Georgia asked me to share this—one of her favorite stories from my high school days:
I’m thinking we were freshmen when we did this. My friend Tracy and I loved to torture her sister Lisa, who was a year ahead of us in school but acted like a big ol' baby. Both Tracy and Lisa were practically albinos, very Flowers-In-The-Attic looking, with white-blonde hair and translucent skin, but Lisa had the angelic disposition to go with it, while Tracy had a redhead’s soul.
Lisa was a pretty, sweet chicken, a good Baptist, extremely insecure, and misguided enough to seek our advice when she was having trouble. She always took our advice, no matter whose ass we’d pulled it from, so eventually, just for kicks, we began offering our counsel without being asked: “Cute haircut, Lisa, but your bangs need to be about an inch shorter…” Or:
Tracy: You know, Lisa, if you’d mix lemon juice, salt, and white vinegar, and use it to wash your face, those craters on your forehead would go away.
TR: True. But it needs to be really hot—as hot as you can stand it—and you should scrub your face with your Buf-Puf first.
Not only did we get the satisfaction of watching her mix and torture herself with our recipe; we also relished her new and ongoing obsession with her forehead.
But the ultimate hoax we played on her took a little more thought and preparation. Tracy’s family lived in a big contemporary house way back in the woods behind our school. It wasn’t a subdivision—just about three houses, maybe, on four or five acres. It got a little scary back there, sometimes. Sometimes, Lisa would even ask us if she could sleep with us in Tracy’s room.
For this particular plan, we started planting the idea that the house was haunted. We’d run into Lisa’s room in the middle of the night and act terrified. We’d tell her about the shadowy figure we’d seen at the window. We did this kind of thing for a couple of weeks, telling tales of flying hairbrushes and lights turning off and on by themselves—all of this part of the master plan.
Tracy’s and Lisa’s bedrooms were connected by their bathroom. It was a straight shot between. One night, once Lisa was sufficiently convinced a ghost inhabited the teen suite, we took fishing line and laid it along the walls on the floor, from Tracy’s room, through the bathroom, to Lisa’s room. We tied the line to objects on her dresser—perfume bottle, comb, picture frame-- and her night table—lamp, bible, “Happiness Is…” statue, as well as to shoes in her closet, and the things propped in the corners of her room—the giant tissue paper flowers, etc.
Then we watched reruns of the Twilight Zone until the smell of lemon and vinegar alerted us to Lisa’s presence. We waited for her to go to bed and gave her time to fall good and asleep before we pulled the first line, knocking over the lamp (we’d removed the bulb, of course), the noisiest of the items, waking her. Slowly, with pauses between, we began pulling the others, sliding the comb across the dresser, clunking a shoe against the closet door, until we heard her whimpering and finally screaming for us to come and rescue her.
I’m telling you, good times.