Today is Father’s Day and thinking of my father I remember, among many things, the wonderful pranks he loved to play.
When my sister and I were young (ages concealed so as not to incriminate) we seemed to have trouble remembering to flush the toilet. Of course, this could have been my sister…. In an effort to remedy this social faux pas on our part, my dad announced that if we forgot to flush the toilet ONE MORE TIME we would have to drink the contents of the toilet.
A few mornings later, our father entered our shared bedroom to wake us up. He was holding two glasses of urine colored liquid in his hands. In a voice which was dead serious, he reminded us of his earlier ultimatum. “I warned you girls…”
He gave each of us a glass and told us to “Drink.” As I reluctantly raised the glass to my lips, still sitting in my twin bed, I felt overwhelming relief when my nose detected the smell of apple juice. I don’t recall if our flushing skills improved, but I’ve never looked at apple juice in the same way since.
On another occasion the prank was on my mother. In private, she had commented to my father on the length of time it took him to pee. So a few days later, probably after my sister and I were well asleep, he filled a large jug with water and sloooowly poured it into the toilet within hearing range of my mother. She must have thought that he had the bladder of an elephant.
Lest one think that all of his pranks were toilet based, he chose a national park for another joke. He took a container of cookies from our camping store and secreted it in a trashcan. A few minutes later, as he and my mother walked by the trashcan, he lifted the lid, grabbed the cookies and began eating. My horrified mother could only shout “OH Al!”
My mother had quite a few female friends who were rather uptight and conservative. Many were unmarried schoolteachers. My dad liked to shake them up a bit.
When I was an adult and living far away, one of my mother’s friends invited her to an all woman party. By this time my father was retired and had plenty of time on his hands to concoct crazy ideas. He went to the Goodwill and bought a most unattractive dress, Queen Elizabeth style handbag and wig. On the day of the party, he stuffed his “front” low and full in a way reminiscent of Eleanor Roosevelt or British matrons in black and white movies. He put on the wig, a dab of lipstick and off my parents drove to Glendale and the party. Alfreda Bagley was a huge success.
For my mother’s 70th birthday, my son dressed up as Alfred Bagley Junior. The pranks continue.