I guess you’d have to know my friend Brian to know why I put a tampon in his chicken sandwich.
But perhaps I should explain.
Brian was my housemate at college (for a grand total of one year), and in all the time I’ve known him he’s had the best, and likely sickest, sense of humor I’ve seen. Nothing that’s repeatable here on the Internet, of course. We’ve got a standard to uphold, after all. Of course, the funniest thing he’d do is cleaner than God’ bathtub. Sophomore year, I lived in a two-level apartment that had two phone lines. My room being upstairs, and my roommate and I not having discovered the sublime joy of a cordless phone, I had to trek my ass up the stairs every time the phone rang. Every Thursday night, Brian would join the roomies and I for some beer, some cards, and some beer. And every Thursday, without fail, my phone would ring, I’d have to get up from the table, and book up the stairs. I’d pick up the phone: “Hello?” I’d hear “HahahahaHEEHEEHAAAA!”
It seems Brian had discovered the joys of cordless phones after all. And I fell for this EVERY WEEK. Because I am both gullible and of a woefully short memory when it comes to these things. You won that round, Brian!
Cut to a few weeks ago, when I spent the weekend with Brian and his lovely fiancé Kristeen. Kristeen and I stop to visit Brian at work, and after a very couple-like round of “No.” “Yes.” “Yes.” “No.” on the subject of “Do you want us to pick up some food for you,” Kristeen decides she’d like to give her man a little something extra with his lunch.
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“We should bring him a dead mouse,” she says.
“Ew! A real one?”
“Or a rubber one, either way.”
“Heh. We should do something, that’s actually a good idea.”
“We really should.”
“Something gross, like a condom wrapper inside the Wendy’s bag.”
“Or a condom inside the sandwich!”
“Ew! No, I’ve got it! It’s perfect.”
And so, the decision is made to swing by Wendy’s, and while I’ll buy Brian a Spicy Chicken Value Meal, Kristeen will haul ass to the Ladies’ and procure us a tampon. Wendy’s is happy to oblige us on the chicken sandwich end, but their bathroom is criminally understocked when it came to feminine hygiene products. Luckily for us, the train station, with its ample gift shop, is a mere block away.
And so it came to be that I wound up sitting in a car in the train station parking lot with the nicest and quietest girl I knew in college, carefully placing a tampon inside my good friend’s sandwich. I feel like I’m in the third hour of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, where my moment of hitting a moral rock-bottom will be intercut with Julianne Moore sticking a needle into her arm in as her neglected child screams in the background.
We make sure the string is conspicuously sticking out of the sandwich. Our intention isn’t to have Brian ingest a tampon. We want him to see the tampon in the sandwich, have a good and horrified laugh at the fact that we got him, and then move on to the rest of his lunch. We even bought him a backup chicken sandwich so his meal won’t be ruined. Because, truly, we are the Mary Sues of tampon-in-the-sandwich pranksters.
We drop off the rigged sack lunch at Brian’s store and make our getaway, the perfect crime having been executed splendidly. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for the “Damn you!!” phone call, and a whole lot of giggling. So we wait.
Oh we pass the time well enough, what with the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD Kristeen has purchased. We try to guess Orko’s moral of the story before each episode ends. More often than not, we’re wrong. But the longer we go without a phone call from Brian, the more nervous we get.
“If he comes home, not having called us,” I posit, “we know he’s planning something.”
“Oh, he’s gonna want revenge.”
“Be on your guard! Poker faces. Don’t let him know we know he knows.”
Brian comes home, and . . .nothing. No indication that anything at all went awry at work. We make plans to go out for dinner. Still nothing. We ask him if his lunch was spicy enough for him. Still nothing. We get nervous. He’s planning something big.
Out to dinner, still nothing. Because not only are we the Mary Sues of pranking, we’re also impatient as hell, we’re barely through the salad at dinner before I crack.
“Okay, seriously, how was your lunch?”
Brian: “It was fine. Why?”
“Nothing strange about it? No? Nothing . . . what are you planning to get back at us?”
“Did you eat both sandwiches or only one?”
Brian: “I ate one. I gave the other one to this guy at work.”
Oh, that’s my stomach on the floor. As it turns out, Brian saw the two sandwiches, took one for himself, and gave the extra one to a co-worker. A co-worker on his first day! Said co-worker wasn’t going to eat til later, so he set the Spicy Tampax Sandwich aside. At dinner, we all check the time and figure right about now Newbie would be unwrapping his horrifying “gift” of a sandwich.
So this prank went about as poorly as one could go, you’d figure. The intended target dodges a bullet, an innocent man on his first day at work gets handed a contaminated sandwich, and we’re all left to hope Newbie sees that string hanging out before taking a bite. Oh, we are smooth.
The next day. Oh, the next day is not good. Brian returns home from work with the news. Newbie quit. Quit. Saw his Spicy Tampax Sandwich, got furious that Brian would pull such an immature prank on his first day, and quit. Brian had to call this guy at home, explain how his fiancé and his visiting friend are immature, horrible people, how he had no idea what was in the sandwich, and that it was all a horrible misunderstanding. Newbie doesn’t budge. He has quit. Miraculously, Brian’s taking this with remarkable good humor. For all the hell I put him through at work, a punch in the mouth wouldn’t be out of the question.
The moral of the story: I’m never doing a prank again, EVER. I’m just no good at it. Clearly, Kristeen and I should have called Brian no later than an hour after the sandwich drop-off, posed as the Wendy’s Quality Assurance Commission, asked him if any stray feminine hygiene products had made their way into his lunch, and this all would have been shaken out before anyone left their job. Just those words there. If not for me, a man who currently is out of work would have a job right now. Who’s feeling lower than dirt? Me, that’s who. So immature. What twenty-five year old puts a tampon in his buddy’s food? I’m an aging frat boy. I’m a Chipster. I am gross.
Last week: I’m talking to Kristeen online. Small talk, wedding talk, blah blah blah. Then . . .
“Hey, so remember that co-worker of Brian’s who quit his job after the tampon thing?”
“Um, yeah! I seem to recall something like that considering it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done.”
“Brian and I saw him at the Fair this week. He was very smiley and polite and didn’t seem mad at me at all. I thought that was very strange. After he walked away, Brian started laughing . . . “
“He made it up?!”
“Brian found the tampon himself, ate the other sandwich, and made up the story to get back at us.”
The relief I feel is coupled with an admiration for the commitment Brian showed to his prank. The dude never flinched. The man is an immature god among immature men. He’s an example to us all.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. There’s a bag of dog poo I have to mail to a friend.