Home Columns

Open Range: Pranks are the highest form of art

Barrie Quallie is a Wallowa County-based columnist for the Chieftain.

Published on November 14, 2017 3:48PM

Barrie Qualle

Barrie Qualle

Over the years I have witnessed or been a party to a few pranks that have not always been appreciated by the object of the prank, hereafter referred to as the victim.

Last year at the Pendleton Roundup, someone pulled a good one. Several posters were posted around town offering free rides to or from Crabbies Bar for the duration of the roundup. The offer was good at any time of day or night from Crabbies to anywhere or to Crabbies from anywhere with a phone number in large bold print.

I noticed the posters at the roundup grounds, Hamley’s and other strategic locations like the Wild Horse Casino. The poster wasn’t anything fancy, more like a public notice.

I remember thinking how nice it was of someone to ferry drunks and keep them off the road. How like Pendleton to afford a service like this to roundup visitors. The only problem was that the phone number listed belonged to one of the pickup men working the rodeo.

After the first several calls for rides, he finally turned his phone off for the duration. The posters were no doubt the work of some bronc rider he had dropped while attempting to pick him off his bucking bronc.

Former world champion team roper Leo Camarillo always wanted to maintain a mental edge over other ropers and would taunt them a little just before they were readying to rope. He might plant a seed of doubt about a slick spot in the arena or tell them they had drawn a runner and don’t be late or you will never catch him.

One year on the Fourth of July run, one of the cowboys borrowed Leo’s pickup for a beer run, and while he had possession of the keys, he had a few extras made. He passed the keys out to a few other cowboys and when any of them saw Leo’s pickup parked they would move it a little but keep it in sight. This began to worry Leo who couldn’t understand why his pickup was often not where he thought he parked it. Comments like “Leo, you are really losing it” didn’t help the mental edge advantage he had enjoyed in the past.

While working for the County Ag Department, I spent a lot of time cruising the county in a pickup with the county shield on the door. I heard that my veterinarian was building a commodity shed where at his office. I knew Mike well and knew he had been in trouble with the county for not getting a building permit when he converted his barn into his office and treatment area.

I pulled into his yard with the county shield prominently displayed on the pickup. Mike was putting the finishing touches on the new shed. He climbed down the ladder and started walking toward me and being careful to hide part of my face I waited till he was close enough and said, “I hope you have a permit for this new building doctor.”

He was sure he was caught until he heard me laughing. He was quite relieved when he saw I wasn’t from the building department, and we had a nice visit. He confessed the worst thing about when he was caught was dealing with the wrath of his fiery Hispanic wife.

About then I saw his wife driving down the hill from their house and decided I should be going. She pulled up and was talking to Mike while I made my u-turn. When I got abreast of them I leaned out the window and said, “You know Doctor Adian, it’s much cheaper to get your permit before building than to pay the penalties.”

I slowed just long enough to catch the look of rage on her face then drove off with Dr. Adian chasing me down the drive way.

One Halloween I was dressed as a doctor with a lab coat and reflector on my forehead for a masquerade party. I also had a 50cc syringe with a long needle filled with a red fluid.

Kids kept coming to the door trick or treating and slowing down my departure for the masquerade party. A bunch of kids showed up, and I invited them in and had them line up by the door.

They assumed to receive candy. I picked up the syringe with the red fluid and long needle and informed them that this year Dr. Qualle was going to give free flu shots instead of candy. I started for the lead kid who immediately said, “I already got mine.”

The next kid got a horrified look on his face and bolted for the door followed by the others. They didn’t quit running till they were at the end of the block. Word must have gotten around, as we were not bothered by trick-or-treaters anymore.


Share and Discuss


User Comments