A Boatload of Pranks!
April Fools Day is almost over, and so far I’ve avoided any cruel jokes. However, I did think I was getting punk’d twice on our recent vacation. I kept looking for the hidden camera, or Ashton Kutcher and Allen Funt to show up.
Michelle and I took our youngest son, Tommy, on a spring break cruise for his high school senior trip (along with about a dozen other seniors and a few of their parents). We’ve discovered that cruising is a great way to travel with teenagers. They don’t always want to be seen with you, and vice versa. But you kind of always know where they are … somewhere on the big ship. Perfect! Dinner at 8. See you then. That’s all we ask.
“Hair” today, gone tomorrow!
The day before we got off the ship, I decided to get a haircut. “Bad idea,” cautioned one of my friends. “You never know how it’ll turn out. Best to wait until you get home.” I was fully aware that a bad cut wouldn’t be very good for my job. “No problem,” I told him. “I’ll be very careful to tell the ‘stylist’ what I want.” Which, of course, is exactly what I did. Unfortunately he didn’t listen. Or couldn’t understand. He was from the Philippines or Russia or possibly Mars. Someplace like that.
Before I could yell out “Nyet!” he had buzzed the back of my head. Then the sides, and top. “You like?” he asked. What could I say? I guess I should’ve looked at his haircut first. Mine turned out looking just like it. And no, Ashton Kutcher didn’t show up in a hair stylist cape.
Stranded at sea
I also thought I was being fooled on the last day of our cruise. You may have read or seen on TV that an oil barge collided with a ship in Galveston Bay, spewing a bunch of fuel into the bay. The accident shut down the Houston Ship Channel and stranded some 100 vessels at sea, including several cruise ships. One was ours. So we spent nearly an extra day stranded at sea, just a few miles off shore.
Pennies from heaven
The weather was foggy and cold. So with nothing to do while we waited to dock, my wife sat down in the casino, at the penny slot machine. We don’t normally gamble. We used to live in Vegas. There’s a good reason why the resorts there are so big and beautiful and expensive. They build them with the money you lose. It’s as simple as that. So Michelle played the pennies, where ten bucks can buy you 30 minutes of cheap, mindless entertainment. But less than five minutes into our thousand pennies, the machine paused, and began making funny noises. I’ve heard those noises before in Vegas. We couldn’t quite understand the strange order of symbols it displayed, but we knew it meant something out of the norm.
Here’s how our conversation went at that point:
- Her: What’s going on?
- Me: I don’t know.
- Her: I can’t read those numbers on the bottom (of the machine).
- Me: Let’s see. There’s a 2, a 5, and a lot of zeros.
- Her: What’s that mean?
- Me: Beats me (as I tried to figure out where the comma and period was in that number).
You would’ve thought we’d be more experienced with something like this being from Vegas. Under the number, it said “Please see an attendant”. Yeah, sure. And that attendant would look a lot like Candid Camera’s Allen Funt (if he was still alive). But he didn’t, and Michelle was told she’d just won the $25,000 jackpot. Not bad on just a few pennies.
As of today, that big, fat, fake check is the closest we’ve come to seeing the money. They say it’s in the mail. So we could still be getting punk’d. Oh well, at least my hair will grow back.