Oh man, I never imagined it would turn out so badly. The best laid prank gone wrong.
It is Saturday morning and our cousin’s, Elaine, and Eric had come out to the farm with their parents to visit. In general Eric and I would pal around. I was the tomboy of the family. Eric was younger than I by a couple years. I held the hammer in our relationship. Sorry Eric. My older sister Cheryl, and younger sister Shannon would usually hang out with Elaine, who was the same age as myself.
On this particular day Gramps was tinkering over a motor in the garage. It was probably a push lawn mower or a rotor-tiller. Gramps was handy. He could fix anything.
His bulky form is bent low over the mechanical issue. His work pants are dusty and his farm cap sits tight over top of his balding head. His flaunted fanny seems a tempting target on this day of hatching ingenious plans.
I vaguely remember Elaine and my younger sister Shannon being present for roll call, but I lost my list, so Cheryl may have been there too. What I know for sure, is that my cousin Eric really should have known better than to listen to me— and the girly girls. Truth be told, it was probably all my fault. I love pranks. I grew up watching Wiley Coyote and Bugs Bunny running amok. I lay partial blame on them for my disastrous idea. Well, them, and Eric’s lack of restraint.
So, there we are, tucked behind a disc, parked in front of the garage spying on Gramps. We are just what every Grandpa has ever dreamed of having —conniving little grandkids.
We are all lined up in a row, as though we’re watching a show in a movie theatre.
I’m beside Eric plotting out a masterful prank.
I lean into Eric, “Hey Eric,” I said pointing to a pair of needle-nose pliers sitting on a rickety shelf by the door, “Why don’t you grab those pliers and give Gramps a little pinch on the bum?”
Eric looks at me with wide eyes. They look even larger behind his glasses. “No,” he replies shaking his head. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
Cheryl, Elaine and Shannon look in our direction hoping for more entertainment.
I give the girls a brief toss of my head, “What do you think? Do you think Eric should give Gramps a little tweak on the buttocks?”
They glance at each other and giggle. I don’t know if they’re laughing at the prank, or the word buttocks.
Shan covers her hand with her mouth and snickers, “It’d be like the cartoons.”
Great mind think alike.
We all stare at Eric.
He flushes red all the way up to the tops of his ears, “Ok. Fine.” He said, not sounding fine at all.
He crouches down and darts into the cluttered garage.
Gramps is focused on the task at hand.
All of us girls squat down even lower, like frogs in a pond, ready to take a dive if necessary.
Eric is on his tiptoes moving silently.
Gramps straightens up.
We hold our breath.
He puts his hands on his hips and leans his shoulders backwards stretching out his back.
Gramps grabs a different screwdriver and bends down continuing to work.
Eric flicks us a look with raised eyebrows.
I stand up and motion him forward nodding wildly.
He soundlessly picks up the pliers.
I feel the giggle building inside my belly. This is going to be sooo funny.
Cheryl, Shannon, Elaine, and I flash grins at each other.
Eric continues forward in stealth mode. He is within reaching distance of Gramps gluteus maximus.
I see Eric’s hand shaking as he moves in with the pliers. He has the needle nose pliers wide open.
WIDE OPEN. Suddenly, I realize this isn’t going to be funny at all.
Eric swoops in and clamps Gramps butt cheek. Eric’s bicep and forearm muscles flex and bulge. I didn’t even know Eric had muscles.
Gramps roars like a grizzly on a rampage, he swings around with his arm extended smacking into Eric.
Eric sails across the garage and clatters into a pile of stuff. It is hard metal stuff.
We scatter. We scuttle like cockroaches hearing the footsteps of a human.
As my feet fly down the road all I hear is Eric screaming and wailing, and Gramps yelling.
Then I hear other adult voices raised and angry. It is chaos.
We run to the hayloft in the barn, a group of fugitive females on the lamb. We contemplate our sins and eat candy. The general theme of the discussion is poor Eric. Poor sod.
Eric never did roll on us. I think the whole question of whose idea was it? Was never asked, due to the commotion that ensued after the heavy-handed nip.
I found out years later that Gramps whole buttock was black and blue for weeks. Poor Gramps. Damn conniving grandkids.
Who knew Eric had the hand of the Hulk?
I certainly didn’t.