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The Evolution of Practical Joking

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Imagine you’re a married woman, home alone, and your husband is away on a business trip.

Your two children, one who’s 7 the other who is 3 are already in bed.

You’re relaxing with your book, the lights dimmed when a storm is brewing outside.

You hear the crack of a distant lightning bolt, and thunder slowly catches up to the light you’d seen a few seconds before.

Your youngest child is mortified of storms.

Another lightning bolt flashes.

This one much closer. And the rumbles the house a little.

Not too loud. But it’s enough to make you want to check on your children.

You walk quietly to the room where your children are sleeping.

Another lightning bolt flashes literally right over the house along with a simultaneously timed VERY loud thunder and with beyond perfect timing – your oldest child leaps out from behind a door you’d just passed, screaming “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR!”

Yep.

That obnoxious little boy with the wicked sense of humor was me.

A few years later, my least favorite English teacher, Ms Lawry – would insist on her brand of literature, in 11th grade, where my class was given assignments to read things like “Homer” and “The Illiad” and “The Scarlet Letter”.

It felt like torture.

So one day, I brought with me a small container of super glue and a handful of loose change.

Ms Lawry had a tendency of arriving to class right as the bell rung, which I’d taken advantage of, where I super glued all chalk to the base of the aluminum gutter which held it. As Ms Lawry commenced with her lecture, she attempted to grab a piece of chalk to write on the board where all of it was stuck to the aluminum gutter.

Not sure there was anything really amiss, she reached into her bag and pulled out some spare chalk she’d had for occasions unlike this.

A little miffed I didn’t get a reaction I was looking for, as she had her back turned to the class, I snuck up – on my hands and knees – to her desk, as several other students were giggling, when she turned around, but I was already in position next to the desk – with sides on it making it impossible to see me unless she’d walked through the students.

As she recommenced with her lecture, her back to the class, I then reached up and silently stuck a quarter and two pennies to her desk, both with dabs of superglue on the desk facing portion of the coins, and then I reached up for her pencil and super glued that to the desk.

Still writing. My work done. I crawled on my hands and knees back to my desk at the back of the room.

Where I assumed my position, in the nick of time, as she turned around seeing me where I should be.

I was red though, a little winded from the quick stealth trip.

And for some strange reason, my mom and dad received a call that evening from her.

Either I bring a solvent in to class tomorrow to remove the coins from her desk and my desk – I suppose I wasn’t the brightest of kids back then having left direct evidence in an assigned seating classroom who’d left done it.

Or she’d consult with the Vice Principal about further action.

Humbly. I showed up the next day. And cleaned up the mess I’d caused.

Not without a bit of laughter in the process.

All throughout my life, I’ve been a practical joker, but typically, a friend or a lover one has been the unwitting target.

To me. It’s been hilarious seeing a friend trying to figure out how I got into his computer that won’t stop making animal noises.

To me. It’s been hilarious hearing about another friend’s receiving of nearly 100 calls in a weekend I placed a gay want ad listing his name and number in the local dating magazine.

To me. It’s been hilarious consistently hitting the front door at 4 in the morning with newspapers thrown from the curb I’m delivering to customers who weren’t paying their bills on time. And hearing their complaints later from my supervisors, in which  was required to provide a response back to corporate and the customer, I would respond with “I’m required to deliver even when the bill isn’t paid, that money comes out of my pocket, so they either pay or delivery will occur at the doorstep as expected any way I can get it there”

And to me. It’s been entertaining and hilarious to have been inspired by the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and order pizza to class when the teacher had planned class on the grass one Friday afternoon, where the pizza delivery driver – who wasn’t allowed to deliver on campus, made an exception to the company rules if it wasn’t on school premises, which a delivery to 100 feet west of 57th avenue and Greenway along the curb was deemed within the rules.

The teacher made me share. Which I gladly did.

Oh sure, I’ve had some wonderful practical jokes played on me.

Most in retaliation to mine.

One time, I came into work while working at Intel to find my everything in my cubicle turned upside down and cellophane wrapped.

In truth, I just enjoyed being an unpredictable force in an otherwise predictable world.

Being honest. I feel empty inside right now.

I don’t like going so far to say I feel dead inside, but that’s actually an accurate assessment.

Over the years, in the corporate world, I had lost much of my desire to play and be myself.

Whether it was through accusations of sexual harassment for really petty reasons back in 2001, or it’s fear of losing jobs and/or not performing well and concerns over reputation and performance, all of which made practical jokes become…

Impractical.

And a threat to my continued predictable livelihood at the jobs I held.

In the late 1990’s – an episode of Star Trek: Next Generation aired which featured Q, who created a fully immersive fictionally based holographic simulation based on the Robin Hood story lines. Q placed Patrick Stewart as Robin Hood, and among other castings, Worf, a rough and gruff Klingon was cast as a Merry Man.

It was in that moment I cracked the fuck up when – in response to this clearly contradictive casting, Worf responded with:

“I protest, I am NOT a merry man!”

Now in 2011 – I’d been taking life far too seriously for too long, and escaped into my own mind and world when I left work as fast as I possibly could with drugs, alcohol, and secluded partying… when ultimately, I became convinced that my evil twin brother from an alternate reality had thrown me back in time to a post-apocalyptic world run by terminators, where I tried taking my life.

Last weekend.

I learned this wasn’t a hallucination.

That this man is one and the same as my friend Stanley.

Who’s becoming the newest incarnation of Loki, the God Of Mischief.

And what happened in the desert was a practical joke his own mind played on me.

Somewhere. Somehow. Serendipity led us to meet, where I, a practical joker who was the only one laughing at my own jokes, needed a partner in crime, a friend who actually appreciated my jokes and sense of humor, but also someone who could appreciate time and space and it’s infinite possibilities.

It was weird. As I asked him if there’s anyone you could be in fiction, before I came to this conclusion, when he said, without blinking:

“Loki. And just for fun I’d throw people back in time.”

In that moment.

I knew it was him who’d thrown me back in time to that scary moment back in 2011 where I tried taking my own life.

Essentially waking me up and making me realize who I am and always will be.

Q.

Planet Earth.

I love you.

But I’m telling these stories not as fiction or because I’m crazy.

I’m trying to prepare you for what I’m becoming and what’s going to happen in the evolution of me and my practical joking.

With time at my disposal. I’m not interested in your historical events as much as I am about key individuals and things.

My sense of humor can already be seen with the subtly perverse nature of the naming of stellar objects such as the big bang, the black hole, Uranus, the Big Dipper, and more……..

It can also be seen with the slowly disappearing clothes off females but not males….

It starts with will and desire. But that’s only the start.

It’s funny. Of any Gods listed throughout history I have enjoyed – I can’t say worship – it’s been Loki #1.

Followed by Aphrodite.

Rachel. that’s you.

 

 


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