We writers are pranksters..!

EVER so often the serious-minded people of this world look at writers and say with condescending attitude, “Can’t you be a little mature?” I smile and tell them that it is this childlikeness of writer that works his creative juices. “Not childish, mind you, not immature, but a child-like quality that asks, and questions and wonders, that feels and cries and laughs and finally emotes into prose and poetry.
That child-like quality is also what gives them a whacky sense of humour that makes so many of them great pranksters! Perhaps, Mark Twain was one of the greatest pranksters of the literary world. One day the young Mark Twain and his friends caught a raccoon. The boys skinned it and Mark Twain was delegated the task of selling skin to local dealer, from whom he received much to his disgust, only ten cents.
As he was leaving the shop, however, he noticed that the man threw the skin into a back room, the window of which was open. He crept round to the window, climbed in, retrieved the skin. Later he entered the front door once more, to come out with ten more cents. This was repeated many times, until the by now suspicious storekeeper happened to look into the back room to see how many skins he had bought..!
The world-renowned novelist and film producer, Alfred Hitchcock on one April Fools’ Day, arranged to have phone calls sent to his friends, stating that he had met with an accident in the bath tub and that he was dead. When scores of friends rushed to the writer’s residence, they saw to their great sorrow, that the still dripping body of Hitchcock was pronounced dead by the doctor.
It was sometime afterwards when mourners had gathered at his house to pay their respects to the departed soul that Hitchcock walked in, to everyone’s pleasant shock and disbelief. Hitchcock had made a life-size dummy of himself and with the help of the family doctor and a few other friends had played an elaborate joke on his friends.
Another equally mischievous prankster from the literary world was Robert Benchley, author of many books, including My Ten Years in a Quandary. While at Harvard University, Robert Benchley and a friend were walking one day through an exclusive square. Smitten by inspiration, he walked up to a house and knocked the door. When the maid opened the door, Benchley said, “We’ve come for the sofa set.”
The confused maid let them in; they picked up the sofa set and carried it across the square to another house. Again they knocked at were greeted by a maid. Robert announced, “Where shall we put these chairs?” The bewildered maid indicated a place in the living room. Benchley and his friend deposited it there and went happily on their way.
After several months when the owner of the sofa set went to the other house for tea, she recognized with astonishment, her stolen property..! Pranks! Silly to the serious of the world, but still capable of producing some laughter in an otherwise grim world. What d’you say?

Share this post

    scroll to top