Subourbon Mom


Practical Jokes: Be Creative & Let Karma Do Its Job

With all the warnings about bullying on social media in the news, I started wondering when playing jokes on people moved from the relatively fun and harmless (i.e. stink bombs, shuffling someone’s CDs into all the wrong cases) to the soul-destroying campaigns causing young people to want to kill themselves.

UnknownWhat happened to the creativity?  It’s easy to smear someone’s reputation anonymously online. It’s much harder to find a way to grow grass on someone’s carpet while they’re home on break, or to remove the slats from their bed so that it crashes when they sit on it, and not get caught.  Or better yet, get caught, have a laugh, repair the damage and wait for the required retribution.  At the very least, you’ll find out which of your friends don’t have the same sense of humor as you do – best to lave them alone.

When I was a teenager growing up in a small rural town, there wasn’t a lot to do aside from partying in the woods like every clichéd country anthem. When the cops showed up, they just told everyone to go home – even getting busted was pretty boring. So we had to find other things to do to liven it up, like cow tipping, which is not impossible, but in my experience always unsuccessful because there’s nothing louder than a bunch of teenagers trying to be quiet. Plus, cows don’t really sleep standing up.

imagesWe also “borrowed” grocery store shopping carts and left them in our friends’ front yards. Nothing says “I have friends my parents love” like waking up and trying to explain why there are three grocery store carts parked on your front porch and one has beer cans in it. Oh, and could I please use the family car to do the right thing and return it?

In my twenties, that same boredom and lack of funds caused some of my friends to turn to stealing milk crates from the backs of convenience stores (free shelving) and swiping anything to do with Pabst Blue Ribbon from bars (free glassware and wall decorations). That shot/bar glass collection that every twenty-something seems to have? It’s usually partnered with a stack of coasters or posters.

imagesNow, as a mature adult, when I don’t have money for things, I sulk or charge my credit card ‘cause that’s not real money anyway. The labeled glasses I have the days are purchased from wine tastings, not bars, and if a shopping cart ends up in my yard, it wasn’t my generation that deposited it there.

But not everyone has purged that reflex. For example, “J” still maintains and updates her massive collection of signs. She has a secret room (yes, it’s red) that is wallpapered with signs from restaurants, hospitals, streets, restrooms and bars. She even carries around sign-removing tools in her purse so she won’t miss an opportunity. Another friend has three full-size stoplights under his house (don’t ask).

I have only been seriously tempted to take one item in my recent adult life, and that is the photograph of a black lab sitting on a beach that hangs above the toilet in the bathroom at my local restaurant. It was a running joke for a while that one day I was going to have one too many drinks and walk out with it. Years later, I’m glad I didn’t. Recently, I was in the same bathroom and noticed that above the picture I liked is a new picture – the same dog sitting on the same beach, but clearly many years older. There is white around his muzzle, and he has the bony-hipped look old dogs get. This is, or maybe was, someone’s pet. If I had taken that picture, I might have been taking someone’s memory of their beloved dog.

Sometimes being a grownup brings the maturity that destroying someone anonymously (or not) isn’t a great use of your time, creative skills or humanity. And sometimes being a grownup brings a lot of sentimentality with it – which also happens to protect a lot of things.

So I didn’t steal the picture.  I stay off social media as far as destroying people, and I let karma do its job.

Also, I don’t carry a purse big enough to carry out two 11×14 picture frames.

 

 

 

 

 

 


1 Comment so far
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Great memories stored where they belong, in the past.

Comment by energywriter




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