Pranks don't always end with laughter

Published 5:37 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford Publisher
Tomorrow is April Fools Day, a day of fun and pranks, joking and laughter. For many this is a day marked by only laughter, but for some this day is not welcomed and is a day that is marked by tragedy. My family for instance, but that is another story. But what I do have to say now, I say with all sincerity, please be careful when you are out on Thursday, pulling pranks and tricking one another. My story below did not actually occur on April Fools, but involves playing jokes and the sometimes unfortunate outcome of these tricks.
Many of you know that I was born and raised here in Atmore, but some of you might not know, that for about two years I lived in Mobile. This was during my second and third grade school years. In Mobile my family lived on Druid Drive, which is off of Moffett Road. On my street lived a boy that was a year older than me, named Jason, and across the street was another boy, who was a year younger than I, named Joshua.
On a hot summer day, my friend Jason and I were up to no good as usual, and become bored. It was hot, the sun was shinning, and we didn't want to go inside to play, so we came up with a brilliant plan. I think it was he who first started talking about something one of his buddies at school had. Immediately we had to have one for ourselves, and Jason knew where to get it. I ran into my house and broke into my savings, barely I had just enough for the $2.50 item. So off our journey began, on our bikes we headed toward a nearby shopping center. For myself, I knew this wasn't something I should do, but was pretty sure my parents wouldn't find out.
We made it to the shopping center and back, without a scratch and no one was the wiser. We had ridden back as if a herd of buffalo was right on our rears so that we could get back and have fun with the best invention ever made. Back at Jason's house we slowly pulled the items out of their boxes. As Jason held his, my eyes were wide with amazement. It felt like he was moving in slow motion as he lifted his right arm, simultaneously, moving his thumb down the item to rest on an aluminum button. With a quick press, and a loud snap, it opened and doubled in length. In an instant Jason had combed his hair to the right. We were now on top of the world, having what we considered the fastest and coolest comb in the south, a black handled switch-blade comb.
Everything that day seemed to flow in slow motion, but everything from that point forward, passed before me in a blur. After probably ten minutes of combing, Joshua walked out his front door and saw us across the street. Joshua was a little different from Jason and I, he seemed a little slower than us. Jason picked on him all the time, myself, I didn't really care what he did, he was just Joshua.
The next thing we did is one of the few things in my life I wish I could take back, but I can't. In an instant Jason, popped his comb and pretended to stab me with it. Like any kid, I ran with the joke, falling to the ground and moved not an inch, with my eyes in Joshua's direction so that I could see his reaction. His scream running across his yard to where we were, failed in comparison to the one he let out when he was struck by a car as he tried to reach us across the road. For twenty feet he seemed to fly in the air, seeming to never stop rolling once he landed on the asphalt.
A simple action, a joke or prank, put one of my friends in the hospital for three days. He came back home and I apologized and later moved back home to Atmore. Even though he forgave me for what I did, I still find it hard to forgive myself, carrying this event with me all these years. If this story does anything, I hope that you remember it tomorrow and keep April Fools Day safe for everyone involved.

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