Tag Archives: harmless pranks

How Bad Is a Bad Cigar?

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I don’t know about you, but I need a laugh today. Big-time.

I think back some years to a mailing I got from my cigar vendor, offering every customer who wanted one a *free* bundle of [name withheld] cigars. “I don’t know what So-and-so was thinking when he bought these for us,” wrote the company president, “but these are the most awful cigars I ever tasted. I wouldn’t dare take money for them. All I want is to get them out of my warehouse and never see them again.”

Naturally, I ordered a free bundle. I mean, how bad could they be?

Like smoking chopped-up dried-out rubber bands wrapped in an old brown paper bag. “Awful” was putting it too mildly. If Jimmy Carter’s presidency could be turned into a cigar, it would taste like these.

Now I had a friend at the Y named Al, a kindly, cheerful, polite fellow who was a major cigar aficionado. A connoisseur. He liked to talk cigars. And so I told him, “Al, I recently sampled a new brand that I’d never heard of before; and I’ve gotta tell you, these are the best cigars I’ve ever had!” I praised them to the skies, whetting his appetite. “Tell you what I’ll do,” I said, “I’ll bring one for you the next time we’re here. That’ll be Wednesday. And Friday you can tell me how you liked it. I can’t wait to hear how much you enjoy it!”

This was duly done. I admit it was naughty. But it was a harmless prank–one puff, and he was going to get rid of that cigar.

So there we were, back at the Y. “Well?” I said, “Was that a great cigar, or was that a great cigar!”

Poor Al! You should’ve seen the expression on his face. He wanted to be polite. He wanted to be grateful. He probably thought I paid an arm and a leg for those horrible cigars. But he looked like someone trying to see the bright side of being hanged. He hemmed and hawed and just couldn’t come up with an answer. Finally I couldn’t hold back laughing anymore; and when I caught my breath, I let him in on the gag. He got a laugh out of it, too.

“That cigar was just putrid!” he said.

“That’s why they’re giving ’em away.”

“If he charged people for these,” Al said, “someone would hunt him down and shoot him.”


A Thanksgiving Prank

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This was many years ago, when my folks still lived in town, everyone was still alive, and we had Thanksgiving dinner over their house.

When Patty and I arrived, the family was gathered in the cellar, and on our way downstairs–my mother hadn’t seen me in a week or two–I stopped in the sitting room and picked up two throw pillows. I stuffed one under my shirt and the other into the seat of my pants.

We marched down the stairs, and when my mother looked up and first laid eyes on me… she screamed. “OMG! Oh! Oh!” She was appalled, couldn’t get the words out. How could I have gotten so corpulent, so soon?

Everybody else laughed themselves silly, and my mother was vastly relieved when I removed the two pillows.

Meanwhile, as you read this, we’re probably sitting down for dinner with my brother and sister. Pray we get home all right!

Fun times, those were. How I miss them. We are profoundly thankful for the wonderful family that God gave us.

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