The Saturday Morning Post© 2017

“Turnabout is fair play.”
Irish Proverb

Prank Calls

Way before caller ID, a kid could while away the hours with relative impunity making prank calls from his parents’ home landline. Now, I know few of my readers ever did such things, but my friends and I did. And my cousin Stephen and I had a few favorite routines.

We liked to call any random number and ask for Dave. Of course, there would be no Dave there. We would take turns calling the same number over the course of a half hour or so and ask for Dave each time. Sometimes, we would disguise our voices. We always ended the series with a final call, in which one of us would identify ourselves as Dave and ask if we had any messages. Yes, hilariously funny, or at least our ten-year-old minds thought so.

We called a random number one day, and a woman answered who somehow thought my cousin Stephen was her son. We couldn’t believe she was falling for this, as Stephen asked her what was for dinner, and she wanted to know what time he would be home, etc.

We called her whenever we made our series of prank calls, and she always thought that Stephen was her son. Her number was easy to remember, as it was just one digit off my home phone number. They were quite chatty together. It wasn’t ’til years later that we realized that she was the one having us on.

But the prank phone call I remember best was when we called the local liquor store. I’m sure that we didn’t ask the man who answered if they had Prince Albert in the can. But whatever we said made him say the words I don’t think I will ever forget.

He simply said, “Officer, this is the call I was telling you about.”

That scared us so badly that we slammed the phone down, and I’m pretty sure we hid under the bed for a while too. And that was the abrupt and heart-pounding finale to our prank phone calls.

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