Pranks and Nostalgia

I was getting some steak out of the freezer to thaw this evening and I suddenly remembered something my brother and I did when we were kids. I almost peed on myself trying not to laugh, because it was a late night trip to the freezer and everyone was asleep.

We used to go to this steak house with our parents. There was a half wall that separated the dining area from the area patrons walked through to make their orders. We, my brother and I always sat at the table that was up against that wall.

I am not sure who thought it up, but we used to dip steak fries in ketchup and drop them on the floor on the other side of that half wall.  Then when people went through there, we would say, “Watch out don’t step on that dead french fry!” Only we usually only got to the word “dead” before they were jumping around, trying to lift up their trays to see and backing up when they would see red on the floor.  Then we would say, “Oh, no. You killed it.”

When they finally realized that we had said french fry, they usually didn’t think it was as funny as we did. I don’t know why we never got into trouble.

Another time we were in a buffet style restaurant with one of my friends. She and my brother were on the opposite side on the table from me and there was a table with a bald man and his wife and some other people behind me. My friend and my brother started taking ice cubes and flinging them with their spoons. I kept giggling and trying to get them to quit. Then all of a sudden both of their mouths dropped open and they had that uh oh look of being busted on their faces.

I turned around to see if I could figure out what they were looking at. The bald man was reaching up and wiping off the top of his head. One of them had shot an ice cube and it had skidded across the top of his head.

Fortunately for us, we left shortly after that. I think they had been shooting for his head all along.

Got any good stories about trouble you caused as a kid?

Here are some good “Nostalgia”, quotes to help inspire you.

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.  ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson:  you find the present tense, but the past perfect!  ~Owens Lee Pomeroy

If you’re yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning.  ~Griff Niblack

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around.  ~Author Unknown

It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you’re absolutely certain there’s no chance of its coming back.  ~Bill Vaughn

The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.  ~Robertson Davies, A Voice from the Attic

[I]t becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia.  ~Ted Koppel

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.  ~Doug Larson

Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.  ~Will Rogers

Nostalgia is a seductive liar.  ~George Wildman Ball

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.  ~Franklin Pierce Adams

True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.  ~Florence King

I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.  ~Lou Reed

Who wants to live with one foot in hell just for the sake of nostalgia?  Our time is forever now!  ~Alice Childress

Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had….  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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Journaling Prompt-best practical joke or prank

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.

WISDOM AND FOOLISHNESS-ALBERT EINSTEIN

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.

Before God we are equally wise – and equally foolish.

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.
– All from Albert Einstein, 1879 – 1955