I am not a practical joker.
I didn’t switch the sugar and salt even once as a kid and I’ve never put plastic wrap on a toilet seat.
Sure, I had a little duel with a college friend for a couple of weeks. I stole all her underwear and covered her door in newspaper, but those aren’t really inspired practical jokes.
Maybe my lack of practical joking history is why the one good prank I’ve pulled stands out in my memory as a moment of pure genius.
When I first started working for the performing arts center, I shared an office with my boss — let’s call him John — and a co-worker.
The co-worker eventually moved away to New York City but we had become friends and kept in touch.
One day she sent me an email at work.
“Oh my God,” she wrote. “I had the strangest and most inappropriate dream about John last night!”
I must have been feeling a little bit evil, because I spent the next five minutes cutting and pasting her email with a header from one of John’s emails to make it look like she had sent it to him, not me.
Then I made it look like he had forwarded it to me with a terse, “I believe this was intended for you” and sent the whole mess to my former co-worker with a “holy crap, what did you do?”
My phone rang in less than a minute.
My co-worker was so upset that I could hear her voice trembling. She was completely mortified.
I didn’t make her suffer for long before I took pity on her and told her I made the whole thing up, John had never seen her email.
Well, I say I took pity but in truth I just couldn’t hold in my laughter for another second.
Luckily, my friend didn’t hold a grudge. In fact, she laughed about it immediately, but that might have been more relief than true appreciation of the humor of the situation.
I look back on that moment with great pride. After all, if you’re only going to pull one practical joke in your life, you better make it a good one.
(And next week on One Thousand Words Project… Heather shares the one and only pun she’s ever made.)