Today I was reminded of a mean prank I pulled when I was a kid. Well I think I was 15 or 16, but that seems like a kid now. My friend Greg had this girlfriend Erica. I kinda dug her. She was cute and she only lived in Olympia during the summer which somehow made her extra desirable in that exotic foreign exchange student kind of way. She wasn't foreign though, she was from Kennewick Washington. I didn't really know where that was at the time, but now that I've been there I can tell you it's a bit less then exotic. Unless you consider living near a nuclear power plant exotic. My bad prank started because she was having a birthday party. I knew she was really into the New Kids On The Block. NKOTB the girls liked to call them. They were a big deal. Kind of the Jonas Brothers of their time. I didn't like them. I had my own shitty musical taste. I was only three years away from going to Nirvana concerts and playing drums in a punk band, but in 1989 I was still a mullet and a Christian Rock record collection away from being even a little bit cool. The day before Erica's birthday party I was at a store and I saw this 8 X 10 picture of the New Kids. For some goddamn reason I immediately had this evil idea to buy the picture, put a fake New Kids signature on it, and pretend somehow I had gotten a personalized autographed picture for her. I don't know why I thought of it. It certainly wasn't what my Christian Rock albums would want me to do. I bought it and told Greg about the idea and of course he thought it was pretty much the best idea ever. "Dude that would be hilarious!" So on the bottom of the picture I put "To Erica. I hear you're one of our biggest fans. Thanks for the support. Love Jordan." He was her favorite. Jordan was the cute one I guess. It certainly wasn't Danny. He looked like he hadn't fully evolved yet. So the birthday party comes and it's already starting to seem like a bad idea. But that son of bitch Greg keeps goading me on "Dude you've got to do it, It'll be hilarious!"
So when it's time for me to give my present I really lay it on thick. "I have an Uncle who is a record producer in L.A. and he knows the New Kids personally and I told him what a big fan you are, and he got Jordan to sign this for you." And that's about when Erica started crying tears of joy. "Oh my god Gabe this is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I can't believe it oh my god." I think she even ran off to show it to her mom. I'm getting douche chills just thinking about it. I think at that point I was very willing to just live with the lie and let her be happy, but of course Greg was like you "Man you've got to tell her, Dude this is hilarious!" So I told her I made it up. And she cried again, but this time not tears of joy. God I felt like an asshole. For some reason she blamed Greg for the whole thing even though it really was my dumb idea. I think she smeared cake on his car window to get back at him. The New Kids on the Block are making a 2008 comeback. I wonder if 33 year old Erica is still a fan. Or I wonder if every time she sees or hears anything about them she has an uncontrollable urge to throw a cake at a teenager with a mullet. She probably kept the picture and lied to her own kids about how she "had a friend who had an Uncle that was a record producer...."
"Dude that would be hilarious!"