What I Learned from Unscrewing Christmas Lights

What I Learned from Unscrewing Christmas Lights

I thought I’d spend this week (and possibly next week) sharing funny Christmas stories in hopes of making you laugh. I’d like to begin by sharing what I learned from unscrewing people’s Christmas lights.

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I LOVE PRANKING PEOPLE. Some of my most favorite memories from high school and college include pranks. Gosh, and subtle pranks…those are the best! You know the ones. They aren’t obvious at first; they reveal themselves in their own sweet time. But when they are finally birthed and make their grand entrance into the world, it is HILARIOUS.

In high school, my friends and I were always finding ways to cause mischief. Ask anyone. If you saw us on the streets after dark, it was safe to assume we were up to no good. I was constantly being accused for “crimes” I DID NOT COMMIT. But, I suppose that’s just the price you have to pay when you’ve proven yourself to be mischievous from time to time. I don’t regret it.

IN MY DEFENSE, we live in a small town…so when I say we had nothing better to do, we literally had nothing better to do!

We’d do all sorts of things.

Some pranks I can mention…some I can’t.

And we’d get away with our pranks for the most part. There were a few times, however, that our pranks backfired on us. Like this one night…

It was my senior year of high school. 

My friends and I thought it’d be funny to unscrew people’s Christmas lights. 

Specifically, the ones that lined the yard…we wanted it to look as if the bulbs had burned out.

Now, before I continue…please know that NO LIGHT BULBS WERE HARMED in the making of this prank.

The plan was to unscrew the Christmas lights in a pattern so it was OBVIOUS someone had tampered (very carefully) with them. At some houses, we would unscrew every other bulb. At others, if they were multicolored lights, we’d unscrew ONLY the blues, or ONLY the reds, or ONLY the greens.

We were GETTIN’ IT! One house after another. Bam, bam, bam! The list of victims was climbing at rates never seen before. The residents of White Oak would never know what (or who) hit ’em. Unless…

What’s that quote…all good things must come to an end??? 

We’d already knocked out several houses and were onto the next. This particular house had, I believe, red and white lights aligning their entire front yard — beside the street curb, up and down the sidewalk, and along the length of the driveway.

We began unscrewing the lights by the driveway first because they were furthest away from the house and out of sight. WE WERE ON A ROLL. I bet we unscrewed at least 20 lights in a matter of 30 seconds. There was no stopping us or slowing us down…or so we thought.

I had worked my way down the driveway and was just a few feet from the garage when, suddenly, a voice bellowed from the front porch, “You can start screwing those back in now.”

In somewhat of a panic, I nervously shouted, “SORRY!!!!” and, without missing a beat, immediately began screwing the lights in and making my way back UP the driveway. This, of course, was all done while dying laughing/trying not to wet my pants. Although I never looked up or made eye contact with the victim, I didn’t have to see her to know she was there. I felt her eyes locked in on me, burning a hole in my backside.

As soon as that last light flickered on, I remember yelling, “SORRY AGAIN!!!!” over my shoulder as we sprinted to the getaway car. We dove into the moving vehicle, slammed the doors shut, and DIED…laughing, of course.

Although we had gotten caught mid-prank, we took great pride in the fact that the victim had no idea who we were. Again…or so we thought.

The following Monday at school, I was passing one of my coaches in the hallway. Suddenly, he stops me and, with a smile on his face (like he knew something I didn’t), says, “I hear you were unscrewing Christmas lights in yards this weekend.”

COMPLETELY CAUGHT OFF GUARD, I gasped, “HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT???????????”

He then replied, “My friend saw a side-ponytail and knew it was you.”

I HAD NEVER BEEN SO ASHAMED AND DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF. Not because I had been caught unscrewing people’s Christmas lights…but because I didn’t think to disguise my side-ponytail and it bit me where the sun don’t shine. Nobody else had been identified. Nope, just me. JUST ME.

SIDE NOTE: For those of you who don’t know me, I wear a side-ponytail and have been wearing it since I was in the 8th grade (see this recent post for proof). Although it has become slightly more reserved throughout the years, it is a side-ponytail nonetheless. I’m literally KNOWN for it…not just in White Oak, but in other towns, too.

It’s my trademark.

I would go somewhere and random people would say, “Hey, I played basketball against you! You had that side-ponytail!” or “What’s up, side-ponytail!?” 

TO THIS DAY, even when I run into people from White Oak, they always note, “I see you’ve still got that side-ponytail, Koonce!” 

Just yesterday, I was asked, “Were you at the game on Friday?” After confirming that I was, indeed, at the game, she responded, “Really? I didn’t recognize you without your side-ponytail.” AWESOME.

Anyway, the moral of the story is…if you’re going to prank people, don’t wear your signature side-ponytail. 

Pranking is NOT THE TIME to refrain from sacrificing your obvious good fashion sense. Sometimes, being sneaky is more important than being sexy.

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