I freaking love pranks. Pranking is hilarious (not to be confused with planking…that’s unfortunately not trending anymore. Or so people keep telling me when they find me laying face down on the couch). Carefully planning schemes to induce frustration and/or embarrassment and/or physical pain to another person is never not funny. Here are three of my most memorable pranks:
Prank #1 – the early years
One childhood April Fools Day, I put salt in the sugar bowl. Not remarkable, I know. My talents weren’t honed yet. BUT it was nonetheless hilarious because my parents didn’t happen to use sugar in their coffee that day. Or the next. Or the next. Looking back, I have a feeling that maybe my parents didn’t even put sugar in their coffee. Child-me probably just assumed that’s what grown-ups do. I totally forgot about it. A few days later, our neighbour came over to visit and my parents offered him a cup of coffee. The look on his face as he took that first sip is forever engrained in my memory. Like when the cop drinks the pee in Dumb and Dumber .
He was polite and just continued talking, but was noticeably not drinking his coffee. And it still didn’t click to me. I just sat at the kitchen counter, chin resting on my hands, feet dangling back and forth, totally aloof as I watched the grown-ups converse across the room at the kitchen table. I think one of my parents must have noticed the abandoned coffee and inquired, and that’s when he apprehensively said it didn’t taste right. CLICK! Through my stifled giggles I managed to get my parents attention and tell them about my amazing prank gone awry. They appropriately scolded me in front of our guest and asked me to apologise, but I could see it in their eyes. They were proud.
Prank #2 – mmmspanks
Kijiji is wonderful. Not too long ago, a very dear friend of mine posted “Young Professional Seeking 1 bdrm,” so I naturally fucked with her. I created an email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, scouted houses that had “For Rent” signs on them in our area, and responded to her ad:
I’m quite proud of this message because I knew if I went too overboard she’d be suspicious–so I used what I think was a subtle yet effective combination of dimwittedness and creepiness. And she took the bait! I kept my composure as she later told me about this mmmspanks guy who responded to her ad. She was weirded out and decided to ignore him in the hopes that he’d just leave her alone. Excellent (strums fingers like Mr. Burns). The next day I sent the following message:
I again struggled to keep my composure and pretend to be just as weirded out when she told me about the second message. Days went by and I stayed silent, even as I listened to her tell others about creepy ol’ mmmspanks. Finally, the piece de resistance–she noticed a house for rent by the brewery and determined it must be mmmspanks’ place! (It was the sketchy-looking abode I scouted and decided was mmmspanks-suitable before sending the first message.) Oh how we laughed and laughed as she pointed it out when we drove by. But then I couldn’t stop laughing and decided to come clean. Blew her mind.
Prank #3 – mmmspanks: the creepshow strikes back(fires)
A year later, I decided to resurrect mmmspanks to play a prank on a guy I was seeing. He posted on Kijiji that he was looking for a roommate. As mmmspanks, I sent a message filled with questions like, “Do you see cops around your crib a lot?” and “Are the streetlights nice and dim?” and statements like, “I keep irregular hours and have lots of strangers stopping by” and “I like to party and bring home lots of ladies.”
What was supposed to happen: He’d ignore mmmspanks and tell me about the creepy guy who responded to his ad. He’d be dazzled by my moxie and wit when I revealed mmmspanks’ true identity. We’d laugh and laugh…
What happened: To my surprise, he actually responded to mmmspanks immediately and entertained the questions! (I presume to be polite…)
So now I was skating on thin ice because his unexpected response was suddenly morphing my clever little prank into an elaborate scheme that a psycho, manipulative girl would concoct to trick information out of her man (I feel like this girl would call him “MY MAN,” no?) So I made the next message obvious that it wasn’t a real inquiry. After I sent the message, I immediately visited him and asked how the roommate hunt was going. He said it was fine.
Ok. Let’s try this again.
I asked if he had any weirdos contact him.
Ah yes, someone did seem kind of strange…
While he described the mmmspanks messages, I gave him my very best, super cute, “I tricked you” smirk until he caught on. “What…Wait…That was you?!” In a split second his face went from shock to laughter to despair. I watched him fight to keep his eyes steady and his reaction jovial while his mind frantically raced to remember what he had written to a stranger who he now knew was me. I teased him and said I didn’t expect him to respond to such a creepy message in the first place. I also jokingly shamed him for not being more careful with strangers on the internet.
Our fling didn’t last. But how can a guy not be into getting fooled? Am I missing something?
So even though they weren’t the smoothest pranks in the world, I’m quite proud that I pulled them off.
But now comes the true purpose of this post: to settle a score.
Between prank #2 and #3, I was also the victim of a prank. Well, I’m pretty sure I was. I haven’t officially verified that it was in fact a prank because almost two years later, the culprit still remains at large. It’s a prank shrouded in mystery (a mysterprank, if you will)…Dun dun dunnnnn…
I get pranked (?)
One day, my cell phone rang so I answered it (great story). The voice on the other end–I couldn’t tell if it was male or female–was disguised as what sounded like an old Asian lady. I said, “Hello?”
“YOU FORGOT YOUR SHOES!”
“Ummm, hello? I’m not sure what you’re talking about…”
“YOUR SHOES! YOU FORGOT YOUR SHOES!” Click.
Huh. Weird. I didn’t appear to be missing any shoes. I immediately asked the victim of Prank #2 if she was behind it in retaliation. She said no. My roommate and other friends also denied involvement. Hmmmm…think, Lauren, think! Where would I leave a pair of shoes? A cobbler? But why would a cobbler inform me my shoes were ready for pick-up in that manner? That’s not very professional. Also, I didn’t bring any shoes to a cobbler for cobbling, so that can’t be it. I racked my brain trying to think of an explanation but came up with nothing. I resolved that if they called again, I’d simply ask more questions.
About a week later: “Hello?”
“YOU FORGOT YOUR SHOES!”
“Who is this?”
“YOUR SHOES!!!” Click.
Well that solved nothing. Over the next week, I continued to get shoe calls:
“YOU FORGOT YOUR SHOES!” Click.
“I HAVE YOUR SHOES!” Click.
“YOUR SHOES!!!” Click.
Finally, I decided to bring this matter to Facebook.
After a couple more phone calls:
A few days later, he/she answered my request: “Hello?”
“YOU FORGOT YOUR HIGH-HEELED SHOES!!!” Click.
The person said “high-heeled” very emphatically. Therefore, I deduced that obviously this person, or at least the thug holding a gun to the caller’s temple, is a Facebook friend. Ah ha! Elementary, my dear Watson!
Over a month went by with no calls. Can’t imagine why. But I did eventually get another call: “Hello?”
“YOU STILL FORGOT YOUR HIGH-HEELED SHOES!”
That was it. I haven’t been contacted since. As you can see below, the space I left when I made note of this event in my notebook (I’m like freaking Harriet the Spy) is waiting to be filled.
Without any other clues, I have no choice but to continue to accuse the victim of Prank #2. She had motive, and holding out on the truth for this long might be her version of besting me. So until the true pranker steps forward, I can never truly trust one of my closest friends. Every time she compliments my shoes or stops to look at shoes through a store window or wears shoes, I secretly question our friendship. Can’t you see you’re driving a wedge, phantom pranker?! Fess up, you coward! I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. – Ron Burgundy
But at least people are calling me.
Author’s Note: Pranking can be very dangerous and irresponsible. It can ruin lives, and even, as I’ve unfortunately experienced, end lives. I hate to finish on a sad note, but I’m afraid I must report a controversial death that my pranking directly caused:
RIP, mmmspanks. 2010-2012.
You got me through some good pranks (mmmspranks!). But now that I’ve unmasked your identity, you are no longer of use to me, so I must put you down.