Fun short story by Colin Devonshire, here, Anchor.fm and Wattpad.
Great Prank, Frank
“And as I was saying,” Frank droned on. Frank’s brother had heard enough about how glorious life in Thailand is.
“Oh, yeah, did I tell you about Jojo’s new motor-scooter? Brand new, would you believe it? We had to take it back to the dealer. And, guess what? The petrol station down the road from us has been tampering with the fuel. I wondered how they could undercut the others. Anyway, they soon fixed it. Oh, better go, I’ve just had a great idea. Cheers.”
Frank deep in thought slipped his mobile into his pocket as he strolled to his hobby workshop in the garden.
“Jojo, come here please,” called Frank.
“What? Frank, I’m watching tv,” his new bride answered.
“Is your brother still trying to sell that heap of junk he calls a car?”
“It is not junk, he loves that car,” snarled Jojo.
“Yeah, why is he desperate to sell it then.”
“He has had a few problems with it and can’t afford to fix it.”
“I’ll buy it off him if he drops the price,” said Frank.
“Yeah, really? What do you want it for?”
“We are going to prank that idiot with cheap petrol. Okay?”
They struck a deal. The car crept its way to the Frank’s workshop. Banging and clattering upset the neighbours for days.
“Well, what do you think?” asked Frank.
“It looks the same to me,” answered Jojo.
“Good, it’s supposed to.”
“Frank, what have you done, why are the seats over there?” she pointed to a pile of discarded car parts in the corner.
“Look inside, we have improved seats,” Frank grinned.
“They are metal, they don’t look very comfortable?”
“No, my dear, they do not need to be comfortable,” he banged on the hollow steel. His wife shook her head.
Frank crouched and pointed under the chassis, “Look.”
A grumbling girl looked at metal boxes all linked to the underside of the car.
“Yeah, and?” she said, thinking of her spicy lunch.
“Those are tanks too,” Frank announced proudly.
“It will be better to leave it until tomorrow,” he said.
“What are you talking about now?” asked Jojo.
“Tomorrow is April the first,” stated Frank.
“April Fools Day, don’t you Thais know anything?”
A less than impressed wife stalked back to her soap operas. Frank was beaming at his project.
After tutting, Jojo clicked to Channel Seven with the handsome young star.
Frank, proud of himself opened a bottle of Singha beer and daydreamed of tomorrow.
Bright and early the next morning Frank called up to the bedroom, “Hon, splendid news for you. That burger joint you love is offering left-handed burgers. Shall we try it later? I’ll have a normal one, you can try the cack-handed one.”
“Don’t be so bloody stupid,” as she turned over.
“It says here in the Bangkok Post and they offer a cut-price if you mention the ad. I’ll see you later, I’m off to get some petrol.”
Frank slammed the door and kicked it as he got out and walked around the aged saloon, “Start you bastard,” he screamed at the car.
After calming himself, he slid across the seat and tried turning the key again.
Cough, cough, splutter, splutter, it fired.
“Great, now the fun starts,” he rubbed his hands as the car crawled to the petrol station.
Other vehicles tooted at the slow-moving saloon, the under chassis tanks scraped on bumps in the road, Frank found it tricky to stop himself from sliding off the seat. He had stripped the indicator wiring along with all unnecessary equipment to allow for more tank space. The car turned left (without signalling), and up to the forecourt offering five-star premium petrol.
“Fill her up, shall I?” smirked the garage owner.
“Yeah, and wash the windscreen,” smiled Frank. Unlike the UK, Thailand’s petrol garages offered assisted fill-ups.
With the nozzle in place, Frank slid out, “I’m just popping to the convenience store to get some fags, won’t be long,” he pointed next door.
Crouching behind the wall, he sniggered. The garage owner mopped the windscreen and noticed the seating inside.
“Foreigners are all mad,” he said, “How can you be comfortable with those,” shaking his head as he chucked the rags into the bucket.
He glanced at the gauge’s needle spinning round. Scratching his head, he wondered what his record sale was. A petrol soaked handkerchief wiped the sweat out of his eyes.
“Bloody boiling again,” he cursed Thailand’s hottest month even at that early hour. “Still not full, how big is that tank?” he muttered.
Frank was taking photographs with his phone from his hiding spot, “My brother will love this,” he chuckled.
The garage owner noticed liquid seeping under the car, “Christ, that’s a lot of water coming from the air-con?”
“Oh, no,” he could smell petrol. He rushed to the nozzle.
He grabbed the handle and pull as he might it would not budge. Frank laughed as his final adaption proved to be a great success. The tanks were still filling.
Frank’s phone was now taking video shots as he edged closed. A cigarette hung loosely from his mouth.
The business owner had not noticed him walking towards his car. He was pulling and twisting at the disobedient nozzle.
“Haven’t you finished yet?” Frank shouted.
Fear smacked the petrol man like police truncheon to the teeth, “Put that cigarette out!” he wailed, the split liquid soaked his flip-flops, panic took hold of the man as he held the nozzle to stop him toppling backwards.
“What’s the matter,” Frank started speaking as the cigarette bounced loosely lip to lip before it fell. Frank moved to catch it, before quickly snatching his hands away from the heat. The glowing tobacco hit Frank’s shirt front before sparking its way to the concrete.
The petrol station owner turned away like a prima ballerina, before tripping his way between pumps, past his office door and leaping into the bushes beyond hands on head.
The cigarette turned from explosive danger to damp squib; it fizzled to nothing in the puddle.
Frank struggled to control his wobbling girth as he roared. Tears of laughter splattered his scorched shirt. He bent down and turned off the water main, and disconnected the water pipe from the semi-hidden petrol tube and left it hanging.
He left his car where it was. “There was water in the petrol before, now there is petrol in the water.” He chuckled as he walked home, checking his videos. “Enjoy bro,” he added to the comments.