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Friday, November 5, 2010

Operation Snuggle

So last night I was told not to forget to tell about Operation Snuggle, because it's annoying when someone says they'll tell a story later and then never do. Well, with how my memory works, I better get on it or there's not a chance of remembering to post it!

How do I condense 6 weeks of pure trickery delight? Let's see if I can do it ...

So, Hilary is big on Christmas and generally puts her tree up in November -- even before Thanksgiving some years. I told her when we were roommates that it was illegal in our apartment until after Thanksgiving. So, on Black Friday we got a tree, put it up, and had a Christmas party. After the party she was sitting a little close to a guy, and someone said, "You better watch out or President Jenkins will think you're dating!"

President Jenkins, our fun branch president, was intent on seeing who in the branch were turning into couples. He would watch who sat by whom each week, and he'd even watch who was intentionally not sitting by whom so nobody else would notice. He generally had a feel of the branch and disappointed people when they'd start dating and he wasn't surprised.

Anyway, somehow then the idea was hatched: We'd get everyone left at this Christmas party in on a joke to make him think a bunch of us had started dating. This was a very long-term prank (six weeks), and we were excited. We drew names out of a hat to determine who would start "dating" whom. We had to re-arrange a couple to make it more realistic, but this is how I ended up fake dating Paul.

Over the next weeks we would have conversations in front of and with our beloved branch leaders to lead them to believe that we six couples were dating. There was also a little hand-holding here and there, and the one couple who was really dating faked an engagement. This scam was to go through the branch Christmas party, where we would do a skit to reveal the whole joke.

We took fake engagement pictures of each couple and put them together in a photo collage with pictures of temples and sayings about friends. One of the slots also has a "title" that says: Operation Snuggle 1999.

It was going great until the day before the skit. That's when it hit me -- this was a really mean joke! Pres J has been so happy with all the recent dating in the branch, and we're going to devastate him. Oh, man -- what did we do?

So, the big night comes. We had the skit videotaped ... too bad the sound isn't very good. Anyway, we re-enacted some of the scenes that were more blatant attempts to get everyone to think specific couples were dating. Then we said something like, "How could this have happened? Was it in the water? Did Terry spike his break-the-fast cake? No, it all started back at a Christmas party in November ..." We re-enacted the scene of the idea coming forth, including the part about revealing it all at the branch Christmas party in a skit. At that point we all looked at the audience to make clear this is what was happening now.

We then had each couple come on stage and break up. Hilary (who is a lot more dominant than the guy she was paired with) said something like, "C'mon, Will -- let's go ..." He cut her off and said, "I'm sick of you being so bossy! We're through!" Lee's new "interest" said she couldn't go out with him anymore because she got sick in his plane and couldn't get over that. (Hilary and Lee are now married, and she experiences no turbulence problems when she flies with him. :) I told Paul he had to shave the goatee or we were through. He chose the goatee. The dating couple came on, and the guy said, "Bekki, my mom wants her ring back."

Then we called Pres J up on the stage and presented him with the collage of pictures. He LOVED it. We had him. He said a few of the couples weren't as believable, but he totally fell for me and Paul, Hilary and Will and a couple of others. In fact, as I mentioned, when he got the collage and walked off stage, he said, "I know Paul and Denise are dating for real, though!"

It was a blast! In fact, two Christmases ago I typed up all the e-mail correspondence we'd had back and forth (all the Snugglers) and gave it to Hilary for Christmas. I sent a copy to all the Snugglers and Pres J. He LOVED it and said that was one of the best Christmas presents he'd had in a long time -- he had no clue how much was going on behind the scenes with all of us. To this day he has the collage hanging in his home office right above his desk. After all, it's not often someone pulls one over on Pres. J.

BTW, Paul and I officially started dating on April Fool's of the next year. Pretty fitting, huh? :) Oh, and there were plenty of people who just didn't believe that we were really dating this time ... We had this problem when we got engaged, too. Why don't people believe us? Some of the doubters are starting to become convinced ... ;)


Leslie said...

Im glad you remembered! ;) What a nut you guys are! And what a great story!

Rebecca said...

Yeah, I REALLY hope you guys are for reals at this point. Otherwise, that would be taking things a bit too far for a joke's sake!

Bruce & Sylvia said...

Its nice to have a bishop with a sense of humor. I remember you telling me Paul was not your type.
I'm glad you were wrong. We love him.

Park Family said...

That was so fun. When I think about it it makes me laugh. I think that is the best prank anyone could ever do to a Single Ward Bishop. We pretty much rock!!!