You'd think that if there was one place that would be off limits to pranksters, it would the church and the property of attendees. But, when we were growing up, so many jokes and pranks had been played on our own family, that it was paramount that the fun be shared.
When preaching was over, and while all the sinners were seeking to get their soul saved, some of the kids what could disappear from the watchful eye of parents, or what didn't have parents attending there, would be free to indulge themselves of funnies on the vehicles driven by the attendees inside.
One of the favorite pranks was to put a 'whistling pete whistle bomb on someone's car. While this didn't happen very often because those things were expensive to a kid! Heck, those things could cost as high as 25¢!
That was a quarter of a weeks work, and for a kid, to buy something just to watch it go up in smoke was excessive, to say the least. While it was always funny to the group non-chalantly standing around waiting for the event, the group usually never pitched in and helped with the finances!
I would find out in later years they same thing would happen when the same kind of crowd would want to ride in your car while you hauled them around for free. My buddy finally fixed the situation by putting a sign on the dash that read "This car runs on gas . . . not friendship!
But the incident itself was prime! Just imagine the look on someones face when they started their car and suddenly smoke starts coming from everywhere! Then the very loud whistle goes off and finishes with a huge "BANG".
The offendee soon realizes he was the proud recipient of a whistling pete whistle bomb. And there wasn't a whole lot to do but to wave to the offendor, back out without showing your wrath (which was also a big let down), and drive off slowly.
The whole incident would start when the perpetrator initiated the sequence by simply raising the hood and simply hooked up the bomb to one of the spark plug wires. The entire engine compartment was easily accessible because on the older cars you didn't find a hood latch locked inside and anyone could raise the hood.
But, sometimes the incident would backfire! More than once a car has been burned significantly when the resulting powder flash bang at the end ignited a gasoline leak on the engine. So, those, no matter how much fun, were frowned upon.
Then, there's the old hydraulic jack trick. Someone would put a bottle jack under one wheel of the rea rend, lifting it off the ground just enough to let the wheel spin, preventing the vehicle from moving.
People get in expecting their car to take off as usual, but it won't move. They think their car is torn up, and some have even had to bum a ride home, only to find the real problem later making them feel and look like a real fool.
Or, there's the fun of putting watermelon rinds under the rear wheels. The person sometimes never notice a thing, and sometimes they do, but, the only recourse is to either spin on the rinds till the wheels touch the ground, or jack up the car and remove them. But, the car will sling watermelon juice everywhere! It's maddening . . . and hilarious!
But, I guess the best prank I remember was played on a cousin of mine, married a couple of years with a baby got a prank pulled on them.
Someone fixed up a diaper with some refried beans, mustard, and other choice matter resembling what can be found in a used diaper. I never was a used diaper inspector, but I still have a purty good mental picture of the contents, but I don't know what all condiments are required to make it look real . . .
The perpetrator placed the diaper in a box in the front seat, (nobody locked their cars back then . . . or their house niether for that matter), where it was sure to be found, and attached a poem that went like this:
Roses are red,
violets are blue.
This is what little babies,
do - do!
Well, my cousin and his wife were real good sports about the whole matter, and he merely picked the offending apparatus up, tossed it in the back end of his pickup, got back in and drove off.
What a let down! All the co-conspiritors were laughing their heads off until he cooly and calmly took control of the matter. Talking about a bubble buster! What kind of a spoil sport is that? Amazingly, though, the joke was not over.
Remember, my cousin is a Shelton! And Sheltons don't always get angry . . . but they do get even! And while the egg was on his face for a while, it would soon be on the face of the perpetrators! The problem was not getting even so much, but getting even with the right person!
And that's what would happen! So, the problem was learning the identity of the brain behind the scheme.
A couple of weeks went by and Keith had went along as if nothing had happened. Even when questioned, he just mostly ignored the jibs and jabs, quips and relentless pokes of 'what was in the diaper . . .'
Then, the wrong thing happened; someone hinted at who had actually instigated the whole matter from the get-go. Finally the time had come for him to exact revenge. He took one of his baby's real diapers, full of real . . . uh, well . . ., diaper stuff, placed in the car of the real perpetrator and attached this little note:
Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Baby wants you to have,
some of his do - do!