Yesterday at work, I received a “goodie bag” in my mailbox. I was hoping for free samples of candy and gadgets, but was disappointed to only find anti-tobacco propoganda. There were pamphlets, pens, and one of those magnetic ribbons that people are so fond of putting on their cars these days. You’ve seen them – yellow for “support the troops,” pink for “breast cancer awareness,” red for…well, who can keep up with them, really? There are too many. Name a cause, there’s a ribbon color for it.
Well, add green to the color list. The green magnetic ribbon in my goodie bag has “Tobacco Awareness” printed on it. Does this strike anyone else as odd? I’m aware of tobacco. I’m aware that people smoke. I’m even aware that tobacco, when grown, is green. But slapping “Tobacco Awareness” on a green magnetic ribbon seems…goofy. A little like someone wearing a Rice Chex T-shirt in my mind. “I’m aware of tobacco!” it says. “But not of how tacky it is to put magnetic ribbons on my vehicle!” it also says.
Last night after practice, my two best IRL friends Kat and Matt and I went out for a bite to eat, then caravaned back to Matt’s house. Before we pulled out, though, I was struck with an idea, so I slapped the Tobacco Awareness ribbon on the car Kat was driving. Matt and I got a huge kick out of seeing it on there and joked about how it was going to have to make the rounds between our three cars from now on.
It was an idea relished in its infancy as we imagined the other two unsuspectingly showing up somewhere with the ribbon attached to their vehicle.
The idea was quickly abandoned, though, when we pulled up to Matt’s house.
“That’s the guy who was having that really loud party the other night!” he said, pointing at a cranky looking dude rummaging around in his pickup truck.
“We should totally put the ribbon on his truck,” I said, totally aware of my anti-prank stance, but feeling this particular brand of street justice was warranted.
Matt had been opening the door, but quickly shut it to help stifle the giggles with which he was suddenly struck. Kat by this time was outside the car and wondering why weren’t getting out.
As soon as Truck Dude was done rummaging around in his truck and wen back inside, Matt opened his door, dashed around to the back of Kat’s car, grabbed the ribbon, slapped it on Truck Dude’s truck, and hurried back around to join us where we stood, too amazed to laugh.
We had just started to realize the silliness and simultaneous wonderfulness of the stunt when Truck Dude came back out. We busied ourselves saying goodbyes and chit-chatting, trying to look unguilty, knowing for sure that Truck Dude was going to wander around to the back of his truck, see the ribbon, and kill us all. What actually happened was that he got in his truck and pulled out, leaving us laughing and maybe whooping a little bit. Take that, Truck Dude!
I’m struck with a few thoughts after the fact. One, I’m kind of sorry to see the magnetic ribbon go. It was fun just waiting to happen. Two, I’m glad the magnetic ribbon gave its life for a good cause. Three, with the amount of laughter and possible whooping we were doing at 11 o’clock at night in Matt’s parking lot, it’s possible that he could be on the receiving end of a similar prank in the future for similar reasons. Four, I wish I could see the look on Truck Dude’s face when he sees the magnetic ribbon and says, “Man, I’m already aware of tobacco.”