Our number three son and grafted-in-daughter love to prank their kids. One day the little tykes helped their mother make brownies and frost them. After dinner that night, their mom served them what appeared to be their brownies, but in fact were frosted sponges. Mothers cannot be trusted. A few days later, the kids were each given two oatmeal raisin cookies. Four-year-old Penny took a bite, looked at the cookie, then wide-eyed, quickly turned to her parents and cried out, “Hey! There’s no chocolate chips in these. Is this a prank?” 

I’ve heard of dipping dill pickles in chocolate and giving them as gifts, which would quite possibly allow the giver to have the jolliest day ever. Another offering would be orange rolls, which a woman served to her teenage boy and his buddies. She made a batch, which in reality were buns covered in nacho cheese. Have you ever watched a 16-year-old boy eat? By the time they’d figured it out, most of the roll, which was one gulp, was down their gullet. That’s a mother I could take shopping. Obviously, I’m not a good person. 

One October day, after we’d gotten an elk, our eldest son, a teenager, wandered into the kitchen and I offered up a plate of what appeared to be delicious squares of fudge. He happily popped a piece in his mouth, then turned to me with a scowl. It was in fact, raw liver. How did my kids turn out so great with such a vile mother? It’s a riddle. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a prank done to me. I have a beautiful friend who is kind and loving with a warm heart and gentle spirit. On numerous occasions she’s given me gifts she knew I’d love, like a magnet stating, “I don’t even butter my bread, I consider that cooking” and a spoon rest with, “Many people have eaten my cooking and went on to live normal lives.” The best was a sign, “Our Kitchen-If I had to stir it, it’s homemade.” One day she drove over to see me, gave me a hug and then handed me a lovely decorative box. Opening it, and peering inside, I saw a grouping of four creamy chocolates she had hand dipped. They looked so delicious, I picked one out, marveling at it’s perfectly formed round top and flat bottom and gave it a little nip while murmuring my thanks to this dear friend. Being an excellent cook, she’d outdone herself and I told her so as I held my sweet treat. This angelic, gracious, precious friend, whom I trusted with my children, looked me right in the eye and smiled sweetly. Opening my mouth, I put the whole thing in at once. It couldn’t have been better had it been rehearsed. I bit down and my first thought was, “Marshmallow.” My second thought was, “What the?” Then it hit me…COTTON BALL! She’s still a cherished friend, but I now give her the stink-eye whenever she offers me treats.  

Perhaps the greatest prank of all time was done by President, Lyndon B. Johnson. He owned a “Lagoon Blue” land-to-water vehicle known as an Amphicar and kept it at his Stonewall, Texas ranch. On land it looked like any ordinary automobile and the President loved to offer guests a ride around his ranch. Those leisurely jaunts created the opportunity for a clever prank that Johnson enjoyed playing on his passengers. He would indeed take the unsuspecting visitors for a nice outing, showing off his beloved LBJ ranch, a working cattle operation. Johnson wouldn’t reveal the car’s amphibious nature and after some time of touring, he’d come up over a hill, then heading downward, with the car picking up speed, it would begin rapidly rolling toward a lake at the bottom. As he neared the water, he’d scream, “The brakes! The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under! This is how it ends!” The passengers were tricked into thinking they were all going to crash and drown, then the car would smoothly transition into the water and level out, keeping the traumatized passengers safe and dry. What the passengers didn’t know was that there were two propellers located under the rear engine compartment. The President just steered as usual and the wheels acted as stabilizers. Some people would think this mean. I found it hysterical, and that tells you about as much about me as you’d ever want to know. 

Trena Eiden trenaid@hotmail.com