Prank the Pain.

Posted: October 26, 2018 in Postcards from Cancerland.

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Video might have killed the radio star, but caller ID killed the prank call.

There was a golden time when kids could grab their olive green rotary phones and spend their afternoons prank calling complete strangers.
It was AWESOME!
We would get off the school bus, grab a snack, ignore our homework, get the phone book (another cherished relic of the past), and start dialing innocent individuals and businesses.
It was a great way to shake off some of the pain of puberty. After navigating the social jungle of middle school, we just needed some mischief.
We stuck to the classics:
“Is your refrigerator running?”
“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” (Best delivered to a retail establishment).
Or we would pretend that we were from the phone company and try to get people to take their phone apart.
We also, for some unexplainable reason, thought it was totally hilarious to call someone three or four times and say: “is John there?” Then call back and say: “this is John, has anyone called for me?”
We were completely unoriginal, but we had fun.
It was mostly harmless, except every once in a while you would encounter someone with some anger issues.
That actually made it even more fun! You felt really edgy and extreme if the person on the other end started cussing or threatening you.
Back then phones were big and clunky and immobile.
We used them for one thing…talking.
We couldn’t text, make or watch videos, play games, navigate trips, listen to music, or carry them everywhere.
If we wanted to have fun with a phone, we had to create it!
We had to make our own mischief!
That is actually an important life skill.
Sometimes life hurts.
You need to learn how to prank the pain.
Holy mischief is a powerful weapon.
Bullies hate to be laughed at.
Laughter can let the light in.
Here’s an example…
This sounds crazy, but one of the hardest times of my life was also one of the most tangibly joyful.
When my Dad passed away, he was unconscious in the hospital for eight days before he moved on to heaven.
During that time our family came together in a stuffy waiting room.
We cried, we hugged each other, we remembered, we cried some more.
But…
we also laughed, we shared old stories about Dad that gave us guts full of fresh laughter.
AND…
we pulled pranks on each other.
My Uncle Billy (who is a lifelong practitioner of the prank), my brother and I had a remote control fart machine that we used on unsuspecting family members and visitors.
My Mom’s Pastor was particularly fun to prank. Then we took the fart machine on an elevator and made …umm…new friends.
We got one poor young couple who were taking their newborn baby home…they were videotaping the whole thing, we provided the sound effects.
This probably sounds really strange if you haven’t walked through it.
But, We were able to laugh in the worst of times because we were able to hope.
We had the hope of heaven…of family reunions.
I had the hope that my earthly father was safe in the arms of my Heavenly Father.
We had the hope of a God, whose love is stronger than whatever opponent is staring us down.
Joy is born of hope.
Holy mischief is born of joy.
Sometimes life hurts.
Sometimes life is anything but funny.
It’s clunky and immobile.
It only comes in olive green.
You’ve got to dig deep and grab some hope.
Fight with joy.
Make some mischief!
Prank the pain!!

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