My Japanese Beetles Come Home To Roost

It started with a text message from my work partner, Cliff – “signing Baker up for power wheelchair information was good stuff.”

The guy he’s referring to, Baker, works hard. But he always seems to be undergoing some sort of surgery. It’s never anything horrific, just normal wear and tear for an 80-year-old man. Baker is in his early thirties. So, in the dark humor of my office, sending Baker’s name in to get informational mailings about power wheelchairs is hysterical.

English: Pride Jazzy Select power chair

Pride Jazzy Select power chair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I knew from the message that the prevailing opinion in the office was that I was responsible for sending Baker’s name in. I called Cliff and asked what happened. He laughed and described Baker’s reaction to the big glossy packets of wheelchair information he’d gotten. Then I broke the news to him. I had nothing to do with this joke.

He roared with laughter. “You are such a liar”, he said, “this must be your work”. “It isn’t, I really had nothing to do with this one” I told him. He laughed even harder, and repeated his accusation that I was a liar, with an added word that I won’t say here because my mother might read it.

I couldn’t convince him that I really had no idea who had pulled off the wheelchair mailing list joke. He was certain I was the prankster and told me so. I began to have flashbacks of my high school Italian teacher wrongly accusing me of sabotaging her yearly slide show, yearly. My only defense was denial.

I Stand Accused

Cliff skillfully prosecuted his case against me. I knew he did not have any physical evidence against me because I was (and am) innocent. He had a strong circumstantial case and fired off a series of questions:

“Have you ever rigged anyone’s desk to sing “Superfreak” whenever the desk drawer was opened?”


“And you’ve done the same thing to the Lieutenant?”

“Different song.”

“But you used the same technique.”

“Yes I did.”

“Tied streamers and cans to the bumper of a police car?”


“Stolen a police car?”

“Which police car?”

“Filled anyone’s office with cardboard boxes?”

Oma Strikes Back

I acknowledged the cardboard stunt, then went on the attack with the only defense I had: “I really had nothing to do with this power chair thing. You know I tell you when I do something and you ask me.” Cliff cracked. “I know. This one’s good though, it looks like your work. You say it isn’t. OK.”

Ahhh, vindication. Or, so I thought.

“Let me ask you about one other from a long time ago. I went to the captain’s office one morning a few years ago. Someone had taken all the pictures out of his office and replaced them with a painting. He was trying to figure out how it happened. Today, in roll call, people were telling me about a painting that you hated and how they never found out where it went. That was the painting in the captain’s office. You redecorated, didn’t you?”

I admitted to that.

English: Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) ...

Japanese Beetles(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You lured hundreds of Japanese beetles into someone’s car.”

“Yes, but that was a long time ago.”

“The phone message you like to leave in people’s boxes to call Mr. Bass…what phone number do you put on it for them to call?”

“The number for Modern Fish Market.”

I Want All Of You To Know I Really Did Not Do This

Things looked dire, yet it felt like he was about to let me off the hook. We chatted a moment about a meeting he’d been in and a few other things. I should have known he would finish his argument.

Remember when you messed with that guy’s dry cleaning?”


“Why’d you stop?”

Cliff knew the answer and so did I. The question was a fatal blow to the case for my innocence…even though I was not part of the power wheelchair stunt. I said “I stopped because he transferred and I can’t get to his laundry anymore.”

“OK dude, its your day off. I just wanted you to know I thought the wheel chair gag was great. Good job, I’ll talk to you next week.”

I stand wrongly accused because of my past deeds.

My Japanese Beetles have come home to roost.


19 Comments on “My Japanese Beetles Come Home To Roost”

  1. Daile says:

    Sounds like working with you would be entertaining and painful at the same time. I know who to come to if I ever need office pranking advice

  2. Laura says:

    Okay, most of these pranks seem harmless — but what could a person possibly do to deserve having hundreds of Japanese beetles in their car?

    • omawarisan says:

      The beetle thing is the only time I’ve done something to someone I don’t like. This person was so toxic that the mention of their name makes otherwise happy people seek therapy. So many people had motive to pull that one.

      If I pull a prank on someone I’m a big fan of them.

  3. Katie says:

    I think you’re OJ guilty–which means you’re guilty and we all know it, but we can’t prove it.

  4. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    My office is in dire need of you – not someone like you – you. I loved the dry cleaning prank. I love it more because it actually got the annoying singing guy to transfer. You are genius.

    • omawarisan says:

      I still have the best garment for that dry cleaning prank. I think I’m going to go find his desk and just hang it there. My only hang up is tht I’m not sure his co-workers can keep quiet.

      Maybe I’ll be a freelance practical joker.

  5. I love your practical jokes! Especially since I am not the butt of them.

    I once pulled of a practical joke at work. A guy would park his company car at a local eatery and go inside to have lunch. He left his car running the entire time. So I stole his car. Technically, I just relocated it and took it back to the company. I am pretty sure the statute of limitations has run out on that particular grand-theft. I hope, officer.

  6. Blogdramedy says:

    The eyes never lie. You’re wearing sunglasses. Case closed.

  7. Debbie says:

    Methinks you might be protesting too much. Usually, that indicates guilt. Proving it is another matter, however.

  8. lbwoodgate says:

    No non-deed goes unpunished

  9. Linda Sand says:

    I’d love to get you together with my retired-deputy friend and listen to you two tell stories about your pranks. My friend has pulled some good ones, too. I have two favorites on his list: the paper door and the wild animal.

  10. It sounds like you are “King” of the pranksters. I’m laughing so hard my injured face is swelling again.

  11. Compared to Japanese beetles and stealing a police car, the wheelchair mailing seems pretty tame. Not your style so I believe you.

  12. […] took my sense of humor well. Over the course of my career, I rigged desks, computers and cars. I caused a Japanese beetle swarm and redecorated my captain’s […]

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