Sunday, July 12, 2009
I just got a tweet from a talk radio celebrity that I follow that suggested a good prank: Tweet to everyone that you are going to be gone for a week, then sit home with a shotgun!
This made me remember some really funny incidences!
I don’t know why pranks are fun, but they are. They’re just inherently funny like a public fart. Who doesn’t laugh? I never even tried not to laugh when a fart would cause an eruption in my classroom. Kids around the guilty party would jump up and start frantically waving the fart away with notebooks while some poor soul sat in his own stink with a red face. I just laughed along with everyone else, and got over it to continue.
I think it must be genetic, as my children are the same. We laugh at others’ misery. We don’t try to be cruel. We just can’t help ourselves. When our upstairs was being finished and their stepdad slipped off a ceiling joist and his foot came through to the room underneath, no one asked, “Are you ok?” He had crushed his manhood on that joist and we were laughing and scrambling to find cameras! Does that make us monsters? If so, I guess we’ve always been happy little monsters!
I love a good prank. I don’t mind being the patsy or the instigator. The first prank I can remember was when I was a very little girl. My mother had probably given her last ounce of energy for the day getting her 6 (at that time) children clean, quiet and in bed. We were all sleeping in the same room. It was summertime in the South before air conditioning, so the windows were open. DoDad pulled one of mother’s stockings on to his head and began scratching on the screen with low growls! We screamed and scared each other far worse than he scared us! He laughed until he cried. Or maybe he laughed until he saw mother’s face! She knew it was another hour before she would have us all quiet again!
Years later, my children were spending the night in a friend’s tree house. This was an awesome tree house with several rooms and real windows! They were up there with their host, a few cousins, and a few neighborhood kids. A couple of the fathers put on camo and face paint and got their deer grunts out. They sneaked up under the tree and started making horrible noises. My daughter, trying to be brave, grabbed a flashlight to look out of the window, instantly saw her own reflection the glass of the window, screamed bloody murder at the shock, and children came out of that house and tree as though a bomb had propelled them into space! I laughed until I cried as my father had done so many years ago!
Sometimes such laughable events happened by accident. My baby sister and I were drinking hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows in it once, and I did something stupid that made her laugh so hard that she spewed her hot chocolate through her nose! The big problem was that the marshmallows didn’t escape! While she continued to laugh, the marshmallows moved back and forth in her nose! We both almost wet our pants from laughing so hard. (And still do at the memory of it!)
Sometimes well-planned pranks can backfire. At age 26+ I had a very ugly but realistic, rubber Halloween mask. (I think I probably confiscated it off of a student, because I have no memory of shopping for it). But, we were having a Halloween party with our adult friends, so I put the mask in the toilet and lowered the lid. Now, we were serving drinks at this party, but for some reason, either no one used the bathroom or no one screamed, and I forgot about it. After the party, I got ready for bed, brushed my teeth and went to use the toilet, and wet the floor with a bloody scream when I opened the lid and saw the face staring up at me!!
Here are some other pranks that I’ve enjoyed through the years.
Of course, we have all tried the sleepover pranks. Get the warm water to a sleeping friend’s hand so he will wet the bed. Freeze your friends’ underwear overnight. Draw on someone’s face while they sleep. (Now, kids document the event with their cell phone cameras! Ouch! Those pictures end up in email and on the web!)
You’ve probably been a part of or witnessed the classroom pranks. Someone would move a chair back so a kid would fall on the floor. After Channel One hit the classrooms, every other kid had a universal remote in his pocket to change the channels. (I liked that prank, as I got a drawer full of these remotes from my students!) And of course, God help the teacher who had a pet peeve and let her students know about it! Complain about clicking ball point pens, and every single kid in the class would have one the next day, clicking away! We had a substitute teacher, Ms. Ruby, at Avondale Elementary. She would neglect her “chil’ren,” fall asleep, and we would all hit the playground!
DoDad loved for us to invite someone to supper. The guest always had to sit next to him at the end of the table, as that was the only place we could pull up an extra chair. He would spread butter as thickly as he could on a piece of bread, sniff it, and look confused. He’d then ask the unsuspecting kid if the butter smelled funny to him. It was all we could do to contain ourselves, knowing that, once the kid leaned over to smell it, DoDad would shove it into his face and leave two plugs of butter in his nostrils. Hilarity reigned!
My brother and I rode the escalator at Loveman’s all day one Saturday after leaving a dead cat in a shopping bag at the makeup counter. Finally, someone took the bag. We followed her out of the store just in time to see her grab the cat, scream and faint dead away on the sidewalk. We RAN to the bus stop and went home! Once we were safe on the bus, we laughed the entire 30 minute trip!
There are two pranks that I heard about that I think are the best cruel thing you could do to another person. One is to go into a bank and write, “This is a stick up. Give me all your money or you die!” on the back of a counter check. Put the check back in the middle of the stack and leave. Some poor slob is going to hand that to a clerk! The other takes a lot of preparation. Get a lot of helium balloons and a bottle of champagne. Hire a limo. But first, make a HUGE Publisher’s Clearing House check out to someone for $10 million. Go deliver it to a stranger, or have a stranger deliver it to a friend. Have that party! Drink the champagne! Take pictures of them with the check! Then just leave. OUCH!!
When I was the activities director at a Jeff Davis, the technology coordinator and I pulled pranks on several non-tech-savvy teachers. We would go into Word on their computers and enter an autocorrect command. We would tell Word that if they typed the word “this” or "that" to fill in with: “Fatal Error 239847. Contact technical services immediately. Do not close this program. Do not continue.” It was a hoot! And the funniest part was how impressed they were that we knew how to fix their problem!
I heard of a prank that I want to do when I’m shopping some day. I’ll collect spermicides, contraceptives, hemorrhoid creams, douches and other personal items and drop them into the carts of very prim and proper old people who could be embarrassed at the checkout counter. Hey! What am I saying? I AM AN OLD PERSON! Someone may do this to me!
If so, I hope I laugh until I cry.
Life is short! Have fun!