Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Last night I stepped into the garage to throw something away, and heard the sound of my husband’s car pulling in the driveway. I had two options, step outside and greet him or lurk inside by the door and pop out and scare him when he opened the door.  I choose to scare him. surprised

Now, I don’t do this kind of stuff often. I am not a prankster, despite or possibly, because I grew up with a mother who put a rubber rat in my bed, at the foot under the covers, where I would be sure to touch it with my bare foot in the middle of the night. I now sleep with socks on and always pull all of my covers off the bed before I get in at night.

Several of my mother’s other successful pranks included hanging a “ghost” right inside the front door so it would drop down and startle me as I walked in the door and telling me, as a wee child, that the brown rug in the bathroom was made from dog fur. I believed her. In my defense, I was five. To this day, she still asks me if I have a dog fur rug in the bathroom.

So, no I don’t like pranks, but trying to scare someone really isn’t a prank-unless you do it ala the Scream franchise and then, perhaps you’ve gone too far.

I stood there bouncing up and down with anticipation/glee as I waited for my husband to open the door. He opened the door. I said boo. He recoiled. I practically fell down laughing. He called a not very nice name-which only made me cackle more.

My kids are always trying to sneak up on each other or me. They all react exactly as I did when they manage to scare someone. Why? What is so great about startling someone? And, why is that moment(s) before you spring the trap on your victim so awesome?

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10 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Great questions! I wonder why it is so appealing?

    Many, many long years ago I followed a suggestion in a “couples” book and hid in my husband’s closet when he came home. Unfortunately, his reaction to a naked lady wrapped in cellophane was not at all what the book predicted. 🙂

    He got me back sometime later when I was vacuuming and didn’t hear him come in. He touched me on the shoulder and I almost jumped out of my shoes.


  2. I guess that’s why we all love Halloween. As kids, we can’t wait to try out our costumes. As adults, we: “can’t wait to try out our costumes.” Lol. When a kid living in San Bernardino, California, my buddies and I on trick-or-treat night were going door-to-door, and we got your treatment. At one house decked out to be a morgue, the owner in costume appeared out of nowhere, shrieking, and we all were running for our lives. I tripped over a sprinkler, took a tumble and spilled all my candy. I think I was 10 or 11 at the time.


  3. I haven’t pranked anybody in a long time. Many years ago, I worked as administrative support at an outpatient mental health clinic, and my boss and I used to get a huge kick out of pulling pranks on one of the therapists. He was always playing jokes on us, so we had to get him back. Fun post, Jennifer!


  4. I have never been one to pull pranks or scare folks. It just doesn’t seem to be in my DNA, but it never stopped me from laughing when it does happen. Interesting question and fascinating post. Doris


  5. I have never like playing pranks on people, maybe because as I descended a basement stairway, scared of the dark, my brother was behind the stairway and reached through the steps and grabbed my ankles. I was maybe six or seven. I wonder now why I didn’t pitch headfirst down the stairs the rest of the way. But I will never forget the terror. I don’t even like watching “Punked”. I’m not sure why, but like Doris, I don’t think it’s in my DNA. I can understand you wanting to try it however. And your mother must have made life exciting! Neva


  6. I’m like Doris — not a prankster nor one to try to scare others. Somebody did that to me while hiking in grizzly bear country 25+ years ago — I don’t hike in grizzly bear country anymore! (I drive through Yellowstone/Glacier in my car!!). Good gotta on your hubby, Jennifer!


  7. Wish I’d been there, Jennifer. I don’t often do pranks either but sometimes they can be fun. The anticipation gets to you just before the moment of springing the prak and I think it’s the all that tension of you saying to yourself ‘ it it now?’ or ‘If I don’t act will the moment be gone?’.


  8. I am not one to pull pranks either. I simply can’t keep a straight face. But I am not above paying back hubby when he pulls a prank on me. For years we had a black rubber snake that showed up in various places. Then one afternoon my husband went into the pantry and turned on the light. A snake fell to the floor in front of him. Thinking it was the famous rubber snake he bent down to pick it up, then it moved. The rubber snake disappeared after that but our habit of pranks and paybacks continues.


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