April 1 is very near and dear to our hearts here at the Backyard Ale House. Why? Well there is a very funny practical joke that I played on my brother Patrick over 10 years ago in 2005.
It’s a tale that shows how quickly a practical joke can go from a good natured ribbing to outright absurd.
Over the winter of 2005, I lived in the same building with Patrick, he lived on the 3rd floor and I on the 2nd. I shared this apartment with my dog Tucker, a 100 lb sweet, goofy, lovable good natured but rambunctious 5 year old Golden Retriever that I rescued from a shelter in California.
Tucker had the very curious habit of walking and pooping at the same time and he would leave trails of dog dirt all over the place. Pat, being a neat and tidy fellow was fairly adamant that I keep the yard free of dog poo. Well it was a pretty cold, snowy winter here in Northeast PA and the dog dirt became encased in snow and ice making clean up somewhat difficult much to pats dismay.
Tucker was scared of loud noises and would run off given the chance whenever there was a fire cracker or thunder storm. I didn’t discover this trait until a few months after I adopted him when he spent two weeks on a rock the Pacific Ocean after he bolted from a 4th of July party, but we will save that for an entirely different story.
We had a break in the weather and on April 1 I was able to clean up all the tucker bombs spread over a quarter acre lot. Needless to say not cleaning the yard for 2 and a half months certainly lead to A LOT of poo. That afternoon on a beautiful spring day I filled two gargantuan shopping bags full. They were so heavy they needed to be double bagged.
While cleaning up, the thought occurred to me that it was April Fool’s Day and I had a bag full of dog shit that was just begging to be used in a prank. I figured the easy prey was my brother Patrick who had spent the whole winter reminding me to clean up the poo. He was working just up the street and I decided to walk up with one of the bags.
As I rounded the corner and peered into Patrick’s truck and I noticed it was unlocked and it was at that point I conjured the “joke.” I synched the bag nice and tight and placed it on the floor in the back seat of his truck.
I then walked into the house and informed Pat that…
“(A family Friend) had stopped by the office and dropped off a bag of coconut macaroons … I put them in the back seat of your truck.”
Pat thanked me, we chatted for a few minutes and then headed off to finish his work.
Now before I begin the telling the coup de gras portion of the story, I must inform you, not that I am a connoisseur of dog shit but little did I know that dog shit that sits out in the weather develops a patina of sorts. You really can’t detect any overt dog poo odors especially if its encased in double plastic shopping bag that has been synched tight. That was something I really didn’t count on when planning my quarry.
I assumed one of the two things happen, one he would either immediately run out to the truck and open the bag to find the surprise or climb in truck to head off to wherever he needed to and would then smell the odor emanating from the bag.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever predicted what would happen next. Pat went back to work and totally forgot about the “coconut macaroon” surprise that awaited him.
Later that evening he went out with his fiancé, Missy for a date night of dinner and drinks. It was a Friday night, it was a nice warm spring evening and they weren’t quite ready to pack it in for the evening. They decided to head for some ice cream and jumped on the highway to make their way.
It was at that point on the highway that Pat remembered the “macaroons” in the backseat. He reached behind and secured the bag in his hand plopped on the middle console of his truck. It was dark out and he was driving on the highway so he couldn’t quite see what was really in the bag.
After undoing the knot that I had synched up he plunged his hand into the bag to root for a hand full. Missy would later recall pat commenting…
“These must be homemade, they are sticking together.”
He finally realized what they were after pulling a “macaroon” out of the bag and bringing it up to face, getting a real good look while noticing a “blade of grass sticking out the side” …. Needless to say his reaction wasn’t slight.
The natural course of action is to jam on the breaks and pull off to the side of the road and Pat did just that. The thing is, is that he still had the bag of dog shit on the middle console of his truck and when he hit the brakes the whole bag dumped out into the front seat of the vehicle littering them and floor of the car with 2 month old dog shit.
To this very day, Pat still begrudges when I tell this story. I know one day I’ll have it coming. Sometimes a simple practical joke can escalate quickly.