When we lived in Florida, I was a pharmaceutical sales rep. I was very close with 2 of my co-workers. We were very much into pranks. Honestly when I look back on it, some of it seems immature….but at the same time, some of it still makes me laugh until tears stream down my face. I have been thinking about one of my all-time favorite pranks today.
We were driving home from a meeting in Orlando together and we kept passing all of these Billboards for Ron Jon Surf Shop. Ron Jon is one of those places that you start seeing billboards for when you are still about 200 miles away. They go on forever. Well one of the billboards is of a giant surfboard….so giant that they made one billboard to look like half of a broken surfboard with jagged edges and a couple hundred feet ahead you see another billboard that looks like the other half of the surfboard. (I tried to find an image online, but failed. Hopefully you get the picture).
Well, we were feeling silly and mischievous. So my friend, R, who has the absolute best straight face you can imagine, called Ron Jon. The one sided conversation I heard went something like this…..(imagine her speaking in a very calm and concerned tone).
Hi, how are you?
I think I need to speak to a manager.
I don’t know if you know this or not, and I am so sorry to have to tell you, but one of your billboards has been destroyed.
Yes, I guess with all of the hurricanes, it was broken completely in half.
It is the one with the giant surfboard. Half of it is where it’s supposed to be and the other half has blown a few hundred feet up the interstate.
I can’t believe someone wasn’t killed by the sharp edges. You really need to send someone out here to begin the cleanup process.
ARE YOU SURE?
So what you are telling me is that you meant for it to look like that?
Okay, okay, I know it doesn’t really translate that well into a blog form, but believe me when I tell you that I was sobbing with laughter. Just sobbing, while she went on without cracking a smile. It is honestly one of my favorite memories.
I have been thinking about that a lot today, along with many other memories of my friend and that time in my life. Again I have found myself laughing…..and sobbing.
My friend, who I can go months without talking to, will sometimes send me one sentence text messages that have me doubled over laughing. This morning, my phone chimed, and when I saw I had a message from her, I silently celebrated and got ready for a good laugh. But when I read her text this morning, I doubled over for a different reason. Because I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Because my friend, my straight-faced, prank-playing friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer…..and it feels like the worst, cruelest prank ever.