Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Lost Art of Prank Calls

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I love Caller ID, but it has taken away what I consider a teen rite of passage. Prank calling is a thing of the past. Growing up, my friends and I ruled the wires, but I refuse to let a thing like Caller ID or my age get in the way of a good time. YOu just have to be a little more creative.

I tend to surround myself with friends who have a similar sense of humor. I want a circle of friends who are willing to go the extra mile right along wtih me when it comes to pulling practical jokes. My children are not exempt from the pracitcal jokes.

Although Misty and I no longer work together, the couple of years that we did produced some of the world's best practical jokes, and particularly some of the best crank calls of my dialing career. My children suffered at our hands.

This little gem was at the expense of my son, Stephen, who is now 22. He was 16 at the time.

Stephen is, and always has been, much mature than his peers. He is one of those kids that old ladies love, neighbors and teachers adore, and friends and girlfriends can count on. He is responsible, and committed to doing what's right. He thinks about consequences. Sometimes I think they gave me the wrong kid.
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Obviously, he's mine. But the similarities are purely physical.

Since we had caller ID at home, Misty and I knew that we'd have to be tricky to pull of a good prank call. It was a teacher in-service day, and we knew my son would be home. Here's how it went down:

Misty: Stephen, is your Mom home?
Stephen: No, she's at work.
Misty: No, she isn't. Go check and see if she's asleep.
Stephen: Her car's not here. I saw her leave this morning.
Misty: Well, she's not at work. Where is she? She hasn't called in, and it's almost 12:00. They're starting to ask questions around here.
Stephen: Maybe her car broke down. I'm sure she's on her way. She must have forgotten her cell phone.
Misty: I've been calling her cell phone. She hasn't answered it. Have you heard it ring in the house?
Stephen: No. Let me go. I'm going to try and call her.
Misty: Well, call me back and let me know what's going on.

Meanwhile, we have explained to the office receptionist what we're doing, and we asked that she play along. Stephen is not dumb, and he's been the recipient of my practical jokes before, which made it necessary for us to cover all bases.

Two seconds after Misty hung up with Stephen, my cell phone rings:

Me: Hello
Stephen: Mom, where are you?
Me: I'm at work.
Stephen: NO, MOM! YOU'RE NOT! They just called here looking for you. Where are you?
Dena: Alright. Alright. I'm out shopping.

At this point it is getting very difficult to remain in character. My son sounds panicked, and disguted with his mother. Misty is standing in front of me, laughing in my face. But in true form, I continue.

Stephen: You're out shopping? What is wrong with you? Why didn't you call your work? Mom, you're going to get fired. That's your job. You can't do those kinds of things. You have to call in. People depend on you. That's so irresponsible. I'm so disappointed. I can't believe you would jeopardize your job.
Me: Well, I just didn't feel like working today.
Stephen: I don't care. Go to work! Go now! When you get there tell them you had a flat tire, and that you didn't have your phone with you, and you had no way to call. And call Misty on her cell phone, and let her know what's going on so she can cover for you.
Me: OK. I'm sorry. I don't know what happened.
Stephen: Mom, that's really wrong. You should know better than to do something like that. You can't risk your job just because you feel like going shopping. What would we do if you lost your job?

Yes, it was classic. It was role reversal. And it was hilarious. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to try and stay serious when your 16 year old is talking to you like you're the one who is 16? I had to reach into my past, and pull out that voice I used when my parents caught me skipping school for the first time. I had to sound ashamed, and guilty. It wasn't easy; not at all.

I really can't recall when/how we did the reveal. But it was not immediate. I will go weeks before I tell my kids that they've been Punk'd. Weeks. Ashton Kutcher doesn't have a thing on me and Misty.

dena at 9:22 PM



at 10:33 PM Anonymous faira said...


micelle sent me!

at 10:35 PM Blogger Dak-Ind said...

i love this. my thirteen year old is so easy to prank, i love it. i picked him up one day in his dads car (because his car was parked behind mine and i didnt want to shuffel so i just drove his) when duck asked me about it, i explained that earlier in the day i had been in an accident, and my car was wrecked! he was so stressed, was i sure i was ok, how bad was the car etc. he was so mad when we pulled in the driveway adn myt car was sitting there, just fine.

michele sent me

at 11:26 PM Blogger Mrs. Fun said...

Here viaMicheles tonight.

That is so mean but so funny at the same time. Mr. Fun is the joker n this family.He messes with kids all the time.

at 11:46 PM Blogger kenju said...

Good for you! I could never have pulled that off; I would have been laughing too much.

Michele sent me this time.

at 12:07 AM Blogger Lisa said...

That's just nasty, mean and cruel...

.... and I LOVE it! :-)

Here via Michele's!

at 3:15 AM Blogger Bradley Egel said...

What a great prank...and I love practical jokes at the expense of children...especially your own!

Good Stuff!

The Egel Nest

at 4:45 AM Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Funny! You are creative...And to think, the best we could do back when I was growing up was.."Do you have Prince Albert In A Can...Cause if you do, then Let Him Out!"
(for those too young to know what this is...there wereTobacco shops and Cigarettes, Cigars and PIPE TOBACCO were sold...Prince Albert was a Pipe Tobacco that came in a can or a pouch...Oh dear...this explanation is longer than the prank!!!)
I came on my own tonight!

at 7:31 AM Anonymous mar said...

Loved it! I couldn't have kept serious talking to him. Michele sent me this morning.

at 7:40 AM Blogger Aginoth said...

ahh the drunken joys of the Prank Call. searching the Phone Directory for odd names....

Hello? Is That A.Squirrel?

Michelle sent me

at 9:12 AM Blogger soapbox.SUPERSTAR said...

We really do have to get on the ball and come up with some more good ones.

at 11:25 AM Blogger The Mistress of the Dark said...


You are so bad!!

at 2:08 PM Blogger ~Cathy~ said...

LOL... has her forgiven you for that one yet?!?!

at 2:15 PM Anonymous Deana said...

Your own child???? You're awful....actually its probably a good bonding experience in the long run. They should fire Ashton and hire you.

at 2:41 PM Blogger zazzafooky said...

HAHA - Classic! .. and you guys are awesome; it sucks being a grown up enough as it is, imagine being so without a sense of humor! :-)

Keep it up

at 5:54 PM Blogger sage said...

This was pretty funny!

at 8:43 PM Blogger sophie said...

I do miss the good old prank call. Glad you have come up with some hilarious alternatives!

at 10:24 PM Blogger Nadine said...

I loved asking for certain people.

(phone rings)...." Hello? "

" Um, Hi is Ophelia Dick in? "

We should get togther one night and do some for ol' times sake.

at 12:10 AM Blogger Maggie said...

I'm not a pratcical joke type of person. I would be having a heart attack thinking u'r in the morgue or something. I guess
I watch too many CSI
VIa Michele

at 2:23 PM Blogger puremood said...

You're so bad, Dena! LOL


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