Posts Tagged ‘Great pranks’

Not Agnes.

Back in the 90’s a good friend of mine coached at a nearby school. We were always messing with each other the way friends do, and I was always looking for a good angle to pull a prank on him. One day after reading the paper I found one.

My friend’s team had played a game the night before and they hadn’t played well at all. In the newspaper he’d given this quote:

We shot so poorly tonight we’d have had trouble beating the Little Sisters of the Poor.”


For those of you that don’t know, the Little Sisters of the Poor is a charitable organization that is hundreds of years old. I saw an opening and immediately pounced. I began crafting a letter, complete with the Little Sisters of the Poor logo and heading. The letter said, in effect, that the Little Sisters of the Poor Organization was highly offended by my friend’s derogatory and very public remarks and were meeting with their attorneys. They were then planning to discuss possible litigation at their bi-monthly Meeting of LSOP Directors. I concluded with a statement from the organization’s president, Mother Agnes Schumacher (heh-heh), that basically blasted my buddy Phil for his callous remarks. The statement referenced the organization’s years of service to the unfortunate and how his words publicly diminished a respected and prestigious group such as theirs. His statements were, in a word, slanderous.

I sent the letter, complete with a professional Sisters of the Poor envelope and the aforementioned stationary. Then I sat back and waited.

At the time, I was Athletic Director at Paint Valley and my friend was coaching. His team was to play Paint Valley a few days after I sent the letter. I knew I had to bring it up somehow, for all I knew he’d read it and thrown it away. It was a Friday night and his varsity team was warming up when I walked over to him in front of the bench . . .

Hey Phil, I saw where you guys didn’t play well the other night. Your comments in the paper were pretty funny.”

Yeah, we were bad. I wasn’t very happy.”

Well, you better be careful talking about some of those charitable organizations, they can get pretty upset about certain things you say about them.”

O.K. Thanks.”

Then I just walked away.

It took maybe 10-seconds to hit him. At that point I heard this from behind me.

You! It was YOU!”

Then he ran across the floor to where his principal and superintendent were sitting in the stands, pointing at me and talking excitedly.

I distinctly remember the principal dropping his head into his hands and shaking it repeatedly while the superintendent just sat there with his mouth open, staring at me.

Little did I know what had transpired back at his school. My friend had recieved the letter and had been mortified. He’d taken it to his principal, who’d then taken it to their superintendent. There had been long discussions regarding how best to handle this horrible breech of civility, not to mention the impending lawsuit.

They’d decided the best course of action was was to make a public apology on the Friday night Scoreboard Show on WKKJ, which was airing right after the game, then send a typed copy of the apology, along with a recording of the show, to the Little Sisters of the Poor and its indignant president, Mother Agnes Schumacher. I believe a letter to the local paper was also to be crafted.

Guess I spoke up just in time.

This past season my basketball team played at the school where my friend had coached when I sent the letter. As luck would have it, the former superintendent and principal, now retired, were sitting a few rows behind my bench. At one point before the game I heard someone yell, “Little Sisters of the Poor!”, followed by some loud laughter.

I turned around and saw them grinning and shaking their heads, and I just smiled. The enjoyment of a prank well-pulled lasts a lifetime.

Originally published on February 2nd, 2013.