You can always tell who's been tricked, not treated, when the trees turn up draped in fluttering strands of white.
Toilet paper was invented in China in the 14th century. (The emperors used to get it in 2-by-3-foot sheets.) (No research on whether it was 2- or 3-ply.) By the 1950s, Americans were festooning each other's shrubbery with it.
Here in the South, the preferred term for this diversion is "rolling." Elsewhere, they call it "TP-ing," although in Texas, where I grew up, we called it "wrapping." (Not to be confused with "rapping.") There's actually a Harvard dialect study that backs this up.
There's even a WikiHow page with tips on how to toilet paper a house, beginning with No. 1, "Get lots of toilet paper."
(Nobody ever said this activity required brains.)
Rolling isn't just for Halloween. It's also a popular accessory at homecoming games.
"What do we want?"
My daughter and a friend once spent an entire football game pulling toilet paper down from trees. When they were done, they had wads a foot in diameter. The girls said they must have used mega rolls.
We didn't have mega rolls in my day. In high school, my friends and I were all on the debate team. Which meant we never had dates, so we never had anything to do on the weekends. So we rolled each other's houses. Constantly.
For those friends we particularly wished to humiliate, we used pink toilet paper. (Do they even make pink toilet paper anymore?)
We finally stopped after one friend's mom lit out after us with a gun.
My friends only rolled my house once. I lived out in the country, with an acre or so of scrubby pin oaks. My friends rolled about 50 of those trees. I made them come help me clean up. When we were done, we rolled my friend Kevin. Sort of a roll reversal, if you will.
The best TPing story I ever heard is from a couple of years ago. A man in these parts whose yard was rolled had the bright idea of cleaning up by setting fire to the toilet paper hanging from the trees.
He forgot that Alabama was in a record drought.
The fire department reminded him.