Kosta’s Practical Joke: The Frame-up
Back in the sixties at U.C.L.A.’s Dykstra Hall dormitory where I had met my husband, Kosta, we ate with the same group of friends for most meals. The group normally included my current roommate, Joyce, and a past roommate or two. Some of us would come as soon as the dining hall door opened, get our food, and sit at one of the long tables and start eating. One by one the people we knew would join us, often bringing someone we hadn’t met yet. It was a great way to get acquainted.
I and Joyce, would normally be among the first in line waiting for the dining hall to open. As the line formed, it would pass the television room to the left, and a wide passageway between the recreation room and the vending machines. It would then continue along the wall of the hallway. Often Kosta and another friend or two were in the line with us, but on this night, only Joyce was with me in the line. We didn’t know the people in front of us and behind us.
Joyce was a wonderful person, kind, gentle, and shy. She presented a reserved face to the people she didn’t know, and most of her acquaintances would describe her as dignified. Those of us who frequently gathered in our dorm room to listen to her entertain, knew better. Joyce was an expert at imitating Donald Duck. She could earnestly recite Hamlet’s Soliloquy, and other serious works, sounding just like Donald Duck, without cracking a smile while those of us listening and watching would laugh to the point of tears. But this was an act reserved for her female friends.
When Joyce was in the presence of males, she was always very proper. Although she was beautiful, she hardly ever dated. But most men who knew Joyce were aware that she was not a woman to mess with.
On this particular evening, Joyce was standing behind me in the dinner line, purse in hand. We stood was very close to the wall that separated the hallway from the vending area, right next to the entrance to that vending area. Behind Joyce in line stood a shy, fragile-looking, young man we did not know. Today you’d call him a nerd.
Kosta, on whom Joyce had a secret crush, was known as a serious man when it came to his beliefs and his studies, but he also had a reputation for pulling off some great practical jokes. Kosta couldn’t resist the temptation to see Joyce lose her cool. He approached the line, which was almost to the vending room entrance. Joyce was right behind me. We were talking so I was turned toward her.
I saw Kosta approach, sneak up on Joyce, quickly poke her in the ribs, and dart unseen behind the wall parallel to the line just as Joyce whirled around, purse upraised, to strike the innocent bewildered youth behind her. He was saved only by Kosta’s loud and easily identified laugh, which told the indignant Joyce immediately who the real culprit was.
B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 201 5 , All Rights Reserved