I’ve never been any good at pulling pranks on people. As a kid, I really wanted to emulate my favorite TV shows and pull pranks on people all the time – those Full House kids were always up to something – but somehow getting a bucket of water to balance on top of a door just never panned out. The best one I ever pulled off as a kid was a repeated attempt to terrify my mom with a life-size cardboard cutout of James Dean I’d gotten at school. It had a way of turning up at the back door when she was coming in the house, or sometimes just hanging out in the shower. I’m sure that got old fast.
Recently, though, I managed to pull one off that I’m pretty proud of.
Backstory: Bessam, a friend of mine from work, is known around the office for his snazzy sock collection. So much so that last fall we had a little campaign where we would post daily photos of his feet on our internal corporate twitter-like thing, and managed to get guys from other offices to post their socks too. It was kind of weird, but it was our thing, ok?
Anyway, early this year I was perusing twitter and saw a post about a new sock of the month club starting up in Toronto. Naturally, my first thought was that I should anonymously enroll Bessam. After exchanging some emails with Kevin, the owner of We Sell Socks, we had it all set up. Kevin was so into the idea that he coined the name “Secret Socker” to sign off on each delivery. Now that’s great customer service right there.
From there, all I had to do was wait. I had a couple co-conspirators in the office who let me know when the first socks arrived – luckily I managed to be traveling on most of the delivery days because I cannot keep a straight face to save my life. Bessam was understandably confused when these beauties showed up on his desk.
He did a little digging but couldn’t figure out who his Secret Socker was (and I obviously wasn’t telling), so life went on until the next delivery. Again, Bessam asked around, trying to figure out who the mysterious Secret Socker could be. This went on for a few months, until he started emailing people in other offices asking if they happened to be sending him socks. I obviously encouraged this. Of course, no one owned up to being the Secret Socker, but I had to start thinking about how I was going to end this thing. All those socks were adding up, and really it could have gone on for ages. I polled some of my co-conspirators for ideas and frankly, they got a little creepy. In the end, I decided that our big staff party after the conference was my opportunity. I ordered a special pair of socks for the occasion – it was a dressy event, after all.
I made up some excuse to give Bessam a gift at dinner, and totally relished the moment when he realized that it had been me all along. I’m kind of sad it’s over now! I guess I’ll get thinking about my next prank…