I recently read a journaling prompt that asked me to write about my best practical joke or prank. This was a hard one to narrow down. I have so many.
When I was a teenager, I went barefooted a lot in the summer. I lived in a mobile home community. Notice I said community, not trailer park The place I lived in was about 3 miles long and 2.5 wide. We had streets and blocks and there was a neighborhood where only elderly retired people lived. We had to walk through it to go to the store and buy pop or candy, etc. The blacktop got pretty hot and we would walk on the curbs to avoid it. If we lost our balance, we would step on peoples grass. Some of these retired people were pretty hateful about it, and would yell and cuss us out for stepping momentarily on their grass.
So, we figured out how to turn off the electricity in their houses. We would turn it off and then hide in the dark and listen to them stomp around and curse while they were trying to figure out why their electric went off. In retrospect, I realize they might have broke a hip or something, but hey, they started it.
We had a barbecue one evening and after we finished eating, my friends and my younger brother’s friends were roasting marshmallows on those big 2 prong forks and some sticks. There was a Vietnamese family that had moved in on the street over from us. Someone got the bright idea to throw those flaming marshmallows at their house. Everybody was laughing because the people were running around yelling in Vietnamese inside. I went to see what everyone was doing and I still had one of those 2 prong forks in my hand. Someone tripped me and the thing went through the side of their mobile home up to the handle. It was an awful noise going in and even worse when we pulled it out. I have absolutely no idea why, but those people moved within the week.
There was another trick we used to do where we would hide and shine flash lights into people’s houses and watch them trying to figure out where they were coming from. Ordinarily, this was annoying but harmless. We did it to our friend’s house one night and her dad kept going out the front door trying to catch us and then out the back door trying to catch us. After awhile he quit. We figured he had given up. The next day, my friend told me that her dad had hurt his back real bad. We asked her how and she proceeded to tell us that he had ran out the back door trying to catch someone shining a flash light into their living room. The dew had settled on the porch and he slid across the porch and down the steps. We felt really bad about it. When you are pranking someone, it never occurs to you that something might go wrong.
Have you ever lived in a place where running electrical appliances interfered with phone or television reception? Well we randomly picked a number out of the phone book and called a lady and told her we were the phone company and that we would have men working on the lines in her area, and would she please not answer the phone for the next while, because it would be dangerous for our linemen.
Then as soon as she hung up, we got all set up in one room with an electric mixer. Then one of the guys went in the other room on the extension. We dialed her number again and let it ring for a half hour non stop.
The lady couldn’t stand it any more and answered the phone. When she did we turned on the mixer and caused the awful static noise on the line and the guy in the other room screamed and made noises like he was falling. Then we yelled at the woman and told her that we had asked her not to answer the phone and told her that she had just caused Bob to be electrocuted. She got real upset and was appologizing and stammering saying that she had just listened to the phone ring for so long and she couldn’t stand it any more and she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.
The longest lasting prank I was ever involved with involved my hair and a bald man. A friend and neighbor was very bald. His nick name was Baldy, seriously. That’s what his kids called him. I had really long hair and wanted some bangs. After I cut my hair, we were joking that I should give it to Baldy. Then it just kept building from there. We typed up an official letter from the Bald Men of America association. It said that he had been nominated as a candidate and had won an award for being the best looking bald man in his state.
Then we took my hair and braided it and put a ribbon on the end and said it was the award. We put it in a box and addressed it to him and put it in his mail box. He blamed at one time or another over the next few months, almost everyone he knew. He never did blame it on me, and apparently never noticed that the box had no postage, i.e., was never mailed and he never noticed that my hair had been cut. As far as I know, he never did figure it out. It went on months.
I know I was a mean kid, but I bet you have some pranks of your own. Besides, the Karma for bad kids, is having kids of their own who inherit their parents sense of humor.
I came by mine honestly. My maternal Grandpa and his brothers used to stay in bed too long after their dad told them to get up. They were teenagers. Apparently one night he told them that if they didn’t get up when he called the next morning, he was going to take a belt to them. The next morning, they put logs under their blankets and stood outside the second story window on a ladder and watched their dad beat the devil out of those logs.
My paternal Grandpa and some of his cousins used to get sprayed by skunks on purpose and then sit next to the pot belly stove in his one room school, so the teacher would have to send them home. In his defense, he said some of the teachers they had were very abusive and mean to the younger kids, and he and some of the older boys decided they were going to stop one such man. They hung him up by his pants off of the side of the school house. I’m pretty sure he was upside down.