When I got home from a long day at work, my roommates were in costume, Chris as a bumble bee, and Jason a mismatch of overall-shorts, pink shirt and farmers hat.
It was not halloween.
I remember Jason being in a makeshift dress for some reason. But when I asked Chris, he said cowboy for sure.
In defense of my memory, Jason's past pranks often had him wearing dresses. That just didn't happen to be true of this particular prank involving a lost I-phone, which Jason and Chris were to get back to some poor, unfortunate soul.
'Something tells me theres a catch,' I thought, as Chris stood there in his bee outfit.
The catch was in the details. They were going to get the phone back to the owner, that much was clear. But after all that work, didn't they deserve a little compensation?
Jason nodded his head in agreement.
"Ok, so you are ransoming their iPhone," I asked.
I didn't even ask how the costumes fit in to their scheme.
Jason then handed me a long list of demands. I looked down at the list: on the list was a 12 pack of Sierra Nevada, a pineapple pizza, and much, much more.
The fact that I can't remember all the items on this list will haunt me for the rest of my life.
I also can't remember if Chris handed me the creepy, felt penguin costume, or if I insisted that I wear it. I'd like to say it was the former, but it was most likely the latter.
I went into my room and I put it on over my work clothes. It covered my whole body, including my face.
Jason was very pleased with how creepy I looked.
I wish I could have been in that car when the iphone owner pulled up. Can you imagine what was going through their heads when they parked in front of a dark house on 48th avenue, surrounded by a man in a bumble bee costume and a metro-sexual cowboy.
Not to mention the scary penguin staring down from the upstairs window.
They got a story, we got a pizza.
When I first moved in with them, I thought Chris was behind these silly pranks. But after watching and participating in a couple, I started to notice that behind everyone of Chris' pranks was Jason's quiet smirk.
As I watched his pranks develop further, I started to notice something else about Jason. For every joke he played, a good deed would follow. One night he was holding a girls iphone ransom, and the next, he was picking me up from the hospital.
He even woke me up when a fire somehow caught on our back porch, which was located right next to my room.
It is actually within the realm of possibility that Jason Zumbo saved my life.
Some jokes make you laugh in the moment, but you forget the punchline later on. Others you don't get until later, maybe in bed or if they are really good, in the shower the next morning.
But I think I will be figuring out Jason Zumbo's jokes for the rest of my life.
Whether or not I ever get the punchline, one thing is for sure.
San Francisco just got a lot less funny.