Jack Fairfax had to laugh. How could he not? Ben Hobart was in a fury. This was extremely funny when you knew and understood the situation and circumstances.
Ben loved pulling pranks on people, whether he knew them well or they were mere acquaintances. Some of them were hilarious, some questionable and some downright ridiculous bordering on dangerous and he never thought twice about the effect it would have or the toll it took on others.
He’d begun when he was a kid, hanging pots of liquid above a door so it dropped down onto an unsuspecting victim, to short-sheeting a bed or two. As time passed and he grew older, his pranks became more elaborate. Sometimes he was forced to include a cohort in his game plan if he couldn’t pull it off on his own.
This time, the tables were well and truly turned, and a bunch of friends got together to pull the ultimate prank on him. Ben’s job hinged on reputation and they included his boss but Ben didn’t know that.
He was driving his BMW hot-rodding as usual, preening as he drove down the main drag of their mid-sized town, a smile or perhaps a smirk on his face when police lights filled his mirror. He moved out of the way to allow the patrol car to pass, continuing on his merry way. The cop pulled into the lane behind him and snapped the siren on and off which got Ben’s attention. Jack could only imagine the look of surprise on Ben’s face as he slowed and pulled to the curb, wondering what was up.
The officer got out of his car and walked toward Ben, and when he arrived at Ben’s window, Ben rolled it down. “Hello, officer, what’s up?”
“You tell me,” he replied.
“I’m not sure.” He’d grin his toothy grin and smile broadly. “I wasn’t speeding, that’s for sure.”
The officer asked to see his license and registration and when Ben moved to retrieve the registration from his glove box, the officer suddenly pulled a gun and yelled, “Hands in the air!”
Ben jumped to attention and startled asked, “What? Why?”
“Do as your told and step from the car.” Everyone involved in the prank was watching via the cam the officer was wearing.
Suddenly the smile was gone and a look of consternation filled his eyes. “I don’t understand.”
“Get out of the car and place your hands on the hood!” Now he was nervous and complied.
The officer frisked him and as he did so, he faked a packet of drugs which he seemingly pulled from Ben’s pocket. “What have we here? My my!”
In a strangled voice, Ben squeaked, “That’s not mine, I don’t do drugs. What the hell is this?”
“Possession of a narcotic. You’re under arrest!” He cuffed Ben and led him to the back of the cop car and settled him inside. He returned to Ben’s car and seemingly pulled out two more packets of the as yet unidentified white substance. As the officer returned to his patrol car, he could be heard radioing into headquarters. “Yeah, I have a suspect in custody, Benjamine Hobart. Seems I found drugs in his possession. I’m bringing him in.”
Ben endured a sweaty ride in the back of the car truly unsettled, scared even. What the hell was happening, he wondered. He didn’t do drugs and someone had obviously placed the contraband on him, but when, how?
When they arrived at the station, he was questioned, fingerprinted and his picture taken. “I want my lawyer, now!” he proclaimed loudly. “I don’t know why, but I’m being set up.” To which the officer grinned.
“Yeah, that’s what they all say.”
He led Ben into a small room containing a table and two chairs and left him to sweat it out until his lawyer arrived. They watched him pace, wring his hands and swipe at his hair.
Finally, after a half-hour, a man posing as a lawyer entered. “Hey, Ben, I’m Greg Sorenson, a partner of Mike Grimes. He’s unable to make it, he’s in court so he asked me to attend. What happened? I need your side of the story, in order to defend you. It seems they caught you dead to rights and there isn’t a lot of bargaining room here.”
“I’m telling you, it’s a plant! I don’t do drugs, never have. They aren’t mine.”
“How do you explain them finding drugs on your body. I could understand someone may be hiding them in your vehicle, but not on your person,” the lawyer stated.
They went around in circles for a good ten minutes. “Look, this could seriously damage my reputation and my job depends on it. What can we do about this?”
The lawyer sat back in the chair and said, “For one, look up into that camera.”
Ben although confused looked up.
The lawyer then said, “Smile, you’re on candid camera! Say hello to all your friends!”
Suddenly a chorus of “Booyah! Got ya! came from outside the door and a half dozen of his friends sauntered through, hooting and hollering.
“What the hell?!” Ben paused before blustering, “This isn’t funny!”
Uncontrollable laughter continued as they revelled in his discomfort. “Sure it is.” They all roared and then continued, “You should have seen your face! OMG, that was priceless.” Several were laughing so hard they were leaning against the wall while others were doubled over with laughter. “Oh yeah, it was priceless!
“Come on Ben, you had to expect we’d exact retribution at some point; you’ve enjoyed pulling pranks with abandon forever! We just turned the tables for a change. Your boss knows it was a setup from the get-go.”
Ben couldn’t believe his boss was involved and after the panic was gone, finally had to laugh. “Damn it, but that was good, really good! Can’t believe you got me!”
They walked out after thanking the officer ( a friend of his bosses) and shaking hands with everyone involved before heading to their favourite haunt for a beer. All the while, Ben was contemplating his next prank and who was most deserving. Deciding it must have been Jack, he vowed to make it a good one.