In our inside writing circle last week, we broke from a series of heavy sessions in favor of something lighter – thanks to April Fool’s day! Our opening poem described a prank played between sisters (see Prompt of the Week) and this truly set the stage for hilarity. Given the opportunity to write about practical jokes played on or by them, the women turned right to their writing. Others opted to distinguish between practical jokes and bullying. What they all shared during the 20 minutes of dedicated writing time was focus and the desire to tell a good story. There were a good dozen around the table, each unique. I have taken a few samples here to share a flavor of the variety of offerings.
So it’s April. What a perfect time to have your children do the nighttime dishes, right? So you clear the table and scrape the plates, making sure you have the video camera ready. OK. Now, call the kids. Flip the coin – who is washing and who is drying? Heads – it is my son who gets stuck doing the washing. So he turns around and as always – how many times do we need to explain to him you wash and rinse in lukewarm water? Nope! Does not sink into his head.
So he reaches up and turns on the ice cold water and BLAST! Boy, did he get it. Cold water everywhere. But my daughter didn’t find it so funny when she thought she had won the easy part of the deal when she found out she got the part of the deal drying up the mess. The awesome part of it was, we had taped the sprayer down; so when you turned the water on, it sprayed them. It was really funny. He thought he could try to get us back later that night with the same joke. It didn’t work, but I still had to laugh. That’s why you have to love your kids.
When I was young, I ended up staying after school, which I couldn’t really understand considering that I had done nothing to warrant this action. I didn’t like school to begin with, so I certainly wasn’t one to get into the kind of trouble that would cause the teacher to want me there any longer than I had to be.
This day was different, though, because this woman . . . she called herself a teacher; I called her, at least this particular day, a dictator . . . wouldn’t let me leave no matter how much I rolled my pencil around my desk or how many times I tried to make it look like I was working. I even did most of the school work I had procrastinated away for the better part of the day.
This woman was infuriating; no matter what I did she held me like a jailor. When finally an hour passed and I was allowed to leave and walk home, I found my family and friends – including the tormenting jailor – had planned a surprise party for my birthday!
PRACTICAL JOKE OR BULLYING?
I think for me a practical joke is something that is meant to be funny and make you laugh while having a good time. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I believe that to be true. I enjoy laughing. It makes me feel good.
Bullying, on the other hand, is saying something that hurts another person deliberately to hurt that person. I feel as though no one has the right to bully me; but yet, they sometimes do. Maybe they don’t mean to hurt you, but it stings just the same. I don’t like to be bullied because I also feel as though I am being judged. And I don’t appreciate being put down. It hurts me deeply and causes my heart of ache. But that is OK because I have faith that I can overcome anything with God by my side. Believing he exists is what keeps me going.