Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tricks and Treats

My Fellow Comedists,

This weekend we celebrate Halloween, truly one of the funnier holidays with funny costumes and practical jokes woven inexorably into its fabric. I want to focus on the trick part of the trick or treat.

One of our Playground regulars sent me one the greatest practical jokes I've heard about in a long time. Good brother 71 and his beloved fiancee were in Florida recently at a philosophy conference -- the annual meeting of the "Lighthearted Philosophers Society," a group dedicated to the philosophical analysis of humor -- and taking a break from the proceedings, they were walking along the beach. I'll let 71 pick up the story:

as we're walking along the beach on Sunday evening, with the sun setting behind us, we stumbled upon a guy setting up for a wedding right on the beach. They had a chuppa set up in the sand with flowers and all, so Katy and I stopped and asked the guy to take our picture under it. We got a few shots holding hands, kissing, etc. And when we got back to the hotel I wrote an email to our parents with the pics attached explaining that we had just stumbled upon this sight that was just too beautiful to pass up. The moment just felt right, so we went for it. I apologized for not calling them before we did it, and told them we'd tell them all about it when we got home. We ended the email by signing our names with a hyphenated last name and a smiley face, thinking that this would make the joke fairly obvious. Needless to say, by morning I had a number of text messages from my mom and emails from Katy's parents. They had called each other and didn't know what to make of it. We're still not sure they've gotten over it, but we sure got a helluva laugh.
What makes the story even funnier is that neither of them is Jewish, so the chuppa makes zero sense especially with the sort of impromptu set up of the supposed nuptials.

What makes this so fantastic is that it was right there on the edge of believability even though 71 and Mrs. 71-to-be didn't think so. Any farther out and it would have been just dumb, but it was right on that tipping point where the parents were teetering, "is it true? no, couldn't be. well, you mean it could be..."

Closest I've ever come to that one is about six years ago when I sent in an e-mail to the department on April 1 (praise be to Saint Shecky) informing them that I had an offer on the table from Swarthmore, but that TheWife and I hadn't decided if we really wanted to move the kids to Philly. Figuring, they'd see right through it as an April Fools prank, I got into the office late to find a message on my phone from the Provost asking for an emergency meeting. Like 71, it had never occurred to me that they'd be fooled.

So, for Halloween, let's have tales of your best prank when you fooled someone.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve