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Retro Blogs: Kanegate, Part One December 24, 2008

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Retro Blogs.
Tags: , , , , ,

Before I begin, I must tell you that all of this is 100% true.  At times, it won’t sound like it.  I assure you though it is to the best of my memory.  Kyle also vouched for authenticity of the story (for what that’s worth).

Right after high school, Kyle and I didn’t have jobs.  We were lazy ass bums, if you will.  It always consisted of us renting the worst movie we could find and stay up all night, just watching them and laughing our asses off.  So, naturally, we wanted some excitement in our lives.  Something to do.  This is when we decided to begin prank-calling people.  This is what lead to not only the longest drawn-out, but best prank we have ever pulled on anyone.  It’s an event that Kyle and I fearfully call Kanegate.

Kane Johnston was probably the nicest guy you would ever meet.  He would help you in the halls, he would lend you money in a heartbeat and he was a hard worker.  He had his own landscaping business (at least I believe it was landscaping…. I know for a fact he mowed lawns) and he ran that thing like it was Microsoft.  The thing you have to remember about him is that he was so completely trusting and really old at heart.  If there was any proof that reincarnation existed, Kane would be it.  He was an old man stuck in a 18 year old body.  Both Kyle and I had always been great friends with Kane.  See, the man didn’t have a mean bone in his body and literally everyone liked the guy.  So why exactly did Kyle and I decide to play a prank on him?

We were hanging out at Kyle’s bored off our ass.  Beating Super Mario Bros. for the umpteenth time this summer had lost it’s flavor.  I needed a new taste.  I was looking through my phone to see if we could call anyone we knew to hang when I got over to Kane’s name.  I hesitated on it for a moment.  See, we’d never hung out with Kane outside of high school.  I decided to give him a call anyways and I told Kyle.  He immediately told me to hang up.  We discussed it over many obscenities and decided the best thing to do was the prank call him.  I dialed *67 and the phone begin to ring.  He picked up…

Kane:  Hello?

I hid my voice through a heavy country accent.

Zack:  Hello?  Is this Kane Johnston?

Kane:  Yes sir it is.  Who am I speaking to?

I wasn’t ready for this.  I pulled out the first name that I could think of off the top of my head.

Zack:  My name’s Steve Buscemi.

Kyle began to laugh in the background, muffling the sound with a pillow. I thought it was over right then, but alas, Kane was a trusting sort.

Kane:  How you doing Mr. Buscemi?

Mr. Buscemi:  I’m good, I’m calling you in regards of your ad.

Kane:  Oh yeah!  Are you the man down the road I talk to about mowing his property the other day?

I stopped.  This was entirely too good to pass up.

Mr. Buscemi:  Why yes I am Mr. Johnston.

Kane:  Well, when did you want me to mow your lawn?

Holy shit!  Holy shit!  This is too fucking good to be true! I thought.  I looked at Kyle and he looked at a calendar.  He pointed to Saturday.

Mr. Buscemi:  Now Saturday would be good but we’re leaving real early in the morning so you’re gonna have to mow it before we leave.

Kane:  Well, I could be there about 4 AM if you’d like.

Mr. Buscemi:  That sounds good.  I’ll tell you what though, my son likes to sleep in so don’t come to the door.  You just start mowing and come to the door after.  We don’t wanna wake him up.

Kane:  Well won’t the sound of the mower wake up your son-

Mr. Buscemi: -Just start mowing.

Kane:  Yes sir.  See you on Saturday!

I hung up the phone and laughed hysterically.  Not only did we not intend on playing a prank on him, but he practically handed it to us on a silver platter.  Kyle and I laughed more, then went and got some Taco Bell.  It was a Monday and we soon forgot all about Kane and the prank.


We were outside smoking cigarettes in the warm summer.  A slight breeze kept the temperature at the right place so we wouldn’t sweat.  It was wonderful.  Between cigarette number one and two, we began to talking about not being in high school anymore (which is a common thing among recent graduates.) and we got on the subject of Kane.  We both sat up immediately.

Kyle:  Holy shit, it’s Tuesday.  You think you Kane actually went to that house and mowed?

Zack:  I dunno, we should call him and see if he showed up.

Kyle:  I’ll call him.

Zack:  What?  You can’t call him, I’m Mr. Buscemi, remember?

Kyle:  Dude, it’s been like a week or something.  You really think he’s gonna remember the voice?  Besides, I can do a redneck accent just as good as you.

Zack:  Whatever, just make sure you hide the number.

Kyle begins to dial with *67 before it.  He puts it on speakerphone.  It begins to ring.  We sit in anticipation.  About thirty seconds go by and his voice mail picks up.  I motion to Kyle to hang up and he flicks me off.  We both heard the tone on the other end and Kyle began to record his message.

Mr. Buscemi:  Now you listen here Mr. Johnston.  This is Mr. Buscemi.  I stayed with my family for hours and hours after we were supposed to leave and you didn’t show up.  We waited for you goddammit.  Who the hell do you think you are standing us up like that?  Jesus Christ boy, you’re pissing me off.  I want you to call me back and I want you to apologize to me for wasting my time.  If you don’t.  I’m… I’m gonna kill ya.

End call.

Kyle began to laugh.  I laughed.  Why?  Because it is so ridiculous that someone would threaten someone’s life like that over a lawn.  But, it was too late.  He had sent the message.  We lit up another cigarette and smoked the afternoon away.  Now, we could have easily left it at that.  He had literally no idea who had called him and obviously had never watched any film made in the ’90s so we were off the hook.  But, of course, we didn’t stop there.  We had other plans up our sleeve.


Curious about the quickly evolving Kane affair, Kyle and I decided to call him.  Kyle picked up the phone and dialed *67.  It began to ring and Kane answered.

Kane:  Hello?

Kyle:  Mr. Johnston?  This is Steve Buscemi.

Kane:  Mr. Buscemi, I don’t really appreciate the message you left me.  It was disrespectful and, quite frankly made me pretty angry.

Mr. Buscemi:  Well, I’m sorry about that.  See, Mr. Johnston, that wasn’t me, that was my son, Bobby.

Kane:  What?

Mr. Buscemi:  Well, Bobby has quite a temper about him and over-reacts sometimes.  I’m sure he didn’t say anything too terrible, did he?

Kane:  He told me he was gonna kill me.

Mr. Buscemi:  Well, I’m sure he didn’t mean it.  But I’ll tell you what, I’m gonna get Bobby on the phone and apologize to you.  Is that alright?

Kane:  That would be great.

Mr. Buscemi:  Alright, hold on.  I’m gonna put you on hold.

Kyle immediately switched over to the other line on his cell phone and told me to take mine out.  He three way called me and when I connected to his, he switched back over.  Why exactly didn’t we just hand the phone back and forth to each other?  The answer is a simple one.

It wasn’t wacky enough.

Mr. Buscemi: Now Bobby, I think you have something you want to say to Mr. Johnston.

I used the smallest, mousiest voice I could possibly muster.

Bobby Buscemi:  I don’t wanna dad…

Mr. Buscemi:  Now you listen to me you little shit… You have not only wasted my time, but Mr. Johnston’s time and you will apologize or so help me god, I’ll hit you again.

Kane: Now Mr. Buscemi… If he doesn’t wanna say he’s sorry…

Mr. Buscemi:  Now will all do respect Mr. Johnston… Don’t tell me how to raise my son.

Kane:  I apologize Mr. Buscemi.

Mr. Buscemi:  See?  Mr. Johnston apologized to me, why can’t you apologize to him, Bobby?

Bobby Buscemi:  I’m not gonna apologize because he didn’t show up and mow our lawn.

Kane:  Actually I did.

Kyle and I look at each other and cover our mouth with laughter.

Kane:  I mowed every acre of your land.  Took me three hours.  When I got done I went to the door and knocked and nobody was home.  I was so mad.  I loaded up my mower and drove home.

At this point, Kyle and I have actually muted the mics on our phones because we are laughing out loud, uncontrollably.  We both knew what was gonna happen next but neither of us said it.

It was time to take this to a new level.

Mr. Buscemi:  Now, Bobby, did you hear that?  Now you apologize to Mr. Johnston because out of the goodness of his heart, mowed the wrong lawn.

Bobby Buscemi:  I’m sorry Mr. Johnston.

A very, VERY, long pause.

Kane:  I forgive you Bobby.

Mr. Buscemi:  See?  Now that wasn’t that hard, was it?  Now you get back in your cage now.

I hung up the phone and laughed more.  I could not believe that Kane was buying all of this.  Surely the fact that he mowed an entire lawn and didnt get paid would have set him off.  Or the fact that we were using the name of a fairly famous actor would make him wise to the situation.  Or maybe it’s because Mr. Buscemi apparently keeps his son, Bobby, in a cage when he’s not on the phone.  Any of those reasons we equate to the situation being ENTIRELY unbelievable for absolutely anyone… right?


Mr. Buscemi:  Now, I’m real sorry about my son Mr. Johnston and sorry you mowed the wrong lawn.

Kane:  Well, that’s alright.  It must’ve been just a misunderstanding.

Mr. Buscemi:  I’ll tell you what.  How about a second chance at mowing a lawn for me?

I looked at Kyle, confused on where this was going.  He gave me that, “trust me” look he has and went back to the phone.

Kane: Well, I think that would be great, seeing how I didn’t get paid for the first.

Mr. Buscemi:  Alright.  I need you to mow my sister’s lawn.  It’s located at 137 Sturbridge Crt in Georgetown.

Kane:  When do you want me to mow it?

Mr. Buscemi:  Hold up, let me check the calender.

Kyle mutes the phone and asks me if I have anything to do on Friday morning.  I told him no.  He turns the phone back on.

Mr. Buscemi:  How about Friday morning around 10?

Kane:  Sounds good.

Mr. Buscemi:  Alright, I’ll see you then.

End call.

Kyle buried his phone in his pocket and looked at me.  I asked him whose address did he give him.  He said our friend Daniel Mullin’s.  I asked him why wanted to know if I was free on Friday.  He told me because we’re going to hide and film the prank.  We both laughed out loud at the thought of us filming our prank.

But of course, things never go as planned, and soon the prank spun wildly out of control…



1. Cat - December 30, 2008

Let’s have a part two!

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