Playing the Trump Card

The characters:


This is Bobby. *
Bobby knows an awful lot about his friends. Too much, sometimes. He knows important calendar dates that haven’t been shared with him, he saves phone numbers that he overhears in conversation just in case he might need them, he notices when other’s car tags are about to expire, and the notes in his phone reflect the chronology of our lives. In general, he comes dangerously close to crossing the line between perceptive and just plain creepy. Though he knows a lot about us, we don’t know too much about him. But we like Bobby. And so we thought it only fair to give him a taste of his own medicine. Yes, indeed, creepy is as creepy does.





This is Jasmine. *
Jasmine is the other half of the “we”.
(Rori and I find it difficult to coordinate the hands-on work of pranking when separated by 1,000 miles, so an in-state partner was needed.) Jasmine is quiet, and thus is most likely plotting devious things 87.9% of the time, because everyone knows it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.







This is Donald.

He is running for President of the United States.

*Names do not reflect what these people are called 100% of the time.

The Story:

Once upon an April morning, my pranking bone was tickled by the sudden realization that I knew the location of my good friend’s spare house key. What mischievous things could be done with such a tool in hand! Shortly thereafter, I texted Jasmine my unfiltered thoughts, and she jumped on board. Another month passed, and nothing actualized, so I texted again, this time with an example of a prank I found online. She responded instead: “Bobby would the most fun to prank. :D”
And with that, the storm was brewing in our brains. Two weeks later, we met after work to devise a prank that was well-suited for Bobby. The only requirement: it had to involve some element of creepy stalkerishness.

Sending flowers to his office from a secret admirer?
Didn’t know the suite number or his favorite flower.
Leaving things on his car or house?
Would give ourselves away.
Breaking and entering?
Against the law.
But alas! His birthday was coming.
And! We often joked with him about the fact that he had decided to vote for Donald Trump (one of the few things we knew about him). Could these two things be joined together in pranking matrimony? Absolutely!!! Donald Trump could send him a birthday card!!!


STEP 1Discover Bobby’s address.

After searching home owners’ records and white pages online, I found a few addresses that were promising. I asked a friend to confirm but she couldn’t remember exactly, so I set out to weasel it out of Bobby himself. Joking with him one evening about the fact that we had never been to his house, I played dumb, asking if he lived in a particular city (though I knew well that he didn’t). He replied by offering me his cross-streets. DUPED!

STEP 2Design and send amazing birthday card.


Front of said card


Inside of said card

STEP 3Wait for feedback.

The sweetest job of pranking is tasting the fruit of your labors. This happened on a day when a large group of us were at brunch and a political discussion arose. The conversation went as follows:
Bobby: Trump sent me a birthday card!
Me: That is really weird…
Bobby: I don’t even know how he got my birthday.
Another friend: Aren’t you on his mailing list?
Bobby: Yes, but I have never given him my birthday!
Me: The government knows lots of stuff about you.
Jasmine: What did the card say?
Bobby: It said “Let’s make your birthday great again.”
Me: Well, did you?
Bobby: Yeah, it was pretty great.
Me: Good, you made Trump proud.

The Story Continues…

After this whole ordeal, Jasmine approached me one night very concerned that Bobby still hadn’t figured out it was a joke. Should we tell him, she asked? NO!!!!!!!!! If we have maintained our anonymity, we will take full advantage of it! But how?

This was a job for Rori Madril.

Calling her up, I explained the whole story and the success of Phase One. Now, said I, I needed her expert advice on what to do next. What else could Trump know about Bobby that he really shouldn’t? Could he, perhaps, send him something else? Should we tip Bobby off somehow that the scheme was fake?

At that, Rori said, “What if Trump made a mistake about the information he knew about Bobby? Like, what if he sent him a card for a Jewish holiday instead of a Christian one?”

This, ladies and gentlemen, could only have been the Holy Spirit at work. That Spirit of Joy Who just so happens to know – even though Rori didn’t – that Bobby just so happens to work for a Jewish business. The hatching of such a glorious idea is akin to falling face-first into a pool of Ghirardelli chocolate. (I mean, I think. The latter has never happened to me…) And I savored it. Boy howdy, did I savor it.

Having already completed STEP 1, I repeated STEP 2…..


Front of latest card



Now, on to STEP 3. 🙂


Trolling Level: Troll

It was time to up the ante again. Sure, we had officially come out of retirement with Lucia’s pumpkin, but we had eased ourselves back into the game. Now, we needed to do something more, something that required creativity, cunning, and ninja-like reflexes. So we sat down together at Bahama Bucks, bringing in our friends Krystin and Michael as consultants. Shaved ice and brainstorming naturally went hand in hand as different ideas were tossed about, all of which broke several rules of The Code. Lindsay and I quickly realized that we never ever wanted Michael to prank us, ever.

Finally, while Krystin and Michael were having a side conversation, Lindsay and I settled upon a spectacular idea. We only needed a target. Therefore, it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that parish pranksters in want of a victim generally tend to pick on the current youth ministers. And so we did.

The Plan891

Phase 1: Order 60 miniature trolls of varying colors.
Phase 2: Paste together vague, foreboding letters out of magazine cutouts. Like so…
Each letter said the following:

  • Letter 1—They’re coming.
  • Letter 2—R U ready?
  • Letter 3—They’re heeere.
  • Letter 4—Trolling Level: Troll

Phase 3: Leave a letter on Jake and Joe’s desks at varying intervals, each of us taking turns making the drop. Sometimes we’d leave a letter in the middle of the day, when they could catch us at any moment. Sometimes we’d wait until after hours.

Phase 4: Trolls. Everywhere.

Lindsay and I slipped in and out of the Office of Youth Ministry that Saturday like stealth assassins, and trolled like no one has ever trolled in the history of trolling. Don’t believe me? See below.

996991   997


990   1000   1003

998   994   989 

We were in and out of there in just under ten minutes, high-fiving each other for a prank well played. She went home, and I to my office, and that was the end of that!

…Or so we thought.

In our almost ten year history, we’ve never encountered anyone who was as determined as Jake and Joe to unearth our identities. After discovering that their office had been invaded by trolls, Jake cornered me about the events. They knew that whoever had left the trolls needed someone to let them into the office, someone with a key. And since I was generally around with a key on the weekends, they figured I must have known who did it. And, while I did not deny that I knew who did it, or that I had technically let them into the office (Yes, I let both myself and Lindsay in), they never actually asked if I had been a part of the prank. Thus, their reign of terror began.


I walked into my office Tuesday morning and found five trolls that had been scalped with the following note: We have captured and will torture 5 trolls every day until the culprit has been named. These have been scalped and the next five will be burned alive. Tomorrow, noon, on the stake!

This presented a moral dilemma, indeed. Innocent trolls were going to burn. Burn, I tell you! I called Lindsay and we discussed our options. Finally, we waited. We did not think that Jake and Joe would actually burn the trolls. How wrong we were.

The next day, shortly after Noon, Jake left five burned trolls and the following note on my desk: More will die if you don’t talk! Tomorrow, 5 will be hung. If you think we are playing you are sadly mistaken, we are very sick people and have no problem continuing our rampage! CONFESS!!!

 1026  1047001







That was it. Lindsay and I decided we could not let such carnage go unchallenged and so we responded with another letter, sent anonymously via mail, which read: we do not negotiate with terrorists! In retrospect, we shouldn’t have sent such a creepy letter in the mail, especially since the arrival of the letter coincided with the anniversary of September 11th. Indeed, it was insensitive of us and entirely unintentional in regards to the date. But, these monstrous men needed to know that scare tactics were futile.

However, they were not deterred. Again, the next day, five trolls were left on my desk with nooses around their necks and the following letter: Hanging took place! Oh, what a sight! TOMORROW 5 DROWN!!!!!!!!!!


About this time, they had received our mailed response to their threats. Unfortunately, they were true to their word. This was the horrific sight that greeted me the next day.


The letter, in response to ours, read: Luke 17:2. The war has only begun. Terrorists are meek and weak. We strive to create vengeance and illuminate the evil ways of those who instigate terror! Confess or point us in the direction to your master or 5 will be tortured like William Wallace tomorrow!

They didn’t have a clue. I was no puppet, I was the master. Lindsay and I were coconspirators and we answered to no one. Luckily for the trolls, Jake and Joe became so busy with retreat planning and leading teens closer to Christ that they had no more time to brutally torture these plastic toys.


But Lindsay and I had not forgotten. In fact, we will never forget. We held onto the mutilated corpses of the trolls we had once delighted in, and waited for Halloween to roll around. These men would be reminded of their violence through the ghosts of these once plucky creatures. This led us to our most recent pumpkining. We hoped it served as a reminder of all that had been done. Unbeknownst to us, the pumpkin began to rot in their office before they found it. So sorry, guys! That was unintentional!

Finally, Lindsay and I decided it was time to come clean. We devised the perfect reveal and then waited for the hullabaloo to die down. We also thought it was wise to wait for her to complete her trip to Uganda, in case retribution was sought and we needed to take any further action. To coordinate such efforts across the Atlantic would have been difficult, to say the least.

Thus began our most recent endeavor. We wrote all of our experiences into a blog, posting them at calculated intervals and reliving our glory days. All the while we had an ulterior motive as we headed toward our end game, to reveal the true culprits behind Operation “Trolling Level: Troll.”

Jake and Joe—I, Rori Madril, confess and hold to be true that myself and Lindsay Brennan are the culprits guilty of trolling you. You’re welcome.