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My lust for mischief began in early childhood.

I love my mom, I really do, but I played my share of pranks on her. I believe my most famous prank on my mom was the great trapdoor scam. We lived in a big old house in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and it had a staircase leading up and a staircase leading down, right from the foyer. After we'd moved out of the house, I revealed that there had been a trapdoor under the stairs that I used to hide in. My mother said that was silly; she'd cleaned that floor so many times that there couldn't possibly be a door there she'd never seen. However, I was so young and innocent and convincing that eventually she began to have doubts that I was lying.

What you have to understand about my mother is that she thought we were easily tricked. She used to tell us little fibs that we wouldn't believe, and then act like we had been fooled. One example of this was the day we went to the fair and she stayed home, and when we returned she said a hot air balloon had landed in our backyard, having been blown off-course, and that the news team came and her knee was in a shot that was aired on the news. She said there were marks on the grass from where they'd had to drag the balloon away. We weren't convinced. But she made fun of us for believing her anyway. We didn't get it.

We visited North Carolina over ten years after I'd convinced my mother that there had been a trapdoor in that house. We were in the area, and the tenants of that house let us come in and look. (That was rather stupid of them, in my opinion, but we weren't going to hurt anything.) My mother said, "so, where's that trapdoor?" I replied, "Hey, Mom, you remember that hot air balloon that landed in our backyard?" She almost killed me.

Something else I did to my mom when I was a little kid was the halter top gag. She had this halter top that she suddenly started hating, and she threw it out one day. I rescued it from the garbage and kept putting it back in her drawer every time she threw it out. It confused the hell out of her. I got bored of putting it in such ho-hum places such as the dresser and began putting it in cereal boxes. I think eventually she managed to throw it out without me seeing, or else it still lurks to this very day.

And here is yet another prank I played on my mom. One day I took some red jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and stuffed them with other clothes and blankets and stuffed animals. I stuffed it to look like a real person lying on my bedroom floor. Then I got the leftover pigtails my mom had kept from my sister's and my last haircut and put them under the hood so it looked like it had real hair. I opened the window, then ran out and told my mom someone had just jumped into our window and passed out on our floor. Imagine her surprise when she lifted the hood of the child and found that it had my underwear for a face!

My sister helped me sometimes in creating my mischief. We had just been to see the movie Gremlins in the theater. We wrecked our room to make our parents think the Gremlins did it. They were not amused. Neither were we when we got punished.

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