Thursday, May 11

Mama Kat Thursday: The Practical Joke

We moved to Eglin Air Base in August, 1985. Hubby had two children from a previous marriage, a boy and a girl, named Shane and Stacy that we'd have out to visit us in summers for a good number of years.
Their step-Dad was in the Navy stationed on the west coast and we were in the Air Force stationed in the East, so summer was the only time they could visit and usually it was just a couple weeks.
But in 1986, Shane happened to already be at our house several months before summer. He was 13 at the time.
It's hard to remember exact details now, but there was some sort of altercation at his other home that motivated his Mom & step-Dad to put him on a plane and ship him out to us right in the middle of the spring school semester! 
So, he'd been living with us since around mid-March.
We were living in base housing then, in a small two-bedroom unit that was part of a 4-plex of similar two-bedroom units.
One of the unique features of living on base was the tornado siren, which was turned on to wail across base every day at exactly 12 noon to test it's readiness. It sounded like an air raid siren and you could hear it loud and clear all over base!
Shane had been living with us long enough he knew what it was and was quite used to it.
Then, with the arrival of the summer months, we flew his sister, Stacy, out to visit for a couple weeks in June or July. It was her first visit to our new location in Florida.
(We'd been previously stationed at Bolling AFB in Washington D.C.)
So, Stacy didn't know about the siren.
So, on her first day there, the 3 of us, Shane, Stacy and myself. were playing a game in the living room when suddenly the noon siren went off.
Shane suddenly shouted, "It's an air raid! Duck!" and Stacy threw herself off the couch onto the floor and covered her head.
Shane squealed with laughter. It was hilarious.
 Of course, I told Stacy right away that it
wasn't an air raid.
But the moment still resides in my memory as one of the better practical jokes I've ever seen.

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That housing we lived in back then is, of course, long gone now. It was razed to the ground since 2000 sometime and now you can't even tell there was ever housing there.
I think the siren has been replaced by something called the Big Voice that announces approaching weather risks in a big booming audio all over base, such as: "Lightning is within five miles, take shelter."
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What's the best practical joke you've seen?


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1 comment:

John Holton said...

I always remember Robert Klein's joke about the air raid siren, where they told him first that it meant imminent disaster, then set it off every day at noon, so it just meant lunchtime. "What if the Russians attack at noon?"

I'd've kept the sirens. Those Big Voices are spooky.

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