On practical jokes.

Craig Ferguson and Lily Tomlin agree that to do a good practical joke one has to be quite intelligent and creative.  Naturally, I agree. I was on a dive in the Bahamas with ISAM, a medical dive group of which I was an original member/creator.  It was on the wreck of the Rhone…the wreck used in the movie “The Deep” with Jacqueline Bisset and the see thru white shirt.  We had made our first dive and were on the deck offloading nitrogen and having a box lunch of fried chicken.  This was during a time when BCs (bouyancy compensators) were just becoming the proper accessory to dive with.  They were usually around the neck like a life jacket and early on you filled them by blowing into a valved tube.  Later on, a direct valve from the regulator allowed you to push a button and allow air into the vest.  The early ones had no pockets but as they grew and developed, pockets and other devices came to be.  I was one of the few that had pockets in my BC at that time. Ed Berg M.D. was on the dive with his daughter and I had my youngest, January with me.  Ed asked me if I would please take some chicken parts in my BC pocket so his daughter could feed the fish on the next dive.  Naturally I agreed and he put some chicken pieces into my vest.   We were SO spoiled on this dive vacation, that after the first day, the dive masters memorized our equipment and we so coordinated that all we had to do was sit down on the back of the boat, slip on our fins, reach back and put our arms into the tank straps, buckle them in front, pull our mask down and drop into the water.  such management is very uncommon.  So, I slipped into the water and all of a sudden Yellowtailed Snappers, which are usually 14-16 inches long and about 2-3 pounds, are attacking me with a violent flurry.  I mean there were perhaps a hundred of them all diving in and hitting me and flashing around me.  I grabbed at the fish in my BC when suddenly I realized they were attacking me all over, not just at the vest.  I looked up and there were perhaps a dozen of my friends surrounding me about 10 ft away all laughing crazily underwater.  They had placed chicken pieces all over my tank and backback.  I think a few people would have drowned under such an experience but I can say it was probably the best practical joke I ever experienced.

Dad had a hunting camp near Mt Jewett Penna., and before age 16 (the last time I was there), we made frequent trips to it.  Dad had arranged the windows with huge shutters that bolted shut from the inside to prevent breakins.  As kids we discovered that mice would make nests in drawers and usually used the ticking from beds to build the nests.  We would play with the babies till we tired and then Dad would take care of them.  As the only boy, I was privileged to go to the hunting camps with Dad when we hunted.  Before I was old enough to hunt big game with them, I would stay with the camp cook and play.  The men would stay up late into the wee hours and then grab a couple hrs sleep before getting back up at about 6 am to dress for hunting.  The camp slept about 10.  I would usually go to sleep in a bed and Dad would crawl in with me much later.  One night I got the cool idea to take a comb and tie it to a string on one end and to my finger on the other end…placing the comb down at the bottom near where Dads feet would hit, knowing that he would rouse me when he came to bed.  When he did, I yanked on the comb a few times and Dad jumped out of bed and started beating the hell out of it with his fist screaming G.D mice.  It was a good one.

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