Sunday, July 30, 2006

Smile, You're on Candid Camera

Practical jokes and I do not mix. I was reminded of this fact at Family Camp this past week (which, by the way, Family Camp is the reason for my week long hiatus from posting.) My cousin Jaena was in charge of the morning children's service for kids going into grades 1-5, and I was her faithful assistant (well, until Saturday morning when a nasty flu bug hit me, but that's a story I won't share in this post.) One particularly nice day, we decided to take the kids out for a friendly game of kickball - boys vs. girls. Instead of using the normal size rubber ball, however, we were using a giant sized rubber ball. The girls were up first, and we had a lot working against us. First, most of the girls were wearing flip flops - not good kickball shoes. Second, over half of the girls decided they would rather be cheerleaders than play. Third, first-fifth grade boys have a lot more kickball smarts than the girls. So after the first couple of girls kicked and were thrown out, Jaena had a great idea. When the pitcher rolled the ball, the next girl in line would run up and pretend like she was going to kick the ball, but instead, I would run up beside her and blast it over the boys, who were at this point crowding in really close since the girls weren't kicking it far. The plan was in place, and the ball was rolled. I ran up to that ball and BAM!!! kicked it as hard as I could, aiming to sail it over all the boys' heads. Well, the plan didn't work out quite as I had expected. My ball did sail over most heads, but it made a beeline for one of the first graders in the outfield (anyone know Rob and Melinda Tippey? It was their son) who didn't know whether to duck or try to catch it. He either tried to catch it or didn't have time to duck, because this huge giant ball slammed into his wide open arms and face and knocked him to the ground. Of course I didn't see that I had hurt the kid, so I am whoopin and hollerin the whole way to first until I look over and realize that he is not getting up. So I went from feeling pretty cool to pretty low, and I was praying that he did not have a broken nose. Thankfully, I think the wind was just knocked out of him, but needless to say, he did not want to participate in kickball the rest of the day.

My bad luck with practical jokes goes all the way back to kindergarten. In kindergarten, I was really shy, so shy, in fact, that my mom even called the mom of one of my classmates to ask if her daughter would be my friend (actually, this girl ended up being one of my best friends in junior high, and I still keep in touch with her.) I wasn't one to get in trouble, and I always made sure I followed the rules. One day our class was in line to get a drink. I had seen a classmate of mine on a different water break occasion push the head of the kid in front of him down into the water so he would get his face wet. Well, it looked like fun to me, so I thought I would give it a try. Cody Harris was in front of me and was slurping that water up, and I had my perfect chance. So I gave his head a good shove, and he ended up with a face full of water. Unfortunately, my teacher saw me do this devious act, and she didn't think it was funny, and I had to miss out on my drink - how mortifying!

In 7th grade, another practical joke mishap happened. The same kindergarten friend mentioned above (Melanie is her name) had a crush on a very cute 8th grade boy. So I wrote a love letter to this boy, really mushy and gushy and silly, and then I signed Melanie's name to it. Then Stephanie I don't remember her last name grabbed the note from me and actually delivered it to that boy! So I had to make things right by tracking this boy down and telling him what actually happened (these things are really big deals in junior high.)

My brother also had a bad experience with a practical joke. When he was in junior high, he and my dad decided to start lifting weights at the Indiana Wesleyan weight room to help him bulk up for tennis and basketball (if any of you know my brother, it's pretty funny to think about him bulked up.) They were at the leg press, and my dad asked my brother to put the pin in for him at a pretty heavy weight. My brother, trying to be funny, instead put the pin in the lightest weight possible - 10 lbs. My dad, expecting to really have to push to lift the weights, gave a big grunt and pushed with all of his might. His legs didn't meet the resistance they were expecting, and his feet slipped off the press, and the press came back and gashed him in both of his shins. I don't remember my dad and brother lifting weights too much after that.

When I was talking about what happened at kickball with my dad, he shared with me one of his practical joke mishaps as a kid. In fifth grade, he had a crush on this girl, and he was trying to impress her. So he stole her purse and hid it in the desk of the classroom troublemaker. When the girl realized her purse was missing, she told the teacher, and the whole class couldn't leave the room until the purse turned up. Well, my dad being the sly guy he is, suggested they look in the desk of this troublemaker - and there was the purse. Of course, that kid got in a lot of trouble due to my dad. My dad said several years later, he felt convicted about this joke, and he told himself that if he ever ran into that kid again, he would confess to what he did. Wouldn't you know it, he said three weeks later he ran into him at the mall, and he told the guy the truth (who, by the way, didn't even remember it happening.)

With all of these practical joke mishaps, I do not like witnessing them or being a part of them anymore. I even get uncomfortable sometimes watching Candid Camera because of how the joke is making the people feel. I've never seen Punk'd with Ashton Kutcher, but I'm sure I would feel the same way with that show, too. I even dislike April Fool's Day. So when it comes to practical jokes, count me out. I've had too many bad experiences.

Triathlon Training Update - The nasty flu bug mentioned above put a snag in the training. I was only able to do half the training on Saturday, and I had to take today off. I was pretty encouraged about the training before Saturday, though, as I was able to swim 800 yards in 30 minutes, and we only have to go 500 yards in the race, and I was able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes. Again, not that these are record breaking paces by any means (actually, to see me swim is pretty comical, and I would share more about it here, but I am pretty sure it will end up being a future post topic) but at least I am working up to what we will have to do to finish. The biking is what I am most concerned about, and both times I have done the bike training, I have had kids in a bike trailer, so I don't have a true picture yet of how fast I can go and for how long. I know with two kids in the back, I am pretty pooped after 30 minutes and 4 miles, so hopefully without the extra weight, I will be able to go longer and faster. Unfortunately, I was supposed to bike yesterday, and I missed, so I will have to make it up tomorrow. I remember in high school my mom and I biked 19 miles to Swayzee and back, and I could hardly walk the next three days.


Blogger Kelley said...

Ahh...Like balm to my soul! A new post! What you described here is exactly what would happen to me if I tried to pull a practical joke. People who play them on me are always very successful, but I somehow always have them blow up in my face. It was funny to read about though. I'm glad he wasn't hurt too badly. See you tonight!

July 31, 2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger Jim and Jaena said...

I am with you on not liking practical jokes (even though it was my idea to have you kick the ball Monday.) I was LOL so many times during this post...

I, too, do not seem to be able to pull off a joke. Maybe it's because I am always imagining what it is like to be the other person. Or beause I cannot bluff well and some type of deceit is often necessary to make a prank work.

Glad to read that you took yesterday off to recover from your illness. If you want to try a bike ride without the girls, just drop them off for an hour or so. :)

July 31, 2006 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there, now you have 3 comments. :)

July 31, 2006 8:36 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

YOU ARE AWESOME! I was really wanting to post tonight...thanks!!!

July 31, 2006 10:01 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home