On Saturday, we celebrated Father’s Day with David’s side of the family so I could celebrate Father’s Day with my Dad on Sunday. It was good to see so many we haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving. Also, the food was delicious, as always! There were barbecue ribs and a huge pasta salad and cornbread and Lauren made banana pudding!

Then there was the bug zapper.

Okay, I’ve seen bug zappers (like the gif at the top), but I’d never seen a bug zapper like this one. It looked like a cross between an electrified tennis racket and an oversized fly swatter. The idea, I suppose, is that if a fly/mosquito/gnat/June bug is buzzing around in your general area, all you have to do is swing this thing  — this fly swatter on steroids. If you have decent enough aim, you’ll hit the flying bug and zap it.

When I say zap it, of course, I mean electrocute the shit out of the creature, and it will fall dead to the ground.

That’s exactly what happened.

Someone chased a flying insect throughout the dining room/living room area. With all of the excitement that ensued, you’d have thought they were on a fox hunt; which, let me be clear, I’m very opposed to fox hunts. Instead of being in the wilds of Great Britain, though, we were in a house in rural Texas, not riding horses and not wearing fox-hunt riding clothes, there were no dogs and the fox in question was actually a fly. But the spirit of the chase was there. Well, and the “fox” was a fly before making contact with the swatter.

Then it was a fried fly.

Squeals of delight and cheers by family members who had temporarily lost their ever-lovin’ minds filled the room.

Of course new gadgets that spark like a miniaturized Tesla coil upon contact and make satisfying popping noises that also kill annoying flying pests (presumably those that crawl as well) have an awe-inspiring tendency to do that — cause people to temporarily lose their minds, that is. Battery operated and only $24.99 at Amazon, too!

Poor fly. I hope it didn’t feel it even though it sounded as if it might have. Couldn’t really tell because of the loud popping noise from the large spark and then the sounds of human delirium.

Also, I’m on record as saying, I was rooting for the fly. (I can’t believe I rooted for a fly!)

I was alarmed how bloodlust seemed to spark in usually docile family members. The cheering, the intensity, the gleam in their eyes…it was downright scary. Is this what happened during gladiator games back in the day? Normal, sweet people — who typically wouldn’t hurt a fly on the wall — turned into bloodthirsty lunatics who not only would, but could and did? Even Lauren, my beautiful daughter who is a friend to all animals and is violently opposed to…violence…who has been known to move spiders from inside the house to the outside (out of harm’s way), was enthralled.

That wasn’t the worst of what happened. Unless you were the zapped fly.

Our grandson decided to do something that can only be described as insane. He’s the grandson in the family who graduated from Texas A&M. Yep, he’s an Aggie. So that might explain some of this. Maybe.

At the time, I was outside with David, who was sitting around a campfire in 100 degree-plus  heat. I know. In retrospect, nothing about this day made much sense. However, I saw him sitting outside by the campfire and went to check on him to try to ascertain why he was doing this crazy thing…sitting by a fire in intense heat…when he didn’t have to! Why?!!!

As I’m standing next to David in utter bewilderment (this is an entirely different story, btw), Lauren comes outside and says that we have to come in because our grandson, the 23-year-old Aggie grad who now makes great money as a videogame developer, is about to touch the bug zapper…WITH HIS BARE HANDS. He’s worked up the courage to do this and he would like our attendance, please.

What?!!!! and Why?!!!!

David, who had settled into his chair out in the heat, wasn’t going anywhere. His thought was if someone needed him, they knew where to find him. I, on the other hand, wanted to know what the blue-blazes was going on and why our incredibly smart grandson would do something so…stupid! Plus, at this point, any excuse to get out of the heat was welcome. This was as good of an excuse as any.

So I get inside the house, where his mom, aunts, sister, fiancé, and cousins are gathered around him. I figured he wasn’t going to do anything WILD AND CRAZY LIKE TOUCH HIS TONGUE TO THE DAMNED FLY ZAPPER!


Right before he did it, his aunt looked at me and said, “I don’t think this is such a good idea.”

Ya think?!!!

Before anyone could do anything, though, grandson touched his tongue to the zapper; and it did what it was intended to do — it zapped the shit out of him. He fell to the ground. FELL. ON. HIS. FACE. I saw him touch his tongue to the stupid thing and the huge spark it made and his cry of pain before he went straight down.

He was zapped just like that fly earlier. Everyone was stunned silent.

My hands automatically flew to my face.

Someone said, “Should we call 9-1-1?”

His mom said, “No. Just give him some space.”

“Well, shouldn’t you at least check on him?” someone else said.

“What am I supposed to do?” his mother said as she dried the dish in her hand. She looked concerned but seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach.

I remained frozen and speechless as I took all of this in.

Then our grandson got up laughing.


Okay, that was bad enough; but apparently, everyone in the house watching knew he was fine but me. While I’d been outside, they’d plotted and, presumably, test drove their plan before David and I were called in.

Since David didn’t join me, I, alone, had been pranked.

“Why?” was my question. It wasn’t the first nor the last time I’d ask this question on this day.

Their explanation was simple: they wanted to find out what I’d do.

I sat in horror. That’s what I did. And I probably lost at least two years of my life in the process. I don’t know if that makes me a wise grandmother to have just sat still or just a bad grandmother for not having reacted in anything other than sheer terror. They’re lucky I didn’t pee myself and the chair I was sitting on. Just saying, it could have happened.

“You know you’re all going to hell for this, don’t you?” I said to the room.

That brought on more squeals of laughter and delight!

“And YOU, BOY CRYING WOLF,” I said pointing at my grandson, “You are going to really be hurt one day and no one’s going to believe you, but I’m glad you aren’t hurt today!” Then I gave him a big hug or maybe he gave me a big hug. The point is, we hugged!

Eventually, David came in from the heat. It was explained that the bug zapper might look like it would hurt a person, but it, apparently, only will hurt insects. I still don’t understand this.

The damned zapper sparked a few more times before we left. Each time, I jumped. Each time, they laughed.

Wicked senses of humor…all of them! I’m so proud they were able to “get me good” even if I now have a touch of PTSD and have lost precious years off of my life! BRATS, ALL OF THEM…BUT BELOVED BRATS!

Needless to say, by the time I got home and into bed, I was utterly…zapped!

So are you the one who pranks other people or are you the one who is usually pranked? What was a memorable prank? I’d love to hear!




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32 thoughts on “Zapped”

  1. I love those bug zappers. My son has had one for a couple of years. I keep meaning to buy one. Thanks for the story maybe I will purchase that tennis racket now. 😵‍💫🦟
    Jan P

    • Hey Jan,
      I think we can count on you to keep your tongue away from the electrifying part…because that’s what responsible adults do…they don’t try to electrocute themselves by way of bug zapper! Glad you enjoyed the story, my friend. Mona

  2. I personally think that people who perform ‘pranks’, no matter how innocent, need to be sent to some sort of remedial socialization class for treatment. At least 30 days to be allowed back into a civilized population.

    • Hey Gigi,
      It was an interesting day…with weirdness in the air…that’s for sure! I’m just glad no one actually got hurt! Well, except the zapped bugs. Glad David didn’t watch this, though. Frankly, we’re both getting too old for these kind of shenanigans! 🙂 Mona

  3. At least the swatter gives the fly a fighting chance, unlike those hanging bug zappers. I feel like the hanging zappers are a form of entrapment. A fly or other bug might not want to zoom in to your picnic or quiet evening on the patio but then they see this light and they say, “Hey, let’s go check that out.” The swatter only takes down the bugs that are actually bugging you. And of course it’s great for pranks. And there’s something very primal about electricity, isn’t there? It’s like we can wield the lightning.
    Perhaps my favorite prank ever was when a friend and I were at home alone and we heard something upstairs. I went to check it out and he stayed where he was. I walked into my bedroom and was looking around when the light started to flicker. I nearly fainted until I turned around and there was my friend with his hand on the switch.

    • Chris,
      I’ve never owned a zapper. I’ve seen them, been around them…never touched one. I do have a trusty, old-school flyswatter, and my sandal works well, too! Ah, the magic of electricity! I hope Ben Franklin’s proud of what he started! I guess no one’s explained to insects that they’re only supposed to go toward the light AFTER they’re already dead. Thanks for the prank story! It made me giggle! Mona

  4. We used to sell those electric tennis rackets where I worked many years ago, but I haven’t seen them in a few years. If you’ll pardon me, I do so love a nice instrument of death for vile, annoying insects which, at the same time, is also one of those very dangerous toys like we had when I was growing up and nobody paid attention to those stupid safety people. I’ll bet that zap packs a better punch than the one we used to get from touching our tongues to the prongs of 9 volt batteries. Yes, we did that!

    • Evil,
      I see that you’re one of those kind of people, huh? Give the rest of us gray hair while you test your limits? That’s actually hysterical 🤣, my friend! Also, I’m so glad you’re still alive to tell your tale! I’d tell you to please stay safe, but I know what you’d do with that! Hugs, Mona

  5. Oh my gosh. I love your sense of humor. What a hilarious post. You had me spitting my coffee. I can’t seem to stop laughing now. Glad you had an eventful celebration with family(s) including the crazy one. I’m not surprised you were zapped. 🙂

    • Hey Diana,
      Welcome, again, to Wayward Sparkles! So glad you enjoyed the post. Also, I hope your coffee didn’t stain anything important! I’m so glad we found each other’s blogs! Until next time, watch out for bug zappers…it’s that time of the year! Mona

  6. Oh my gosh, Mona, I so enjoyed reading your story of the prank. I can see myself falling for that. That said, I am not a prankster. I cannot keep a straight face. Also, I don’t particularly like getting pranked, so I don’t want to set myself up for the inevitable payback.

    • Christie,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I’ve gotta admit, I thought about payback for a hot minute…then I exhausted myself thinking about all who were involved in this little…stunt. Instead, I’ve decided that each one of them (and I remember them all!) owe me…BIG TIME…or at least as long as I can milk this! Lol. 🙂 Have a great rest of the week! Mona

  7. Wow, that zapper incident would have scared me too! How could it be dangerous to insects and not humans? But you did a great job of making a potentially upsetting incident hilarious! You’re a very good writer!

    • Ann,
      IKR? I need further explanation on how it kills bugs, but doesn’t hurt people. Is there anyone who can explain this? Also, I’m glad you enjoyed the story and thanks so much for the compliment, my friend. You just made my day! Mona

  8. My goal in life is to make everyone laugh…so I would be the pranker.

    This made me giggle so much! HA!!

    I’m still wondering why your husband was outside, much less by a FIRE. 🙂

    I remember the Foxes on the run song from the movie Foxes. Do you remember that movie? I think it was a flop but was full of cute (at the time) boys.

    • Suz,
      I’m with you. I’ve been known to play a prank or two…but this took the cake! Glad this made you giggle!

      So this property has a pretty big fire pit surrounded by a lot of rocks. One of the reasons it’s nice to visit, which we did last Thanksgiving (when it was much cooler outside), is to enjoy the fire. So David and his two sons (I’m David’s second wife, so they are my stepsons) were sitting out there with the fire going, along with our granddaughter’s fiancé. (He’s going to fit right in with this group.) Why did they build a fire and sit out there during the day in intense heat? Because the firepit was there, I suppose. At my stepson’s old house, they had a swimming pool, which would have been much more welcome in June. Anyway, there were four guys out there and none of them were within ten feet of each other! It was like they were at the head of cardinal points on a compass (N,E,W,S.) I’m not sure they were even talking with each other. Men, huh? Of course, none of them had the good sense to come out of the heat!

      I know I read the book Foxes and I want to believe I saw the movie too. Gosh, that was what? Forty years ago? The song I want to remember from that movie more than any was “More Than a Feeling” by Boston? Does that sound right to you? Okay, now I want to see the movie again! Wasn’t Jodie Foster in that? Mona


    I would have probably fainted. Also, this is funny, my in-laws had exactly that bug zapper and I kind of hated it! Also my kids were little at the time so I low-level worried that they would accidentally zap themselves.

  10. Hey Nicole,

    Welcome to Wayward Sparkles!

    As I told Christie, everyone who was in on this stunt owes me big time! So I’ve been informed by several people now that this bug zapper only has enough juice (electrical volts) to kill insects, but it, apparently, doesn’t even sting if you touch the zapper part (accidentally or on purpose.) It just has a lot of drama that suggests it does; therefore, I guess it’s the perfect prop for a prank…if one were so inclined. That being said, I’ve never touched it myself. Also, though, it makes sense that it wouldn’t hurt humans (big or little); otherwise, don’t you know there’d be a ton of lawsuits against the maker for people who would’ve gotten hurt by now? BTW, I understand these bug zappers have been on the market for several years; but this past weekend was the first time I’d ever seen one. (I, apparently, need to get out more often!)

    As to fainting, the only time I’ve ever come close is when the doctor came out of surgery (about ten years ago) to inform me how my daughter’s brain surgery went. (She was just 21 at the time.) He went into detail about what he did to her, and I had to excuse myself (I started getting hot and light-headed.) I literally ran into the women’s restroom where I burst out crying and had to splash cold water on myself before I was able to calm down. The good news is that she came out of surgery with flying colors. The bad news is that we went through all of that just so she could grow up and participate in this…prank?!!!! Yep, she definitely owes me BIG…HUGE, EVEN!

    By the way, I hope the story wasn’t too intense for you, Nicole. It was meant to be on the humorous side in an absurdist kind of way, but not everyone found it to be that way. Hoping the next post will be a little more low-key. Maybe. Hopefully. Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week! Mona

  11. Another day, maybe another outcome 🙂 Over the years, I’ve learned through the harsh mistress of experience that when we’re gathered outdoors, if I’m wearing shorts during mosquito season, I’m guaranteed to be covered in mosquito bites and save all the other folks in the gathering making them bite-free. Not quite the mosquito-zapper, but mosquito-attractor? Yes, that means I’m popular not only with mosquitos, but with the humans that learned of this, they don’t need to buy a zapper 😀

    • EW,
      I’m so glad you made it and Welcome to Wayward Sparkles! YAY! I was really worried about having to get a professional involved to troubleshoot and fix my site. Whew! Glad you figured it out!

      Now if only your skin would give off just enough of a zap to kill all of those pesky mosquitos when they came into contact with you…rather than treating you like a human smorgasbord! Ouch! You would be in even higher demand at all those fun, outdoor parties! And while I don’t have a tiktok account, I think if you could pull that off, a human bug zapper…no doubt, you’d go viral! Ha! 🙂 Mona

    • I’m so sorry. I’m kind of digging your website! I have no idea what the objection is, but, clearly, Wayward Sparkles can be such a diva! Bad Wayward Sparkles! Bad Girl! LOL. Glad you were able to work around the issue! M

  12. Wow, they really got you! Our 8 year old grandson gets great enjoyment out of pranking us. He recently hid under our camper with a water gun and doused me as I came out. As far as bug zapping goes, this is a cool toy, but we don’t need it around here. Our dog lives to catch all manner of flying insects mid-air! Never seen any dog do this before. It’s quite entertaining to watch!

    • Hey Rhonda,
      I bet your grandson is a lot of fun! And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog as resident bug catcher either! That’s hysterical! Maybe if you can, get a video of him and put it on your blog? Are you settled in? Can’t wait to catch a new post from you telling us all about your move! I hope it’s cooler up there than the 102 degrees we’re here in Texas at the moment. We have a cool front on the way that should get to us by Monday. I’m so looking forward to any relief. Then it will only be 94 or 95 degrees! I’ll take it! Have a great weekend, my friend! 🙂 Mona

  13. Mona, all the flies that DARE enter this home always wind up in the same place if they are not struck down immediately…the landing between the two floors. There is a “half-moon” window there that for some reason the flies gravitate towards, maybe because it is the warmest window available to them? Anyway, if we can’t change their flight route to back outside, and we don’t knock them out of the sky once they get in…we know their “final resting place” will be that landing. Whack!

    • Bruce,
      Stupid flies! You’d think that they’d learn or evolve…or something. Maybe evolve isn’t something we want them to do. If they’d just leave us alone. Ha! Mona


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