What do you get when you combine a Durham Bulls baseball game, a friend playing a practical joke on someone, and a creative lawyer who’s seen The Godfather a few too many times? A lot of fun is what you get.
Our “Bulls Neighbor” and friend Samantha was at the ballpark with a family friend, and, as usual, they had the seats to our right. She had told us ahead of time that, as a practical joke, she wanted to convince him that she was connected to the mob and put a scare into him since he was always pulling practical jokes on their mutual friends. When we were eating together before the game, I asked Samantha, “Is it OK to talk in front of him about business?” She said it was, so I responded with, “Those affidavits regarding our friend whose whereabouts you don’t know are ready for you to sign. Just come by sometime this week.
”He looked confused, but didn’t say anything.
Later, when we were in our seats and the game was underway, I leaned across the friend to tap Samantha on her arm. “Don’t look around, but about two sections over in the third or fourth row from the front is our little friend from the upcoming trial,” I said. “I don’t know what crap the U.S. Attorney’s office is trying to pull, but it looks to me like they sent them here so they can accuse you of witness intimidation. Don’t look at them, don’t acknowledge them, and if they walk towards you, just go the other way. I’m going to text Jack to see what is going on.”
Now he looked confused and a little concerned. “There’s this BS case, and we think the prosecutors are messing around,” Samantha said to him. “Jeff’s one of my lawyers.”
About half an hour later, Samantha went to another part of the ballpark, and I said to the friend that I had to make a call. That was when a Durham police officer came over to talk to the friend. “Do you know who that is?” he asked him several times, adding in “I hope you’re not good friends with her because she’s trouble.” Of course, we knew this police officer for years, and he was happy to help with the practical joke.
By the time I came back from “making my call,” Samantha was back in her seat, the police officer was standing against the wall behind our section and staring, and the friend was looking decidedly uncomfortable.
Before getting past Samantha and the friend to get into my seat, I leaned down to talk to her loud enough so her uncomfortable friend could hear. “I just talked to Jack, and apparently the U.S. Attorney’s office thinks you’re at the game to intimidate the witness, which is garbage since you have season tickets,” I said. “Jack’s working on a motion for sanctions against the prosecutors, and that will get into some billable hours. However, Jack said not to worry about it because The Family is taking care of the bill.”
“That explains it,” Samantha said throwing her hands up. “They probably called the police to keep an eye on me, because that cop over there keeps bothering my friend.”
By now he was sweating bullets. At about the seventh inning, the police officer came over again to let him off the hook. I couldn’t quite hear what he said to the friend until the end, which was “you just got punked by my girl Sam here.”
The look on his face was priceless. Here is a short video of the reveal. It’s good to know that every now and then I can put my high school theater experience to good use.