Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Art of the Practical Joke - A Dads perspective

                  Practical Jokes

Call it what you want. From a very young age we learn that there is humor to be found in seeing others confused by what they thought should be - but isn't.

It started when I was very young, my Dad would look behind me and exclaim that he had seen parrots out the window and when we turned around to look, vital parts of our dinner went missing. He still does it and now with the kids he has had an new audience. They catch on quick so you gotta stay sharp.

Mind you he once said to the Bride to Be, there was no way she could carry two bales of hay up to the cows in a paddock, the bales were grabbed belligerently and off she marched. Boy did we laugh watching her struggle away with a bale in each hand up the lane(they weigh about 15kgs each). She still married me.

Anyway, I took to this new found wonder like a duck to water. Practical jokes appealed especially to me as I love to laugh and the jokes often have an element of engineering and physics to them. Buckets of water balanced on doors, buckets of water thrown out windows the spiders swinging down on fishing lines, the fake amputated finger in a matchbox, the list is endless.

I was always open to new ideas and would search for jokes in everyday situations. I went to magic stores and I saved my pocket money to buy all sorts of gags. Paper that went into a tooth brush to stain your teeth, joke soft drinks, fake gum - they all went into my bag of tricks.

Its important to note that you should under no circumstances use fake cola on your mother who is trying to sleep after a night shift at the hospital.

On I went trying everything and anything. It got to the point where in order to keep my edge, I took a Mars bar that my sister was saving, removed the chocolate bar, then filled the pack with sand so it resembled the mars bar in weight and feel. But the look on her face when it was opened was priceless.

All these were done in front of an audience, because with out that there was no point.. There needs to be viewers to your grand mastery. That is where the satisfaction comes from.

As the loyal readers know it all ended abruptly one day for my sister during this incident so I had to find a new audience.

Where better than your workplace. It's a whole new world of potential victims and not to mention the audience reach. I can remember at one office, we organised a DVD copy of a movie that one of the managers really wanted, but the video on it was the behind the scenes footage from the "Men of NRL Calendar".

The same workplace once waited for the manager to ride his bike home so we could replace his suit and clothes for the next day with a dress. So when he rode back the next day that was all he had to wear.....
Being the good sort he was he put it on.

See how easy it is ?    Now days I select my targets based on the joke.

I do it to The Organised One when I'm  feeling dangerous.
I once got a jug of water and stood on the toilet and then poured the water in to the toilet from a height while pretending to groan in pain.

I do it to the kids when I can.
Picture this - Junior is complaining about a bad smell and I tell him that he can get his nostrils to close by sticking his fingers in his ears and breathing in quickly. My delivery was so good Mr Elder who claims to be an expert at detecting when I'm fooling, put his fingers in his ears and started breathing heavily.

Mind you it kinda back fired once when I pretended to see something interesting in a drain hole and I was going to say "boo" to Mr Elder when he looked in. Trouble was he lent over so far that he fell in head first.
Luckily there was sand at the bottom of the drain so there was no damage, but his little legs were waiving out the top furiously and it made me laugh out loud.
When I pulled him out of the hole - he absolutely gave it to me.

I secretly still laugh at this one.

I've lost count at the number of times they come to me with a bump or scrape and I proclaim it to be Ebola or that we need to go to the hospital to amputate straightaway.

I know that these are minor compared to movies such as Jackass and shows like Punk'd that take it to a whole new level, but I'm a Dad and I know I'm expected to always think about the outcomes. I spend 99% of my day reminding the minions that everything they do has ramifications and think carefully before you do something stupid, so I have to live by the same rules.

And on the flip side I also am absolutely a great victim of jokes. I encourage the minions to practice on me on any occasion.
And it is true that recently The Organised one slide a plastic coat hanger along the ground causing me to jump in the air and squeal like a girl who has just seen her first cockroach.

So I will continue to tell terrible jokes in front of their friends, I will continue to try and prank them whenever I can.

I'd like to say I do it to teach them that people will always try to get the better of you and you should watch out in the world, but the reality is I just like to laugh

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dad!!! How are ya??? I've been looking for you for so so so so long and I finally found you here!! I can't beleive it at all!!!

    It is so good to see some good old faces here! The kids have grown up!!!! And wifey as beautiful as ever!! and you've gotten more grey hairs!!! argghhhhhh!!!!

    Love from Malaysia, I hope you have not forgotten about us!!!! Mmmuahhhhh!!!!!!