My recent recounting of wedding pranks prompted readers to share a few practical jokes they consider legendary.
The first is more than 50 years old because it features the infamous Chevrolet Corvair, a compact car produced by General Motors for nine years, starting in 1960.
It was the only American designed, mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine.
Our story begins in a city where an industrial worker became the first owner of a Corvair in his blue collar neighborhood.
He belonged to a poker club and began telling his buddies about his new car whose gas mileage kept improving.
The car was up to 50 miles a gallon when his pals encouraged him to tell GM because he might get paid to have it featured on TV.
The happy owner drafted a letter to GM but suddenly discovered that the mileage had dropped to 35 miles per gallon…quickly to 15 and then below 10.
He was distraught until he walked out to his driveway one night after hearing strange sounds.
To his surprise, he found two of his poker buddies siphoning gasoline from the Corvair.
The jokesters had added gas for a few weeks to get the mileage up and then started taking it out to take the mileage lower.
The poker club members had great fun sharing the story until the Corvair owner abruptly sold his newfangled car.
He got the last laugh, however, by driving home a few days later in a brand new Corvette. His jealous pals flocked around the sports car and peppered him with questions.
He waited a couple of weeks as envy grew and grew in the neighborhood. Finally, he shared his secret.
A Chevrolet dealer had learned of the prank and loaned him the Corvette to turn the tables on his clever pals.