My dad is the ultimate prankster. Growing up, I was on the look out for jokes and scenarios (like the “real” mongoose) that just didn’t seem right. If my dad was home I constantly looked around corners in our house before blindly walking along because one of his favorite things to do was pop out and scare me. Boo!
By the time I became a teenager he was no longer in a league of his own, for I had perfected some great pranks too. This Father’s Day, I’d like to share what I consider my dads greatest prank, and then mine, and you can decide.
My dad’s greatest prank was carried out on my 17th Birthday. There’s not a delicate way to say this so I’ll just spit it out. We had rats. Not the pet kind. The kind that live in your garage and work their way into your house and terrorize your children. My plans for the day were a surprise. Unknown to me, Jeff had planned to take me to Disneyland (yep, we started dating in high school) and not to be outdone, my dad planned a grand farewell. For when I opened the front door to leave, there were 17 dead rats (well, maybe not 17) staring me in the face eye through the screen door. Oh yes, he didn’t just string them up haphazardly by their tails, he strung them so I couldn’t miss them. I peed my pants. Almost. And then I started thinking, and I came up with a prank of my own.
The execution was simple. I just crossed the street and had my neighbor call my dad and tell him she was a school counselor and a concocted story. Linda told my dad that she was calling because I hadn’t gone to school in two months and I was failing all of my subjects (pretty shocking considering I was a good student). The hard part was listening in on the line, trying not to laugh, and counting the seconds as the silence dragged on. And it did. He was speechless. And not in a good way. I could almost see the steam coming out of his ears through the line. I got a little scared. He was not the type to freak out, but I really didn’t know what he’d do when he saw me. He assured the school counselor that he’d “take care of it”, I waited a few minutes and then walked home. He was waiting in the front yard for me, and he was so angry his face looked mottled. I did some fast talking, and the rest is history.
He got me back by having a stroke on my 30th birthday. I’m still thinking of a good retaliation.
Happy Father’s Day, dad. I love you.