In 1992 I moved in with my (then) girlfriend. Her boyfriend had moved out the day before and took all the interesting things so I had to make a few emergency purchases.
The first thing I did was buy two entertainment centers, a TV, and a stereo. One entertainment center with the TV went in the bedroom. The second one with the stereo was for the dining room. I bought a sound system that, at the time, offered everything we needed. It had an AM/FM radio, a dual cassette tape deck, a turntable, and a five-CD changer. We could tape from the radio, a CD, the turntable, or another tape. It also came with a remote that allowed us to change radio stations, start and stop the cassette tape, and raise and lower the volume.
Our morning routine was simple: we sat at the dining room table, drank coffee, read the newspaper, and listened to our favorite morning talk show on the radio.
Come April first, the stereo acted up. We were sitting in our normal positions and the volume started climbing. It got so loud I had to nearly shout, “What’d you do?”
Debbi looked at me and shouted back, “Nothing. You’ve got the remote, turn it down.” I looked all over the table, under the papers, and everywhere I could and then shrugged.
She was sitting nearest to the stereo so she reached over and turned it down and I said, “I don’t have the remote. You must have it.” Just about then, the volume started climbing back up. She turned it down again and I said, “Are you sitting on the remote?”
She got up and looked around as the volume started back up again. She turned it down and I said, “Look around the table. Something must be lying on top of it.” She started moving things around on the table, looking for the remote, and the volume started climbing again.
She turned around to turn down the volume and I chuckled. She stopped. She turned to me. “What are you doing?”
I couldn’t go on any longer. “April Fool,” I said and held up a small remote in my palm. I went across the living room, picked up the stereo remote, and showed her what I had done.
I had taped a small servo motor to the stereo remote in such a way that each time I pushed a button a small arm moved down and hit the volume button on the remote turning up the volume.
We laughed, she smacked me with the newspaper, I tore apart what I had done, and promised her I’d never do that again.
* * *
Challenge 1: Write something (prose or poetry) about the best joke you’ve ever pulled on someone or the best joke that someone has ever pulled on you.