Practical Joke

by Jim Farrar (1977)

First of all, the weekend was boring. Not being the type of person who is into drugs, and having already hand-washed my Donny and Marie boxer shorts earlier in the day, I found myself all alone and without a thing to do last Saturday night. It was at that time that I was hit by a sudden burst of creative inspiration, the immediate effect of which was to knock me flat on my ass.

Getting up, I wandered over to my book shelf, dug out a very dusty copy of 76-77 student directory, opened it, and then wrote down the very first number that I saw. I then dialed that number and played radio announcer for a spell. It sounded something like this:

HIM Hello?

ME Hello. This is Rockin’ Bob at KOLD Radio. Is this 385-3729?

HIM Uh....yeah. Yeah, it is.

ME Great! Are you listening to us right now?

HIM Shit. (Slight pause) Do you know what time it is? It’s late...very night. You woke me up.

ME Uh...sir, you’re on the air right now...

HIM I am...?

ME...are you listening to our station at the moment?

HIM No. No, I’m not.

ME Awwww....that’s too bad. If you had said yes, and would have been able to identify this hour’s mystery animal, you would’ve received a $125 check, courtesy of all your friends here at KOLD Radio.

HIM Friends?

ME As it is, sir, we will be sending you a coupon good for one free barrel of Colonel Sanders’ good ol’ Kentucky Fried Chicken. Is that fair enough, sir?

HIM Sure...sure it is. Uh, I off the air right now?

ME Yes sir, you are.

HIM Good. (Pause) About my language. I’m sorry I said that word. I didn’t know I was on the air.

ME Oh, that’s all right, buddy. You never were on the air in the first place.

HIM What?

ME I said you were never on the air in the first place.

HIM I don’t get it.

ME Look, I’m sorry about this. You’ve just been made the victim of a practical joke...well, a class assignment, actually. I’m not a DJ and there’s no such thing as KOLD least to my knowledge.

HIM You mean I don’t get a free bucket of chicken?

ME I’m afraid not. (Pause) Like I said, this was kind of an assignment. I was supposed to call up a complete stranger and then start some kind of a conversation with him.

HIM Bullshit.

ME It’s true.

HIM Yeah...right. Pack it in your ass, mister. I hope you get run over by a truck tomorrow. (hangs up)

Well...screw ‘em if he can’t take a joke.

Back to Jim's Writing