One dad is on the receiving end of the internet's rage for pulling a "mean" Disneyland prank on his son.
This story probably hits super close to home for me because my father once had me and all of my siblings tell our teachers we'd be out for a week because we were going to Disney World.
The morning we were supposed to leave for the trip, my father couldn't do it. "Something came up. There was a change of plans."
My mom offered to let us stay home but I told her I just wanted to go to school. But then, after walking through those doors and into my classroom, and seeing everyone look at me like, "Yo, what're you doing here?" My little third grade self couldn't handle the embarrassment. I walked right on over to the nurse and said I was feeling sick. My mom talked to the staff and the school and let me come home and lick my wounds like the little-feeling-sorry-for-myself nerd I was.
It obviously affected me. Here I am, years later, still getting red-eared when I think of how embarrassingly sad it was that I ever thought I could go to Disney World on an honest-to-goodness fun-filled family vacation.
The point I'm trying to make is that you do not mess with a child and tell them they're going to Disney and then not take them. To a child, it's like being denied entrance to heaven, only way worse. As far as I know, Heaven doesn't have Space Mountain or those dope little teacups or a guy dressed up like Gaston to challenge me to a push-up contest.
Joe Heenan is a stand-up comedian, so jokes and gags are very much a part of his DNA, even when it comes to his own children.
He thought it'd be a funny idea to tell his son he was taking him to a "Holiday Place ending with land."
If you're a child and your dad said that to you, and because he mentioned the sacred "Holiday" word, and because you believe this man loves you, you're probably going to think he's taking you to Disneyland.
Which is exactly what his little boy believed.
It was all part of an April Fools' joke that left his young son crushed. While it's one thing to tweet about such a terrible joke, it's another to provide photographic proof of your cruel sense of humor.
Either his son is an amazing actor and this is a totally staged photo, or this man actually went and put his son through the excruciating disappointment of realizing that they were not, in fact, going to Disneyland.
I mean, he made the kid pose in front of the store.
For our readers outside of the U.K. who aren't familiar with Poundland — and please get your head out of the gutter immediately — it's basically a dollar-store equivalent. So you can imagine just how let down this young man was when he thought he was going to hug Mickey Mouse and instead he brought his suitcase to a place where the most fun you can have is buying stale chocolates and cheap knock-off Power Rangers.
When people saw Joe's tweet, they felt bad for the disappointed son. Many called the prank "cruel," while others thought he should watch out for getting pranked himself one day when he's much, much older.
Joe Heenan isn't the first dad and certainly won't be the last one to mercilessly prank their own kids, but there are also times when kids turn the tables on them. Like when Judy Brown tricked her father into thinking these chocolate-covered brussels sprouts were Ferrero Rocher chocolates. In her defense, a lot of work went into it, and the prank was incredible.
Some of the pranks dads pull on their kids, however, aren't quite as mean-spirited as this one and taught some valuable life-lessons. Like sometimes thinking outside of the box can pay off.
At least Joe Heenan didn't pull this ultimate betrayal, like telling his kid they were going to Disneyland and instead...I can't even type it. It's just too mean.
As for me, I was lucky enough to win a video game tournament at Willowbrook Mall and the price was a trip out to California for me and two other people. My dad paid for my younger brother's ticket, and I was finally able to spend a couple of days in the Happiest Place on Earth with my mom, and my younger brother and sister.