Cheap Laughs

How do you tell the difference between a chili bean and a green bean?

The chilly one wears a jacket.

Yes, it’s a barrel of laughs around here.

My 8-year-old is currently obsessed with jokes, riddles and all things comical.  Her timing and delivery has improved dramatically since her preschool days when she used to give away the punch line at the beginning of the joke.

It just goes to prove that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to get a good laugh.  There are all sorts of cheap ways you can giggle and guffaw with your kids.

Rattling off riddles in one thing, but when you are trying to execute a real practical joke, you need to consider your victim, ahem, I mean audience.  For example, when I was in middle school my high school aged brother decided to prank me and my younger brother with suds-less soap.  He liberally coated a fresh bar of dial soap with my mom’s clear fingernail polish.  I scrubbed the soap in my hands for nearly five minutes without producing a single bubble. 

Another sophomoric prank that can be pulled on a variety of unsuspecting housemates is the colored water trick.  All you need is a container of water, some food coloring and an empty juice bottle.  Simply, add a few drops of food coloring to a jug of water and mix well.  The liquid should resemble Kool-Aid.  Next, pour the concoction into an empty juice bottle and leave it in the refrigerator.  Hide out until a thirsty sibling reaches for the “juice,” and then watch his face when he takes a gulp of the colored water. 

If the “juice” prank fails, head to the bedroom.  You can trick family members of all ages by folding the top sheet in half before tucking it in a freshly made bed.  When your victim slides into the bed he or she will wonder what happened to the rest of the sheet.  This classic practical joke is extra effective if the person hops into bed without turning on a light.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.