It arrived at its destination last week. This is the kind of practical joke I love pulling. It involved the purchase of some things and the shipping of said things, which wound up being more than the things inside the box, but the resulting email about how the box and its contents was received was worth every. single. penny. spent.
So, what was inside the box? First a bit of background information. Louise, a member of my World of Warcraft guild, has become a good friend. She sent out a mass Facebook spam to everyone she knows inviting them to her open house to celebrate moving into a new home. She and her hubby, Damien, moved back in October, but haven't been ready to celebrate until this coming weekend, February 23rd. There's just one itty, bitty problem. Louise lives in Canada. Um...yeah. My attending a party there isn't going to happen.
Several of us were teasing her about this housewarming party and someone mentioned needing pink flamingos in the yard. She said Damien would be horrified but she would love it. An idea was born. I started checking out pink flamingo yard ornaments and found a couple at Bed, Bath and Beyond that were a reasonable price. Then, I stumbled onto Home Depot's add for 10, count 'em, 10 pink flamingos for $30. Another friend, Jon, bought the flamingos and had them shipped to me. That's the box you see on my porch. Here are the contents.
Look at them all looking at me with their beady little eyes. The box was only half full of flamingos and the total weight was something around 6 pounds. It was less than one of the cats even though the box was very tall, about 34 inches tall. I was really worried I couldn't ship this via the post but there is a total inches shipped of 108 and I was well below that. Plus, the light weight made for less shipping cost. You don't want to know what it would have cost me to ship via UPS, had I not been able to ship via the post office.
As this was designed to represent the WOW guild, I had to dress up the birds with something appropriate to the guild. Our guild tabard is green, a robust summer grass green. Pink and green. Perfect.
I printed out a copy of the guild tabard and hit JoAnn Fabrics. I had a coupon for 20% off a regular priced item. With a flamingo under one arm, the gal at the cutting table helped me figure out if one or two spools of green ribbon was needed. We figured out only one. Using a generous 15 inches, I cut 10 pieces of ribbon and adorned the necks of these gloriously tacky birds.
Isn't that just the most stunning thing you've ever seen? I was even going to attach green bows to the area where the knot was, but realized that hot gluing them could a) melt through the body plastic. Face it. These are not made of the world's best plastic. Or b) prevent Louise from doing other things to them by permanently putting decoration on them. So, I decided green neck ribbons was enough. Once reboxed, I took the box to the office and used ALL the packing peanuts we had as well as some foam, to fill up the empty space and to make sure the flamingos were comfortable. Can you imagine the customs inspectors x-raying this box? I only put "yard ornament" on the custom's slip. If Louise read it, she would know, but perhaps Damien wouldn't.
I handed over the box to the post mistress and then set about trying NOT to say a word about anything. I sent her a Valentine's card and that takes about 2 weeks for first class mail. Right before that would have arrived, I sent a cryptic "INCOMING" email. The flamingos, I was told, would take 6 to 14 working days. They would be at her house by her housewarming.
On February 14th, she tells me she got a notice that there was a package to pick up at the post office. She couldn't get it until the next day. All through the next day, I kept emailing her asking if she'd gone to the post office to get the package. "Now? Did you get it now?" "How about now?" She said her dad is known for sending stuff so I did wonder if it was the birds or something else. Here is the email I received on Friday, February 15th.
"Alright, finally got the box, here's the low down of reactionsShe set up a couple of shots of the flamingos for the guild web site. Here's one with her Border Collie, Skoll. He was being "eaten" by the flamingos. He's an attention hog and she'd just taken him out for his afternoon romp so he was tired and more than willing to stay put for the photo shoot.
1.Damien (hubby) enters in the house with this HUGE box, pretending it weighs a ton, because he's an ass:
-My reaction: Disbelief and feverish curiousity (Quote: What the F*** did Gimm do now????)
2.Box is deposited on the living room floor, I immediately take the cisors to the box. meanwhile Damien sits at the very other end of the room and watches (he couldn't see what was in the box). I open it up and look inside.
-My reaction: Hysterical laughter, including tears
-Damien's reaction: Confusion
3. I start pulling out the box's "cargo", only pulled one out at first.
-My reaction: still laughing my ass off (Quote: omg Gimm, really? REALLY? THIS IS WICKED AWESOME!!!)
-Damien's reaction: Surprised but shaking his head (Quote: Why Lou? Whyyyyy? This is horrible. You are NOT putting that thing in the front yard)
4.I keep pulling more, and more and more out....
-My reaction: totally still laughing, developping a devious shenanigans shit-eating grin
-Damien's reaction: Total disbelief with a tinge of horror crossing his face
5.I finally have them all pulled out
-My reaction: Laughing still and nodding (Quote: Oh I've have tons of plans for these....)
-Damien's reaction: blank stare (Quote: I don't like your guild leader anymore.....) [Note: This is now my absolute favorite quote.]
So there you have it. I thought it was full of the awesome! Damien won't let me put some up front (I can't completely blame him), but seeing as the house warming party is coming up, I'll have to get him to make a one day exception, just to mess with people. ALL of them will be planted for that party, both outback and outfront.
After the house warming party, I might grab one or two and make them look a bit more "metal", as in the style, not the material. This way both Jay (our roomate and hubby's best friend) might be more inclined to let me have fun with my kitsch.
Totally unexpected but awesome gift gimm! Didn't see that coming from a mile away.
thank you so much!"
And then she put the legs on the birds and posed them in the living room.
She said they were fighting over the remote control.
These are the practical jokes that are so worth the cost. I wish I could have been there although it would have been way too hard not to keep a straight face and not to want to help pull the birds out of the box. I can hardly wait to see more photos of what these birds might be up to.
10 flamingos for $30. So totally worth it.