Note: I have always been a bit of a prankster, and I do believe this one tops them all, spanning several years.
There was a time when Arizona had cactus cops, whose duty was to enforce laws protecting native-plants, especially saguaro cacti, which could be worth thousands of dollars to landscapers. Cactus rustling was a real thing, and an accomplished cactus rustler could uproot and haul away a 30-foot saguaro worth $15,000 in a matter of minutes.
A friend of mine, named Mike Howard, was a cactus cop working out of Kingman, in the northwest part of the state, and the two of us had been like brothers for many years. Somewhere along the way we started stealing things from each other. And not just little things like a book or a tool or a nice Stetson hat, but also things like guns, expensive binoculars, spotting scopes, and such. I really don’t remember how this prank got started, but by unspoken agreement, neither of us ever mentioned or acknowledged it.
Now, Mike was a great guy, but he was also rather obsessive-compulsive. He once had three weeks comp time coming and had to use it or lose it. I had visited him at his place in Kingman, and a few days later he was going to come and stay with me in Tucson for a week or so. He had just purchased a very nice canvas vest that I fancied, so when I left to go home, I stole it. At the time I did not know that his badge was in one of the pockets.
This was in the days before cell phones, and when I got home there was a message on my answering machine from Mike saying I could keep the vest, but he needed his badge back. I called him and said it would be at my place when he arrived in a day or two, since he was on vacation and didn’t need it. Mike, being Mike, insisted I overnight it to him by FedEx. I didn’t really want to go to all that hassle and told him so, but he insisted that he really needed it and gave me his FedEx account number (don’t ask me why he had a FedEX account, he never said and I never asked) and said to send it at his expense.
I called FedEx and asked what the maximum weight I could ship overnight was, and while I don’t remember the exact amount, I seem to recall it was somewhere around 50 to 70 pounds. So, I got a reinforced shipping box with a wooden floor and filled it with red bricks to the weight limit. I also included his badge and a letter from the Brick of the Month Club, informing him that we had goofed and failed to send him his bricks from the last two years or whatever, so here they were, and he would continue to get another brick every month thereafter. And I sent it to be billed to his FedEx account.
Mike never said a word about it, and every month for the next several years I dutifully shipped him a brick, all billed to his FedEx account. When Miss Terry and I got married years later, I took her to meet Mike, and he showed her the brick carport he had made with a shoulder high wall around it, using all those damn bricks. I think if I had kept it up, he might have ended up with a two-car garage!
Congratulations Dorothy O’Dell, winner of our drawing for a copy of an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. We had 51 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – If I was a plastic surgeon, I would 100% put a squeaky toy in every breast implant.