About this time of year, high school students sometimes act mysteriously -- sneaking up to other people's doors and leaving something at the step, ringing the bell and then sprinting back to a waiting car where an accomplice is ready to peel out and make a clean getaway.
These doorbell ditchers are not on a pranking crime-spree, but are simply adhering to the Utah custom of trying to secure a date to the homecoming dance. Here in Utah, it is understood among high school students that a boy does not simply walk up to the girl he hopes to take and ask her face-to-face if she'll go with him to a dance.
With homecoming for Lone Peak, Lehi and American Fork high schools all scheduled for Saturday, both creativity and school spirit are at an all-time high in northern Utah County right now.
For first-time daters, coming up with the idea of how to ask can be overwhelming. Some may ask if this extra stress just to find a date to go to a dance is worth it.
Lone Peak senior Mason McDonald said it was more stressful when he was first dating and trying to think of original ideas. Now he and his friends can think of ways to ask girls pretty quickly and it's fun.
"It's only hectic to pull it off when it's a week when I have a lot going on with school and football," he said. Some of his ideas have been pretty involved, like when he and his friend made a video to ask a couple of girls to prom.
"That took some planning ahead, but it turned out really funny and the girls liked it," he said. "Other times, especially when I think the girl might get asked by someone else, I come up with something simple that I can do fast."
This year he bought a box of Lucky Charms cereal and wrote a note that read "I'd be really LUCKY to go to Homecoming with you." With the help of his friend, McDonald dropped off the box of cereal on Maddy Tilley's front doorstep and they drove away undetected.
A few days later, Tilley left on his doorstep a hot cheese pizza with a note taped to the inside of the lid that read "Mason, is this too cheesy? I would love to go to Homecoming with you! Love, Maddy."
Alejandro Dias, a senior at Lone Peak, wanted to take Becca Crockett to homecoming. He rang her doorbell and ran, leaving behind a baseball that had written on it "I'm not going to drop the ball on this one! Homecoming?"
Through mutual friends, she figured out that it was Dias, who had "dropped the ball" off on her doorstep. In response she drew pigs' faces on balloons and taped them to a sign that said "I'll go to Homecoming with you when pigs fly! (cut the strings)." She dropped this off at his doorstep, with her accomplice ready to drive the getaway car.
"It's part of the fun of being in high school, and it doesn't have to be complicated or cost very much," Crockett said.