The Mischief List

Columns | Vienna Review | April 2011

There were times when our parents used to keep a close eye on us and give (or actually, shout) warnings: Don’t stick your fingers in the socket, one of many, together with, Don’t run with the scissors, and Keep the blow-dryer away from the shower.

Well, it all turned out to be just empty words for a friend of mine, whose creativity once lead him to combine all three of the above and stick wet scissors into the plug. The outcome was a funny look on his face and an inattentive smile for the rest of the day.

"Kids have imagination," he told me his parents later concluded and put the case to rest. And that’s how it goes.

Eventually, we grow up. And one would think that, as time passes, we would learn not to run with scissors and definitely not use them as a high-voltage conductor. So far, so good. But what about all the other little things that we had desperately wanted to check off our mischief list, but never got the chance to? Like the time you wondered what your neighbour would think, if you dressed their cat in a pink tutu while they were away. Or if you secretly ‘checked out’ your friend’s closet, put one outfit on top of another and went up to her to ask if they matched. Okay, maybe you’ve already done that. Several times.

But how about, for example, the temptation to push the STOP button in the elevator just to see everyone turn pale? You wouldn’t mind doing that, would you? Me neither... as long as they never figured out it was me. Elevators don’t leave much room for escape. But at the end of the day, I guess it’s just a matter of practice. It’s definitely doable. So, hold that door and make some space, because the kid in me needs a lift up to the escape hatch.

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