Sometimes when two people of like minds, with mischievous tendencies, become friends, crazy things can happen. And sometimes, just sometimes, these crazy things turn into glorious stories that will be told to our children, grandchildren, and their grandchildren for generations to come.
It’s difficult to pinpoint when Lindsay and I first decided to start pranking. I’m not sure if it was boredom, or a need to express ourselves creatively. We would laugh and scheme about all the fun things we could do, though prudence and wisdom often kept us from all the absolutely terrible ideas (here’s looking at you, people who toilet paper houses). But, we always agreed upon our first target: our youth minister, Ryan.
Ryan had quite the impact on both mine and Lindsay’s lives and, naturally, we wanted to do something for him in return. So we conceived of an ingenious idea to send him on a treasure hunt, hoping his love for adventure and humor would spur him along the way.
Lindsay and I met for several nights thinking up plans, end goals, and riddles, all to send Ryan on a wacky expedition of fun and hilarity. We considered that it all might be a little creepy, perhaps even a bit much, but we were teenagers. You either went big, or you went home. Literally.
So, the map was created (not without incident either*) and the riddles were written, meant to send Ryan from one crazy location to the next. Below are the riddles we originally came up with. However, please note that we are missing one piece of the map (which had all the clues written on the back), due to Ryan misplacing it.
October 9, 2004 (Led to the men’s bathroom at our church)
This next one will throw you for a loop.
It’s in a place where YOU go poop.
Behind the porcelain I’ll be found,
In a church that’s underground.
You won’t know the stall in which I hide,
So rear your legs and take a dive.
October 14, 2004 (Led to the feminine hygiene aisle of a convenient store)
This endeavor is a bit more clever,
You must tread where all men fear,
But women must go twelve times a year.
On the SW corner of Guad and McQueen I wait,
At the rear of an aisle most reviled I’m taped.
Suckafoo! (This was literally supposed to be a hit and run. We were going to enlist our friend’s brother, who was on the track team, to put on a ski mask and run by Ryan after a Life Night, slap it on his back, and keep on running. In retrospect, this would have been terrifying.)
This next one will come when you least expect.
Maybe it will teach you a little respect.
And if you happen to catch me in the act,
I promise that you won’t get whacked.
So run run as fast as you can,
If you can catch me I’ll reveal who I am.
October 22, 2004 (The map was to take him to a secret location where the treasure awaited).
Now is the time for which you have been waiting,
I must say it has been quite entertaining.
But please don’t see this chase as vicious,
I promise this next one is bootylicious.
So follow the map, it’s not that far.
Aye aye Matey! X marks the spot! Yarr!
When everything was set, we decided to place the first clue on Ryan’s truck while he was in class at MCC. And nothing went according to plan that evening. We thought Ryan had class and so we drove over there, only to realize that he was standing outside his building near the parking lot as we drove by.
“Get down! Get down!” I yelled as Lindsay ducked, and I leaned like a cholo. I’m not entirely sure how I didn’t hit someone, I couldn’t see over my steering wheel. It was the grace of God. When the coast was clear we drove in circles for an hour and could not find his truck, finally, we gave up and went home that night. We learned later that his class was cancelled and he left right after we saw him. Even the best laid plans can be disrupted I suppose. So, we went to plan B, and left the piece in his mailbox at home.**
However, due to Ryan’s busy schedule of life, he never followed the clues. The planning and creative experience was all worth it, even if the prank was an epic fail. It was the beginning of a pranking team, and the end of ever looking at life the same way again.
*Lindsay, I apologize and deeply regret almost setting you on fire while we tried to give our map the burnt and used look. I will never forget.
**Ryan, if you’re reading this, I deeply apologize for all the creepering!