A Study in Pranking, Trickery, and Other Shenanigans: The Consequences of Using the Wrong Shipping Address

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a sister who has set herself up for it will be pranked. OK, enough with the Pride and Prejudice jokes… A year ago, I had just graduated college and had no job prospects, so I moved home with my parents and older sister Katie. I got to do fun things like empty the dishwasher, walk the dog, and sort the mail…You get the picture.

Anyway, one day my mom told me that my younger sister, Mary, had accidentally sent a package to our house instead of her dorm and that it was imperative we forward it to her. It sounded like something highly important, like it was one of those URGENT emails that pop up in your inbox highlighted red and accompanied by one of those cartoony exclamation points.

But as you probably guessed, dear, savvy reader, the package was not some textbook she needed ASAP, but a new pair of sunglasses. When the package arrived and I was doing my mail sorting duties, I instantly recognized that small rectangular box for what it was, as I had gifted a pair for myself the summer before. Plus, I knew Mary and her penchant for sunglasses. Just for good measure, I opened the package like the nosy sister I am, and lo and behold, there was a crisp, new Ray-Ban box inside the shipping box. And inside that Ray-Ban box there was a Ray-Ban case that held a pair of disappointingly normal sunglasses.

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After walking the sunglasses around the house and laughing about how we had almost been duped, Katie and I began conspiring. Mom wanted to send the sunglasses where they came from, but Katie and I had bigger plans.

We gathered up old pairs of sunglasses ranging from a circular pair with useless, blue lenses to multicolored plastic glasses. We had settled on a cheap pair similar enough to the imperative glasses to make Mary think she had gotten scammed. But then we found a pair of jokey, Coke-bottle glasses that really needed a new home. So we replaced the Ray-Bans with that wonderful, shining pair and forwarded them to Mary along with a note that read, “They're real. Promise,” that I wrote with my left hand.

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Not a week later, I received this text:

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No, she did not call them (that would have been glorious) because she found the note and intuited it was my handiwork just from the word “promise.”

“I felt stupid and very confused… I opened the box and was like, what the eff?! because they weren’t what I was expecting at all, Mary reminisces. She further tells me that she thought for a fearful minute that she had, in fact, gotten scammed, but then saw the word “promise” and knew who was responsible.

Even though Katie and I were not there for the grand opening of the Ray-Ban box, the texts and knowledge that the prank was a success are satisfaction enough. Honestly, there’s nothing quite like making a sibling feel stupid and confused.

Leslie Michaels is currently a Level 2 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She spends her spare time riding her bicycle, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or hanging out with her boyfriend, Netflix. She still questions whether she’s a dog person or a cat person.