When I was a kid, my best friend, Allison, and I had a prank calling side hustle, a passion project if you will. These were the days before Caller ID and cell=phones. We set up shop in my brother’s bedroom — he was the only one with two phone jacks in his room. With two phones, we could both listen in.

One of our favorite pranks was telling people they were a part of a nation-wide contest: if they could list all 31 Baskin Flavors flavors in 60 seconds they would win a prize.  The prank callee, if they hadn’t already hung up, would frantically blurt out flavors, at which point we could not hold in our howls and they would usually catch on and angrily hang up, but one time someone successfully listed all the flavors and Allison announced: “You are the proud new owner of a matching shower curtain and shower cap!” I have no idea how she came up with that one but, because it was so random, it sent us rolling on the floor with laughter — it still makes me laugh, I admit.

After the booby prize notification, I think the “poor devil” (as my mom used to say) probably hung up. I can’t recall, but I do remember that we devoted many weekends to our hobby of annoying people.

Allison and I always kept ourselves entertained. One day, we decided to turn everything in my mother’s kitchen upside-down, from items on the counter tops to pictures hanging on the wall to salt and pepper shakers: everything. When my mom came home later that day, we proudly announced that we were celebrating The Day of Upside Down-ness and presented our exhibit. My poor mother, who was not usually in the mood for a prank, sighed angrily: I think her life already felt “upside down,” so the last thing she needed was to come home to a literally upside down kitchen.