Sunday, April 19, 2015

Watch Your Back!

Last night we had a bit of a scare. Kateri and Cyprian came running into the room shouting,

"I think there's something wrong with Cyprian's nose!"

Cyprian had his hands covering his nose and half his face. I didn't see any blood, so at first was not to concerned. Cyprian asked in a muffled voice,

"Does this mean there's something wrong with my nose? Is it supposed to sound like this?"

He pushed with his hands, moving his nose side to side. As he did there was a disgusting stomach turning crunching/grinding sound.

Before we could even try assessing his injury they both burst out laughing  and showed us the uncooked spaghetti noodles they were crunching with their teeth.

Apparently they had spent some time researching  practical jokes and were excited to 'share' the fun.

 Later, it was not so fun, when Pippin 'splashed' an empty cup on Audrey, who was heroically eating her breakfast while holding Fi, to whom practical jokes are a way of life, and taking advantage of Audrey's temporary distraction, reached out, grabbed the bowl of cereal, and deposited it and its contents on the floor.

So then we had a little talk about what kind, and when jokes are funny. And when they are not. And unintended consequences and who gets to clean up the mess. As far as practical jokes go, so far they are pretty harmless. Growing up with 5 brothers, and 3 sisters, we had our fair share of practical jokes. It seemed sometimes like we were a frat house and hazing was just a way of life.  It wasn't surprising when you went to get in your freshly run bath only to find out someone had put dishsoap in the running water and you now had a huge bubble bath that  made you smell like freshly scrubbed dishes. I think I used Dawn. And I'm pretty sure my mom was not pleased. Nor was my brother, the intending bather.

But that was not as bad as the times when someone would catch you while you were at your most vulnerable, after you had already started your bathing routine. We only had one bathroom so there was no monopolizing it just so  You could relax in your shower. That's what curtains were for. 

There you were, enjoying your nice shower. The sounds of the water drowning out the noise of the rest of the household, and unbeknownst to you, the sound of someone opening the bathroom door. You were only alerted to the presence of an intruder when the Sneaker, who had thoughtfully filled a large pitcher with ice water,  dumped the contents over the shower rod and all down your exposed and  shivering body, turning your warm shower  into an ice bath. Then before leaving, Sneaker would flush the toilet  to take up all the cold water and run. Leaving you with   streams of scalding   water blasting out the shower head.

Our pranks came in waves, some favorites lasting longer than others. I think the longest reigning and most popular prank was creating short circuits by secretly wiring appliance plugs. The shower tricks we kept to the kid crowd, but this was one the whole family, or even an uninitiated guest, could participate in. We'd get some thin copper wire and wrap it around the prongs of an electrical cord, creating a short circuit when someone was not on their guard  and plugged in whatever appliance they needed without first checking for booby traps. It was great because you could set a trap and no one would know  by whom or when it would be set off. Even if you were still in bed, you could  enjoy the loud pop, the surprised #$%^*!! And say to yourself,

"Ooh. Somebody's about to grind coffee."

And on a great morning you'd get to hear a second *zap* meaning they assumed there was only one rigged plug. And they were about to turn on the coffee maker.

All the outlet covers sported residual black smudges. Evidence of someone's carelessness. And sometimes the victim's fingers, if we were really lucky.

 There really wasn't much damage done, mostly just to peoples' nerves. Nowadays, with all the safety features, such a trick would flip a breaker you'd have to go out to the garage  to reset it and it would be a pain, so I don't recommend it. Just last month, Cyril decided to connect a bunch of small magnets he gathered from a broken toy, and then casually go around testing how strong it was. Oh look, it can pick up the entire metal napkin basket! That's pretty strong. He tested a few appliances for magnetic materials. Oh look, the screws on the switch plate. Maybe it will stick!

Immediately the whole kitchen went dark.

I sent him out to the fuse box. No matter how many times we turned it all the way off and back the breaker would not stay on. So I hung up some Christmas lights and we waited for Shane to investigate when he got home. It was a three switch plate so he replaced the one Cyril had stuck the magnet to. No dice. In the end he had to replace all three. So Shane is not a huge fan of that trick, though he did like the twinkle lights, which are still up and add a festive feel to the whole room.

As science experiments have been at a minimum this year I'm going to put the whole experience in the educational department. And hope that is it for the year.

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