I was raised on mischief. My dad was a prankster and a comedian, even when you really wanted him to be serious, and my brothers were always on the wrong side of the line, you know, the “you just crossed the line” line. So I love a good joke. Now, the Man of God likes jokes okay, but he draws the line at pranks. That was particularly ineffective when we were youth pastors.
Our youth group kids, primarily the boys, continually delighted me with their efforts. It was the trial of my young life to not respond-in-prank to their shenanigans, but I was limited by the ol ball and chain, telling me not to escalate. If I could go back in time, I’d probably just escalate without mentioning it to him first, so I wouldn’t be unsubmissive and stuff. One of my favorite things they did was the time they tried to sell my car. Luckily we came out and found the For Sale sign with our phone number and a hilarious price before the calls started coming in. Another time they duct-taped our front door shut. We were serenaded at 3 am by a trio of white teenage mariachis. One prank involved a stuffed parrot, kidnapped and held for ransom with a series of clues and photographs. I am confident Ned would be stuffed in a bass drum to this day, had we not had an informer.
Every April Fool’s, EVERY one, I try the sink-sprayer trick. Every year it doesn’t work. He is never amused. I think I quit for a few years but this year I decided to give it another try, doing a few little computer shenanigans and always, the sink sprayer, and my audience of Toby and Brynn were fiendishly delighted at the idea. Their energy is prompting me to give pranking another try, and so I must press on. For the children.