Here is a story that is very funny but was the result
of a dangerous prank on my part:
In 1983, when I had only been living in the 하숙집 for 2 months they
asked me to share my room with a young pastor who had just graduated
from seminary school and come to the US. I agreed.
Anyway, I drink coffee in the morning. I don't start to wake up until I
have had my first cup. So one morning I rolled out of my Korean style
blankets (on the floor) and began to crawl on the carpet, out of the
bedroom and down the hall toward the kitchen. There were a few people
already awake and I started putting on a show for them, imitating a
scene from American western movies where a thirsty exhausted person
would crawl across the hot desert sand saying 'Water.. water..' So I was
crawling saying 'Coffee.. coffee' when all of the sudden...
WHAM! Something came down hard and fast and swatted me on the ***CENSORED***! It
stung so much that it sent me flying to my feet. I turned and looked
and there was the young pastor holding the encyclopedia world atlas (백
화사전 지도 권) above his head. He was laughing and making a swinging
motion with the book and said "닷 아 다 웨 위 웨키 피플 어프 인 커리
아!" ("That's the way we wake people up in Korea" -English with a thick Korean accent)
As I rubbed my bottom with both hands I looked at him and thought to
myself 'I must get revenge for this.' So I said to him 'Haha you are a
very funny guy' and I began making motions with my hands like I was
swatting someone with a book, and I said to him 'Remember the book.
Remember the book' because I wanted him to remember later why I was
getting even with him. I began to plot my revenge.
I let a week go by and got up early in the morning, and filled a small
plastic produce bag (배추 한 큰 포기 만큼) half with oxygen and half
with acetylene welding gas. I then quietly laid the bag on the floor
close to where the pastor was sleeping, stood up, and threw a lit match
at the bag...
BOOM! It was like a bomb exploding. It's a good thing I didn't close
the room door because if I had the glass surely would have blown out of
the windows. It was so loud people came out of their houses from across
Well in a single ***CENSORED*** the pastor curled up into the corner of the room
and started saying "주요! 주요! - 주요! 주요!" Everyone in the house
had gathered behind me at the door but I started laughing. When the
pastor heard my laughter he turned with a bewildered expression on his
face. When he came to his senses and realized it had been a prank he
jumped to his feet. I swear the look in his eyes looked like the devil.
He let out a loud roar and came after me fast as lightning. I turned and
ran for the front door but half way there I turned and said "WAIT!
--REMEMBER THE BOOK? --REMEMBER THE BOOK?" He stopped his advance a few feet from me, he was breathing heavy. Then I looked him straight in the
face and said "Now THAT'S how we wake people up in America!!" He
breathed a heavy sigh and said "Ha ha you a very funny guy."
Later I asked him what he thought the moment of the explosion and he
replied "주님이 다시 오신 줄 알았어요." (I thought it was the second coming of Christ).
We were friends after that. A year later I attended his wedding, and he
went on to found a large successful church. I have been out of touch
with him over the years but I bet he will never forget me or the events
at that boarding house.
Koreans are good sports!
Well, that's the kind of prankster I was in my youth. Needless
to say I have had to calm down over the years.