I haven’t pulled many practical jokes, although I have been the object of them often enough. My sister and one of her friends were the worst of the bunch when I was very young, setting me up and getting me good many times. They were usually public embarrassments and even when they weren’t, the stories were related to others and to make things worse, they were often embellished more and more with each telling.
Most of the few practical jokes I ever planned never got off the ground and the few that did never worked as I’d hoped, except one…if you can call it a practical joke.
Although my sister was a grown woman, she had a real crush on a performer. Unless it was because I saw him first and said that he was very attractive to me, I am not sure why she became so fixated on him, but she was. These were pre-Internet and Entertainment Tonight days when news was often scarce and far between… and she really knew very little about the man.
One day her little fantasy world came crashing in when she found out that Dream-boy was not only happily married, but, according to the writer of an article she stumbled across, was well-known among his peers as quite the family man. This was mentioned because he had shown up at a function with his (then) baby daughter, who had an unusual name. The man’s last name was a ‘word ‘ anyway and together with the daughter’s name, it begged for comments. It was a real sore spot with my sister when I joked about it.(Yes, I, with a ‘glass name’ threw stones, but only in the presence of my sister.) I realized that I found a chance to get one over good on my sister.
I wrote a long story-joke and slipped it into a magazine. I read it to my sister, (who had no idea that what I was reading was not a printed article), and when I got to the ‘punch line’, it was not funny to anyone but me; it consisted of words that, spoken with an accent, sounded like the crush’s child’s name.
The look on her face was well worth it! She was totally shocked. She jumped up, grabbed the magazine and tried to find the story, which I had nabbed as she grabbed.
She could not believe that I had written the story, but it made no sense otherwise; I showed her the piece of stationery it was written on. I had made a mistake in the middle of the story and had to ad-lib a bit of it, but it worked.
Not to be out-done, my sister tried for years to write stories that had pun-punch lines, but she could never get the reaction she hoped for…how could she? She was never going to surprise me and she was never going to have a name or words for a punch line that had as much meaning for me as the end of my story had for her.
My sister did find it funny when the shock wore off, and apparently, still does. In fact, she uses the words that made up the name, said with the accent, (not a Texas accent, Micki), several times a year when the joke fits… and has done so for over 30 years. I guess I got my revenge for all she put me through as a kid.
Unfortunately, I have never gotten back at the friend…there is still time…
Tell me, was that technically a practical joke I pulled?