Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm a Bad, Bad Boy

   I've always been a "Joker".

   I find things humorous that some folks do not.

   It is not beneath me to become involved in a "Practical Joke" from time to time for my own amusement and the amusement of others.

   Today I took my wife out to dinner at out local Chinese Restaurant. We had a nice dinner but noticed that we were the only local residents in the place. A group of out-of-towners came in about 20 minutes before we left (our town is small enough that we can tell). One of their party had mentioned that there didn't seem to be any other locals there beside I and my wife.

   As we were walking out I tapped one of the gentlemen on the shoulder and told them, "More locals used to come here and eat before the incident with the cats last year".

   They all stopped talking and quietly watched us as we left, hoping that I had been joking. I didn't even crack a smile. The true mark of the practical joker. You have to be able to deliver the line!

   Several years ago I was involved in a practical joke that some say may have crossed the line... just a wee bit.

   I was working in a job where we employees worked very close together. There were a lot of us. Some were liked and some were not. Just like any workplace you'd find anywhere in the world.

   There was a man named Richard who was, as far as I was able to tell, unliked by most everyone on the job. Richard was about 6' 8" tall and weighed in at almost 400 pounds.

   To say that his personal hygiene was less than stellar would be like saying that Hitler was merely antisocial.

   Richard had body odor that would make a buzzard puke. It was so strong that your eyes would water and your stomach would begin to churn. Perspiration would form on your forehead and upper lip and you would become dizzy. The air was sucked from your lungs. When Richard smiled, you could see the remains of his past 3 or 4 meals in his teeth.

   Don't think that we didn't try to change his ways - we did! The more we complained bluntly to his face (or as close to his face as we could stand to get) he'd just laugh as if we were joking with him and say, "You guys crack me up".

   If he were in the military we would have thrown him a "Blanket Party" to convince him to change his ways.

   In the event you don't know what a blanket party is, here's the deal:

   During the night or early morning hours, the men in the barracks would stealthily approach the intended victim, throw a blanket over him and beat him (or her) to a pulp while explaining between blows that this treatment could be avoided had he (or she) improved his (or her) personal hygiene. It always worked. It was an effective way to change the attitude of a person without having them identify their peers (hence the blanket over the head).

   Amazingly Richard was married to a female who was nearly as bad as he in the hygiene department.

   Now that you know the why, here's the what -

   The Practical Joke:

   We were located in a small city where most people knew most other people in the community.  On the appointed day, a Thursday before a 3-day holiday weekend, the electric company business office was called. One of our group identified himself as Richard Smith (not his real name). He told the power company girl that he was unexpectedly having to move to another town over the weekend and would they please come and turn off the electricity then send the final bill to a fictitious address. Yes, they could and would do that for Richard... that very day.

   Following that call, another one was made to Richard's home explaining that it was the power company and that a transformer was being replaced in their area and that the electricity would be off for an hour or two.

   The power would be off - for good - and Richard was expecting the power to be off so he and his wife would not be alarmed until after it was too late to have it back on for the weekend - the looong holiday weekend.

   The following Monday dawned with Richard complaining to all who would listen to his tale of woe about how he had to spend the entire weekend with no power and how he had to argue with the power company for hours to have it turned back on on Monday morning.

   A few days later someone let slip that his weekend would have been more comfortable had he practiced better hygiene. It actually took him almost a week before he connected the dots.

   For a few months his personal habits improved but he gradually slipped back into his old ways. To everyone's relief, Richard took another job out of town. The power company required him to come to their office and personally sign a disconnect order and pay his remaining bill on the spot.

   Looking back, I can honestly say that I am thoroughly ashamed to have been a part of this prank, even though it gave us all a reprieve for a few weeks. I was in my late 20s at the time and I was still fairly full of myself and thought I was bulletproof.

   I'm not a bad person. Really! But I can sometimes take teasing and joking to an extreme, though. Ask my Sisters. As far as practical jokes go, I have to admit that this one was the most elaborate and creative that I have been involved in. I thought it up and I'm proud of the way it turned out.

   The Geezer has aged and I have tempered my impulsiveness and sense of humor to a certain extent. That comment about the cats though?  Pure genius!


  1. As one of the "Sisters" so mentioned in The Geezer's blog I can attest to his truthfulness regarding his practical jokes....oh yea.....

    1. Yep, you surely could!


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