiltrated Renee's apartment and stole her home Christmas tree, replacing it with the small one from her office with an attached Polaroid photo of us swiping the tree. Her reaction was priceless, as she had not expected Dustin to be in Searcy.

This year though, oh, this year would be good. I was living in Greece, and as far as anyone knew, wouldn't be coming back for quite some time. Our planning started weeks ahead, and since Dustin now lives in Texas, we had two outside recruits (Corey McEntyre and Nick May) vow their allegiance and scope out the tree situation. This morning was go-time, and as I sat in Corey's office (ironically enough, the Student Life office...he has Dustin's old job) in excited anticipation, plan after plan to lure Renee from her office failed, as she had a deadline to meet and would not leave for anything.

Stumped, and not wanting to stay in hiding much longer, Corey and I called and consulted Dustin, who decided that we should just rush in and grab it in plain sight. Agreeing, Corey pulled out a video camera and we headed out for the mission.

(*side note* As we were attempting to leave the Student Life office unnoticed, my friend Scott Light spotted me and as I started to run he ran after me yelling, "You can't just do can't just come back and not tell anyone!!!!!! You CAN'T!!!" It was hilarious and wonderful and by far the best reaction I've had.)

After we escaped from Scott's scene-causing yells, we retrieved Corey's car and parked it next to the exit closest to Renee's office. Corey led the way, video camera in hand, and stepped into Renee's office. She was slightly confused and just about to inquire as to what he was doing when I dashed in, swiped her tree and high-tailed it out before she'd had a chance to even process what had happened. The rest was a blur, but I vaguely remember hearing her yell, "Wait...what? CHELSEA!?!?!!?!?!" before we busted out the door and hopped into Corey's car for our quick getaway.

This year's tree stealing shenanigans may never be topped.


Casey said...

You are crazy. That's all. Crazy.

Ian said...

wOOt! Thanks for not stealing our tree, but also thanks for visiting us! Come back soonly.

Brooke said...

When I saw you,
it didn't register at first
that you aren't supposed to be here.
I agree with Dave on the photo book,
and I have a related website for you
should you choose to do it.

Scott said...

i am so glad you are back! what a great surprise for me before I have to leave. i'm glad i didnt mess up the plans by calling renee...i cant believe i was so dumb!

Renee Lewis said...

oh scott. that would have ruined the whole thing had you called me. too bad. haha