It was a shock to hear last week that one of the nurses who answered the phone when two Australian DJs made a prank call was dead, and had committed suicide. The DJs, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles called the private hospital where Kate Middleton was admitted for morning sickness to get some laughs for their readers. No one could have foreseen it would end this way.
From what I can tell from news reports, the nurse who killed herself, Jacintha Saldanha, was the receptionist who picked the call, and then actually transferred them to someone on the ward. I listened to the call myself and she did not say more than a couple of sentences. I found it difficult to make the stretch from the prank call to the apparent suicide for a wife and mother of two teenagers.
To be honest though, I don't know her, and I don't know what she may have been going through even before the prank call, maybe the prank and the backlash she expected from family, friends, her employers and the general public became too much, the final straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. As might be expected, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the two Australian DJs behind the hoax, are totally broken up as seen in a recent interview.
I said in a recent post that I enjoy pranks, whether pulled on me, or when I pull one on someone else. This news kind of takes some of the fun out of pranks, for instance, I don't see these two DJs going back to prank calls for a while. But pranks are just practical jokes, and while I hope such comedians that specialize in pranks think more carefully about their pranks, especially on total strangers, I also wish we can keep that element of fun.
I pray for Jacintha Saldanha and her family as well these two DJs. May they all find peace.