Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Pranks

For some reason (probably because of my incessant discussion of my nasty toenail), my roommates have decided to pull a prank on me.

This incident caused me to reflect on what the appeal is to me of a really good prank. It occurs to me that pranks are just like gifts, except for the fact that they are irritating. Spencer's signaling theory says that sometimes the worth of something isn't intrinsic (like getting a rhinestone-encrusted blender), it's more what that thing signifies (that the person knew you always wanted a rhinestone-encrusted blender). Just as this works for gifts, I think this theory can be applied to pranks. I'm flattered that my roommates knew me well enough to wallpaper my room with pictures of conservative pundits. I'm thrilled that they knew I hate touching cotton balls. I'm still finding puffs in my sheets or in the toes of my shoes or in my pencil jar, but I remain thrilled. It's the little irritations that really mean so much in a relationship.

It's the thought that counts.

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