My friend D recently posted a message on her Facebook wall looking for people (or friends of people) who had had real-life paranormal experiences, or more accurately, what they thought were real-life paranormal experiences. I believe it was for an article D was writing, or something.
Since I'm never one to pass up a sarcastic Facebook response, I answered "my aunt Dana once lived in an apartment in Manhattan that was haunted by a Sumerian demon." Then I sat back and just waited for the 'likes' to pour in.....and, okay, sure, there weren't any likes, but I still felt it was funny. Why don't more people appreciate 34-year-old movie references? Am I so out of touch?! No...it's the children who are wrong.
While my comment fell short on the likes-ometer, I wasn't prepared for the next step, which was a private message D sent me the next day. It asked, incredibly, if my aunt Dana would be willing to share her story as part of D's piece.
My only response was to write "D, I hate to do this to you, but here's a picture of my Aunt Dana..." and then sent her the above image of Sigourney Weaver in full possessed garb along with a smiling-face emoji. D proceeded to inform me that a) I was a dick, and b) she sent her message while still tired after a long day at work and a long drive, so she didn't pick up on the reference. So it was all fun and games and I got a funny story for a blog post.
....until I realized my mistake. I had missed the chance to take this joke to the Nth level by revealing the gag too early. I should've given D my phone number and said it was "Aunt Dana's number," so when D called, the conversation would've gone...
D: Hi, is this Dana Barrett?
Me: THERE IS NO DANA, ONLY ZUUL
The set-up was absolutely perfect for this once-in-a-lifetime joke opportunity, and I simply blew it. It didn't occur to me until just after I'd sent the Sigourney picture, and then literally slapped my forehead in a manner so broad that even Dan Aykroyd would've told me to pull it back a bit.
Like my uncle Wayne always says, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.