Chapter

Pranks

There’s a joke that goes around the Internet every so often about a man being banned from Walmart. It seems that his wife insisted he go along, and after quickly becoming bored, he began to do things to amuse himself.

He would hide amongst the ladies’ clothing racks and yell, “Pick me! Pick me!” whenever a shopper would approach. Or, he would randomly place “personal items” in other people’s shopping carts. Or go to the Service Desk and attempt to put a bag of potato chips on layaway. While many would find this man to be deranged, I found such deviant genius … well … inspiring.

I can identify.

I am easily bored.  At such times, my idle mind often becomes the devil’s playground. Earlier, I related the little prank I played on my buddy Robert at Boogaloo’s in the British West Indies, and also one involving snapper guts with Skip McDaniel as my victim du jour. But there have been more.

One time, our family was at the mall shopping and stopped by the food court for lunch. We all went our separate ways to stop at whatever booth struck our fancy before meeting back together at a table. My son, Chris, joined my daughter, Brittany, and I at the tables; Chris left his soft tacos while he went to get a drink.

I thought it would be really funny to take a bite out of one of his tacos and carefully re-wrap it afterwards. He was gone for some time and when he and my wife, Dee Dee, returned, he began eating the “untampered-with” taco. Meanwhile, Britt and I had finished eating, and she wanted me to go shopping with her. So we went to look for sneakers and left my wife and Chris still eating. By that time, I had forgotten all about our little prank.

A short time later, we rejoined the rest of the family where my wife was still eating. I often joke that she eats so slowly that her meal gets moldy before she finishes. Anyhow, we sat down and Dee Dee began to speak.

“You’re not going to believe what happened! Chris went to eat his second taco and somebody had already taken a bite out of it.”

Uh-oh, I thought to myself recalling our prank. A grin spread across Brittany’s face as she looked away. “Uh … what did you do, Chris?” I asked.

“I was really upset and so I went back, showed them the taco, and demanded a new one.”

“What did they say?”

“What could they? They gave me a new taco, and I stormed off.”

I nodded while Brittany and I both struggled to keep a straight face. It just didn’t seem like the right time to explain what really happened.

Food is always a good source of pranks. I was at a party one time, standing at the counter between the host’s dining room and kitchen. I noticed a short, round container filled with cat treats sitting at one end. I believe the brand was called “Pounce” and had the consistency of dry pet food. I noticed one of my friends watching me, so I pretended to pour some into the palm of my hand and pop them in my mouth.

The music was blaring so it wasn’t possible to talk, but I motioned to him offering him some. He nodded and I poured him a large handful. He had no idea what the “snack food” was until he had a mouthful, and at which time he dashed toward the sink and I drifted away to see what was happening outside.

One of the kids’ favorites was when my two sons, Michael and Chris, were less than ten years old. It was April Fools’ Day, and I had thought of a prank to play on their unsuspecting mother. The boys were taking a bath together and I explained my joke before placing a small Baby Ruth candy bar in the bath water.

On cue, Michael began yelling, “Mom! Mom!”

Being a good mother, of course Dee Dee came running to see what the problem was. She entered the bathroom to find Michael standing in the tub and pointing to this floating brown object. “Chris pooped in the tub.”

“Ugh,” Dee Dee replied, a look of revulsion spreading across her face. It was at that moment that Chris reached down, picked it up, and took a bite.

I won’t repeat what Dee Dee said when she figured out our prank, but I will say that it was not very motherly-like.

baby ruth

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