Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Prank, Soured

In seventh grade, the year I was homeschooled, we went to Chuck E. Cheese's as a celebration for some accomplishment that I've forgotten. But I remember the Skee-ball and the tickets and the prize that I redeemed with my tickets. You've seen the fake arrows that you can wear on your head, as if your skull has been shot through? This prize was a nail that you could wear on your finger so that it looked as if your finger had been run through. It had some red, token-blood paint on either side of the nail nearest your finger.

When I was redeeming my tickets and I saw this prize, my imagination began to repeatedly puncture my common sense with its wild, thorny possibilities. I held the little prize in its little plastic bag, rubbed it tenderly, muttered, "Precious," under my breath, and hid it in my pocket.

When I got home, I was determined to try out the prank on my sister and my mom. I'd set up a semi-believable, junior-high-school scenario in my head, and so I told my sister that I was going to work on a project out in the garage. Now, I never worked on projects out in the garage, but I didn't give my sister any time to ask questions. I was out the door and into the garage and had a hammer pounding on a board lickety-split. I took the fake nail out of my pocket. I put it on my finger. I hammered several more times. Then with one final strike of the hammer, I screamed loudly and ran inside.

My sister was in the kitchen and she immediately appeared in the kitchen doorway wondering what had happened. I ran up the stairs with a look of abject horror on my face, screaming something about a nail. I waved my hand in front of my sister and she panicked. She screamed and called for my mom. We screamed together.

And then my prank soured. All my imaginings of what might be were crushed under the single, never-before-seen reality of what was. At the moment of near junior-high prank perfection, my mom rushed out of the bedroom wearing only her pants and a bra. My jaw dropped open, my hands came up to shield my eyes from the brassiered juggernaut of motherhood's approach, and the screams of pain became pleads of, "No, no, no! Wait! Wait! It's just fake! It's just fake!"

My mother and my sister were not amused. I was no longer amused. Frankly, I was more than a little disturbed. And the nail, as far as I know, went into the trash, its pranking days over before they had ever really begun.


Jennifer said...


alison said...

I didn't see that coming...but then I guess neither did you.

Jamie Dawn said...

Well at least you really got your sister on that one.
Your story reminded me of something my mom told me about her mom. I never met my maternal grandmother. I guess my mom's youngest brother was always playing tricks like that. One time, he actually got hit by a bike while he was walking, and the impact knocked his eye out of the socket and bloodied his face. He came running in crying with his hands over his eye and blood dripping. My mom said her mom slapped him and said to "stop this nonsense." I guess he cried wolf one too many times.

Sherry C said...

*The laughter of two adults rises like smoke in the chimney from a little house in Western Montana*

jaymarie said...

funnny funny stuff.

and, hi scott.

Anna said...

lol! It's a today's version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf except this one is The Boy Who Cried Nail & Got and Eyefull ;)
I used to love Show Biz Pizza (that's what they called it before Chucky Cheese) and playing skee ball! I usually got the bracelets rather than the nails-through-the-fingers. ;)

Alexa said...

LOL! My son always prefaces any entrance into my bedroom with, "Are you decent?" And I usually reply, "My husband thinks so."


just a guy said...

oh the humanity!