Author Topic: Pranks?  (Read 912 times)

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Offline Azdgari

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Pranks?
« on: July 15, 2013, 09:11:18 PM »
Magicmiles' thread asking for benign prank ideas got me thinking:  What are the worst pranks you've seen, in person?  Ones that cause serious psychological (but ideally not physical) trauma/terror/whatever to the intended victim?  I'll start the ball rolling:


My ex-girlfriend's sister Victoria is seriously arachnophobic.  It's easy to prank arachnophobic people, harder to do it creatively.  Her boyfriend's buddy decided to have a go at it.  He first got a Kinder Surprise egg, unwrapped it, and carefully split it open along the chocolate's seam, the part where the two halves meet and are fused.  Emptying out the contents, he then obtained a really freaky-looking spider (must have caught it himself) and placed it in half of the chocolate egg.  He closed the egg, spider inside, and fused the halves together again with a lighter, careful not to get the egg too hot.  Finally he wrapped it and put it in the fridge, awaiting Victoria's return home from work.

She was stoked to get a Kinder Surprise egg, opening it enthusiastically.....the scream could be heard down the block.  Rarely have I ever seen someone freak out that strongly.  Had to laugh though.  Had to.


What's one of yours?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 10:35:28 PM »
I did have a sort of amusing idea run through my mind the other day, but to fully appreciate it you'd have to know the type of person my father in law is. He and my mother in law will be travelling to the USA next year, and I wondered if this would be possible: Hand him a 'departure present' of a mobile phone pre-loaded with whatever is necessary to use in the USA. Somehow have the phone set up so that once the plane is in the air it switches itself on and plays this pre-recorded message: "I have a bomb! I'm carrying a bomb!". The knots he would twist himself into trying to explain it would be priceless. Of course, I would never do this even if it was possible (do you reckon its possible?), simply because there is a good risk of scaring a plane load of people, having the plane divert to the nearest airport and having my father in law locked up for several weeks.

Hmmmm...
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Offline wright

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 10:53:59 PM »
^^^magic, the TSA and US Homeland Security are notoriously humorless. Not only would your in-laws be in serious trouble, you or whoever was responsible for it would be too. You could easily find yourself on the TSA's no-fly list, at the very least.

Seriously, don't do anything remotely like that.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 11:05:54 PM »
Of course I wouldn't. But geez it'd be funny watching him try to explain it.
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Offline William

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 11:18:12 PM »
Somebody pranked a Catholic nun that if a consecrated host is bitten, it will bleed profusely.
The nun was completely taken in by this and passed it on to me in all seriousness during my preparation for first holy communion at the tender age of six.
The idea screwed up my little brain for several years :'(  - especially after I saw a man returning from communion munching away  :o

Anyway, as troubling as it was for me at the time, the long term effect was positive.  It made me question everything religious from a much younger age than I otherwise might have  :laugh:
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 12:01:30 AM »
I hate pranks. Seriously. I think they're mean. The problem is that you can never know what will trigger something for the recipient. You might think its harmless, but you end up scarring the person for life. Perhaps its because I'm a highly sensitive person, but I never prank anyone. I also dislike hazing, and any other activity that is mean-spirited at heart.

My brother, on the other hand, doesn't mind them at all. Is it a male/female thing? A sensitive vs. non-sensitive thing? I don't know. I don't care. And if it makes me a humorless freak, so be it. Whenever I see ads for those prankster shows on tv I cringe inside. I simply know too many people who have been harmed by them. People for whom a "harmless prank" felt like bullying to them. Like they were being laughed AT, instead of laughed WITH.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 12:20:19 AM »
And if it makes me a humorless freak, so be it.

Of course it doesn't. A different perspective doesn't have to be bad.
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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 01:42:28 AM »
Thanks, mm. By the way, the pranks listed in the other thread (blue paper in the copiers, a team name coming up on a computer screen) ... those don't bug me. They seem quite harmless.  :)
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Online LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 02:13:02 AM »
I can only think of funny pranks.  No trauma involved.  One was done to me.  One was done by me.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 03:20:22 AM »
This doesn't quite fit Azdgari's criteria, but it was pretty funny so I hope he doesn't mind me sharing.

Before I was married I was living in a rental with 2 other blokes from our church. One of them was Danish, and he did some part time work at a youth hostel/backpackers. Consequently he often met Danish people. So one day he meets up with these 2 Danish young women, gets chatting and finds out their plans for travelling to Sydney have been delayed and they're running out of money to keep staying in Brisbane. So until they find work, our housemate very kindly offers them our spare room to throw a mattress and sleeping bag down for a few nights. This ends up turning into a 2 week stay, which was actually a lot of fun and all very innocent. They were lovely, friendly girls (and yes, also smoking hot. I think all Danish people are). They chipped in for food, cleaned etc etc.

The night before they left there was a bible study at our house, attended by about 7 or 8 young people, none of whom had any idea we'd been hosting 2 Danish hotties. We'd told the Danish girls what was happening (they already knew we were Christians and church goers - they weren't) and they said they'd just hang around upstairs and finish packing. All good.

About a half hour into the bible study the girls thought it would be hilarious to wander casually downstairs in their underwear to do some ironing. So thats what they did. Just waltzed through where we were meeting in bra and panties and said hi to everyone, then went through to the kitchen as if they did that every night. After some explaining we all had a very big laugh...we're a conservative bunch, but not without a sense of humour. If they'd walked through topless, that might have been a bit more awkward ;D

 

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2013, 04:07:47 AM »
My ex-girlfriend's sister Victoria is seriously arachnophobic.  It's easy to prank arachnophobic people, harder to do it creatively......the scream could be heard down the block.  Rarely have I ever seen someone freak out that strongly.  Had to laugh though.  Had to.

Sorry Az, but no - I wouldn't be laughing at that at all.  What the guy did was to work out what her biggest weakness and fear was, and to engineer a situation where she would unexpectedly experience it.  That's not "prank", that's bullying, plain and simple.  Taking delight in the pain and fear of others?  Sorry, I'm with Traveller on that one.

Not a big fan of pranks anyway, but my rules for them to be funny and okay as opposed to mean and bullying are:

1) (I've mentioned this before): it should take, then return on the reveal (as opposed to give, then take on the reveal).  So....."Your car has been towed - actually I just moved it over there" can be funny.  "You won the lottery - actually, no you did not" is mean.
2) No permanent damage - that includes psychological.  In the case Azd quotes, how happy do you feel that woman would be to eat a Kinder egg in future?  When the prank is finished, everyone should be in the same state as they were before it started, and - importantly - feel as generally well disposed towards the prankster as they did beforehand.

Bottom line - if the prankee is liable to respond with a laugh and "gee, you got me there!" then its fine.  If they are going to be crying, or shaking, and saying "how could you?" then it wasn't a prank, it was harassment.

Gosh I sound po-faced.  But I'm currently dealing with a case as a Rep where a woman is off with long-term stress due to "pranks" being played on her in the office, none of which were as extreme as the spider in the egg.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2013, 06:37:02 AM »
^^ Victoria did appreciate the prank as a "got me there" part, despite the trauma - knowing her, I knew she'd be alright, and would probably do the same to someone else.

I guess I focused on that a bit much in the OP, and asked for pranks that were in far worse taste than I should have.  You, Pianodwarf, and Traveller are right, there are pranks and then there's bullying.  I should have asked for the funniest pranks, not the most traumatic.  Traumatic pranks can be very damaging to a person.  While the one I described in the OP worked out in the end, and those who knew Victoria well knew it probably would, afaik the guy who did it didn't know her that well.  For all he knew, she'd be seriously scarred.

Thanks for the dose of cold water.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 06:44:11 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 07:26:29 AM »
Thanks for the dose of cold water.

Phobias are definitely not something that one should screw around with.  I happen to have one particular phobia.  It's a more obscure one that is unlikely to ever arise in real life -- so far, at least, it never has.  Nevertheless, if it ever does happen to come up, the results won't be pretty, especially if someone were to get the bright idea of trying to inflict it upon me in my own home, where I am almost never more than arm's reach away from at least one of my guns.  The phobia is acute enough that if someone were to try pulling a "prank" on me in my home based on that phobia, my panic reaction would be so severe that the so-called prankster would probably end up getting killed.

There are certain things that one should absolutely not joke about.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2013, 07:40:59 AM »
One of my favourite little japes is to turn a screen display 90 degrees.   (Right-click the desktop, select graphic options, rotation, 90 degrees).  Takes seconds to do - and, more importantly, seconds to undo when you know what to do - no permanent damage, and nobody is liable to do violence. 

The most common reaction to it is "oh, you $£&* - show me how you did it so I can go do it to Bob!"

Best one I heard of (but never tried) I read in a Penn and Teller book.  Get a bottle of mouthwash, rinse it ALL out, then refill with apple juice.  Then drink it in front of people.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline William

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 08:17:01 AM »
A long time ago - 1986 to be precise - I worked in a Planning Department and we shared a single PC in our offices to do spreadsheets for modelling and forecasting.  In DOS I wrote a .bat file that asked the user: "Do you want to delete all files?" For the inevitable answer "No" I wrote: "Deleting anyway!"

One of my co-workers, who was sacrificing his own lunchtimes to learn about these newfangled PC thingies, sauntered over to the PC at the start of lunch and flicked the "On" switch.  I was sitting quietly in the adjacent office waiting to see what happened.  About 60 seconds passed (boot up was so slow in those days) when suddenly the office chair (on wheels) crashed violently into my office wall, I heard the solid "clunk" of the PC's switch being shunted to "Off"!!!!  About half a minute later my co-worker emerged from the office, outwardly calm, hands in pockets, but walking awkwardly as if being watched as he sauntered towards the exit  :angel:

To this day I've never let him know what actually happened ;)
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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 08:48:19 AM »
They were lovely, friendly girls (and yes, also smoking hot. I think all Danish people are).
My mother's adoptive parents' name is Van Deusen.  Does that make us smoking hot by association?  8)
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Online LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2013, 09:56:56 AM »
I should have asked for the funniest pranks, not the most traumatic. 
Now I feel I can contribute...

I can only think of funny pranks.  No trauma involved.  One was done to me.  One was done by me.

To me:
At Nursing Homes, patients who are identified as fall risks sometimes have alarms on their beds which sound when they exit the bed as to alert the staff to go check on their safety.  One night when I was a Nurse's Aide the alarm sounded for Emily, (a sweet woman with early dementia) a resident assigned to me.  When I went to see if she was OK she was not in her bed.  Neither was she near her bed.  She was not even in her room.  As she was also an Elopement Risk (euphemism for escape) I  began to worry and started to check from room to room with the assistance of another aide.  When we completed her hallway we proceeded to the "TV Room."  There was Emily, grinning from ear to ear, hiding behind the entry, having been placed there by another aide. (who was there with her to insure her safety) Emily's pure delight at being in on the joke was priceless.

By me:
When I was deployed in Saudi Arabia I was at El Khobar Towers.  This was basically a Housing Project the Saudi government had built but no one wanted to live there for some reason so they let the US use it during Desert Storm. Anyway, one duty Junior Enlisted Soldiers had to perform was to take turns on the Reaction Team.  This was a 24 Hour Assignment where we were on call to respond if there was a threat within the general area.  At this point in the war it was over, so nothing ever happened.  The Reaction Team generally watched videos with our gear ready just in case and once in a blue moon there would be a drill.  So the morning after my turn of staying awake all freaking night for no reason my lieutenant wanted me to go print some stupid report for him.  I told him I was technically still on call.  He said he would take my place on the Reaction Team while I printed the report.  No problem.  I gave the 5'11 180 lb lieutenant the "gear" that was fitted to my 5'7 barely 120 lb frame.  Then I went and told the Captain in charge that the LT was taking my place so I could print a stupid report.  "Sure would be funny if there was a drill."  And off I went to print the report.  When I came back, the Reaction Team was returning from responding to a report of suspicious activity, including one out of breath Lieutenant who looked hilarious in web gear that he couldn't even hook up and a Captain that was practically rolling on the floor laughing her ass off.  Don't mess with female soldiers.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2013, 03:29:28 PM »
For pranks I think it depends on the person. Some people will not mind or will laugh about it afterwards and not feel people have been mean.

I am a big arachnophobic. Kids used to put insects, namely spiders down my back when I was very little and it has managed to give me an immense fear when I see them, but I know it's irrational - if I lived in a country like Australia it might not be, but merry ol' England, it's completely irrational, you're more likely to die by the hands of very cute kittens.

People will sometimes exploit the fact I'm arachnophobic for an easy piss-take, usually it's a fake spider or one that's not even there. If somebody made the joke a couple of times, I wouldn't mind so much and would have a good laugh about it. I am somebody who enjoys laughing at themselves. If it was more regular, then I'd have a problem, because it is genuine fear and it would make me paranoid and would probably screw with my head and in general would piss me off. It's less of a joke but more bullying.

But I can sincerely see how it would majorly piss some one off, but again I think it always depends on the person.
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Online LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2013, 06:24:41 PM »
For pranks I think it depends on the person. Some people will not mind or will laugh about it afterwards and not feel people have been mean.
I feel that one's duty as a good natured human is to know the person you're pranking well enough to know whether they will also get a laugh out of the prank or whether they will be traumatized.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 06:33:00 PM »
A long time ago - 1986 to be precise -

Ah.....1986 and new fangled computers. I was in grade 7 at school, and we used to take turns working on the classroom PC in pairs. I knew who the next two girls were to use it, and I had a crush on one of them. I left a message on the screen for her to find, something along the lines of "will you go with me?". The wrong girl read it first, assumed it was written by my PC partner and promptly wrote him a note saying yes and that she'd always liked him...ah, crazy kids
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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 06:57:40 PM »
Ah.....1986 and new fangled computers.

When I was assigned in West Germany I was supposed to be showing some new guy how I did my job.  This was the beginning of "instant messaging"  The IT guy had "YOU HAVE COMMITTED SERIOUS ERRORS, PLEASE DIE" start flashing on my screen.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Backspace

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Re: Pranks?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 07:58:05 PM »
When I was in my teens, I jumped out of the shadows at our house and scared the hell out of my mom. She gasped so hard she got a severe case of the hiccups that nearly took her last breath.  I had to rush her to the medical clinic down the street for treatment (I didn't yet have my driver's license).

Lesson learned  :-[.
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