It’s April Fools’ Day! I thought about posting that I was pregnant, or that I’d checked myself into rehab because of all the popcorn crack, or that FlyLady had asked me to take over for her when she retired because I was the best FlyBaby she’d ever raised, and then I was going to end the post with a great big “APRIL FOOLS’!” (I’m always conflicted where the apostrophe should be on that exclamation or if it even needs one!) I decided not to go that route. Instead, my mom suggested that I tell the story about the Orange Balls….which reminded me of the story about the kiwi….which reminded me about the worms, the funnel, and coalmikinosis. So even though I just posted a family secret a couple of days ago, I’m going to give you another one. This one is about my mom, the prankster.
My mom is an amazing person. I could write pages and pages, books even, about what a wonderful woman she is. Unfortunately, today you aren’t going to hear about her more loving and compassionate traits. She has them, I promise, but she also has an evil streak. She LOVES a good practical joke. I’m going to try to keep this post from becoming epic in length, but I have so many wonderfully cruel stories of pranks she’s pulled that it’s hard to cull out any as being the best. I think I’ll just do this post in installments to keep it from being the length of ANNA KARENINA.
The sad thing is, Mom doesn’t discriminate on the basis of age or familial connection. She will pull one over on small children and the geriatric population without a second thought. And if you’re related to her? All the better. Let me tell you the kinds of things she used to do to my poor little cousins.
My Aunt Darlene used to allow her twin daughters to spend time with us during the summer. Now my mom would pull out all the stops to see that the girls had a good time. We’d eat snow cones and play in the water and do all the stuff that makes summer so much fun. But in between the fun, my mother would torment those poor children.
One day, Mom was cutting up fruit for a fruit salad. Several kiwis were on the cutting board, waiting their turn to be added to the bowl. Apparently, my cousin Ashley, who was probably about five years old at the time, had never seen a kiwi. She reached out to touch one and asked, “What is that?”
Now, I don’t know what possessed my mom at that moment, but the second Ashley touched the kiwi, my mom shrieked, “OH, NO! Did you TOUCH it?!” Ashley’s eyes were as big as her face and she was so startled that all she could do was nod.
My mom cried, “You should NEVER touch one of those!! Oh, NO! I hope it’s not TOO LATE!! HURRY! HURRY! Let’s go get some alcohol!”
Ashley, unsure of what was happening ran with my mom to the hall closet where we kept the first aid supplies. Mom grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol, poured some on a cotton ball and frantically started scrubbing Ash’s finger. Then she handed the alcohol to me and yelled, “Here! Keep scrubbing while I call the doctor!!”
I’d like to be able to say that I put the bottle down and assured poor, sweet Ashley that this was all a joke and she was going to be fine. But being the obedient child that I was, I did what my mother commanded me to do.
Mom picked up the phone and acted like she was calling the doctor. “No, I think she only touched it for just a second. Right. So do you think her finger will fall off? No, it isn’t turning black…not yet anyway. Do you think we should take her to the emergency room?”
Just before Ashley slipped into total freakout mode, we realized we couldn’t keep up the farce any longer. We started laughing hysterically as Ashley stumbled around with a “deer in the headlights” expression. The poor child didn’t know what was happening and I doubt that she’s ever actually tasted a kiwi because of that trauma. She just turned twenty-eight last month, so scarred for life? I’ll let you be the judge.
That summer Mom also did the trick where you trace a quarter with a pencil and then somehow convince people to roll it all over their faces. Again, they were five years old, so it didn’t take a lot of convincing. Oh, one of her favorite pranks that summer was the funnel trick! Have you seen that one? I found an example of this prank on YouTube. Watch this:
Now imagine two tiny, defenseless preschoolers with ice water running down their legs. Let’s see, what else did Mom do to those children that summer? If I’m not mistaken, that’s the summer she put nasty plastic worms from Dad’s fishing tackle in their beds. If I’m not mistaken, that’s also the year their night terrors began. I was just reliving these stories with my mom on the phone. My Aunt Darlene just happens to be visiting there this week (what do you want to bet she checks her bad tonight after these stories?) and she was saying she couldn’t believe Mom was so cruel to her children. I said that I couldn’t believe Aunt Darlene kept sending them back year after year to be tortured.
Believe it or not, Mom maintains a healthy relationship with her nieces even today. I think I’m just now beginning to understand why she helped moved them in and out of their apartments each year at college and why she worked tirelessly helping the girls before their weddings. Guilt, maybe?
Anyway, that’s enough about my mom the prankster for today. Stay tuned for my mom’s personal favorite, Family Secret #3B: My Mom, The Prankster: The One About the Orange Balls. Have a great April Fools’ Day! Oh, and I’d stay away from my mom today if I were you. Friend of mine or not, you wouldn’t be safe.