“Nick, come down for dinner!”
“In a minute, mom!” Nick shouted back from his perch near the attic window. “This is going to be the funniest shit ever,” he snickered quietly to himself.
Nick had been watching the banana peel he’d placed on the pavement outside for about a week and a half now. To say his mother was beginning to worry would be an understatement. When she’d asked him why he was watching the banana peel, Nick had told her that he was waiting for someone to slip on it. When she’d explained that they lived in the middle of rural Montana (as she had many times before), and that their nearest neighbor was four miles away, he’d retorted, bluntly, “Anyone can work a crowd, mom. This is bleeding edge comedy.”
This was not the first time Nick had attempted a stunt like this.
Three months ago, he’d hid out behind a bush in the front yard for over six hours, holding a water balloon and giggling almost the entire time. His reasoning to his mother’s inquiry on this peculiar behavior? “It’s a prank, mom. You obviously don’t understand practical jokes.”
She’d caught Nick lying on the couch last year with a handful of shaving cream. He’d told her it was going to be “fucking hilarious” when his nose itched after he fell asleep. She’d asked who was going to be around to laugh at this, and he’d told her to “stop breaking the fourth wall.”
It was time for an intervention; it was time for tough love. She opened the trap door and climbed the ladder into the attic.
“Nick, I need to talk to you.”
“Mom, I’ve been waiting to long. You’re gonna spook the marks!”
“Nick, nobody is coming. You’re not going to prank anyone.”
Nick’s head sunk. He turned around, tears in his eyes. “You’ve never supported my art, mom!”
Nick’s mother knew just what she had to do. She turned ninety degrees from nick, put on a sarcastic expression, and while pointing a thumb at Nick, she quipped “Get a load of this guy!”
“I told you to stop doing that!”
She kept facing the wall, now raising her hands into a shrug. “That’s my boy!”
“Aaaauuuugh!” Nick yelled. He ran to the trapdoor, tears dripping from his eyes. “I hate that trope!” He practically jumped the ladder and disappeared down below.
His mother pointed at the trapdoor and giggled in a nasal, high-pitched voice. “Did I do that?” A short shriek rose from the hallway below, and she heard the sound of heavy, stomping footsteps on the raised hardwood floor, following by a slamming door. She smiled. “Not gonna upstage me, kid.”