By C. Susan Elstad
Hi boys and girls! Are you ready for some fun? Here's a story: When I was a little girl I loved AM radio, ducks, and pranks. These three obsessions formed a sacred trinity that was both dear and amusing to me. An old AM transistor radio provided me endless hours of joy as I climbed my tangerine tree and listened to the groovy sounds that were the aural images of Goethe's "Faust". Do you kids remember "Pac Man Fever"? You remember "Faust"? My first love was my pet duck, Quacky. Loyal, graceful and compassionate -- Quacky quacked his way into all our hearts. Then there were pranks. Many many pranks. Playing jokes and pranks meant that you were on tip, on point, and proved that you could outsmart anybody. Like the trickster Coyote of the Native American myth, you made light of man's often absurd plight. And you proved that you had the cunning, skills and sharpness to make it in a man's world.
Well, I'm older, married, and have kids, but I am still a kid. And as I raise my children, I want to pass these skills down to them. It would be a Herculean task to describe all the pranks we created as children in the primoridal suburban soup summers, but here are a few fun and simple and somewhat harmless pranks. As a grownup I still pull pranks on friends and loved ones, the greatest prank is telling that they are in fact friends and loved ones. You know, kids, for in this world of illusion, everything means nothing. There is only laughter. Laughter and failure. There is the failure us grownups deal with every single second of our lives. The failure of love, art, money and many many other things. Well, that's another story. Let's just stick with the pranks, you precious angelic rascals.
Remember, Kids! Practice compassion and clowning but don't hurt people physically. Just their feelings. Stay away from inhalants and other droogas. Don't swear and remember to wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash you hands really well. Did you take off your shoes when you went into the house? Did you finish your homework, prayers, sutras, journal entries? Better wash those hands again. Anywho, practice these pranks, kids. Be cool and stay in school.
Go: Plant kernels of corn in the front yards of your neighborhood. Poke a sharp stick in the moist fecund earth and drop a few kernels. Do it quickly and without being noticed. In the middle of prize rosebeds or other ornate flowers. Make sure you do it where lots of water will get to the seeds that have been thrusted into the sweet moist earth.
Result: Neighbors wonder why and how ears of corn start sprouting up. One lady suggested that a smart crow picked at a rubbish bin, jabbed the ground with its beak and planted the corn.
Materials: corn kernels, sharp stick, neighborhood with soil.
Go: Mix Thousand Island dressing and vitamins into a plastic sandwich bag. Chew food and spit into bag. Add other food products to the mix then tie bag. On a sidewalk or any high pedestrian traffic area, slam Vomit bag into ground. Make sure you get that splat! sound. Remove bag and dispose in rubbish bin. Either hide and watch people's reaction or play flying disc near fake vomit.
Result: People will walk by with their dogs or while jogging and make comments about how deplorable and inconsiderate some people are.
Materials: Plastic bag, Thousand Island dressing, vitamins, any food morsels you can chew then give forth into the mix.
Go: Bend a paper clip into an U shape and tie an elastic band on each end. In the middle of the elastic tape a piece of bent cardboard. Coil estatic band really taught and quickly press into a tight fitting envelope. Label envelope "Rattlesnake Eggs" and draw a picture or xerox picture of a scary snake. Hand to unspecting sucker.
Result: When the sucker or "tag" opens the enevelope, the band and cardboard will unwind and rattle against the paper creating an awesome fearful rattle. Watch folks jump out of their seats and yell, "Oh Lord have mercy! The snakes have hatched. My goodness!"
Materials: Paper clip, elastic band from underwear or tight knickers, piece of cardboard, some lint, small envelope with picture of snake on it.
Poo Poo Present
Go: Eat plenty of oatmeal, celery and white rice. Evacuate bowels into plastic Tupperware and throw away toilet paper in rubbish bin (third world style) or flush down toilet. Cover movement with baking soda. You can find these items in the kitchen but make sure your parents aren't around to see what you're up to. Carefully wrap container as a present and wipe off any fingerprints. Place on doorstep of neighborhood witch or potential sweetheart you have a crush on to mark your own territory. Leave area.
Result: An unpleasant happy birthday or a festive fecal found treasure.
Materials: Soft and streamlined bowel movement, gift wrapping paper, baking soda.
Seizure World - Seizure boy or a Seizure Girl
Go: Attend class, family gathering or religious ceremony. Rub wax papper on your bum but keep clothing on. Before prayer, salute to flag or confession, pop Alka - seltzer tablet in mouth. Drop to to the floor, roll eyes back and wriggle like a fish (do freaky robotic breaking/popping floor move). You waxed bum will help you spin and give you the option to do a backspin, head plant, windmill to freeze breaking move.
Result: People will scream or perform exorcism on you. Ham it up then quickly stand, bow and leave the room before policia, principal or ambulance arrives
Materials: Crowded room or many populated place, Alka-Seltzer tablets, wax paper.
I'm Fresh, You're Fresh
Go: Get several packages of car or room air freshners leave packets sealed. You can find these at any department store. Be sure to use mommy's credit card. Find mailboxes, car windows with a tiny opening, lockers, or backpack. Make sure nobody sees you open the packet and slip the smelly freshners in an unsuspecting place. Pine scent is the strongest and most toxic of all the aromas.
Result: When the mark opens their car, locker or backpack, they will be overwhelmed with the fumes and pass out. Then you can point at them and laugh.
Materials: Plenty of sealed air freshners. Plastic surgical gloves.
Love each other, hurt no one, believe in yourself, and help make the world a better place.
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C. Susan Elstad lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband and two children.