My prankful adventure with Tirithien got me to thinking about other pranks I’ve played over time. It’s normally kind of hard for me to pull off a very good prank, because I’m likely to start giggling and give the whole thing away. It’s like keeping a happy secret to myself. I just can’t do it! But still, I’ve managed some good ones in my time.
For example, back in my college days, I was on the speech and forensics team. The first overnight trip I went on, I wound up rooming with the coach, who had extremely long blonde hair. Amazingly long. The next morning when I got in the van with everyone else, while the coach was paying the team’s bill, I informed my teammates that the coach’s hair was really a wig, and that when she thought I was asleep she had taken it off for the night. I made the story completely ridiculous by saying that she’d forgotten her wig head, so she set it on the lampshade instead! I wasn’t really intending to be believed, you see; it was early morning and I was feeling more than a little punchy. Most of the team took this as the silliness I’d intended, but one guy actually believed it. Back on campus, he started telling it to people in earnest, lampshade and all! Then various people would come talk to me and ask me to confirm the story. Well, why not go with it? “Sure, I did see it,” I’d say. As late as my senior year, people would come ask me about this story and whether or not it was true. Stephen can confirm this.
Stephen and I would occasionally tell people we were twins, but for some reason no one believed that. Can’t imagine why… ;-) We had more success, though, in convincing people that he was a Black Muslim and that’s why he couldn’t eat chicken. Now, I don’t know if Black Muslims can eat chicken or not, but Stephen didn’t back then, so it got tossed into the story. Hey, it seemed plausible. And with him in his crocheted skullcap, calling me his “strong white sister,” no one questioned it. Never mind that we were at a Baptist college!
The past two April Fool’s Days I’ve accidentally pulled good ones on my family. In 2004, when I was planning my wedding, I sent my mom an email to tell her we were giving up on the whole thing and going to Vegas instead. I figured my brother would have done some prank or another that morning, so she’d already be on guard against such pranks. Nope. She fell for it. She even called my aunt to tell her, and my aunt emailed me to tell me what a good idea she thought it was! Oops.
This year, my now-ex and I were playing around with the idea of buying a house. So on April 1st, I found a listing for the shoddiest, nastiest, most run-down house in the nastiest part of Detroit. It cost $13,000. I sent this listing to my mom and aunt, gushing about this great house and what a great deal it was, it just needed a little cleaning up, and so on, and how friendly the neighbors seemed because they’d been looking at us so intently. I figured it was WAY too over the top for them to believe.
Nope. They played along with what they thought I was doing and pretended to be excited for us. Later I found out they’d been panicking and wondering how to convince me not to move to such a dangerous neighborhood. They didn’t catch on that it was a prank until I sent a follow-up email to tell them that the most dangerous part of living in that neighborhood was the frequent alien abductions.
I kind of hope that the timing will work out well enough that when I become pregnant some day down the line, the announcement to the family would be perfectly appropriate on April 1st. Then I’d get to laugh all day at my family not believing me until the next day!