I like mischief. I can't remember when I first came up with the notion of inserting peanuts into the unsuspecting ears of my friends, but the idea soon took irresistable hold of me. I believe the first to fall victim was my brother; I snuck up behind him and with one fluid motion, stuck the unshelled peanut into his ear. His reaction was quite satisfying, and later on I tried it out on my friend Ron Briscoe. It was my first visit to California, that long road trip down to LA, fifteen members of the U of A Star Trek and Scuba clubs crammed into one van. We stayed at a hostel near the famous Korean Bell, and when Ron went to bed, I waited patienty for him to fall asleep and crept out of my bunk with a peanut in each hand. I leaned over Ron, and just as I was about to drive the peanuts home, his eyes snapped open.
"Earl," he said dangerously, "Do not...stick...those PEANUTS...in my EARS!"
Foiled, I retreated. But my greatest peanut victory was yet to come.
A couple of years later, several Star Trek Club alumni attended the Namao International Air Show. Ron was there, and so was Steven Neumann, his sister Susan, and her boyfriend Jeff Shyluk. Naturally peanuts were served, and as we reclined on picnic blankets and watched the ballet of the jets overhead, I couldn't resist casually tossing a peanut in Jeff's direction.
Much to my surprise, the peanut sailed in a graceful arc, closed the two-metre gap between Jeff and I, and landed directly in Jeff's ear. Jeff immediately clapped a hand over his ear and his eyes goggled in disbelief.
"MY EAR!" he wailed, "A PEANUT!"
It was glorious.
More recently, I managed to sneak a peanut into Sylvia's ear, catching her completely by surprise on the couch. Her reaction was almost as satisfying as Jeff's. However, the aftermath has convinced me that perhaps now would be a good time to put away childish things...i.e., silly pranks.