Day 130, Living life on my terms.
Almost all of the tricks either took place at, or centered around the fire hall. You see, in our free time, firemen have always been notorious pranksters.
I can remember being at the hall one nice spring afternoon when Paul Gaines was walking across the parking lot toward the hall. Our friend Bruce Setzer told a group of us to just play along as he went into the radio room and pretended to be taking an emergency call. With the phone up to his ear he hollered out the window toward Paul; “it’s a barn fire Paul, a barn fire!” Paul started running and his pants started falling all of the way into the hall and to his locker. He kicked off his shoes and started to put on all of his gear. It wasn’t until he went to get on the first due truck that he realized that everyone was laughing and not getting dressed.
Of course firemen’s weddings are a virtual breeding ground for pranks. I was best man for a friend of mine named Mark, and thought I should do something fun for his wedding. After a quick trip to Spencer’s Gift store at the Arnot Ogden Mall and $150 being spent, I had the perfect gift. I purchased a whole array of tools, toys, lotions, potions, and books to make a love basket for the newlywed’s first night. Since I was working at Erway’s, I was able to put it all together in a shrink wrap basket just like the holiday fruit baskets. A friend placed the basket in the back seat of the getaway car at the church; I was set to drive the bride and groom to their reception. As Mark’s new wife climbed into the car she exclaimed; “look Mark, someone got us a fruit basket!” I replied to her; “you better take a second look at that!” Their reaction was priceless. I think my favorite thing I found for them was a tattoo that would be applied to a special place and was shaped like a heart that had the word cupid on it. But when the tattoo was stretched or elongated as it were, it read; “cut the crap and kiss me stupid!”
Now, thinking about shrink wrap. The Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department takes their shrink wrapping very seriously. At most weddings, you will find the firefighter groomsmen applying the wrap to the newlywed’s car. They have trained tirelessly for years to perfect this practice, not just going around the car, but making sure to go over and under many times as well. The only thing left at the end is to put a big red bow on the front of the vehicle.
Early experimentation with the shrink wrap had provided us with an advanced understanding of the capabilities of our plastic roll. One of our friends, Pope, had a beautiful 4x4 truck that he had left parked about three or four feet away from a telephone pole. We thought it would be fun to wrap his truck to the pole as well.
Now seeing as this was a very warm and sunny day, the shrink wrap started to “work” and before Tim found his truck, it had shrunk enough to pull the truck right up against the pole. Luckily, no damage was done, but we did learn something about the power of physics.
There was one wedding where a few of us…, ok a bunch of us, not only wrapped the groom’s (Jim) truck but we also filled it up with crinkled newspapers. It was a true work of art. Later that night, Jim and his wife had a room at the West Gate Inn while the rest of us moved our party to a friend’s house just a short click down the road. As we laughed and replayed the story amongst ourselves, someone said; “wouldn’t it be fun to do it again?”
With that power of suggestion, we walked up along the river to the hotel where we found the truck. It was locked but one member of our posse managed to pop the back window so he could reach in and put the truck in neutral. We pushed it into the middle of the lot and wrapped it up once again.
One of the hardest stunts we ever played at a wedding involved painting help me on the bottom of the groom’s shoes without him knowing. The best part was that the only person who could see the bottom of his shoes at the wedding was his mother, as he knelt right smack dab in front of her at the altar for a solemn moment of the ceremony. It was a priceless moment watching as she couldn’t fight back the laughter.
So now you may begin to understand my apprehension about getting married. Well, the ceremony went off without a hitch. We were at the reception and nothing had really happened yet when it was time to cut the cake.
Now our wedding cake was an absolute gorgeous creation by Bill Majot. We had several tiers and satellite cakes on the table complete with a fountain and 3 dozen little angel bears decorating it throughout.
As we grabbed the cake cutter, my best man and his wife instructed me as to which cake I was to cut. I didn’t think we had a particular cake to cut, but apparently they did. As we cut into the cake, it became apparent that the cake had been hollowed out. All of the groomsmen were smirking at this point as they told me to look inside.
At this point I need to stop and explain another secret I had managed to keep until that day. You see, the night of my 25th birthday a bunch of us went out to the Northwood’s. I had handed off my keys to someone else as I knew I was not in any condition to be driving. Well, to make the long story short, I woke up in a hotel room at the West Gate, in bed without any of my clothing on. I did find almost all of my clothes neatly placed on a chair in the room. Like I said, almost all of my clothes, something was missing and I had not thought about that for five years. That was until my wedding reception when it all came back to haunt me. I am not going to say anything more as the attached pictures will say it all.
By the way, they still managed to wrap both of our cars as well as my soloist from college, Rick Beaule’s car at the hotel that night.
Today I am dedicating my progress to all of the Station 48 pranksters. Here is to hoping we never grow up!