In The Minds of Teenage Boys Comes Mayhem

I was waiting to tell this story to package it together with something else, but it's too cute not to tell. Especially since August is when many members of the family are starting to think of and work on their halloween costumes.

An Inspiration for Carnivore?

Yeah, I know it sounds juvenile, but Halloween has always been a family favorite. This year, I've been invited to a very special engagment for a dear friend, so I've got to think of perfecting my ghoulish looks.

One year, Peter got punished for a prank that he and Josh dreamed up. They decided to take a scarecrow type figure - a man fully clothed and stuffed with newspaper- put a noose around his neck, put a long rope tied to that noose around a limb of a large tree in front of Josh's house. They positioned the rope over the street with the scarecrow man dangling from the tree in the middle of the street.

When a car came down the street, the boys would let the rope go and the "man" would fall from the tree almost like he was jumping infront of the car. You'd hear the screeching of tires, the screaming of the driver and the giggling of two teen boys with nothing better to do but cause mayhem.

I remember sitting there and watching as car after car drove down the street and the boys doing their nasty deed. Finally, Pete's father found out and flipped out. I don't believe there were any accidents that I remember, but it was not a good thing. Nettie also found out that the boys had used one of her hats to create a head on the "man" and she was furious that they stole her items.

After the punishment was over, the boys renewed their mayhem by placing the scarecrow man over a different tree limb that towered over the sidewalk in front of Josh's house. They ran the rope over the limb and up to Josh's bedroom window so they could spy a lady walking down the street from the second floor. I remember because my sister and I were riding our bikes up and down the street when they did the gag on us first. Then, we sat next door on (Northern Lights) Dennis' old house and watched Josh and Peter pulled the rope up and let it down to scare unsuspecting pedestrian. God it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. People would really freak out, scream, cry ... it was fantastic !

It was a good trick ... one of my favorites ... I just wish someone would have snapped a photo of the "scare man" before it was put away. I wonder if Josh still has that thing somewhere?

If you don't like the Beatles Pass This Up:


  1. What a funny story :-) I can imagine Pete & Josh so well watching and laughing how they scare pedestrians *LOL* Halloween seems to be always great fun within your family - love this tradition & the great customes. Thanx for sharing another great memory with us.
    Take care

  2. What a funny story! I absolutely LOVE Halloween & my birthday is just a few days before so it's that much more fun. We still have parties every year & I still trick or treat...with my daughter that is but I still get candy for wearing a costume.

  3. This is so hilarious....LMAO Thank you for sharing :)

  4. Love hearing stories about Peter and Josh together as kids. What a great friendship. So funny how after they got in trouble they just went and thought up another way of using the scarecrow/man to cause chaos and fun. The simpliest things are usually the funniest. The looks on peoples faces and the way their bodies reacts when they get scared is so funny. The other thing I find hysterical is shining laser lights on people then watch them try to work out where its coming from or try to get away from it, thats something me and my childhood friend still do! Did Nettie make Peters outfit or did he cut up one of his sisters dresses? I love how much your family are into it, adults and kids. Good to know your keeping the Ratajczyk Halloween tradition going. Everytime I think of Halloween I think of Peter. I am sure he watches you all, especially on this night. Good Luck with your ghastly ghoulish look.

  5. Oh I love that, would have been priceless to see :) Thank you for sharing - - - Halloween is my favorite holiday!!

    Amy Wigle

  6. HAhahahahaHAAHHHhhhh! (And that's just for the costume!) 8-)

  7. I am enjoying this blog so much! Halloween has always been our favorite holiday in my family growing up and yes this time of year we are already planning our costumes. What funny antics Peter and Josh cooked up with that scarecrow though! They could have won an award for that. Last year for Halloween I carved a tribute pumpkin in Peter's likeness. It came out great and I will have to email you all some photos. I will do it again this year. Thanks so much for sharing. RIP Peter---Jessica (Black Number 1)

  8. p.s. I love the Day Tripper link posted as well. Peter's intro is classic! What a great cover!---Jessica (Black Number 1)

  9. lmao.. so love these stories...reminds me of when my brother and his friends would go around to other friends houses and throw toilet paper all over their trees and yards...lol.until one day we woke and our house was toilet papered too. one other time they came home with one of the city street names that happened to be our last name..think its still at my parents somewheres...lol ahh goodtimes on devils night.
    hope Josh is doing ok..I know it must be very hard for him not having his best friend around.
    wonder what other trouble those 2 got into..lol.
    your family sounds like it had so much fun.would have loved to have come and hung at your houses for awhile bet there was not much of dull boring moments hanging around there.specially with Peter around..lol. so sad he was taken from us so soon. miss him beyond words even though I really didnt know him like you all did..would have liked to have gotten to know him but he passed before I was able to..damn it. bet he would have shined real bright and rocked all his fans to oblivion with whatever he had planned for the next album and tour if he was still with us.did anybody get any pics of him before he passed? if so would love to see those. some said he was looking really good and healthy before he passed.so sucks he wasnt able to continue with his sobriety and maybe settled down and had a kid or 2. dont like it when some peoples lives are cut short like that specially when they werent finished living it.pisses me off alot.arrghh.
    anyways good story..thanks for sharing it.hope everybody is fine and well over there and takes good care and stays safe.till the next blog...lol. take care everybody and god bless.

  10. Loved the story! Halloween has always been a favorite of mine and my family. I still dress up every year whether I have some where to go or not (at the very least with my fangs and a bit of hair color). Last year was devoted to Peter and TON and will be that way from now on. :*( The story reminds me of some good friends who every year would put a scarecrow on their porch the week before halloween and then Halloween night the husband would change into the scarecrow clothes and then scare the unsuspecting trick or treaters as they approached his door. Well last year someone called the cops and he was almost arrested! F'd up for sure! There is no fun to be had anymore! Miss the good ole' days when a good toilet papering was par for the course and no one got in trouble! Boo! Peace to all.

  11. love the costume!!! haloween is still one of my favorite days of the year,only now i dress up as a witch and pass out candy at my sons house while he takes the grandkids trick or treating. last year i carved peters name into my pumpkins and plan on doing the same this year. really loved their halloween shows!!! love the scarecrow story, it was a riot.would have loved to see the looks on the pedestrians faces!!what great imagination they had!!!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this one with us along with the Beatles-cover link. I heard that cover cost Type O quite a bit due to IP/trademark-rights. Sounded great, though.
    Agreeing with Babs. I miss the less inhibited, unregulated world of the past. The modern world seems restrictive, full of monitoring systems and uptight neighbors. It's a shame today's youth rarely feel the thrill of unpunished harmless mischief in the real world, away from the a computer screen.
    I can just imagine Josh and Pete having a "Can't prank traffic, huh?! Okay, guess the sidewalk'll have to do! Let's change locations..." discussion, then rigging that scareman and laughing uncontrollably at every victim ...err, participant. This is a great story!
    Wow! If that photo's from 1982 Pete & I had the same idea that year. Looks like more than one member of the Rajaczyk family liked/likes leopard-spots.
    In other parts of the world Halloween's seen as a quirky little US tradition, but here in the states it's a prime opportunity to flex one's creative muscle, to simultaneously innovate and explore one's macabre side. It's stimulating, wild, cantankerous and festive. Those of us who sew, craft/sculpt, hammer and paint become very sought after between August and October, and fishing line and duct tape become valuable comodities. My Halloween 2011 sewing started two weeks ago.
    Hope this year's endeavors will be rewarding for you!

  13. ...sorry for the mispelling of the Ratajczyk family name...
    Having trouble spelling due to lack of grasp of pronounciation.

  14. @dunebuggy4 - Some people pronounce it like "Rat A Chick" We've always pronounced it like "Ra Ty Chick" If our Polish friends have a more authentic suggestion, please comment.

  15. Phonic: Ratajczyk (rah'-ty-chik), eh? Thank you, that helps!

  16. If Cathy is reading these, Hi Cathy, it's Rose. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I get to be someone else for a day. I've been many characters: Mafia boss, Paul McCartney, The Geico Caveman, Elvis, Ozzy Osbourne, Dog the Bounter Hunter, ONe year I was Jose Conseco on Steroids...that one killed. I was the Church Lady from SNL (Dana Carvy). I'm starting to think of my new costume for this year too....always fun to be a man in my case because I'll never be one. I love hearing these stories from Peter's childhood..he was a typical rambunctious boy...having fun. Bless him for those beautiful stories..he was a joy. Peter I know you can hear us talking about you...That smile, I can see that smile. You were a breathe of fresh air to us. You will never be forgotten. When I read your Brooklyn stories, I reminisce about my growing up in NY...Ah Brooklyn...lots of stories there. Halloween in Fort Hamilton, running around all the buildings dressed up like The Beatles in the 60's...fond memories. Thank you Ratajczyk family. I should be receiving my Memorial T shirt any day now...will wear it with pride...Thank you Peter.

  17. Rose from NY now in CALIF4:31 PM, August 06, 2011

    Day Trippaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Petrus Ratajczyk you had the most provacative voice, those beautiful green eyes. You had it all, we loved you and still love you beyond the stars and moon. You could sing the Beatles to me all day long. I will never forget you, you will always be played on my CD player in car and home until eternity. Thank you Peter. Thank you TON. We won't ever forget you guys. We miss you we really miss you.