Tales of Japeries Past   Leave a comment

Colonel Sassacre

I love a good prank or practical joke, though it’s a little easy to be too mean spirited with them. Everything I think of is either too hard to pull off or too mantagonistic, so I’m afraid that on this, April Fool’s Day, I must confess to not be a great pranksmith worthy of legend.

Unless I’m bluffing.

Having said that, my family’s sort of got a history of it. My grandfather on my dad’s side has a subtle knack for pulling off a quick and harmless trick; by using a second remote and standing behind me, he once lowered the volume of a TV whenever I lowered it so that I couldn’t hear it, and then raised the volume of the TV whenever I raised it to the point of it blaring like crazy.  In a way, it’s the perfect trick.  He also once pulled off a hilarious stunt involving a report card, a basement, and some simple switcheroos.  I won’t regale you with that tale because I forget some of the finer points (I believe it was his friend’s report card, but don’t trust my own memory on this part).  However, my father has inherited a lot of my grandfather’s talent for this kind of chicanery, and once pulled a fast one that I believe to have been essentially the same trick but on a grander scale.  I also forget a few details of this one, but I’ll see if I can get the facts straight.  (Dad, if you see this and I get many details wrong, let me know so that I can fix it.)  Anyway, let’s go back in time to a position that my dad once held…

Hanging Rock

My dad was once a councilor at a camp, Hanging Rock Christian Assembly I believe, and he was in the cafeteria late at night with a lot of other people, and some of them were talking about how they needed to pull some sort of prank. My dad walked over and said “Well, you know, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but the flag pole isn’t really cemented into place. Anyone could just walk over and lift it out.” Then he tapped one of them on the shoulder and left, allegedly for bed.
He steered the person toward some bushes by the flagpole. Sure enough, after not much longer the lights went out in the cafeteria, and a lot of giggling, snickering councilors walked out, approached the flagpole, and lifted it out of the hole in the ground. They carried it to another place, not far away, and hid it alongside one of the buildings before they all returned to their dorms. Then my dad and his selected accomplice went to their hiding place, picked up the flag pole, and hid it elsewhere.

The next morning, the camp’s… I dunno, camps don’t have deans, the… head person… was understandably angry about the lack of flag for the morning flag raising. My dad, in a quiet moment, said that he overheard some people at the cafeteria discussing moving the flagpole last night, so the camp leader person went to them and demanded to have the flag returned. They laughed, said sure, and went to get it.

A bit later, they had to return and sheepishly confess that they’d lost the flag pole.

My dad didn’t let it go on much longer before he “found” the flag pole. Ultimately, it was a great prank, and no real harm done.

Incidentally, I also posted this to the MST3K Review Message Board, though in a slightly different form.  Don’t know what the difference in replies here would be to there, but do you have any tales of practical hijinkery you’d like to share?

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