My uncle was always a bit of a prankster. It was said that he was always the class clown when he was growing up. Oh the stories I could tell you about him! Like the time he did such a realistic impression of a police car siren the bus driver actually pulled over. He was a really fun guy, and me and my sister really looked up to him. His pet name for me was "muskrat". When I was little it had been "rugrat" but as I got older he had to come up with something new, so "muskrat" it was. Yes, I am using past tense because he is no longer around. He passed away unexpectedly in 2000, at the age of 34.
One holiday where he really had fun was Christmas. He liked tricking people by putting presents in odd boxes. One year there was a gift under the tree for me that was from him. For weeks I wondered what it could be. It was a really long box, probably 4 feet long, and about 5 or 6 inches on each side. I'd wonder about it, and he'd always answer with a "You'll just have to wait and see", with a mischievous grin.
Finally Christmas Eve arrived, and we did our taco dinner, and then started the present opening. Finally it was time for me to open the long one. The whole family watched as I unwrapped it and then opened the box. I looked inside and didn't see a thing. I looked at my uncle confused, but he just once again grinned at me. I don't know what came over me, but I decided to do the stupid thing of tilting the box up while looking in it. And got smacked in the face with a koosh ball. Remember those? Yes, that huge box just contained one lone koosh ball, and that was it.
I think everyone else got a bigger kick out of it than I did, but looking back, it was a pretty good joke. And I am sure it was hilarious to watch. It was definitely a learning experience I have put into good use since then. Someone has to carry on the tradition of tricking people, and I am glad to take up the reins. I am just sad my kids never got to meet him, and Christmas hasn't been the same since he's been gone.