NOTE – DISCLAIMER: This story is a version of an event that did actually happen. It has been embellished upon by the author. Since its posting, two individuals brought it to my attention that this was written during National Bully month. This event took place between friends who regularly played practical jokes on each other. Karen, the one that was “pranked” thought the whole thing was funny and certainly did not view it as bullying. In no way does the author or anybody associated with blog condone bullying in any way. This was not written with malicious intent nor were any animals harmed during filming. Peace.
We all have known people in our lives that are just a lot of fun to play pranks on. Years ago I had a friend just like that. Karen. A nurse.
Thin, thirty something, five foot three or four, short dark pixie hair, light freckles, slightly pointy nose, nasal type voice and glasses. The nervous type. You need to develop a picture in your mind.
Actually she wasn’t a nurse. That’s just what she told people. Mostly she was a job hopper. Her family had some money and she lived the way she wanted to. She liked telling people she was a nurse…..most her friends were. She fit in.
Two of her friends were named Bonnie and Casey (a guy). Bonnie really was a nurse and so was Casey. As I am writing this it is already sounds strange. But Bonnie and Casey were nurses…..and practical jokers.
Karen was an easy mark. Bear with me, this is true and it happened years ago. The incident happened after Karen came down with Bells palsy. It’s not as serious as it sounds.
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop.
The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. Sometimes it can affect vocal chords and make the voice sound raspy. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
So don’t freak out. Karen wasn’t in bad shape; she just looked like Popeye when she talked….she sounded like him.
I yam what I yam!
“I yam what I yam” she would say out of one side of her mouth and we would all bust a gut. Honest to God.
Her eye was also droopy, it watered some and she had to drink out a straw……and that was a struggle. In fact, the whole right side of her face just sagged and had no movement.
We called her Popeye. We were good friends. It was amusing to watch her talk out of one side of her mouth and when your eyes moved up her face you saw that sad, wet eye.
Well, one day Popeye….er, er Karen wanted to sell her old red ’86 Toyota Corolla. Karen was running ads in the paper and posting signs in the grocery store…..that was the prehistoric Craigslist. No calls. Nothing.
Karen was really getting discouraged. So her “friends” Bonnie and Casey began to plot against poor, funny looking Karen. Me, I just tagged along for the fun of it.
One night Casey, Karen and I were having a drink. Karen of course was using a straw, struggling to drink with the good side of her mouth….. like when you have dental work done.
She looked at us with her good eye and her weepy one and said “I am so bummed, I really want a new a car. I have run ads the last four weekends and not a single call! This is the last week of my ad. I hope somebody calls tomorrow.”
Right after she left, Casey called Bonnie and “The Plan” was put in motion. First thing Saturday morning Bonnie called Popeye with a disguised low voice.
Ring, ring, ring.
“Hello” said Karen.
“Hi I’m Maryann and I’m calling about your ‘86 Corolla.”
Karen’s heart skipped a beat…..somebody called about the car! A slight smile crept up the good side of her mouth. It was the left.
The dialogue went something like this:
Popeye – “Yes, hi Maryann. I’m Karen. Do you have any questions about the car?”
She was soooo nervous.
Maryann - “Yes I do. I really need one bad. Mine just broke down and I’m desperate. I don’t have your ad in front of me so I have some questions…….is it an automatic?”
Popeye – “Ummmmm, no. Sorry”.
Karen got that sinking feeling in her stomach….like the one on the right side of her face.
Maryann – “That’s great, I love a stick shift. They are just soooo much more fun to drive!”
Karen almost choked. Maryann loves a stick! Hooray!
Popeye –“Oh yes, yes, so much more fun to drive!” Karen repeated.
Maryann – “Well, does it have power windows and locks?”
Popeye – “Ummmmm, no. Sorry.”
Karen was a little worried.
Maryann – “Super, that’s just more electrical things to go wrong.”
Popeye – “Yes! I know that can be so expensive to fix. This is so much better.”
She tried to sound knowledgeable. Her heart was starting to pick up speed.
Maryann – “Oh, I am getting excited! This sounds good.”
Bonnie knew she had her.
Popeye – “Me too!”
This is it! Karen thought.
Maryann – “But does it have air conditioning?”
Of course it was a hot sticky 95 degrees outside.
Popeye – “Ummmmm, no. But when you roll the windows down the air flow is just great. And it’s got a vent switch on the controls that turns a fan on.”
Karen wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip through her fingers. She started selling.
Maryann – “Perfect! I love fresh air. Air conditioning makes me feel too cold.”
Bonnie/Maryann sounded so relieved.
Popeye –“Yeah, me too. That’s why I didn’t get it…..too cold, much too cold!”
Karen could barely breathe by now.
Maryann – “And does it have leather seats?”
Of course Bonnie knew this answer too.
Popeye – “Ummmmm, no”.
Karen was starting to sweat by now.
Maryann – “Oh thank God. I hate leather seats! They get so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.”
Popeye – “Yep, yep, yep, hot in summer and cold in winter. Hot, cold. Ugh! I hate them too. Bad, bad leather seats.”
Karen’s bladder might let go any minute.
Maryann – “How about a sun roof? Does it have one of those?”
Popeye – “Ummmmm, no”.
The good side of her face began to twitch. A drop of perspiration dripped off her nose…..she wasn’t going to let this Maryann chick go…..not now, not this close.
Maryann – “Perfect! Sunroofs always leak. They are such a headache. Don’t you think?”
Popeye – “Yeah, leaky. Very, very leaky. Bad headache too. Hate ‘em, just hate ‘em. Me too! Bad, bad. Leaky.”
She was starting to become incoherent. Today is the day the old Corolla goes bye bye! Even her good eye was starting to tear up.
Maryann – “Karen, I have to ask, are you okay? I mean you sound a little funny.”
Popeye – “Wha, wha, whaddaymean? (Think of Popeye’s voice saying that)
Think of the voice.
She was stunned.
Maryann – Well, no offense, but your voice……ummm, it sounds kinda funny.”
Popeye – “Funny, funny what’s funny?”
She started to panic.
Maryann – Oh, nothing…..but you’re kinda sounding like….like….ummm, Popeye.
Popeye - “Oh.” Long pause. “Well, I have Bell’s Palsy and…..”
Maryann – “Oh my God Karen! I had no idea. I am so sorry, can you walk, can you drive, can you move your arms, is that why you’re selling the car? Oh, Karen I am so, so, so very sorry.”
Bonnie felt a little guilty at this point. She also felt bad she didn’t record it. Mixed emotions.
Popeye – “No, no Maryann, it’s not that…..I-I-I-I-I-I-…
Maryann – “I am so sorry that you have to sell you car. How long have you been handicapped?”
Popeye – “Maryann, wait……. listen. I can walk and things, it’s just my face.”
Maryann – “You’re selling your car because of your face…….and that’s why you talk like Popeye?”
My arms are fine!
Even Bonnie was amazed how fast she could think on her feet. Karen was sooooo much fun.
Popeye – “Wait, please wait, pulllllleeeeez let me explain. It’s a thing where part of my face isn’t working right and I sound like Popeye because of it affected my vocal chords. Aaaaand I’m selling my car because I want a new one. I am really ok…….I just sound like Popeye. And I-I-I-I kinda look like him. Except for the arms. But I really, really want to sell the car.”
Karen thought,”I can’t lose this now…….not now…..puuuuuullllleeeezzzz God”. She was on the edge…..she could lose it at any moment. Plus she was kinda spitting on her phone.
Maryann – “Well, okay Karen. I’m glad you’re okay….I guess. But I have just a few more questions…….but I have to tell you, I think the car sounds almost too good to be true.”
Popeye – “Sigh”, “Oh thank you, thank you. Of course, of course, what else do you want to know?”
Maryann – “Gosh, I almost forgot one of the most important questions……..how many miles are on it?”
Popeye – “Ooooh, about 125,000 miles……i-i-i-i-i-s that too much?”
Karen barely whispered. Like Popeye whispering to Olive Oyl. She almost felt like crying…… out of both eyes. It actually had 135,000 on it.
Maryann – “Nonononono, that’s just fine. I like a car that’s really broken in. A few more miles wouldn’t even hurt.”
Popeye – “Yeah, it’s broken in good, real good. Why it would be even better with 150,000, right?”
Maryann – “Oh Karen, you are so right! A car is still new at 150,000 miles!”
It smells new and fresh!
Popeye – “New! New! It’s like its brand spanking new! It even still smells new!”
Her phone was wet by now.
Maryann – “Golly Karen, I am so excited I almost forgot to ask you how much you wanted for it.”
Karen thought…..This is the moment of all moments. This Maryann wants the car, I’m gonna shoot for the moon. Her heart was racing. Half of her lip was trembling.
Popeye – “Mmmmm, I was hoping for $5,000. The car is soooo worth it and it sounds so, so, so you!”
Karen’s breath was coming short shallow gasps……out of the right side of her mouth…..where her lower lip drooped. The air movement caused the lip to slightly move in and out as she waited for Maryann’s response. She really gave it her best shot. Karen was never this bold or brash. She waited for what seemed like a life time but it was really only two seconds before Bonnie shot back her answer…..
Maryann – “You’re so right; the car is worth every penny! It’s almost $1,000 less then I have saved. Gosh, I am so happy. I have more than enough for taxes, license and everything! And it’s so good on gas. You made my day!”
By now Karen was standing up and she slightly (her words not mine) peed her pants. It went into her shoes. Both of them……they were new.
Popeye – “Oh my gosh Maryann, you don’t how you made my day! I’m soooo excited…..uh,uh, excited for you! Goody for you!”
Karen did not notice her shoes……or her pants or the phone. She was grinning from ear to the center of her mouth. Her bad eye was sparkling. The sparkle ran down her cheek. She was bouncing up and down making cute little squishy sounds. Her day had arrived!
Maryann – “Oh Karen, this sounds perfect! I am soooo excited. It sounds like the car of my dreams and it’s under my budget! I couldn’t be happier!”
Bonnie actually sounded happy. She was literally giggling her words. She was a nurse. Blood didn’t bother her.
Popeye –“ Yeah, perfect for you! Perfect, perfect, perfect. I‘m sooooo happy.” (remember Popeye voice).
Karen’s face was so contorted. One half happy, one half sad. Bell’s palsy you know. To top it off, her good eye started blinking uncontrollably. She was ecstatic….and wet. Popeye peed.
Maryann – “Oh Karen, this is sooo cool. Even better then I imagined. Oh, I almost forgot I am so excited. What color is it?”
Bright, cheery red…..cheery red.
Popeye – “It’s a bright cheerful red!” Karen gushed.
Karen was breathing hard. Half a lip in and out with every deep breath.
Popeye –“ Yes! Bright red. Happy, happy, happy red.” Karen chirped.
Dance dance, squish squish.
Dance, dance, squish, squish.
Maryann – “I HATE RED!” Bonnie yelled and she slammed the phone down.
Popeye – “I-I-I-I-I, but, but, but, but.”
But there was just a dial tone on the other end.
My friends are mean. Funny but mean.