Friday, July 16, 2010

The Older Brother Who Cried Wolf

I heard a good "older brother" story today from one of my new coworkers.  I couldn't figure out a way to pass it off as my own and it's not quite innocent enough for me to have done since it involves lying for a long period of time.  So our story begins many years ago, when my coworker (let's call him "Todd" since that's what he thinks my name is) was helping plan his grandmother's 80th birthday party with the rest of his extended family.  And Todd's older brother came up with the idea to have the family collectively send her 80 birthday cards.  They all liked the idea and so they doled out how many each family would have to buy or make so that she would receive 80.

Now an important sidenote is that Todd's older brother is the family prankster.  So when something happens, most people are pretty sure they know who's behind it.  And Todd, growing up with that kind of prankster as a brother, knew this all too well.  So Todd went to a "novelty" store (when he told me, he used air quotes, so I figured I'd give the textual version of that for our purposes today) and picked out the most offensive card he could find.  He didn't sign it, but he stuffed it in an envelope and sent it to his grandmother.  And before he did that, he took an old return label of his brother's and reattached it seamlessly to the new envelope.

So on the day of her 80th birthday, Todd's grandmother opened all the cards.  And she came to an envelope with the address for Todd's older brother in the corner.  So she opened it (in front of everyone) only to find a card full of the most disturbing images and words that anyone could imagine (I'm not sparing details because it's too gross to tell or anything like that - it's just that Todd didn't go into detail on this part of the story).  She then got really embarrassed and stuffed the card under the couch.  But the funny part is that she took Todd's older brother aside after the festivities and scolded him for a good 15 minutes about how awful it was to embarrass her like that.  And Todd's older brother responded as you'd expect.  He insisted that he hadn't sent it (since he truthfully hadn't done it) and tried to convince her that someone else must have done it.  But the problem is that he was known for denying his pranks, so no one believed him on this occasion.

So Todd sat back and watched the mayhem, never telling the truth.  In fact, he only fessed up after his grandmother died.  That way if she came back as a ghost to haunt someone, she wouldn't have enough information to haunt Todd.  So let this be a lesson to all you pranksters out there.  Don't ever send a letter to your brother with a pre-printed return label on it.  Or whatever lesson you can come up with.

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