Tenzin was never one for practical jokes. He hated how humiliating they were, how demeaning they were, how much it hurt his self-esteem. He hated it so much, he vowed never to let it happen again. So, when someone decided to pull a prank on him one day, he wasn’t going to let it slide so easily.
While passing through the corridor heading for the children’s private dormitory one day, a bucket of water hanging above the doorway flipped when someone hidden pulled a string, sending all three gallons of water coming down onto him, drenching him completely. Fuming over the fact that someone so immature would do such a thing, especially to him, a respected city official, he immediately went in search of the some suspects, beginning with his children.
“Ikki, Jinora, Meelo, all of you, come here, now!”
The children immediately dropped what they were doing and ran to him, knowing the tone of his voice meant that daddy was angry. “Which one of you did this to me?” he asked. The children looked at each other and shrugged, not knowing how he got drenched. “Well one of you did this to me, and I’d like to know now!”
They immediately began blaming one another, each accusing either of the other two that they had pulled the prank. Not knowing who to believe, he immediately questioned each of them, first as group, then individually, to weed out the most likely suspect. After an hour, when he realized his children were completely innocent, as each of them had provided a perfect alibi (that he had forgotten he had given them), he released them from any further questioning, turning his sights to the next likely suspect(s).
“Korra, where are you? Come here immediately, and bring your earthbending friend with you!”
The next most likely suspect, he thought, was the avatar, remembering how much she enjoyed pulling pranks on her friend, mainly Mako, whenever she was around Bolin. “Korra, don’t keep me waiting!” he shouted. For a few moments, he waited, tapping his foot with impatience. Moments turned to minutes, minutes turned to an hour, all the while the avatar didn’t even so much as acknowledge his hollering. After a while, with his patience as short as the length of his hair, he marched right to her room and confronted her face-to-face. “Korra, why didn’t you-” he realized the avatar wasn’t in his room, nor anywhere else on the island.
“Korra and Bolin went shopping earlier today; they won’t be back until supper time.”
Tenzin wanted to pull out his hair, if he had any, with frustration not knowing who else to blame.
“Pema, who else do you think could do this to me?”
She shrugged, not knowing who else could do such a thing, although if anyone looked at the smile on her face as she looked away while walking towards the laundry room, anyone would’ve sworn she knew what was up.
Realizing he had wasted his whole morning looking for the culprits, he decided to end his search, upon realizing how irrational he had gotten over some stupid prank, and went to his room to change and meditate.
As he walked away to his family’s house, two older siblings popped their heads out from behind a bush, laughing with glee over being able to still pull pranks on their unsuspecting little brother.
“Bumi, that was so much fun! I haven’t done something like that in ages.”
“Who are the greater pranksters in the world.”
They gave each other a high five as they went into the guest cottage to freshen up.
“You know, it’s kind of sad we all don’t live close to each other.”
“Because, if we did, we could pull pranks on Tenzin more often, right?”
“Say, we could do another one, Bumi.”
“Yeah, but when? And how?”
They thought about it for moment, trying to think of the perfect moment to pull another prank on an unsuspecting Tenzin.
“Well, dinner time is coming up, it would be great if we could humiliate Mr. Serious during the meal.”
“That’s a great idea, but how? Oh wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
“Wait for what?”
“I think I got it.”
“Got what? Tell me!”
“Tell you? Come here, I’ll show you.”
Right before everyone gathered in the great dining hall for supper, the two planted a whoopie cushion under Tenzin’s seat, hoping it would go off immediately when their little brother sits down.
“This is gonna be great Bumi, just watch Mr. Serious turn red like a lollipop.”
“I know, I feel like a kid in a candy store.”
They clapped with glee, unable to keep themselves disciplined as they waited for the big moment.
“So, Bumi, what am I suppose to say when the sound comes out?”
“Um, uh, tell him how proud you are of him and how surprised you were that he actually taught Meelo the dangerous art of fartbending!”
“Oooh, that’ll really set him off! Great, I’ll say it, I’ll say it!”
As the two waited in the hallway inside the broom closet, their nerves began to fail them as the suspense began to build up as the everyone began to file into the hall.
“Where’s Tenzin? I can’t see him.”
“Shh, be patient, Kya. We both know Mr. Spiritual won’t allow a meal to commence unless he blesses it first.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“Don’t worry, he’ll show up, soon. We just have to wait.”
Sure enough, just as Bumi finished talking, Mr. Serious finally arrived, all freshened up after changing into a wardrobe, ready to partake in the meal.
“Good evening, everyone! I hope everyone is ready to partake in this delicious meal!”
The two made fake gagging sounds when they heard him say “delicious” and “meal” in the same sentence, never having gotten used to vegetarian food even if their father had made them eat it during their whole childhood.
As they made their way out of the closet and to their seats, they watched in anticipation, ready to let out a huge chuckle the moment they hear the fart come blasting out from underneath their younger brother.
“Ooh, excuse me. This seat seems a little more uncomfortable than usual.”
They watched as he sat down, slowly, and without so much as a “poof”, or a “boom” or a “kablooey”.
“Mmmm, so is everyone ready?”
They looked at each other as they stood still, scratching their heads as they wondered what could have happened to such a glorious opportunity for public humiliation.
“What do you think happened to the whoopie cushion?”
“I don’t know. Do you think he bended the air out of it before he sat down?”
“Bumi, he would’ve had to know then that there was one under his seat if he were to do that.”
“You’re right… are you sure you put air in there before you put it under his padded seat?”
“Of course I did, I’m not an idiot!”
While watching his two siblings secretly discuss something that was just out of earshot, he snapped them out of their private conversation and called their attention to the supper waiting before them.
“Kya, Bumi, is everything all right?”
“Uh, yeah, Tenzin, me and Kya were just wondering where to sit.”
“There are only two seats left at the table.”
“Ok, we’ll take these two then.”
They both shrugged at what happened. While completely lost in their own thoughts as they sat down, two enormously loud sounds of flatulence entered the air, escaping from underneath their bottoms. The two sat there, shocked that such a sound could come from them, but immediately covered their reddened faces in humiliation, whispering while arguing to each other, as Meelo started shouting “fartbending” while pointing at them.
“Bumi, I thought you were only going to prank Tenzin?!?!”
“I did, this is all your own doing!”
As they continued their silent bickering while everyone the table stared at them with equal amounts of disgust and laughter running through them, the sounds of hysterical laughter suddenly filled the room.
“Tenzin, it was you?”
The old airbending master laughed really hard while trying to keep himself from choking on his food as he tried his best to prevent the tears that were welling up from underneath his eyes.
“Who’s the greatest prankster in the world?!?!? I can’t hear you!?!?!?”
“You are, Tenzin.”
“That’s right people, me.”
As everyone watched this new side to Tenzin, with everyone losing just a little bit of respect for the old airbending master, all of them realized one thing…
Yes, Tenzin was never one for practical jokes…. unless he was the one giving them.