So ... my bishop (that's Mormon-speak for my local church leader) is also a colleague at work. And he has a sense of humor.
On Sunday last week, I got a phone call from him where he announced himself by his official title, which was an immediate clue that something was wrong. When he hesitated a little and told me this phone call was particularly difficult, my nerves nearly forced me to lay an egg. (He probably deserves an Oscar for that performance.) He then told me that it had come to his attention that my daughter had punched another little girl in the face during church. (This is the assault I referenced last week.)
I was mortified.
He went on to explain that he was going to have to address the situation with me and figure out what we were going to do about it.
At this point, mortification wasn't nearly enough of a word to describe how I felt.
Then he started laughing.
It turns out it was all a big joke. My daughter had in fact hit another little girl, but he was playing a prank on me for making it a bigger issue than it was.
... So, I decided to get him back.
I found out that his son had been a little bit of a stinker in elementary school, receiving two action slips last week, one on Monday and one Wednesday. If a student gets five action slips in a school year, they must have a mandatory suspension.
To be clear, this boy is absolutely adorable. He's not a troubled child, and his parents give him all the love and support he needs.
But as my mom would say, he just likes to march to the beat of his own drummer.
So, I got a friend to call from a number that would display as a school district number on my bishop's caller ID, and read the following script:
Hi, is this Mr. Johnson? (Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent)
This is Sylvia Barnes with Fieldcrest Elementary. I'm calling to let you know that your son, Timmy, received another action slip this morning. I don't know if you are aware of our policy, but if students accrue three action slips in one week, they are required to have a 3-day suspension and must meet with the school social worker.
We tried calling your home, but we weren't able to reach your wife. Timmy is currently in our office, and we will need you to come pick him up.
It worked like a charm. Thankfully, I told his wife last night, because by the time I got to his office, he already had her on the phone, telling her he just got a call from the school district.
Once I told him it was a joke, he burst out laughing while telling me he was going to get me back.
I have two words for him ...