One year ago, my friends and I played a prank on our good friend Stewart. We took his wallet when he wasn’t paying attention and hid it from him. We all thought it was a good prank, because Stewart rarely misplaced his wallet.
You should have seen how he paced around his living room lifting up couch cushions and checking under his La-Z-Boy. We couldn’t help but laugh at his expense. After an hour or so, he threatened us for conspiring against him. When he left the living room to check his car, we all agreed to prolong our prank for as long as possible.
In hindsight, we should have known better than to ignore his threat.
It is now one year later, and I am writing this message on loose bits of debris that have blown into my hidden cave-dwelling. As far as I know, Stewart has murdered everyone else, and I am the lone survivor.
Thinking back, we probably took the prank too far. You see, after Stewart came back inside from checking his car, he was in tears. He said there was an important check in his wallet he needed to deposit, or the bank was going to foreclose his home.
Instead of returning his wallet, we joined hands and danced around Stewart singing, “Walletless Stew! What are you going to do? You have no money! Isn’t that funny? Soon you’ll be homeless, too!”
Then we slapped him in the face with our own wallets until he bled, which was funny at the time but terribly mean-spirited in retrospect.
The next day, the bank foreclosed Stewart’s home, and he retreated in shame to the forest that borders our town. This made us all giggle with delight, because no one was going to be able to top our prank (to this day, no one has).
Several months passed. From time-to-time we’d overhear the local hunters chatting about a shadowy figure deep within the forest cursing our names (this made me laugh so hard I shot milk out of my nose).
We were convinced our prank was the best ever.
Then the murders started.
Of course it is blatantly obvious Stewart was enacting his revenge on us now, but at the time we were too caught up in the prank to make the connection. We were a naïve bunch. I mean, it could have been anyone who folded my friends in half to death and stuffed them with paper money, loose coins and credit cards.
All I know is by the time we realized it was Stewart doing all the murders, it was too late to let him in on the prank.
Our original plan was to slip a $50 bill into his wallet, so when we finally gave it back he’d be all like, “Oh you guys!” But that plan flew right out the window for three reasons.
1) Stewart had become a murderer.
2) $50 is a lot of money to give someone in one go, especially after that person has brutally murdered a few of my friends.
3) We lost Stewart’s wallet.
Losing Stewart’s wallet is probably what caused our prank to barrel out of control. I’ll take the blame for that. The ocean seemed like a great temporary hiding place to me, but, then again, I was drunk when I threw it off the pier.
OK. I’m running out of room on this pizza box, so I’ll use the rest of this space to leave some advice for any would-be pranksters who happen upon what may be my last correspondence with the outside world.
First: don’t go overboard with your pranks. Most people are one prank away from going on a murderous rampage. No matter how much you laugh at them, they’ll never understand the prank. The only thing they do understand is murder. So watch out.
Second: Make sure you know the difference between “pranking” and “being mean.” What we did to Stewart was a prank. What he did to all of us (except me for now) was being mean. Murder isn’t funny.
Last: If you’re going to prank someone, be sure to learn basic survival skills. Trust me. You’ll need them if you prank someone who turns out to be a murderer.