Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Blue Car Tuesday

December 3, 2012

I don't have an April Fool's prank but  this is the best practical joke I know about.

    

The new guy had potential, even if he was an arrogant jerk. My father-in-law, who’d worked at the Fireman’s Fund Headquarters in Marin County for years, had a devilish sense of humor and decided to prank him.
   

 My wife’s parents lived in San Francisco, and her dad, like many of his coworkers, commuted across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County across the Bay. The new fellow, who’d just moved to the area, wanted to join my father-in-law’s car pool. 
     

“There isn’t room,” he was told, “but you can follow behind us in your car.”  
     

New guy did.
     

When they approached the toll booth on the Golden Gate Bridge, my father-in-law paid for his car and told the toll booth operator, “I’m also paying for the car behind me.”
     

The new guy was surprised when the operator waved him through without payment. 
   

 Later at the office, new guy said to my father-in-law, “That was weird. They wouldn’t take money from me on the bridge.”
     

“Of course they wouldn’t. It’s Blue Car Tuesday.”
     

“Blue Car Tuesday?”
     

“Yeah. Blue cars get to cross the bridge for free on Tuesday.”
     

A week later both cars crossed the bridge and again my wife’s dad paid for the car behind him. Again the new guy was spared from paying.
     

On the third Tuesday, my father-in-law only paid for his car. When new guy sped through without paying he was startled to find motorcycle cops chasing him as if he were Pretty Boy Floyd. He quickly pulled over. 
     

I still laugh when I imagine the poor fellow rolling down his window and explaining, “But officers, I don’t need to pay! It’s Blue Car Tuesday.”

 

Submitted to my friends at Dude Write.
     

 



Comments

37 Comments
Darn . . . you had me going there for a minute. I have a blue car!
By: Tom Sightings on December 3, 2012
Ohhhhh, that's a real good one- really, really good!
By: Shelly on December 3, 2012
How hilarious. Some people never learn.
By: Just Keepin' It Real Folks on December 3, 2012
That's a good joke as long as you're not the one who gets pulled over by the cops for it. But some people can be so gullible.
By: PT Dilloway on December 3, 2012
That's a dirty trick, but what lunkhead would believe there is a Blue Car Tuesday? I thought everyone knew free bridge crossings for blue cars was on Wednesday!
By: Cranky on December 3, 2012
Your father was evil - but funny!
By: Suldog on December 3, 2012
The only people who won't get this are the ones who commute from SF to Marin on the GG Bridge They haven't had to pay in that direction for years
By: Ivan Toblog on December 3, 2012
Bwahahahahahahaha. Some folks will fall for anything. Most folks will. Have a terrific day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on December 3, 2012
That's a hoot. Your father in law sounds a lot like my own Dad. He was a prankster also. OK.. so what's with the missing Cs, Mr. hubby hatterbox?
By: Hilary on December 3, 2012
that is pretty funny. it's hard to imagine someone being that gullible but it's funny nonetheless.
By: lime on December 3, 2012
awesome !
By: izdiher on December 3, 2012
OH that's mean! I can see where you get your humor from.
By: Michael Offutt on December 3, 2012
Evil AND funny--my kind of guy!!
By: fishducky on December 3, 2012
Ewww that's just not right! Made me laugh though!
By: Hey Monkey Butt on December 3, 2012
Devious but hysterical!
By: Eva Gallant on December 3, 2012
Meanly funny!
By: messymimi on December 3, 2012
That is a funny story, Stephen! I can just imagine the guy's facial expression!
By: Michael Manning on December 3, 2012
There are some excellent practical jokes and then some are just mean. This one's funny. You could probably do a series o posts on this guy's practical jokes.
By: Red on December 3, 2012
As an acrophobic with shades of agoraphobia, I shudder at the thought of crossing that bridge twice a day. I would have to get a new job, where people could prank me in other ways.
By: Val on December 3, 2012
This is too funny! Will there be more prank stories from your father-in-law?
By: Pixel Peeper on December 3, 2012
I'm not good at pranks. Apparently your father-in-law has quite a talent. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on December 3, 2012
That was devilish for sure. Did your father-in-law have any friends? Just curious.
By: Cheryl P. on December 3, 2012
Some people are too trusting. While some enjoy tagging others along. A little ying/yang. All in fun!
By: Daniel LaFrance on December 3, 2012
I wonder what they'd do with a zebra car?
By: LL COOL JOE on December 4, 2012
Just so you know I'm not on Facebook , twitter or Google + so I don't think I can follow this blog. I tend to keep things simple this end, but it does mean I have limitations to what I can do in the internet too.
By: LL COOL JOE on December 4, 2012
Wicked! Funny -- but so wicked!!
By: The Broad on December 4, 2012
HA! Funny. That should be a scene ina movie.
By: Mindy on December 4, 2012
Oh, I didn't see that one coming. Surprised me again, Stephen!
By: Anne on December 4, 2012
a rather gullible guy....I'd be confirming that myself by asking the toll taker the second time.... I mean ...really? "Blue Car Day" ? Come on!!! Your dad sounds like a hoot!
By: Kathe W. on December 4, 2012
OMG! Someone as gullible as I am!! LOLOL!
By: Rita McGregor on December 4, 2012
That's genius and hilarious.
By: Jeff Laws on December 4, 2012
I'm not really a big fan of practical jokes, but i have to point out that this one cost your dad 2x the cost of going through the booth!
By: don't feed the pixies on December 5, 2012
This is hilarious... but just a bit cruel!
By: Mitchell is Moving on December 6, 2012
Great prank! I bet he was a bit less cocky after such an experience.
By: Bryan Jones on December 8, 2012
Hahahahahahahaha
By: Sam Edge on April 6, 2013
Hahhaaa that must've been a funny conversation that continued all the way to jail...
By: Daniel Nest on April 8, 2013
Blue car Tuesday! You'd have to be pretty gullible to fall for that one. Red truck Friday, maybe but blue car Tuesday, never! That's a good gag, I don't think I could have came up with something like that.
By: Ken on April 8, 2013

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