I have a confession to make: I am a compulsive prankster.
To the best of my knowledge, there's no twelve-step program for those of us with this partcular affliction, so I suppose I'll have to live with it. Or more precisely, my victims will have to live with it. I think this may be a genetic predisposition. My dad was the king of the pranksters. No exaggeration. He would go to incredible lengths for a good prank. Once, we had a neighbor whose most prized posession was his classic Chevy. I think if the man had had to choose between his wife and his car, the Mrs. would have been SOL. One summer they went on vacation and left the car parked in their driveway. Dad went out to the salvage yard one Saturday, looking for parts for his old truck, and he came upon a car identical to Fred's--except that it had been smashed to pancake form. One look at that compacted mess gave Daddy an idea. He actually bought that piece of crap and had it hauled to our neighbor's house. He then hid Fred's baby and replaced it with the pancake twin. He even put Fred's license plates on it! Fred darn near had a stroke when he came home and saw what he thought was HIS beloved Chevy, crumpled in the driveway like a soda can!
So you see, I come by this sort of thing naturally. And not just from Dad--Mom was no slouch, either. Had I not inherited the family curse, they probably would have thought they'd been given the wrong baby at the hospital! I've reinacted many of their classic pranks over the years, and added several more to my repertoire. Some of them have gotten me into trouble (some people just have NO sense of humor). Maybe one of these days I'll do a book of pranks.
If only I could get an endorsement from a real, professional prankster like, say, George Clooney. I hear he's a real terror. My former roommate was dating a guy who was such a great target, I just couldn't resist. Once, I called him, using a high-pitched southern accent. I told him I was from the water company and we would be shutting off the water main in his neighborhood to make repairs. I explained that it might be off for the night and that he should fill pitchers, anything he had, with water for drinking and cooking purposes.
"Will I have time to take a shower?" he asked.
"I don't know," I said apologetically.
He thanked me for the heads-up. That evening Emily and I went down to his place. He had bowls, pitchers, pitchers, pans, buckets, all filled with water. "You expecting a drought?" I asked, looking around.
"Water's off," he said.
I couldn't resist. "This is Miss Simms from the water company," I said, in character.
Seeing the look on his face, I made a run for it. I got out the door and to the bottom of the front steps when a bucket of water came cascading down over me. He couldn't take a joke, it seemed.