Original Prankster

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Guest Blogged!, Monday Meme
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, Matt the firsty here.  I once saw a quote somewhere that said one problem is a problem but two problems is an opportunity.  Although this doesn’t always work out, often the second problem provides an opportunity or benefit for dealing with the original problem.  Case in point:

I'll just go shopping while my firsty does the heavy lifting today...

I’ll just go shopping while my firsty does the heavy lifting today…

First problem: Emily wanted to tackle Strawberry’s Practical Joke Meme, but quickly stalled out with a bad case of writer’s block.  Pranks aren’t really her thing, and she had nothing to say.  And while Monday Memes are neither mandatory nor graded, they are nevertheless one of the high points of Em’s week and she didn’t want to miss one, particularly this early in the year.  Second problem: It’s been over a month since I had a chance to do a guest post (back on November 20th, “Smoking Hot”) and I’ve started to nag Emily.  Opportunity: Emily dumped the troublesome writing assignment on me, washing her hands of the entire problem.

I actually have an advantage over Emily in writing about pranks.  Although we are alter egos in the strictest definition of the term, differences between Emily and I continue to accumulate as she explores SL and blogs about it.  Some differences are large: Emily doesn’t like kids and has the maternal instincts of a badger with a toothache, I’m looking forward to the challenge of being a father.  Some differences are minor: I thought “Just One of the Guys” was a just-OK movie, and learned last post that it made a bigger impression on Emily than I knew.  For the obvious reasons, our senses of humor are mostly similar.  They are very dry, especially amused by wordplay, innuendo, and dark comedy.  We also love “hidden camera” style humor (with or without camera) where you get to watch some one react to a situation that just isn’t right.  To me, pranking is an obvious extension of that, engineering the situation to get maximum “that’s not right” effect and a more enjoyable reaction to watch.  Emily doesn’t feel that way.  She may smile at someone else’s prank, but she won’t pull a prank herself.  Mind you, you probably shouldn’t consider yourself 100% safe around her, because Emily and I do occasionally effect each other’s actions…

Maybe the difference is because my father was a prankster.  I grew up with a prankster as a role model, soaking up stories of pranks and practical jokes right along side mother’s milk.  Pranking is in my DNA.  Emily may be my alter ego, my second self, but she didn’t have my dad, and maybe that’s why she’s missing out on the prankster impulse.  Either way, since Emily doesn’t have any good pranking stories, I figured I would turn to the original prankster who gave me my love of the prank, and tell one of his stories.

Never mind the teddy bears, I know what I want for Valentine's...

Never mind the teddy bears, I know what I want for Valentine’s…

My dad was a teacher at a local high school for thirty plus years.  To set the scene, I’ll tell you it was a blue-collar suburban school, mostly factory worker’s kids, most of whom planned on being factory workers themselves, and that this was long enough ago that American factories were still growing rather than outsourcing.  Dad taught there long enough to watch principals come and go, to recognize that education administrations brought lots of ideas, many of which were faddish and foolish, and to pay the appropriate amount of lip service while focusing on preparing his students to seek their futures.  One of the new principals and foolish ideas involved tests.  As we all know from our own school days, teachers like to give tests on Friday.  Not only is the test a logical ending point to the week, but the teacher gets the weekend to grade them.  However one young principal felt that it would be better to give tests on Thursdays.  He reasoned that students get more from tests if they go over the test while it is still fresh, and therefore it made more sense to give tests on Thursday and go over them on Friday rather than letting students have the weekend to distract them from school before they saw their test results.  Rather then try to persuade teachers to see it his way, the principal put a few new rules into place to help enforce his vision.  One of the new rules was that field trips would be forbidden on Thursdays, because Thursday would now be testing day.

My dad thought the principal was off-base.  (Off-base being spelled F-U-L-L-O-F-S-H-I-T.)  So he decided to make a small protest.  He wrote up the paper work for a field trip.  He scheduled his field trip on a Thursday, and not just any Thursday but the Thursday of the home economics class’s big quarter project, the Mock Wedding.  To make it apparent that his field trip was bogus, his field trip was to the Nauga Ranch.  (Like the concept of thriving American factories, this detail helps date this story as being before my time.  To help younger readers, I will explain Naugahyde is an artificial leather, used heavily in the sixties, less common today.  Since it is an artificial leather, there are no actual animals involved in its creation.)  Although my dad was a history teacher, he nevertheless claimed the purpose for his field trip was more suitable for a biology class: for students to witness the process by which the fictional Naugas were slaughtered, skinned, and processed into Naugahyde, and also for students to witness Naugas in the act of fornication.  The field trip proposal included a list of a hundred or so students that my father was taking on the field trip.  Since the field trip was fake, dad went ahead and submitted a list of fake students, with names like Marshall Artz and Jim Shoos.  Since there were a hundred or so students, three buses would be required to transport them.  However, my father was going to be the only adult going on the field trip.  There were probably other flaws and bad ideas hidden within the proposal, but this was enough to make the point.  Arriving at the high school at seven in the morning, my dad dropped his proposal into the principal’s in-box and then went to his class room, waiting to see how long it would take for the principal to call him to his office.

All dressed up, still no place to go...

All dressed up, still no place to go…

Instead he got the proposal back by nine that same morning, signed off and approved not only by the principal but also by the superintendent and the superintendent of bussing.  Who has time to read papers before they sign?

To the man who passed me my prankster gene, this was too much fun to pass up.  Since the fake field trip had been approved, my dad ran with it, letting students know the field trip to the Nauga Ranch was upcoming.  Soon he was being approached by students and parents with myriad concerns.  Several parents wanted him to reschedule the field trip so it would no longer conflict with the Mock Wedding.  Several students wanted to know how they could get added to the list of students going.  A few over-eager nerds even brought dictionaries or encyclopedias to my dad to prove there was no such thing as naugas.  Fortunately, they were easy to deal with.  After all, my dad explained, if he had made up the Nauga Ranch, he never would have gotten the field trip approved, would he?  (I have to smile.  My dad passed away several years ago, and I miss him greatly.  Typing that last line, I can hear his voice, dripping with faux innocence.)

There are other pranks and other stories.  My dad once convinced a class full of students that another teacher, actually younger than he, was the long lost father who had put my dad up for adoption.  With a dishwasher who insisted on wearing his bluetooth at work, I organized the cooks into giving him random calls all day, asking to talk to Satan, and then I called him at the end of the day, putting as much fake growl in my voice as possible, and said, “This is Satan.  Do you have any messages for me?”  While my mom and dad were out of town, my brother and I cleaned their garage (a niceness, not a prank) but used the unusually clean garage as a place to hide their car so that as I picked them up from the airport I could nervously ‘admit’ that I had driven their car, that I had gotten into an accident, and that the car was currently at the shop.  Dad had his doubts- (It’s hard to prank a prankster!)- but I definitely had Mom, and Dad momentarily believed when we rounded the corner and the car wasn’t in the driveway where he left it…  Still, the saga of the nauga has always had a special spot in my memories, and sets the bar high for other pranks to reach.

No one to the left of me, no one to right, here I am stuck in the middle alone...

No one to the left of me, no one to right, here I am stuck in the middle alone…

(OK, Emily here.  Thanks for the assist, Firsty, I’ll post this once I add a few pictures and notes about what I’m wearing.  This super-cute red dress is from Jelly.  It’s called the ‘High Class Hooker’ and I certainly feel classy in this dress.  I don’t feel so much like a hooker, but make me an offer; I’ve always said I’ll try anything once… For my shape I’m wearing the Sara from Blink.  For my skin, I wanted something pale and sexy, so I’m wearing Meya Vampira from Button’s.  My hair is Harmony from Tameless Hair, because I wanted something elegant and classy to match the dress.  For footwear, I grabbed some stockings from Alloro and some stiletto boots from *JStyle.  I also accessorized with some simple hoop earrings, and a small black clutch and my Razor bangles picked up from Grumble, Grumble.  I really like this look: simple, classy, a big change from my usual punk-playful-slutty, and yet still beautiful and sexy.  Remind me to figure out where I found Jelly and to go back and look some more…)

  1. zeesl says:

    Haha, that is gold! Why didn’t i have your dad as one of my teachers? Mine were mostly fuddy duddies. But curious mind wants to know, how DID he got out of the Nauga trip? Surely he had to come clean somehow?

    Never reading what you are signing…always a bad idea! XD

  2. Your dad sounds like he was a hilarious guy and probably a delight to be around. Thanks for sharing his funny story. ❤

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