Brandon Cordina was on his way to a birthday party Monday night when he noticed people staring at dozens of paper fliers stapled to utility poles along King Street.
“HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” the flier read. “THIS MAN GOT ME PREGNANT AND WON’T RETURN MY PHONE CALL’S.” Cordina looked closer at the photo of the deadbeat dad, a young man in a tuxedo flashing a grin. It looked awfully familiar.
“Hey dude, that’s you,” Cordina’s friend said as he handed him a copy.
It sure was. He had posed for that shot for his Wando High School yearbook. Now, someone had repurposed the photo to prank Cordina, 21, who doesn’t have a child on the way.
People began to eyeball him on the street and in bars. Soon, photos of the fliers began spreading on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Long-lost friends messaged him, and random strangers, discovering his identity, reached out online to rib him or to encourage him to “man-up” and help his fictitious baby mama.
“I was definitely surprised,” said Cordina, a Charleston resident. “And I definitely knew who was behind it.”
He and a group of longtime friends have a proud tradition of punking one another, always looking for a creative way to take it to the next level.
They have hidden friends’ cars, plastered other rides with sticky notes and placed fake ads on Craigslist. Friend Johnny Bamond recently spent a day fielding calls from confused Detroit residents who had seen his name and number under a prank ad for a pit bull giveaway.
Another friend with a firewood business had to explain to callers that he wasn’t giving away his stock for free, as another bogus ad claimed.
“It’s all about seeing the reaction of other people,” said Ryan Andersen, one of the pranksters.
“And keeping our friendships on edge,” Cordina’s roommate, Jackson Clark, said.
Monday’s prank was epic even by their standards. Clark, Andersen, Bamond, fellow prankster Jay Meyer and some helpers posted 150 of the fliers around downtown from Spring to Wentworth streets.
The contact numbers on the fliers took callers to unsuspecting friends of the group who were also snared by the prank.
Most people found the gag hilarious, and even Cordina had some laughs at his own expense.
But his friends best beware. He already has started plotting his revenge.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.
Brandon Cordina (left) can laugh about the prank now, and already is plotting to get the next laugh on his friends Johnny Bamond (from second from left), Ryan Andersen, Jay Meyer and Jackson Clark. “It’s all about seeing the reaction of other people,” Andersen said Tuesday.×