The Prank

I have a very fond memory of a prank I pulled on my father many years ago. My father is quite the curmudgeon and not given much to many fun, jolly memories in my mind. This one, however, was just so much fun that I wanted to share it with you.

He is a retired hospital employee. He was on-call for years. I have memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases, dreading the phone. I wanted to strangle those poor patients…dad said they would get sick/hurt and put off getting help….and come to the hospital on the holiday.

One time, when I was in my twenties and at home with mom and dad, some weird freak of nature occurred….for once, he was not on call that weekend. ONE WHOLE WEEKEND….OFF.

His glee was unbelievable. He had plans of going to the living room with his Budweiser and television, and grooving. I was so happy for him.

Then came the immediate, dun-dun-dun moment.

His mother (a whole novel in her suffocating, disapproving self) was going to have a minor outpatient surgical procedure. Would he come up? (Two hours north in Indpls.) Her daughter and the rest of her family was up there and was able to be with her.

After much anguish, he decided, (Bless his brave heart!-perhaps my mom bolstered his decision? I do not know…) that he would stay, and that she would do fine with the family she had with her.

I know his guilt/glee over his decision was strong. He had made it, though, and survived without a thunderbolt. He was in the living room, shades drawn, Bud nearby, watching a game. The weekend was young, and he was delirious with his new freedom.

Forgive me, friends, for what I did next.

That was when/where(?) you could dial your own phone number and it would ring back.

*insert evil grin here*

And that is just what I did. Then I walked to the living room, and, not letting him see my face, called out, in a sad, pained, timid voice: “Dad? Grammas on the phone…”

Silence. Momentarily, from his lips, a high pitched, quiet, grieved word: S#!*

I ran off.

I watched as he shuffled, shoulders slumped, head down, countenance broken, to his little “office” next to the garage.

He stepped down into the little space, sat down in his oak swivel office chair. He sighed deeply, and picked up the phone.

In a high pitched, sweet voice, he said, “Hi Mama!”

I watched, from the step.

Silence, naturally, met him, cruelly(!) from the other end.

“Mama?” he asked.

Now, I must digress for a moment. Dad told me once that when he was young (in the 50’s?) he and his friends had a little expression. When they had pulled one over on someone, they would cry out, “OVUUUURRRRR!!!” with a Steve Martinish like wiggle, if I recall correctly.

Back to the phone call. He sat in his swivel chair, the phone to his ear. “Mama?” he asked, apprehensively.

I leapt…down the step….into the office! I landed not a foot behind him ! The stomp startled his ears! My cry made him spin around!


I wish I had a video of him, spinning round in that chair, phone to his ear, his big brown button eyes popping out of his head with shock! It took him a moment to realize what had transpired.

He lay the phone back in his cradle and chased me down and tried to get me with a pillow.

Imagine, my friends, what a sweet, delicious weekend he had.