I was in a school play in seventh grade, and I had to bring in props for the part, one of which being a large fishing net. My mom was helping me carry things in one morning when she took the opportunity to make a joke.
As she was walking though a crowded hallway with a six foot long net, she proceeded to yell out “Pest Control, coming through!” and asked random kids if they had seen where any of the rats had gone.
By lunch time, the buzz in the cafeteria was that there was some crazy lady running around try to exterminate rats. Kids were freaking out and not eating because they thought they might have come from the kitchen and tainted the food. By late afternoon, the faculty had gotten wind of the hubbub regarding the rats and were bringing students in to ask if they’d seen any. People’s stories swirled around eventually convincing the principle that they had a real pest problem.
A day later, our school shut down, allowing actual exterminators the opportunity to come hunt down imaginary rats.
it took two more days for school to re-open. But, when it did, people had found out that it was my mom that started the rumor mill and she had to come into school and apologize to the principal. She was then banned from participating in any other school function for the rest of the year.