New Pants – Director’s Cut

The account contained herein may strike the casual reader as perhaps a little over the top, or even harassing, especially if taken in context with the full complement of pranks, shenanigans, and hijinks aimed at dear Thirsty, but let’s face it, you didn’t have to live with the guy.

The Ides of March were drawing to a close, and passed without celebration despite the best underhanded efforts of the ubiquitous Dashwood Society. Without any form of grotesque debauchery to distract my mind, I sought entertainment in planning for the upcoming April Fools day, and so began seeking a viable target and method of delivery. That it would be one of my housemates was not in question given the convenient proximity. Knaus was automatically exempt, not so much for his neutral stance on intra house warfare, but his penchant for overwhelmingly disproportionate retaliation for past offenses, real or perceived. I lacked both the stones and financial resources to engage. Choosing Aaron would mean the breaking of a long standing alliance against the less palatable of the house denizens. There could be only one; the greasy pungent creature who dwelt in the far back corner, safely shielded from both sunlight and soap.

The nature of a good practical joke is that it causes no permanent damage, contains a low risk of significant legal action, and is shockingly annoying or inconvenient to the target individual. Originality is always at a premium. Finding new ways to inconvenience or annoy Thirsty was no easy task given the plethora of both well planned and impromptu actions taken against him in the past. Furthermore, he most often fell victim to his own, presumably unconscious, attempts to make his situation just that much more difficult. Upon finding all these years later that he continues to draw breath unaided astounds me. I had in my pocket the key to the solution.

The day we moved in I had the good fortune to spot the rust encrusted back end of a skeleton key jutting from the back of the front door and had the sense to both take it and hide its very existence from the other residents. In the rare times I was alone in the place, I took the time to try that key in every door and found it worked in about half. That one of these doors was Jason’s should come as no surprise. Rainy day knowledge to be sure, but I am a patient man. On that cold March eve, my day had come around at last.

Believing that all good things come in threes, I felt the need to come up with some follow on items that would serve to drive the message home, and for all intents and purposes, take an enormous crap on his day. This is where things got tricky as I was running the risk of capturing the other two in my net, one of whom was known to bite. I did due diligence and warned both Knaus and Aaron that at precisely 2:00 AM, April 1st, 1994, the water to the toilet would be shut off and that the pilot light on the hot water heater would be extinguished. For the former, I knew that Thirsty lacked even the most rudimentary engineering knowledge necessary to figure out how to turn it back on again, and that same lack of knowledge would foster the belief that the commode was not safe to use as such. For the latter, casual conversation with Thirsty revealed that his BK supervisor had issued warning about him coming to work unshowered. Had we the funds, we would have sent her roses in appreciation.

My alarm woke me on the first buzz at 2 AM sharp. My preparations were all laid out and ready for implementation. I crept on bare toes down to the basement, risking not even a light, and found the water heater by rote memory. On all fours I could see the tiny light of the pilot and with one silent breath though a straw aimed carefully at it, the light was out. Making my way up, I silently crept across the unimaginable horror of our kitchen floor, sticky and sodden with Thirty’s cooking errors. Into the bathroom I went and turned off the water valve behind the toilet and quietly flushed. With the plunger I was able to force the last drops of moisture down the trap, leaving the bowl a filthy dry.

My masterstroke required skill, silence, and absolute nerve. In my hand I held a trading card bearing the likeness of Simpson’s bully Nelson Muntz, pointing at the viewer and uttering his trademark “Ha! Ha!” at whatever misfortune had taken place that day. To this card I affixed a note reading, “April Fool! I’ll be down around 10 to let you out.”, knowing full well that Jason had to be at work at that very time. With practiced ease, I slid it under his door. Disaster! It had begun to crumple. Did I dare to do the unthinkable? I did indeed. The thickness of the carpet and the presence of (ugh!) his underwear against the inside of the door forced me to open it ever so slightly and insert the note. My last action was to lock the door tightly with my secret key and retired back to bed.

I awoke suddenly to a thunderous pounding upon my door. My eyes flashed to the clock. 6:50 AM – 10 minutes before my alarm was set. My plan had been to rise a half hour before Thirsty so I could enjoy listening to him panic before releasing him from captivity in plenty of time to keep his gainful employment. What I had not counted on was his weak and girlish bladder waking him before the desired time. Still half asleep I flung open the door to reveal Thirsty in all his trembling with rage unwashed glory. “How the hell did you get out?”, I queried, with much surprise at seeing him. “You. Owe.
Me. New. Pants!” he stammered at me, still shaking from a combination of the cold and the indignity he suffered. “What?” I replied. In a move that was no doubt calculated to elicit my sympathy and regret, he spun around and bent over to reveal a large tear across the seat of his ancient dungarees revealing the stained grey drawers beneath. I cried out at both the horror of the sight and the hilarity that it had happened.

Through staggered and awkward conversation I was able to piece together that he had woken up early, found the note, and as predicted, panicked. (Thirsty was known for always responding with non-cerebral, emotion based action before all else) After beating against the door proved useless, his animal cunning manifested, and he hastily dressed and made his way out the window, comedicly catching his seat on a patch of rough aluminum, and pressed forward rather than taking a moment to free the fabric. He let himself in though the side door. It was never conclusively determined if he exhibited the rare forethought to bring his keys, or he was fortunate enough to encounter them by happy chance in the side door lock where he often left them.

Owning the responsibility, easily done after ascertaining that the torn pants in question were a Goodwill purchase for $2.00, I magnanimously reimbursed him in full. Part of the gesture was in fear that he would continue wearing the present pair and subjecting us all to the unsavory sights they revealed, which would no doubt promote house mate backlash against me in the long run. He accepted the remuneration and stalked off to prepare for the days work. The loss of the $2.00 was a small price I felt as I sat on the stairs and listened to him fumble about in the bathroom cursing both the ‘broken’ toilet and the growing pressure in his bladder. My ears were next treated to the high pitched wailing each time he forced himself under the icy water to remove what scant soap and shampoo he applied. I left before he emerged and it is my understanding that he never discerned that I was the architect of his continued discomfort and placed the blame on malfunctioning appliances.

The conclusion of this tale is that the prank had a bonus side effect as both Knaus and Aaron had forgotten my plans and suffered the indignity of restoring water and subsequently showering in the frigid waters. As they had both been forewarned, I escaped any and all culpability.

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7 Responses

  1. I was never warned of Wolf’s plan to turn off the pilot light. I suspect Wolf is trying to cover his ass with the reader.

  2. Aaron and Paul were both warned at the same time. Honestly, would I take the chance of offending Knaus in such a provocative manner? Perhaps, however, you were inebriated when warned?

  3. This is a better joke than when I signed Schultz up for the Church of Scientology. Or the prank call Wolf made to Boring Ben claiming to be Stephen and calling him a “Boring Pretentious Fuck.” Actually I think I’ll do a piece on that one.

  4. The Church of Scientology was not really a very good joke. Making an ID with your face and Schultz’s info, that’s going some. As far as this story I have a few concerns: Why bare feet instead of socks? And was he actually locked in his room, and how is that possible?

  5. I expect Wolf was too excited to put socks on. As far as Jason being locked in his room. The skeleton key worked on all bedroom doors, but only Jason as stupid enough to NOT add his own external lock on his door. The external lock on all other doors, coupled with the mutual alliance against Jason, made locking others in their room undesirable.

  6. The beauty of the skeleton key is that it will lock a door from the inside or the outside as it utilizes one of those old fashioned key holes one can actually look though. As for the socks, I never wear them unless forced by the man.

  7. You know, this post as well has gotten more hits that it probably should simply due to people Googling directors pants. In this case the post is the #1 result out of an impressive 577,000. Perhaps some budding young director will stumble upon this in his or her quest for work appropriate attire and decide to make a film about our whole sick crew? Then again, they would probably get Fred Savage or Dustin Diamond to play me, so perhaps that wouldn’t be so good.

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