Photo credit: The Lady
One of the advantages of living on a busy street (ours was the main route through the neighborhood) is that there’s a never-ending supply of drivers in need of something to liven up their day. Like, say, being pranked by an eight-year-old.
Our brand-new burb had been built on the site of an old olive grove, like Spanish land-grant old. So, even though our little spray-stuccoed SoCal ranch home was new, the olive tree in our front yard was probably planted by, heck, Zorro himself! The tree produced huge purple olives, which were inedible, but…
Not long after we moved in, I discovered if you gently squeezed them, they’d quickly turn into purple olive-juice bombs! Even after a light toss they would explode when they landed on something, like, say, a car window.
I know. You’re thinking: “Cool!”
So we started hiding in the bushes and lobbing “olive grenades” at passing cars. When one hit home, there would be a big, juicy splat! The car would screech to a halt, and the driver would leap out, yelling something like, “You %&$@)*#?-ing kids!”
Yes, Dad spanked me. But not very hard. And he was trying not to grin the whole time. Then, after explaining the dangers of causing a mini-carmageddon, he said, “There are harmless pranks, you know.” He told me about how, when he was a kid, they’d tie a length of clear fishing line to a wallet, stick a dollar bill half-way out of it, and place it in the middle of the street… Then, Dad casually mentioned he had an old wallet he wasn’t using.
The Wallet Trick was way better than Olive Grenades! We’d watch drivers slow down, and occasionally get out and reach for the wallet while, holding the other end of the line, we slowly pulled it away. Some would actually follow it before realizing what was happening and sheepishly hurrying back to their car. One guy, stomped on the wallet, took the money, and yelled, “You lose!” But our favorite guy laughed, and shouted, “You got me!” then threw down a $10 bill, which…
I proudly showed Dad that evening.