Call it the perfect practical joke.
In the funniest scene in the Edmonton Eskimos' locker-room this year, Trevor Gaylor became the butt of a joke that actually left him thinking he had been cut by head coach Danny Maciocia yesterday.
The sophomore wide receiver - who has been in and out of Maciocia's dog house this season - actually walked around the locker-room shaking hands with friends as a good-bye gesture after seeing his locker had been cleaned out, stripped of everything including his name plate.
"I couldn't help but think that was what it was," he said.
In reality, fellow receivers Mookie Mitchell and Jason Tucker took full advantage of a perfect setting and orchestrated the stunt - which actually has roots to Wednesday afternoon's practice.
Unknown to most observers, Gaylor and Maciocia got into a heated exchange on the field at Clarke Stadium, with the emotional import barking at the coach.
"It was just frustration from me not playing," said Gaylor, who was benched again last week for inconsistent play.
"I wasn't practicing well and Danny told me like he was supposed to and I said some words I shouldn't have said."
Added Maciocia: "He said certain things ... and I barked back with an ultimatum."
The two sides left the field late Wednesday afternoon on decent terms, but the veterans couldn't let a golden opportunity slide.
Knowing Gaylor wasn't feeling too confident about his job status with the Green and Gold, it took Tucker and Mitchell - along with help from wideout Ed Hervey - less than 20 seconds to clean Gaylor's locker stall bare before he arrived for afternoon team meetings yesterday.
Most of his belongings were stuffed into a big black garbage bag, while his playbook was moved to another locker.
Let in on the joke by the veteran masterminds, the large media gathering just hung around the dressing room, waiting for any sign of the lanky Missouri native.
"He's gonna cry," predicted Hervey.
But instead, Gaylor looked very worried, knowing something was going on.
"I was hurt when I walked through the (locker-room) door and the (television) camera was on me," he remarked.
"I didn't make a catch last week, so I knew it couldn't be anything about the game."
Then he saw his locker was empty, which prompted the quick round of handshakes.
But thankfully for the former NFLer, running back Troy Davis finally clued him in.
"Troy kind of told me because they thought I was going to act silly," said Gaylor.
"So, they decided to quit the joke before I did something stupid."
With several TV cameras rolling tape, it was a very wise move.
But with the prank over, there doesn't seem to be any hint of hard feelings.
"It is out of love," he said of the joke.
"I love these guys. It is funny."
However, revenge could be in the making.
"Payback could be sweet, but you never know when that could be," predicted the 28-year-old Miami of Ohio product.
"I have to wait for the right moment and the right situation - like they did."