LOADING

Type to search

The best practical jokes are always impromptu, and this one defied belief

Share

From the time I was a little kid, I was always a fan of practical jokes played on my friends or even on me. It really didn’t matter who the brunt was. A well-executed prank could be a thing of artistic beauty, as long as no one was hurt in any way. But, giving the planned prank its due, to me the funniest moments have come from pranks that I have been involved with that are spontaneous and are conceived in a matter of minutes or seconds.

As we walked to the exit doors, I noticed an elderly man and his wife starting the climb the stairs.

One such event took place in 2013 in a Baltimore suburb. My daughter Rosie and I were about to embark on our annual baseball trip. This year we would be seeing the Phillies take on the Cleveland Indians. I discovered that my airline of choice did not have any direct flights to Cleveland from Philly and the closest city that did was Baltimore. That wasn’t bad because it would give us the opportunity to visit my brother-in-law, stay overnight and catch the first flight out to Cleveland the next morning. He lived a short distance from the airport (BWI) so it would be an easy move. After the two-hour drive to his house, we relaxed a while and when dinner time rolled around, I suggested going to a new diner/restaurant that he had mentioned but never visited.

My brother-in-law drove the 20 minutes or so, and we arrived at the restaurant about 6 p.m. The food was great and, after the hour-long meal, I went to pay the check while my companions waited for me in the entryway. As we walked to the exit doors, I noticed an elderly man, using a walker, and his wife who were about to start climbing the six steps to enter the diner. For some reason he didn’t use the handicapped ramp. Perhaps it would have made his trip longer if he did. The man was a dapper gentleman who looked to be about 90 and he was moving very slowly. I suggested that my guests exit the other door and wait in the car for me while I held the door open for the gentleman and his equally aged wife. So, as my family members went to sit in the car and wait, I dutifully held the door, reassuring the couple that I was in no hurry and they should take their time, which they did. They really did! They must have thanked me five times during the short but difficult journey to the top of the steps. After what seemed to be about 10 minutes, the couple finally made it into the restaurant and my task was now complete. They thanked me again and I bade them adieu, wishing them an enjoyable meal. Off to the car I walked. It was a very large parking lot and I had about 30-yard stroll to get to the car.

After about 10 yards, a lightbulb flipped on in my head!

As I approached the car, I reached into my wallet and took out a $20 bill. I noticed my daughter and brother-in-law sitting in the front of the car, which was running with the air conditioner on to cool things down. As Rosie rolled down her window, I held up the bill and said: “I can’t believe it. That old guy gave me $20 for holding the door for him!” The look on my daughter’s face was one of horror. Taking money as a reward for a random act of kindness was something the father she knew would never do, nor would his wife or children. For a second, her world was flipped upside down. Equally shocked, my brother-in-law said, “How can you take money from that poor old guy?” Now at this point the prank had worked to perfection. The $20 bill was the perfect prop and waving it made the story seem real. But just as quickly, my loved ones came back to reality as I hooted and gave myself verbal “high fives” for pulling off a classic in a matter of seconds.

At this point it would be superfluous to mention that I couldn’t help but bring up this “fake out” few more times during our short visit. Of course, the rest of the family heard about it too. All have given the prank the “two thumbs up”. That’s worth a lot more than 20 bucks. IAH

Charlie Sacchetti is the author of three books, “It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change;” “Knowing He’s There: True Stories of God’s Subtle Yet Unmistakable Touch,” and his newest, “Savoring the Moments: True Stories of Happiness, Sadness and Everything in Between.” He was raised in Philadelphia and lives in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Contact him at worthwhilewords21@gmail.com.

Charlie Sacchetti

Charlie Sacchetti is the author of three books, “It’s All Good: Times and Events I’d Never Want to Change;” “Knowing He’s There: True Stories of God’s Subtle Yet Unmistakable Touch,” and his newest, “Savoring the Moments: True Stories of Happiness, Sadness and Everything in Between.” Contact him at worthwhilewords21@gmail.com.

  • 1

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

Keep a pulse on local food, art, and entertainment content when you join our Italian-American Herald Newsletter.