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We're out to stick it to ya

Spring finally is establishing itself, even in Iowa, which means growing season has returned. So when Rick and Marilyn Jones had to attend an out-of-state wedding last week, neighbors decided to pitch in and aerate their lawn for them. What a nice gesture, right? Uh, not exactly.

It wasn't done to be helpful; it was payback. The Joneses, you see, are pranksters who like to play practical jokes when others on their block in the Rockdale section of Dubuque are away. Such as? Oh, by stringing crime-scene tape around their properties or pounding "For Sale" signs into the front yard. This has been going on for years, and it reached the point where the Tschudi family had had enough.

With Rick and Marilyn gone, they and some other neighbors pounced. "Really, we're very good friends," Paula Tschudi insisted to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. But not so good that they could resist the opportunity to retaliate. And that's how the Joneses' lawn came to be aerated ... with 3,000 white plastic forks, which were still protruding from the ground when Rick and Marilyn returned from the wedding. And that doesn't count those that were hanging from the gutters, garage, and fence.

The Tschudis got the idea by searching the Internet. They promised to help with the cleanup. But first, they hoped to be in position to watch the reaction as the Joneses pulled into their driveway.

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