Popeye got Punked!

Popeye got Punked!

NOTE – DISCLAIMER: This story is a version of an event that did actually happen.  It has been embellished upon by the author.  Since its posting, two individuals brought it to my attention that this was written during National Bully month.  This event took place between friends who regularly played practical jokes on each other.  Karen, the one that was “pranked” thought the whole thing was funny and certainly did not view it as bullying. In no way does the author or anybody associated with blog condone bullying in any way.  This was not written with malicious intent nor were any animals harmed during filming.  Peace.

We all have known people in our lives that are just a lot of fun to play pranks on.  Years ago I had a friend just like that.  Karen.  A nurse.

Thin, thirty something, five foot three or four, short dark pixie hair, light freckles, slightly pointy nose, nasal type voice and glasses.  The nervous type.  You need to develop a picture in your mind.

Actually she wasn’t a nurse.  That’s just what she told people.  Mostly she was a job hopper.  Her family had some money and she lived the way she wanted to.  She liked telling people she was a nurse…..most her friends were.  She fit in.

Two of her friends were named Bonnie and Casey (a guy).  Bonnie really was a nurse and so was Casey.  As I am writing this it is already sounds strange.  But Bonnie and Casey were nurses…..and practical jokers.

Karen was an easy mark.  Bear with me, this is true and it happened years ago.  The incident happened after Karen came down with Bells palsy.  It’s not as serious as it sounds.

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop.

The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. Sometimes it can affect vocal chords and make the voice sound raspy.  This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.

So don’t freak out.  Karen wasn’t in bad shape; she just looked like Popeye when she talked….she sounded like him.

I yam what I yam!

“I yam what I yam” she would say out of one side of her mouth and we would all bust a gut.  Honest to God.

Her eye was also droopy, it watered some and she had to drink out a straw……and that was a struggle.  In fact, the whole right side of her face just sagged and had no movement.

We called her Popeye.  We were good friends.  It was amusing to watch her talk out of one side of her mouth and when your eyes moved up her face you saw that sad, wet eye.

Well, one day Popeye….er, er Karen wanted to sell her old red ’86 Toyota Corolla.  Karen was running ads in the paper and posting signs in the grocery store…..that was the prehistoric Craigslist.  No calls.  Nothing.

Karen was really getting discouraged.  So her “friends” Bonnie and Casey began to plot against poor, funny looking Karen.  Me, I just tagged along for the fun of it.

One night Casey, Karen and I were having a drink.  Karen of course was using a straw, struggling to drink with the good side of her mouth….. like when you have dental work done.

She looked at us with her good eye and her weepy one and said “I am so bummed, I really want a new a car.   I have run ads the last four weekends and not a single call!  This is the last week of my ad.  I hope somebody calls tomorrow.”

Right after she left, Casey called Bonnie and “The Plan” was put in motion.  First thing Saturday morning Bonnie called Popeye with a disguised low voice.

Ring, ring, ring.


“Hello” said Karen.

“Hi I’m Maryann and I’m calling about your ‘86 Corolla.”

Karen’s heart skipped a beat…..somebody called about the car!  A slight smile crept up the good side of her mouth.  It was the left.

The dialogue went something like this:

Popeye – “Yes, hi Maryann.  I’m Karen.  Do you have any questions about the car?”

She was soooo nervous.


Maryann – “Yes I do.  I really need one bad.  Mine just broke down and I’m desperate.  I don’t have your ad in front of me so I have some questions…….is it an automatic?”


Popeye – “Ummmmm, no.  Sorry”.


Karen got that sinking feeling in her stomach….like the one on the right side of her face.


Maryann – “That’s great, I love a stick shift.  They are just soooo much more fun to drive!”


Karen almost choked.  Maryann loves a stick!  Hooray!


Popeye –“Oh yes, yes, so much more fun to drive!”  Karen repeated.


Maryann – “Well, does it have power windows and locks?”


Popeye – “Ummmmm, no.  Sorry.”


Karen was a little worried.


Maryann – “Super, that’s just more electrical things to go wrong.”


Popeye – “Yes!  I know that can be so expensive to fix. This is so much better.”


She tried to sound knowledgeable.  Her heart was starting to pick up speed.


Maryann – “Oh, I am getting excited!   This sounds good.”


Bonnie knew she had her.


Popeye – “Me too!”

This is it!  Karen thought.


Maryann – “But does it have air conditioning?”


Of course it was a hot sticky 95 degrees outside.

Popeye – “Ummmmm, no.  But when you roll the windows down the air flow is just great. And it’s got a vent switch on the controls that turns a fan on.”


Karen wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip through her fingers.  She started selling.


Maryann – “Perfect!  I love fresh air.  Air conditioning makes me feel too cold.”


Bonnie/Maryann sounded so relieved.


Popeye –“Yeah, me too.  That’s why I didn’t get it…..too cold, much too cold!”


Karen could barely breathe by now.


Maryann – “And does it have leather seats?”


Of course Bonnie knew this answer too.


Popeye – “Ummmmm, no”.


Karen was starting to sweat by now.


Maryann – “Oh thank God.  I hate leather seats! They get so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.”

Popeye – “Yep, yep, yep, hot in summer and cold in winter.  Hot, cold.  Ugh!  I hate them too.  Bad, bad leather seats.”


Karen’s bladder might let go any minute.


Maryann – “How about a sun roof?  Does it have one of those?”


Popeye – “Ummmmm, no”.


The good side of her face began to twitch.  A drop of perspiration dripped off her nose…..she wasn’t going to let this Maryann chick go…..not now, not this close.


Maryann – “Perfect!  Sunroofs always leak.  They are such a headache. Don’t you think?”


Popeye – “Yeah, leaky.  Very, very leaky.  Bad headache too.  Hate ‘em, just hate ‘em.  Me too!  Bad, bad.  Leaky.”


She was starting to become incoherent.  Today is the day the old Corolla goes bye bye!  Even her good eye was starting to tear up.


Maryann – “Karen, I have to ask, are you okay?  I mean you sound a little funny.”


Popeye – “Wha, wha, whaddaymean?  (Think of Popeye’s voice saying that)

Think of the voice.

She was stunned.


Maryann – Well, no offense, but your voice……ummm, it sounds kinda funny.”


Popeye – “Funny, funny what’s funny?”


She started to panic.


Maryann – Oh, nothing…..but you’re kinda sounding like….like….ummm, Popeye.


Popeye  – “Oh.”  Long pause.  “Well, I have Bell’s Palsy and…..”


Maryann – “Oh my God Karen!  I had no idea.  I am so sorry, can you walk, can you drive, can you move your arms, is that why you’re selling the car?  Oh, Karen I am so, so, so very sorry.”


Bonnie felt a little guilty at this point.  She also felt bad she didn’t record it.  Mixed emotions.


Popeye – “No, no Maryann, it’s not that…..I-I-I-I-I-I-…


Maryann – “I am so sorry that you have to sell you car.  How long have you been handicapped?”


Popeye – “Maryann, wait……. listen.  I can walk and things, it’s just my face.”


Maryann – “You’re selling your car because of your face…….and that’s why you talk like Popeye?”

My arms are fine!

Even Bonnie was amazed how fast she could think on her feet.  Karen was sooooo much fun.


Popeye – “Wait, please wait, pulllllleeeeez let me explain.  It’s a thing where part of my face isn’t working right and I sound like Popeye because of it affected my vocal chords.  Aaaaand I’m selling my car because I want a new one.  I am really ok…….I just sound like Popeye.  And I-I-I-I kinda look like him.  Except for the arms.  But I really, really want to sell the car.”


Karen thought,”I can’t lose this now…….not now…..puuuuuullllleeeezzzz God”.   She was on the edge…..she could lose it at any moment.  Plus she was kinda spitting on her phone.


Maryann – “Well, okay Karen.  I’m glad you’re okay….I guess.  But I have just a few more questions…….but I have to tell you, I think the car sounds almost too good to be true.”


Popeye – “Sigh”, “Oh thank you, thank you.  Of course, of course, what else do you want to know?”


Maryann – “Gosh, I almost forgot one of the most important questions……..how many miles are on it?”


Popeye – “Ooooh, about 125,000 miles……i-i-i-i-i-s that too much?”


Karen barely whispered.  Like Popeye whispering to Olive Oyl.  She almost felt like crying…… out of both eyes.  It actually had 135,000 on it.


Maryann – “Nonononono, that’s just fine.  I like a car that’s really broken in.  A few more miles wouldn’t even hurt.”


Popeye – “Yeah, it’s broken in good, real good.  Why it would be even better with 150,000, right?”


Maryann – “Oh Karen, you are so right!  A car is still new at 150,000 miles!”

It smells new and fresh!

Popeye – “New!  New!  It’s like its brand spanking new!  It even still smells new!”


Her phone was wet by now.


Maryann – “Golly Karen, I am so excited I almost forgot to ask you how much you wanted for it.”


Karen thought…..This is the moment of all moments.  This Maryann wants the car, I’m gonna shoot for the moon.  Her heart was racing.  Half of her lip was trembling.

Popeye – “Mmmmm, I was hoping for $5,000.  The car is soooo worth it and it sounds so, so, so you!”


Karen’s breath was coming short shallow gasps……out of the right side of her mouth…..where her lower lip drooped.  The air movement caused the lip to slightly move in and out as she waited for Maryann’s response.  She really gave it her best shot.  Karen was never this bold or brash.  She waited for what seemed like a life time but it was really only two seconds before Bonnie shot back her answer…..


Maryann – “You’re so right; the car is worth every penny!  It’s almost $1,000 less then I have saved.  Gosh, I am so happy. I have more than enough for taxes, license and everything!  And it’s so good on gas.  You made my day!”

By now Karen was standing up and she slightly (her words not mine) peed her pants.  It went into her shoes.  Both of them……they were new.


Popeye – “Oh my gosh Maryann, you don’t how you made my day!  I’m soooo excited…..uh,uh, excited for you!  Goody for you!”


Karen did not notice her shoes……or her pants or the phone.  She was grinning from ear to the center of her mouth.  Her bad eye was sparkling.  The sparkle ran down her cheek.  She was bouncing up and down making cute little squishy sounds.  Her day had arrived!


Maryann – “Oh Karen, this sounds perfect!  I am soooo excited.  It sounds like the car of my dreams and it’s under my budget!  I couldn’t be happier!”


Bonnie actually sounded happy.  She was literally giggling her words.  She was a nurse.  Blood didn’t bother her.


Popeye –“ Yeah, perfect for you!  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  I‘m sooooo happy.”  (remember Popeye voice).


Karen’s face was so contorted.  One half happy, one half sad.  Bell’s palsy you know.  To top it off, her good eye started blinking uncontrollably.  She was ecstatic….and wet.  Popeye peed.


Maryann – “Oh Karen, this is sooo cool.  Even better then I imagined.  Oh, I almost forgot I am so excited.  What color is it?”

Bright, cheery red…..cheery red.

Popeye – “It’s a bright cheerful red!”  Karen gushed.


Maryann –“Red?”


Karen was breathing hard.  Half a lip in and out with every deep breath.


Popeye –“ Yes!  Bright red.  Happy, happy, happy red.” Karen chirped.

Dance dance, squish squish.

Dance, dance, squish, squish.


Maryann – “I HATE RED!”  Bonnie yelled and she slammed the phone down.

Popeye – “I-I-I-I-I, but, but, but, but.”


But there was just a dial tone on the other end.



My friends are mean.  Funny but mean.



11 thoughts on “Popeye got Punked!”

    1. rcs innovations Post author

      Well, I got a Penny for my thoughts! First of all Penny, thank you for commenting on the page. It takes somebody with deep commitment to a cause to feel the way you do and that is admirable.
      Whenever a blog is written on a variety of subjects it’s tough not to have somebody occasionally disagree or even be offended as you are. It’s happened before. I wrestled about how I would write the story or edit it so make it both funny and interesting.
      Of course there was plenty of embellishment for the sake of “artistic liberties” that in and of itself may have given it a dark tone to you. It should be said that we were all good friends and this is only one of many pranks that we played on each other.
      The story was written to make Karen a more sympathetic character. She wasn’t. I did it that way for effect. My secret is out.
      What I am saying is that we were close friends. It’s also important to remember that Karen’s situation was only temporary and it was funny…..even to her. There was story about a date she went on when she had Bell’s palsy. The good night kiss was hysterical……according to her.
      The phone call was a little exaggerated but apparently it seemed all too real to you as a reader. You should know that we all had a good laugh about it and Karen did sell her car later that week. Nevertheless, sorry to have offended you in any way. Rest assured Karen was not. Peace.


  1. john

    Totally brilliant! Truly funny, witty and real. One of the very best blogs anywhere. Always a terrific read. I forward them all to friends. Thanks! More!


    1. rcs innovations Post author

      Apparently there are two sides to a coin…..and that’s a good thing. Appreciate your comments and keep reading.


    1. rcs innovations Post author

      I am glad you enjoyed it. I must admit it was a little edgy, but then again, people are reading the heck out it and passing it on. Keep in touch and read, read, read. It’s kinda like school only the food ain’t so bad.


  2. Dan

    I agree, you should be ashamed of yourself for picking on someone for their medical condition. Name calling is childish. Your teasing is comparable to mocking a cancer patient for their bald hair.


    1. rcs innovations Post author


      Thank you for your comment. I always appreciate comments like yours and others because it’s people like you that really help keep awareness of important issues in the public eye. Bullying is one issue that is current and important and it is people like you that raise awareness. You’re doing the right thing.

      As stated in previous response, we were all grown ups and friends at the time….not sensitive insecure children. Karen was and is a friend. She played her share of pranks on others including me and my feelings were not hurt.

      And we all know, some people are more sensitive then others but none of us would have done anything to hurt our friend. Do keep in mind there were some literary flairs here and there.

      That being said I am a cancer survivor and am having another go around with another type dammit. I didn’t want my friends treating me like an invalid or a terminal patient before and I don’t want it now. I would rather my friends treat in the same manner they always do. I don’t need pity. Humor helps.

      Finally, to compare cancer to Bell’s Palsy is stretch too far. There is no comparison. One is temporary and the other can kill you. Your argument holds no water.

      To your point of name calling. Karen gave herself the name and joked about it herself. She took it in stride and making fun of it actually helped her get through it. To us she was no different….just Karen. Ask any cancer patient and they will all tell you to treat them like normal. Believe me it makes life easier.

      While you may find find pranks childish and mean, many people find them amusing and funny. Look at TV shows going back to “Candid Camera” and all the politically incorrect things they did. It was a number one show for years. “Punked” was a highly poplular show that showed pranks of magnitude even I found shocking. “Jackass” was off the charts. Even dear old loveable Betty White has show with old people pranking others. Skittles is running a commercial making fun of Chicken pox using candy as a contagious disease.

      Comedy and entertainment have used pranking as schtick for years. Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Dean Martin and Carol Burnette and numerous others based story lines involving practical jokes on foreigners, drinkers and elderly. Remember “Rowan and Martin Comedy Hour” with Ruth Buzzy and the dirty old man? A lecherous old man after a homely old woman was the height of comedy in its day. It would be politically incorrect today. Whether that’s good or bad is a discussion for another day.

      In my humble opinion, bullying has really come to the forefront recently as a result of social media. Young people have been driven to suicide because it. Even some of my family members have been victims. It’s not funny…..it is serious. Nothing is funny about that. Period

      This is not the same. It wasn’t intended to hurt anybody nor did hurt anybody. And comparing cancer to Bell’s Palsy is just plain off base. I know.

      That being said, no two people think alike, have the same sense of humor nor the same sense of right and wrong. Our tolerance levels are all different. That’s ok. There’s room in this world for all types of thinking. There is no place in this world for bullying…..and this wasn’t bullying.

      Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. The truth is it’s good people like you that make sure that bad things don’t happen to good people. Society needs individuals with strong convictions and opinions. But please understand, this was not the situation you believed it be.

      After all that, I hope you find another article that entertains you.


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