December 02, 2012

What Makes You Smile?

What makes you smile?
 By John R. Greenwood

My father had a deep vein of prankster in him. One prank in particular always brings a smile to my face. Dad's friend Jack used to stop by and visit him on a regular basis. They would talk about everything and anything. They were both retired and in their seventies. The friendship had a Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Grumpy Old Men, feel to it. Their visits were more about killing time than about discussing world events. Jack was a character and known to be a little tight with a dollar. He was always complaining about how much everything cost; whether it was a gallon of gas or a bag of oranges. My father, the perpetual instigator, loved to poke him with a stick to get him ranting about something. On this particular day my father dreamed up a scheme to play on Jack's love of the almighty buck. He took a $5.00 bill and tied it to the end of some fishing line. He then laid the bill at the end of the sidewalk where he knew his friend would see it. Dad then peeled off several feet of line from his fishing pole and hid in the back porch just out of sight. There sat a seventy year old man on an upside down plastic pail, fishing pole in hand waiting for a nibble from his frugal friend. Minutes later a Buick pulls in the driveway and out steps Mr. Fishing Prey. As he heads toward the front door he spots the bait. There on the sidewalk lay a crisp fiver waiting for a nibble. He bends over to snatch it up and just as he does Father Prankster reels in a foot or two of fishing line. Poor Jack almost falls on his face trying to grab the cash. Bent over like 6:15, he lunges forward and takes another swipe at the runaway Lincoln. At that point he hears an old-man's roar of laughter echo from the back of the house! A responding, "You Son-of-bitch!", could be heard a mile away. Sometimes you can't help but smile. For me this is one of those times. 

This post was initiated by a writing prompt on the website Pugs and Pics. The creator of Pugs and Pics, Kim Gifford, is a member of my Hubbard Hall Writing Group. Her site is packed with Pugaphernalia and good fun.   


  1. Love it John! You have the best stories to share, so glad my prompts help draw them out! This made me smile, too.

  2. What a fun dad to grow up with -- barbara

  3. Well I guess if I come over and theres 5 bucks on your side walk, I'll look both ways before I snatch it up.