BY LES McCARTHY
March 30, 2016
I have a penchant for corniness…it comes from my dad—the one with a gazillion stories, riddles, mind puzzles and corny jokes. The cornier the better. Even though we might have heard each one a million times, we still laugh (at some of them)!
My husband knew one joke. One. It was a good thing it was a good joke. I loved watching him tell it (hundreds of times, I’m sure) because his face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. He glowed and giggled. And pure joy was his as he told that one, very old, very long, very silly joke. There are days when I’d give just about anything to hear him tell me that joke one more time.
So, apparently, the men in my life like (and have liked) telling jokes.
But where did my love of pranking come from? The prankster in me, more than likely, comes from my maternal grandfather—my mom’s dad—Grandpa T. He was a Barney Fife type of guy in looks and, growing up, I adored him. He had a quiet love and humor about him. As a child, I’d stay with him and my grandmother on “overnights.”
I loved those nights, even though he made me eat waxed beans!
He’d come home from work, open the front hall closet and put his hat away—always a Fedora-style hat. However, it was not that he put his hat away, but how he put it away—he’d open the door, place it in the closet as if he were handing it to someone (or some thing), say a polite thank you for caring for his hat, close the door and walk away down the hall. I was certain (as in cer-tain) that a Closet Monster lived there—all hairy, shaggy and snaggle-toothed and somehow caring for hats. I can tell you that whenever I had to pass that closet, I would get as far on the other side of that narrow hallway as possible!
Pranking me…he was always pranking me and it wasn’t even April Fools’ Day!
When I was in high school, my friends and I would do stupid things to each other…those chums of yore that would not judge my lunch of a hot dog every day during freshman year (every day!) or a Hostess Hoho and a carton of milk every day as a sophomore…those who shared inside jokes and teenage angst… all now scattered to the winds like the seeds of a dandelion puff. I wish I could pull some sort of prank on any one of them. I know they’d appreciate my efforts and lunacy.
When my kids were growing up, I’d (without fail) pull out the FAKE BOLOGNA slice and put it in someone’s sandwich on that special day. It was from some kitchen playset we had and it was a perfect rubbery replica of good ol’ Oscar Meyer. I never heard more than, “Thanks for the BOLONEY, Mom!” when we’d discuss the day over dinner. I’m sure they groaned every year at my silliness and persistence (and repetition)! I, however, got a good kick out of it!
Over the years I’d wake them up and tell them there was a big bear on the roof by their window, or a purple moon expected at night or some other non-harmful goofiness which always ended in my calling out, “April Fool!” and them rolling their eyes and muttering, “Mom…STOP!”
For the last few years, I’ve done NOTHING! I am so disappointed in myself! But my kids are also scattered to the wind. No plastic wrap over the toilet seat (I’m the only one using it, so it kind of defeats the purpose)…no salt in the sugar bowl…no shaving cream in the palm of someone’s hand (we used to do that at sleepovers—great fun!). I’ve been rather BORING!
So, I welcome this April Fools’ Day, with silliness in my heart and a joke on my mind and a prank somewhere deep inside wanting, so desperately, to come forth. In any regard, I’ll take out time for some fun because there should ALWAYS be time for fun.
And maybe I’ll be able to find that old fake piece of bologna.
Les McCarthy is an author, entrepreneur and IPPY bronze medalist for her yearly “Healthy Living ~ Healthy Life: 365 Days of Nutrition & Health for the Family” calendars. She’s been nearly 21 months on the island and in the NW and loves every gorgeous bit of it (especially the fog). She joyfully tends to her dwindling geriatric fur factory and is enjoying the spring flowers and the return of the slugs and snails (and sunshine)!
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