Wednesday, June 29, 2005

April Fool’s Day From Hell!

This was kind of a request – and is a bit off as far as the timing – but it’s funny (in my mind) nonetheless!

I’m an April Fool’s Day kind of guy. I always enjoyed the day, even though I would fall for my dad’s “Did you hear the Broncos traded Elway” joke every dang year! I guess it’s his fault that I’m always looking to get someone. Then I got married – to a girl that absolutely, POSITIVELY DESPISES practical jokes! Sure, I would play something silly on her each year – put a rubber band on the sprayer for the faucet – nothing that would get her too upset. You see, her main complaint about practical jokes is that they are intended to make the joker feel superior to the jokee, and she doesn’t like for people to make her feel stupid. Who does? Anyway, here’s the story of the last April Fool’s Day joke I ever played on my wife. Because I can’t afford to give her half my shit!

A quick way to feel better about yourself is to watch daytime talk shows when you are at home sick during the week, or unemployed. A few years ago, one could watch Rikki Lake parading extremely overweight 12-year-old girls wearing next to nothing as their mother’s would shake their heads on shows titled, “My Pre-Teen Daughter Dresses Like a Ho!” You could also catch a good Jenny Jones episode with over-the-top bratty kids being screamed at by a drill sergeant! Now, you can catch Maury for a good look at some skanky slut that has no clue who the father of her child is. It just makes me feel so much better about myself!

However, at the peak of it all was Springer. Jerry Springer was the most outrageous show in the late 90’s/early 00’s. There was always fighting and cursing and clothing falling or ripping off – it was a masterpiece of trailer trash that we had not seen before, and may never witness again. Springer was the king of daytime talk shows and you couldn’t help but watch it.

About 3 years ago I was stuck in the car business. I was the Internet Sales Manager for a Subaru dealer in Thornton, CO (talk about trailerville). Because dealers are open on Saturday, sales people usually had a day off during the week. I liked to have Wednesday off because it broke up the week nicely. I would sleep in a little, take the dog for a walk, and then settle in to crappy TV for the day. And that’s when it hit me!

I went in to work the next day and hit the Springer web site. I right-clicked on the logo and saved it as the header on a Word document. I took the address and toll-free number for the show and stuck it in as the footer. Suddenly, I had Jerry Springer letterhead! I then wrote the following letter (out of love – I swear!):

Dear Katy,

Congratulations! You’ve been invited to be a guest on the world famous Jerry Springer Show!

Someone you know is scheduled to appear on our show and would like you to be a guest based on the subject of the day. However, we can’t tell you who, or what the show is about. As you know, the Jerry Springer Show thrives on outrageousness and keeping little secrets always makes for the best entertainment.


I figured this was vague enough that her mind would start wandering, but it looked authentic enough that she’d question it just a little. I included a toll-free number that went directly to my desk. With caller ID, I would know it was her calling! I also included flight arrangements for when she was coming to Chicago for taping and going back home. The letter urged her to call the number to confirm everything. A made-up producer of the show signed the letter, thanks to a coworker.

I went online and found a disclaimer to a rock-climbing club that mentioned “falling debris, flying objects, accidental death” – I changed a few words to fit the show and stuck it on letterhead as well. The letter requested she read and sign the disclaimer before calling the number listed.

After the paperwork was set, I headed to our shipping department. It seems they could change the return address on anything we sent out! So, I had them key in the Springer address in the “from” section, and my home address with my wife’s name in the “to” section. The letter was actually sent via FedEx and arrived at our door on April 1!

When I got home on the first, the letter had not arrived. I was giddy waiting for the thing to go down! I was so proud of this joke and myself – I felt this was one of my most creative moments ever! I could hardly wait!

Katy needed to run to the grocery store for something. As she walked out the door, a FedEx truck pulled up in front of the house. She greeted the guy and took the letter back into the house. Here’s the conversation that took place:

Katy: It says it’s from the Jerry Springer show in Chicago.

Pat: You’re kidding? (Muffled chuckle)

Katy: Uh, NO! That’s what it says.

Pat: That’s odd. Are you going to open it? (Looking away so I wouldn’t laugh)


She opened the letter and read it to herself. Then she looked at the disclaimer for a few seconds. Meanwhile, I’m freakin’ DYING!

Pat: What does it say? (Snort!)

Katy: (Paraphrases the letter) This has got to be some kind of joke!

Pat: Let me see. (Seriously, I have no idea how I’m not rolling on the floor here!)

Katy: Who would… I mean, I don’t know anyone that… This has got to be a joke! (I swear, she laughed just a little here – she saw the humor for a split second!)

Pat: So do you know anyone that would do this to you? (I walked away because I started to lose it. Now I was caught!)

Katy: Did YOU do this? You know how I hate practical jokes! You’re an asshole!


She then stormed out to the car and went to the store. I tried to chase her, but she almost ran over my foot. It probably didn’t help that I was laughing so hard, but DAMMIT it was the best practical joke I have ever pulled off!

We talked things through that night and she settled down a little. She did admit it was funny, but reemphasized how much she hates practical jokes. I have never played a joke on her again since that day.

However, I have used this joke every year for the last 3 years and it has gone really well. It doesn’t hurt that I keep changing jobs to find new victims, as much as I hate moving around. I think the key is to select the right victim – someone that has a great sense of humor and likes being the center of attention. These people totally play it up and show it off to everyone.

I will not use it again, but I do have it saved. So, if you would like the general copy and text, send me an email at patangello@comcast.net and I’d be happy to forward the docs to you!

BTW, I love my wife!

posted by Pat Angello, 7:08 PM | link | 2 comments

Friday, June 10, 2005

More Reality TV Hell

OK, so last night I turned on teh TV and saw a show called "Hit Me Baby One More Time". Bad enough that it is the title of a Brittney Spears song but the premise, or the raison d'etre of this show is to have one-hit wonders has-beens play their famous song for an audience and then play a contemporary song. As an example Tommy TuTone of 867-5309 fame came on, played their ditty and then came back and played a Blink 182 song. In between the oldies and the cover tunes was a mini bio of what the band is up to now.

On top of the on screen trainwreck the sound was horrible. The audience cheers and applause was SO MUCH LOUDER than most anything else. My guess is that they turned up that channel to disguise the sounds coming off the bandstand.

The victims last night were The Knack ("My Sharona"), Tommy TuTone (867-5309), Haddaway ("What is Love"), The Motels ("Only the Loney") and everybody's favorite washed-up, "hey it was my label's decision, that wasn't the real me"rapper Vanilla Ice ("Ice Ice Baby"). Both Jeannine and I watched it for a little while and then couldn't take it any longer. We felt so sorry for these guys trying to regain some of the past glory. One dude from Tommy TuTone came out in leather pants. Another guy showed up in a fashionable berret and sunglasses. It was just so sad. And the audience, when the cameras panned to it, looked far too young to have ever enjoyed those songs in their original glory. My guess is that if you asked them if they had any 45s they'd tell you that they don't have a pistol permit.

What is the point of this post? Not sure. But last week Loverboy was on. I missed it. Damn.

posted by MGSoden, 2:56 PM | link | 1 comments