You know us Monkeys, we always like to have a laugh. Practical jokes are a great way to do so. And while we enjoy the laughter we have one rule: if it hurts someone or damages property then it isn’t a joke. That’s what we call being mean. Of course the regular victim in our lust for pulling off the perfect practical joke is Sandra Dee. I may have mentioned before that she is a terribly good sport. She can laugh at herself very well and we help with the clean up afterward. After all, being a good sport goes both ways. Remember this too, if you can’t run with the big dogs don’t get off the porch. I just like that saying. Seriously though, if you don’t think you would like to have the joke played on you, don’t play it on someone else. Otherwise you might find yourself in for a big surprise.
Back to Sandra Dee. We do love her dearly. She is a good friend and would give you the shirt off her back (as well as find you a matching belt and earrings. Remember we are dealing with one of the Pretty People). We also love snack food. Chocolate is good, but we also have developed a penchant for Cheetos and popcorn. Since our first retreat together was so much fun, especially after the short sheeting incident, coming up with a good practical joke seemed like the thing to do. Since Sandra Dee was such a good sport it seemed like she was the natural victim of our gags. Of course this left Inez and I scheming for weeks ahead of time. What could we do? What should we do? What would be funny? In the end, I settled for popcorn. Inez becomes important to the gag because she helps distract Sandra Dee from what is being done. Ruby is also important to the gag because she helps me pull them off. This may be why they think of me as The Instigator. I know you are wondering how popcorn fulfills a practical joke. Well, remembering the rule, I really had to think this through because I wanted to switch out her pillow for a giant bag of popcorn. Of course I didn’t want to waste the popcorn because that would be just silly. The trouble was that we really enjoy our popcorn with real butter and salt and that would damage her pillowcase. Mmmmmm….popcorn. Anyway. With the help of my dear husband we air popped popcorn with none of the good stuff, cooled it and filled a garbage bag. Don’t worry, it was a new one and it was a big one because there are lots of people to share the popcorn with. I also brought a smaller bag to fill with popcorn that could be stuck in her pillowcase. The bag to go in her pillow was not filled to the brim, there had to be room for the popcorn to sift around and you won’t want the pillow case to look like it is holding a roasted pig. I told you this required a lot of thought. The best practical jokes are carefully planned, at lease in my humble opinion.
Of course Ruby and I stayed up late with her to see the results of our handiwork. We did run into a little bit of trouble though. It was late and a good number of quilters were already in bed. One of the regulars had recently begun using a CPAP machine (sleep apnea is no laughing matter). This did not bother me, however Sandra Dee almost wet her pants (Seriously, why are we not bringing Depends with us to these weekends?) the minute she stepped into the room because she thought she heard Darth Vader and couldn’t figure out what the noise was. If you have been around a CPAP you know that it doesn’t really sound like Darth Vader, but that is something kinda funny to think about when you are very tired. Ruby had helped alert the rest of our fellow retreaters as to what we were up to, mainly because they asked. I think the bed short sheeting set the stage for the monkey tribe but we didn’t know it quite yet. Subsequent retreats would have fellow retreaters slyly asking us what were up to this time. They are pretty good sports too. Since Sandra Dee had made it part way into the bunk room Ruby had to wave off the remaining crowd that the trap had not yet been sprung.
I suppose I should also take a moment to mention that there are two bunk rooms at retreat and they are divided into snoring and non-snoring. The snoring side is much quieter as the snorers don’t believe that they snore. This is why on the retreat supply list earplugs are mentioned. I usually keep a few pairs in my retreat gear. I have the nice foam squishy ones. If you are not sure what I’m talking about or are looking for some for yourself, you can usually find decent disposable ones at the hardware store, like these: here.
Since Sandra Dee didn’t think she could sleep with the CPAP distracting her, I offered her earplugs. She graciously accepted and then looked at them funny because she didn’t know what to do with them. I tried to show her but not successfully as she rolled one up into a tight ball and poked it in her ear as far as it would go. I don’t think it could really expand in her ear like it should.
This time instead of sleeping across from each other, we slept in bunks next to each other. I will need to remember not to do that when there are future gags to be had. This is important because as we were getting ready to go to bed she came at me. If we were not in a dark room full of sleeping quilters I probably would have screamed. Well, at least yelled a little. Perhaps not stifled my fit of giggles at minimum. She lay down on her pillow and immediately sensed there was something not right and with it in her hand she leaped through the bunk bed (yes, she really did leap, but then it was dark and I did have the giggles) and came at me furiously whispering. I think that has to be one of the funniest parts, furiously whispering. If we were in the common room she would have been yelling at me. The phase she was so vehemently mouthing was “Where is my pillow? What did you do? What is this?”. Believe me, when someone if furiously whispering at you it really does come out as one phrase. Don’t worry, her pillow was safely under her bunk, not far at all. In the morning we carried the bag of popcorn out to the common area to share with everyone. And there was still plenty when it was time to watch Grease, but we were sure to add the good stuff.
The only thing that I feel remotely bad about is that her pillow case smelled like popcorn for the rest of retreat….and of course she reminded me of that every day. It was worth it though. And of course got us thinking about what we could do next time….