lies that *everyone* told me…

I just finished reading the latest Chelsea Handler book, “Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me”.  With Chelsea only contributing her outlandish comments at the conclusion of each chapter, it’s actually a collection of stories from her friends and family about all the pranks she’s pulled on them over the years.  She is a complete lunatic… and while her shenanigans made me practically cry from laughing so hard, I just kept thinking “I would absolutely punch her if she did that to me!” 

Nobody likes to be made fun of, right?  Okay, I’ll answer that for you…NO!  Does it sound like I protest too much?  Yeah, well, that’s because I would be a prime victim for Miss Handler’s pranks…  Despite my above-average intelligence and painfully acquired street-smarts, I fall for stupid stuff alllllll the freaking time.  In fact, I could probably fill a book myself with all the pranks that have been pulled on me over the years by friends, family, and coworkers.  [How I have managed to keep from getting all Mel-Gibson-in-that-Conspiracy-Theory-movie on everyone over the years is beyond me].

For your amusement, I’ll share two of my favorite pranks that still make me absolutely wet-my-pants laugh.  Both happened while I was on contract in Wisconsin last year and worked with a table of t-shirted/ball-capped/booze hounds on the Production Planning module… affectionately referred to as “the PP table guys”.  They were constantly teasing me, being smarty-pants, and playing mini-pranks (like hiding my laptop if I got up from the table for anything and leaving me to wander around while they shouted “getting warmer” “getting warmer” “oh, now you’re cold”).  In fact, one of my coworkers commented that she didn’t know how I put up with those guys… that she would break down crying every day if they pulled that crap on her.  I grew up with three older brothers… that’s how.

Prank #1:

I usually brought fruits or veggies with me to the office so I could avoid all of the garbage-food that was lying around the project room.  One week, I brought in this huge bag of unwashed grapes directly from a quick stop at the grocery store.  I laid them on the table and offered to share (suggesting they grab what they want and go rinse them), but the guys complained that I should have brought them in already washed.  I shrugged my shoulders and said what became my stock-reply to most everything they said during those delirious few months – “whatever, jackasses!”. 

Thursday afternoon came and I was gathering up my things to leave for my flight back home.  I still had a bunch of the grapes left and offered to leave them for the guys to munch on the next day (I hate to waste produce!), but they all grumbled at me to not leave my garbage behind.  I tried again and suggested that somebody take them home to their kids if they didn’t want them in the office (again, hate to waste produce and those were reallllly good grapes!).  Their grouching and wise-cracks could be heard all the way to the stairwell as I rushed out to my rental car for the 40 minute drive to the airport.

Now fast-forward to me returning the following Monday.  I flew in that morning, so the guys had already been at work for 3 hours.  I got to the PP table and found this sitting next to my laptop:

What the heck happened?!  The guys immediately started in on me about leaving food in the office over the weekend and that they had walked in to a swarm of fruit flies that morning.  I was baffled.  What the heck?  It had only been a couple of days and they hadn’t even started turning before I left.  I apologized for the fruit flies and pondered out loud about what could have caused them to get so nasty in a matter of a couple of days… had Maintenance shut off the AC completely over the weekend?  Was there something toxic in the air that was slowly causing everything in the project room to shrivel like that (bahaha!)?  Etc, etc.  As I pondered, they just kept grouching at me… for a couple of hours!  Until they could no longer keep a straight face.

Apparently, after a lengthy prank brain-storming session with the team, one of the guys took the grapes home and tossed them into his food dehydrator… where they remained ALL WEEKEND until they were the shriveled mess pictured above.  So there were no fruit flies in the office that Monday morning, just some fruity guys waiting like kids on Christmas morning for me to walk in and see their prank!  As their faces turned red from laughing and their beady little eyes watered with tears of joy, I wanted to punch each and every one of them!!! 

Prank #2:

You’d think that following the grapes prank, I would be way more skeptical and on-guard with these guys, but I’m a trusting sort (read: SUCKER!).  So a few weeks later, when I was rubbing my suddenly-sticky hand lotion on my hands and arms, it didn’t occur to me to question their integrity again.  Even when I realized that papers were sticking to my freshly moisturized arms like glue, I just got up and went to wash it all off.  It was a generic brand, bought as an afterthought at a gas station, so I figured it had just gone bad.

I returned to the table and saw that one of the guys was using my lotion.  I warned him about the stickiness, but he just looked at me like I was crazy and said that it wasn’t sticky at all.  I grabbed it back from him, used it again, and he was right – it wasn’t sticky.  What the heck?  I glared at him and said “WHAT DID YOU DO?”.  He acted all offended and insisted that he hadn’t done anything… again, I’m a SUCKER!  I believed him and just pondered out loud that maybe it was just the first part of it in the tube that had dried out a bit and became sticky… or maybe when I had used my hairspray that morning, I got a coating on my arms and that mixed with the lotion became sticky.  [If only I could harness the power of my reasoning skills to solve all the world’s problems, right?]

A couple of days later – same thing happened… the first time I put it on, it was sticky.  I washed it off and then walked out of the restroom to someone else using it and hassling me that I was dreaming up the stickiness.  I seriously thought I was losing my mind.  After a few times of that happening, I finally tossed the tube of lotion in the trash.  The guys insisted that I was being wasteful and that I should keep it… that they could use it at the table if nothing else.  I shrugged and tossed out another “whatever, jackasses!”.

Shortly after that, the guys decided to break it to me (at a bonfire party for the whole project team) that the same guy who dehydrated my grapes sent his wife out on a major shopping expedition one day to find an exact duplicate of my lotion (how does this guy not have an action figure modeled after him?) … that they mixed sticky corn syrup into.  So… each morning before I got in, they would swap my good lotion out with this sticky version… wait for me to use it… then while I was gone to the restroom to wash it off, they would put the good lotion back and take turns hassling me about it not being sticky.  Un.freaking.believable that I actually trusted those guys again! 

The funny thing is that even though I felt like a complete moron both times and would have killed them with my eyes if I could, I couldn’t help but laugh and admire their creativity and dedication to their prankster craft.  I mean – those two events alone have provided endless laughter for those guys, their families, the entire project team, me, and all the friends and family that I’ve told.  That?  Is worth way more than me worrying about looking like a moron… or some wasted time, shriveled produce, ruined lotion, etc. 

So go ahead and prank me.  But you better make it good – because I’ve dealt with some of the best.

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