Manny Perez is a self-described prankster, and his wife, Sabra, is often the target of his many shenanigans.
Video of his latest trick has been viewed more than 200,000 times since he uploaded it to YouTube on July 21.
In the video, Perez, 32, is behind the wheel of a van. His son, 5-year-old Caiden, and 1-year-old daughter, Alana, are in the back of the vehicle. His wife is sleeping next to him in the front passenger seat.
In front of the family’s car there’s a semi cab being towed from behind, so that the front of the semi faces the family’s car.
Perez gives a mischievous grin, then explains his plan for the camera: “OK, so there’s a truck getting towed and it looks like it’s coming at us and my wife’s asleep, so we’re going to see if we can scare her.”
Then, he yells: “Babe, wake up! There’s a truck … .”
Sabra Perez opens her eyes, sees the semi and bolts upright in her seat, letting out a terrified scream.
Then her husband laughs. “I’m sorry, it was funny.”
She covers the camera and the video ends.
In an interview with ABCNews.com on Tuesday night, Manny Perez said his wife initially gave him “a good lecture” but later got the humor.
The Winston-Salem, N.C., man explained that the family had been on the way to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport to pick up relatives and then head for a week’s vacation. They were on Highway 70, he said, when inspiration struck.
“This truck was getting towed backwards and I just it hit me. I was just like ‘aw, this is too good of a prank to pass up,’” he said.
He’s an amateur video blogger, so always has cameras handy.
“I have a dash cam on the car. That’s when I hit the power button and started recording,” he said.
Asked to explain how she felt when she opened her eyes, Sabra Perez said: “I guess I was in pure panic at first seeing the truck, and then I quickly realized that (Manny) was joking with me and I was mad for just a minute, but he pranks me all the time. I didn’t stay mad.”
Reaction to the video has been mixed. Some people find it hilarious, while others believe Manny Perez played a cruel trick on his wife.
“If he wasn’t laughing and pranking me or doing something to me I would think something was wrong with him, I guess. I’m just pretty used to it. I’ve learned to be a good sport,” Sabra Perez said.
The couple have been married for six years. Manny Perez, a construction crane inspector, joked that his wife liked the excitement.
“I’m a big goofball,” he said. “She picked a winner when she married me and my in-laws, her mom and dad, they love me to death but they always ask her what (she was) thinking. But we have a good time, we’re really close and they enjoy the pranks as much as I love doing them.”