I'm not big on elaborate practical jokes, or the whole Punk'd phenomenon, but I am prone to the occasional prank - or what I like to call "spontaneous acts of silliness." Nothing hurtful or harmful. No pies in the face or tied together shoe laces. In fact, most people don't even realize they were pranked until days or weeks later. Leave to use the restaurant restroom, and a week later you may find the salt shaker I stuffed in your purse. Or the next time you go to have waffles, you may be surprised to find your face has been pasted over Aunt Jemima's. And whatever you do, do not leave your email/voicemail/facebook accounts open!
But being someone who likes to dish it out requires that I am also able to take it. And to that end, I truly do consider myself to be a good sport, which is why I would like to use today's blog to single out a few people who have recently retaliated in cute or clever ways. (NOTE: Since my nemesis Renee already got her own post, she’s excluded from the following list.)
First up is Jeff, an old high school friend who politely inquired about purchasing advance tickets for my upcoming play. In his email, he asked if cash was okay, or if I preferred a check. Being the jerk that I am, I responded with, “Cash is fine, but only if it's in the following denominations: I would like one $2 bill, two Sacagawea dollars, and a Susan B. Anthony coin placed in a Christmas card and mailed to me.” Ha, ha, right? Well, a few days later, the joke was on me when I went to my mailbox and found he had met my demands right down to the Christmas card.
Speaking of Christmas cards, after my recent tirade about them, I ended up receiving many from people who never sent cards my way before, and they all specifically referenced my blog and pretty much dared me to say something bad about them. Jeanette, a former coworker, even sent me a photo of her and her daughters breaking my “no matching outfits” rule. All I could do was laugh and hang them up on my refrigerator.
And then there’s Amy, who never misses an opportunity to use my own words against me. After last week's blog post revealed my terrible dietary habits, she showed up on New Year’s Eve bearing gifts, including a Richard Simmons box set consisting of “Party Off The Pounds” and “Love Yourself And Win” DVDs.
Even my students have been getting in on the act. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, I kept sarcastically reminding them how many shopping days they had left to get me a gift, while informing them that if they really wanted to impress me, they would forget the mugs, candles, and Dunkin’ Donuts cards and just give me cash. I was joking of course, but one funny girl took me at my word and gave me a wreath made out of $10,000 in shredded U.S. currency!
And finally, we come to Tommy, the manager of my fantasy football league. Back in August, he somewhat rudely requested that all players submit their $20 entry fee in cash (he said it was easier, but the unspoken message was he didn’t trust that our checks would clear.) So, being the jerk that I am (beginning to see a pattern here?) I diligently sent him my $20 fee…in pennies! Sure, it cost me an extra fifteen bucks to ship 2,000 pennies all the way to Georgia, but it was worth it. Problem is, I just won the league championship, which would normally be a good thing, except he and his wife have had five months to plot their revenge, so I know my “winnings” are going to be trouble. But I’m honestly looking forward to seeing that they come up with.
To me, these are the things that make life interesting. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I’m guessing roughly 80% of what I say is bullshit, aimed at getting a rise out of people. And frankly, that’s a big chunk of my time to be spending entertaining others, so I really do appreciate it when people rise to the occasion and respond in kind. It’s sort of a twisted take on the whole Pay It Forward principal, but it works for me.