Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just Kidding

Growing up, we generally took our camping trips with a few other families. There was a core group and several others who made it when they could. One summer on our (almost) annual trip to Myrtle Beach our group was spread out over two campers, a van and two tents. The two Daves stayed in one tent (this is my friend Dave, and this is my other friend Dave) and four of us girls slept in the other. The four of us were the reason Dave was allowed to bring his friend Dave. I reckon it was sort of hard to be the only boy with four girls. It must have been hard to be the only Dave, too.

We never actually entered the boys' tent and they never actually entered ours, but one fine afternoon we were surprised by a frog on one of our pillows. Our tent had been zipped up pretty tightly, so it hardly seemed like a coincidence.

We didn't say a word.

The next night, after the boys were asleep, we thought we would be very cute. We took the boys' swim trunks down from the clothesline and hung them, liner side out, above the entrance to their tent. We made a big sign and posted it between the trunks: Two Jocks Live Here.

We thought it was harmless and funny.

The next morning we woke to a sign on OUR temporary abode. It was flanked by two bikini tops and read: Four Boobs Live Here.


Bested by boys.

That would never do.

So we upped the ante.

One of us had an old wind-up alarm clock. We set the alarm for 3:00 am then reached into their tent and tucked it under a sleeping bag. Probably Dave's. The next morning the boys looked a little rough, but they didn't say a word.

This made us a little nervous.

As it was intended to.

When we turned in that night the four of us looked everywhere for that alarm clock, but to no avail. We changed our sleeping arrangements so that there was no way they could sneak anything in without disturbing one of us. We all fell asleep, but it was an uneasy sleep. Those boys weren't going to let that go. Payback was coming.

At 3:00 am the alarm went off.

We all woke up and looked at each other in a panic. We knew it wasn't in our tent, but it was so loud! We followed the sound and eventually realized that they'd placed it just outside our tent. By the time we figured this out and got it turned off we were so agitated there would be no getting back to sleep.

We laid on top of our sleeping bags, seething and plotting our next move. We were tired and angry and a lot of our plans included fire. Even in our sleepless state we realized that THAT wasn't a good idea.

The pranking had to end.

The next day, out of parental earshot, we approached the Daves about it. It was easy to get them to agree to a truce, because they'd had the last laugh. All six of us shook on it - there would be no more pranking.

Let me amend that.

There would be no more pranking each other.

While we were drawing up our truce it became apparent that all six of us had really enjoyed the evil creativity that went into a good prank. So we did the only logical thing. We joined forces. The game was no longer boys against girls, it was kids against adults.

It was ON, and the poor, unsuspecting grown-ups didn't even know it.

We decided our first target would be the only couple who did not have children. Well, that's not technically true. They DID have children, but they were grown with children of their own. That hardly counted. Miss Lucy and Mr. Cliff were, for our intents and purposes, childless.

We returned to our trusty alarm clock.

It had served us well.

We set it for 5:00 am. We thought maybe an alarm at 3:00 am might give them a heart attack. After all, they were older than our parents, and our parents were OLD!

The next problem became where to put it. We were all pretty much welcome in everyone's camper, so getting in would be easy. But it was a small space. Distracting them enough to actually be able to secure a hiding place was just too risky.

And then it hit us.

We'd use the boys' frustratingly crafty technique of putting it OUTSIDE their actual van. After they'd turned in, we secured it to their rear bumper, just below their bed. We tied it down with a bit of clothesline so that it wouldn't get bumped or blown off.

What we failed to anticipate was this: An alarm clock on a soft sleeping bag will wake the inhabitants of a tent. An alarm clock on soft dirt and pine needles will wake the inhabitants of a tent. An alarm clock tied loosely to the bumper of a van - vibrating - banging - metal on metal - will wake everyone in a fifty mile radius.

Well, maybe not a fifty mile radius.

But you can bet for sure that it will wake your parents, sleeping in campers on either side of that van.

And you can bet for sure that they won't think is was anywhere NEAR as funny as you thought it was going to be.

And you can bet for sure that the six of us didn't sleep very well the next couple nights, because our parents had quite publicly given Miss Lucy and Mr. Cliff carte blanche with our sorry butts.

Which they never took advantage of.

Even though we were always sort of waiting for it.

Which might have been the most wicked prank of them all.

R.I.P. Mr. Cliff. July 22, 1922 - December 12, 2010


Cheryl said...

Sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this hysterical memory that included Mr. Cliff.

Tiffany said...

I love that story but not the RIP...sorry for your family's loss.

Unknown said...

A really fun story!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Tammy-- What a great story and funny pranking memories.

I'm sorry for you loss.

xo jj

Pam said...

What a great way to pay tribute to a dear friend! Loved the story. Sounds like you have a lot of happy of memories of Mr. Cliff.