When 22-year-old Belmont University student Dalton Ross left home in Tennessee for a semester abroad in London, he came up with a clever way to make sure he wasn’t forgotten by his family. Dalton created a life-size cardboard doppelgnger of himself and mailed it to his mom, Susan, as a surprise prank.
When the massive package arrived on the family’s doorstep, Susan first figured it was something her daughter had ordered for work. Then, she explains, “I thought my husband had gotten me a grand gift for Valentine’s but nope–I opened it and couldn’t stop laughing.” The practical joke even came with a sarcastic note that read, “You’re welcome.”
But Susan’s sense of humor turned out to be a cut above her son’s clever ploy. She dubbed the cardboard model “Faux Dalton” and started toting it to miscellaneous events, from Frisbee games at the park to an Easter Egg hunt. She even set it up on a Valentine’s Day date with a giant Barbie, took it to a doctor’s appointment, to Subway for a sandwich, and propped it up for some snug bedtime reading of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go. Best of all, she posted photos of each individual occasion on Facebook, turning the private practical joke into a public display of hilarity.
Dalton admits that he was “out-joked,” but he’s not letting Mom have the last laugh. For a final dose of friendly family rivalry, he has his own scheme for upstaging his mom once he’s back on U.S. soil: “I definitely plan to drop off the cutout in my morning classes next semester and then go back to sleep.”
All photos via Dalton Ross.