Pioneer prankster goes viral

Author: Linda Spice

Published Date: 4/5/2019

Categories: Alumni

Rob and alumna Maureen (Miller) Pritchard '07
Shannon Drewiske Photography

When Maureen (Miller) Pritchard ’07 posted a video to Facebook with four simple words, “I got him good!” on April Fool’s Day, she became a viral sensation. She featured a prank and her husband, Rob's, reaction of six months’ worth of Amazon boxes piled in front of their home, tricking him into thinking she’d gone on a bit of a shopping spree. The good-humored prank resonated with people around the world.

“It is absolutely wild to me,” said Maureen after spending her day fielding calls from media across the country and globe from newspapers and TV stations seeking either interviews or permission to use the story. “I want to see how far and wide it spreads. I’m enjoying watching it.”

Maureen’s original post as of late Thursday afternoon had more than 5,000 reactions and more than 3,300 shares along with a lot of giggles from many, she said, who wished they’d thought of the prank first. She said her husband, Rob, to whom she’s been married for 11 years, is, too, a jokester but usually more in words than actions.

She said she receives boxes each week month through Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program and stressed they are helpful household items and not splurges on things like purses and shoes. Still, she said, her husband usually has “something wise to say about it.”

“One time a mail truck broke down in front of our house. Another mail truck came to transfer the mail. So, there were two mail trucks sitting in front of our house. He took a picture and said, ‘It took both of these trucks to get your Amazon delivery to the house today’,” Maureen said.

She set out last November to plan the Amazon April Fool’s Day caper. And she got her family in on the plan, too, asking them to save their Amazon boxes. Each time a package came, she broke down the box, flatted it, and stored it in the basement. It never seemed strange to Rob, she said, because they save boxes to re-use. He was even unknowingly in on the prank because over the six months, he had helped her to flatten and store the boxes in the basement, she said.

“Sometimes I think the best hiding spot it is out in the open,” she said. “He never questioned how many I had saved.”

With her boxes aplenty, she set out on April 1 with her dad and 3-year-old niece to reassemble the boxes. It snowed that day in Green Bay, Wis., where she and Rob live, so it took some extra effort to keep the boxes dry.  She managed. And waited. Then when Rob arrived home to see 49 Amazon boxes piled in front of the house, she watched from a window, video recording.

Rob stopped at the end of the driveway, then pulled in slowly. She said he usually pulls into the garage but stopped in the driveway and “at first looked kind of disgusted. That was the reaction I was expecting. He looked up and saw me standing in the window. Then he laughed.

"Once inside, Maureen told him it was an April Fool’s joke. He still wondered what was inside all of those boxes. “I said, ‘Rob, honey, they’re empty.’ He was pretty flabbergasted. I don’t think he believed I got him.”

The fun, though, was just beginning. After Maureen had gathered her video of Rob and posted it to her Facebook page, she shared it with friends and family only. When a friend asked if she would make it public, “within 15 minutes it started blowing up,” online, she said. Maureen thinks a lot of people can relate if they have a spouse who gives them a hard time for excessive online shopping. In the meantime, Rob and friends at work are plotting a payback prank for his wife.

“Life is tough. You have to have something to laugh about. We think it’s great that it's spread so many laughs,” Maureen said.
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