I am a bit of a practical joker, but I’m not a mean spirited one. You will never need to look for a bucket of water waiting on top of a half-open door… at least not from me. I go for the subtle and the sublime… and I settle for goofy. In any case, I like the recipient to be able to laugh with the joke as well.
My wife – bless her heart – is one of my frequent victims. I play jokes on her for two reasons. One, she is a very focused person, but that focus is on getting through school. So, I have a lot of opportunity to spring something on her when she’s not paying attention to me. Two, she is a great reactor. After one of my little gags, I’ll find her standing silently, staring at me, with eye lasers set on flambé. I will try my best to look innocent; sometimes I am able to pull this off because she doesn’t notice a joke for days or weeks (and by then I’ve forgotten all about it myself).
We watch Saturday Night Live on a semi-regular basis. A few weeks ago, we finally got around to watching an episode with Christopher Walken. Meka and I are both fans of Mr. Walken; for whatever reason, we both find him hilarious on SNL. This episode had him in a sketch as a man who was terrified of his plants, so he gave them all googly eyes. There wasn’t much in the way of jokes in the writing; it was all Christopher Walken.
Cut to Wal Mart late one night. I think I was picking out cards for birthdays and happened to pass the craft aisles. Lo and behold, you can by a dozen googly eyes at Wal Mart. I hurried home (as best as you can hurry through Wal Mart… say, an hour later) and had googly eyes adorning every plant in the house. I tried to be as subtle as possible when putting googly eyes on plants. While they were obvious, they were relatively high up… as if designed to be seen by a tall redhead who might be watering them.
This gag turned out to be like a landmine, waiting for someone to trip it. We got up for breakfast and I had to stifle a giggle every time I caught the eye of one of the plants in the kitchen or the family room. We watched some TV later on while the plants watched us from the corners. Finally, late that afternoon, there was a knock on my office door and there was Meka with eye lasers blazing. I think the only thing that saved me is that she thought it was funny too.