I was recently reading about pranks in Fred's World. My family has always loved a good joke, especially pranks. In fact, we have a long history of pranks. My grandfather was very famous in New York for some of the pranks he pulled off (believe it or not!) I'll tell you about those another time.
Today, in the spirit of Saturday Morning, let's talk about some good, clean fun. I'll start out:
Years ago, I began to prank my parents every Christmas. I can't do it regularly now, because kids and other things often get in the way. Now to set this up, I need to tell you a tiny bit about my parents (I'm not talking out of school, here. They read my blog occasionally).
From the outside, Mom and Dad look like The Perfect People. They have a Perfect House with a Perfectly Groomed Lawn and Perfect Furniture. Mom is the Martha Stewart of the Tampa Bay Area, and she is a Perfect Hostess who cooks Perfect Meals and throws Perfect Dinner Parties (I do not take after my mother). She is also Perfectly Diplomatic in social circles and should be the Ambassador to the U.N. Dad is the Perfect, Genial Host and Scholar. Both are actually quite well-known and scrutinized. But my parents also have a wicked sense of humor that they don't take out and display for just anyone.
The first Christmas I decided to prank my parents is when they told me they were going away on a Perfect Getaway Trip for the holidays. They were leaving the dogs behind, and needed my ex-husband and I to take care of the house while they were gone. They had all their obligations out of the way, and had already thrown The Perfect Christmas Party.
Now, Mom and Dad despise tacky Christmas celebrations and displays. They believe in always being restrained in your public behavior. Their phone message is always a very somber and basic one. What better way to celebrate the holidays than spice it up with a fun, holiday style message? I decided to help them out.
My ex-husband has little-to-no sense of humor, so I was surprised that he agreed to do it with me. We re-recorded their phone message, as if we were their dogs. "Hi! I'm Fifi!" I said brightly into the recorder. "And I'm Rex," he said in a deep baritone. Then we said in chorus "Merry Christmas!" and proceeded to bark out the tune Jingle Bells, complete with howls at the end.
Mom and Dad came back, and called to tell us what a great time they had. They thanked us for taking care of the house. Then a couple days passed by, and we heard nothing. We were on pins and needles. Were they never going to acknowlege their new message???
Then, about 5 days later, Dad called. "We just realized you changed the message," he said. I could hear the amusement in his voice (thankfully). He continued, "We kept wondering why people were just laughing and hanging up on the recorder. But we finally figured it out when an old colleague of mine called from California and left the message: "Well, John, I see you've loosened up a bit over the years. Interesting recording." That's when we played the message back."