I'd like you to join with me in imagining something. Close your eyes. Well, don't, 'cause you can't read that way, but imagine just the same. Imagine you're in a big blue bag, waiting to say boo and scare someone when they open it. Imagine how funny it'll be. You hear footsteps. Is that your target? You hear a voice. Who's in there? You have been swiftly busted. Then you feel the bag being pushed onto the floor and you're being kicked repeatedly. Grasping for the zipper, you have a hard time getting to it, as your intended target is beating on you. I want you to roll that Fail around in your mind.
Keith Ballard really needs to step it up in the pranks department.
Workplace pranks are entertaining, but really, hiding in something? There are about a million ways for such a prank to go wrong, not to mention there's very little payoff. Best-case scenario: Bieksa--the target--jumps a bit when he opens the bag. Worst-case scenario: you're gift-wrapping yourself, defenseless and unable to see, for the person you're trying to play a prank on. Even after being instructed of this concern by Kesler and Burrows (hence Ballard's trip to the trash can in the photo that started all this) Ballard still went along with the prank.
Worst of all? He couldn't fit into Bieksa's hockey bag, so he used a goalie bag and put Bieksa's number on it. How fooled was Bieksa?
“He crawled into my hockey bag there and thought for whatever reason I wouldn’t notice my bag being three times the size it usually is,” smiled Bieksa.
“I come over and looked at it and I see that obviously it’s huge, so I start kicking him and then I tried to pick him up and throw him in the garbage can, but he’s a hefty boy so it was hard.”
Good job, Ballard.
Ballard, let me take a moment to speak to you directly. I'm not here just to criticize. I know you're willing to go pretty far for your pranks, and that's endearing and valuable in a locker room. You just need a little help figuring out what to do. So here are a few ideas.
- Offer Tanner Glass a Scrabble board "to help him prepare." Change the values of the letters, and add an extra blank tile.
- Change Alex Burrows's doorbell so that, instead of making a ringing sound, it says "that's a sleeewfoot."
- Start leaving cards around the locker room for Bieksa, Raymond, and especially Luongo, that say "I hate you because you're Canadian. Hugs and Kisses, Ryan Kesler. P.S. Present this card at anywhere FIRSTAR gear is sold for a 15% discount off RK17 apparel."
- Switch the nameplates at the Sedin twins' lockers. Accuse Daniel of impersonating Henrik to get a taste of the glory of being the most decorated Canuck of all-time.
- Offer to get Luongo a gatorade from the fridge, by saying "I'm going to get you... a gatorade from the fridge." Then advise him that he should keep playing well... for everyone's sake.
- Organize a team effort where you all take turns sitting in Henrik's seat on the plane.
- Distribute Bieksa masks in an effort to remind everyone that We Are All Bieksa. Get as many people as possible to answer whenever someone says "Bieksa."
- Make a fake twitter account for Mason Raymond and keep challenging @BizNasty2point0 to a fight.
- Put paintings of Raffi Torres on the walls of teammates' hotel rooms. Claim the eyes seem to follow you. Shriek whenever you see Raffi in person.
- Have a bunch of elementary school Canucks fans make Cory Schneider a really big card that says, "To our favorite goalie." Talk about it a lot in the dressing room.
- Pie Aaron Rome in the face during the superskills. When he says he's not a rookie, look surprised and say, "that's the first I've heard of it."
Pranks are fun. They make for good television -- they've been keeping The Office afloat ever since they were foolish enough to let Jim and Pam get married. They also make for great stories, even the dumb ones that don't go right. For this reason, I'd never ask Keith Ballard to stop.
But I will ask him to step it up a bit.