My daughter Caitlin played a great trick on me.
Background to joke: all through high school she had an imaginary friend. Not a 6 foot rabbit or munchkin... She created the boyfriend/boyfiend that would scare any parent silly. "Paco" is serving time at Sing-sing, pushing 40, and interested in marrying my teenage daughter as soon as he gets out. Over the years Paco's story has grown. Trumped up drug charges--just a misunderstanding, his illegitimate children, the almost finalized divorces, the list goes on.
I get a call yesterday, a guy with a thick Mexican accent asks to speak to Caitlin.
"Who is this?" I ask, thinking it must be one of her classmates working on one of their numerous projects.
"Theese is Paco," he says.
There was that awful moment where I am thinking she got the name Paco for the fake Paco from a real but innocent Paco and the fake Paco can't possibly exist, right?
"Call for you Caitie," I say passing her the phone.
"What? You get out tomorrow! Wow! I am so excited, I can't wait to see you and be with you," she gushes.
At this point I know... but I don't let on.
"You'll take the bus from Ossining? Oh my love I can hardly believe it! My mother is watching us... She's staring. What? You want to talk to her? Sure, she's here. Mommy, Paco wants to talk to you."
"Hello, this is Caitlin's mother," I say in a stern voice.
"Yes theese is Paco, I love your daughter very much. I make marry her."
"Well how do you plan to support her, and yourself?"
"Weeth my savings."
"You saved money in jail?"
"I start saving tomorrow."
"But what will you support yourselves with?"
"With my heart and my lawnmower."
"Where will you live?"
"I have 15 cousins in a house, they give us corner of room."
"Didn't you go to jail on drug charges?"
"No, just misunderstanding at border, with Caitlin's love I am new man."
"But she is going to college, how can that fit in with your plans?"
"I give her choice, me or silly school."
Then I tell him he can't see her anymore and allow Caitlin to say goodbye. She sobs into the phone convincingly, stomps out of the room, slams her door and the sobs turn to laughter. I open the door, she sobs. I shut the door, she laughs.
Then all is revealed. Her sister's friend Nelson, also a drama major, was the culprit. All I can say is go see Nelson in any show he is in, you won't be sorry.