Now, I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was definitely a pain in my father’s ass. He didn’t really receive too many calls from coaches or angry teachers regarding my behavior outside of the house, but he had a lot to deal with when he walked in the door from work. While I really cannot express my exact motives, I know I did not mess with my father with intentions of making him angry or upset; I just liked messing with him.
I can’t remember when I first started messing with my father, but one of the earlier pranks went on for quite a while and became a joke among my dad’s friends at his expense. My father maintained properties and got pretty dirty doing it. Many times, he would come home covered in mud and developed a habit of stomping his boots in the alley on the way to our house. When I heard the stomps, I would run to the bathroom and fill up a bucket that my mother used to clean the shower. By the time my father got to the side door, I would dump the water on him from the second floor window above.
He would be shocked by the fact that he went from slightly sweaty to completely soaked in a split second. He would then become furious as he looked up and saw me laughing. I was too young and dumb to realize what I had done so I would think that I had achieved greatness and would be laughing so hard that my father couldn’t help but get over it and chuckle by the time that we came face-to-face.
Not only was it just inconvenient to get soaked as you finally get home after a long day at work, this recurring stunt turned into a source of embarrassment for my father. He would tell his friends at work about the situation and they couldn’t believe that I would do it to him every day. They thought he would get wise to my antics, but my father works hard. I spent some time working with him after college and I can attest to his work ethic. He works with my uncle and each pushes the other harder so, in hindsight, I can see why he may have not had me drenching him on his mind. His friends, however, would not accept any excuses and they let him have it.
Another prank that I enjoyed with my father was calling his name over the PA system at the grocery store. A friend worked the register and taught me how to page someone and I would enjoy walking away from my father only to call him up to customer service. The fun part for me was seeing his face as he walked toward the front looking confused. He was also a good sport about this one.
One thing that tested my father’s patience: prank calls. I would call as posing to be tenants with problems and my father would get all worked up because he had just driven quite a distance to get home and did not want to leave the house again. I would also leave messages on the machine that I would not be around to address. He would then have to act on them. He was not happy when he learned that the lady with the clogged toilet was really me.
There were a couple of times that my father did not laugh at my antics but he was always a pretty good sport. I would jump on him, throw snowballs at him made from ice in the seafood department at the supermarket and mess with him at the dinner table. He would always take it in stride and enjoy the jokes. I guess he knew that I was not being malicious and even though some jokes got out of hand, I was just trying to show some love in my own way. He really responded to me well and I hope I can be as good as a father to my son as my dad was to me.
While I hope that my son does not test me as often as I did my father, I think I will be able to handle some pranks and snowballs. I even look forward to it some. I just hope that I can have my father’s carefree attitude and just roll with those punches.
Or buckets of water.