First published in The Yellow Ham
Was “execute the perfect practical joke” on your bucket list? If so, congratulations! Head straight to ‘swimming with dolphins’ and pack your bags for Machu Picchu. Really, I’m honored you chose me as an integral part of reaching your goal. I’m only sorry you couldn’t be there for the hilarity that ensued when I opened that Styrofoam container and saw dried grapes dotting my “plain” bagels like a festive smattering of rat turds.
My first thought was: “Did I order a raisin bagel?” I knew I didn’t, of course, but I was SO tired from being up all night. Really, it took all my energy to drag myself to your neon-orange doorstep and order those plain bagels to-go. I wouldn’t have expended the effort, except the man holding my family hostage said if I fetched some plain bagels he would set us free. Tying us up had left him peckish. Then he rambled on, something about his mother. I thought it best not to probe, what with him already threatening to disembowel us with our own cutlery.
You know what he mentioned hating, besides his mother? RAISIN BAGELS. Which is what made it so deliciously ironic that you took it upon yourself to pack me bagels of that variety. Especially after I ordered: “Plain bagels, please.” Remember that part? Where I walked in the store and said, “Two bagels please, just plain old bagels, not toasted or anything, just plain with cream cheese on the side?” Of course you do. I said the word “plain” three times, so you were spot on giving me the raisin bagels. SO much funnier.
How many people are presented with the opportunity to achieve their goal, and actually reach up to snatch the brass ring the way you did? Bravo, my good lady. Slow clap. Even as I hear our intruder smashing through my grandmother’s china, plate by plate, in an irrational and surely meth-fueled rage, I have to be impressed with your quick thinking. When faced with the decision between giving me what I ordered, or mixing things up and creating a refreshing air of unpredictability, you took the path less traveled.
Maybe you were distracted by the note I slipped you? The one that said “help call police” written in my own blood? I think not. It’s been nearly an hour since then and still, no police. Clearly, your mind was on the task at hand: ridding yourself of two pesky raisin bagels. Maybe you’ll slip MY plain ones to someone who orders pumpernickel? I only wish I could stick myself to one of your booths and observe someone trying to order an “everything” bagel. Your chances for whimsy are almost endless, really, and we weren’t fond of the family goldfish anyway.
No, you were every bit the architect of this monkeyshine and it is impossible to think otherwise. You know what else is impossible? Picking raisins out of a bagel. Particularly, when a desperate man is waving a potato peeler in your face. No matter how frantically you pluck at those rubbery little hides, pesky raisins insist on leaving behind dark pits that can’t be mistaken for anything other than sad little raisin graves. Much like the ones our visitor had us dig in the backyard last night.
Moments ago, as I watched our assailant smear his face with my best makeup, preparing to play both the part of his mother and himself in a sure to be Tony-nominated one-man show, I just had to marvel at the ripening genius of your practical joke.
Want to know the best part? Our new friend shares your sense of humor! When I last saw him, he was gathering all the raisins I had so carefully dissected from the bagels and balancing them on my family’s heads. Apparently, if they let any fall to the ground, there will be “consequences.” I don’t know what that means, but I am confident it will be chock with side-splitting jocularity!
So, all that being said, I’m wondering…
Could I get a couple of plain bagels, cream cheese on the side?