Pranks for the Memories
Caution required when attempting to out-prank a prankster
Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick
Hank and Rusty lived near each other on their rural road on the outskirts of Barnstead.
Because they were neighbors, they often helped one another out with chores around their houses. And because they were best buddies, they were also known to play practical jokes on each other. Like the month Hank adjusted Rusty’s closely watched fuel mileage on his new truck by siphoning off or adding a gallon or two every week. Then there was the great Christmas cookie caper, the black bear incident and the bed & breakfast “vacancy” sign that appeared in front of Rusty’s house long enough to lure some tourists off the road. The sign would mysteriously disappear right after the driver knocked on Rusty’s door.
Let’s just say, every successful prank led to a get-even prank, and their stunts became more and more outrageous over time
None of this was on Hank’s mind when he was getting ready to take his family on a week’s vacation, so he asked Rusty if he’d be willing to keep an eye on his house while the family was away. Bring in the mail, feed the chickens, watch for package deliveries, turn some lights on and off randomly. Maybe water the vegetable garden if it doesn’t rain. Nothing too burdensome or challenging.
“No problem,” said Rusty, “I’ll take care of you.” Hank gave him a key and then the family loaded up the car and headed out for a week at the big lake.
Hank’s family was more than somewhat surprised when they returned home and found a toilet firmly attached to the roof of their house. Not just any old toilet, but an avocado green one leftover from the fashion rage in home décor back in the late 1960s. A sign with the universal symbol for “Men’s Room” was nailed to the house at eye level with a directional arrow pointing straight up at the putrid green toilet. A not-quite-life-sized stuffed bear wearing a GO RED SOX T-shirt, sunglasses and a Mexican sombrero occupied the throne.
Knowing that he had been pranked, Hank removed the decorations and disposed of them. As he labored, he thought of a way he could get even with his neighbor buddy.
Hank posted a classified ad in the local newspaper. The ad read, “For sale, used well, 225-feet deep. Lots of good water. Pump not included. Must haul away. $500 or BRO. For more info, call Rusty anytime day or night.”
He helpfully provided Rusty’s phone number for any interested parties. Hank figured this would generate some confusing phone calls and Rusty would be baffled by what the callers were talking about. It seemed like a worthy get-even prank for the green toilet installation.
Hank’s plan backfired. It seemed nobody wanted to buy a used well. When he finally quizzed Rusty, he said he had only received one call about the matter and when the caller asked, “How do you haul away a 225-foot-deep hole in the ground?” Rusty thought about it a minute and told the caller, “Well, it would fit in your pickup truck if you came and got it eight foot at a time.”