CAR PRACTICAL JOKES >>
Reminds me of when I was in first year at UVIC. At that time, punch-cards were used for programming still (They added terminals the year after I left). The rectangular cardboard confetti had many uses :-) That stuff was hard to get off of clothes, out of your hair, etc. One friend of mine decided to collect the stuff, so every day he would go around and empty the confetti from the punch machines. At a party he was going around tossing the stuff at people and laughing as they tried to get it out of their clothes (it sure itches if you get it in your clothes!). He had collected a whole paper shopping bag full - one of the big ones. When he got around to me I reached out and whacked the bag hard on the bottom as he was reaching in to get another handfull. Well he was looking down into the bag and had his mouth open. The confetti exploded upwards into his face and mouth. We were practically rolling around on the floor watching him trying to clean the stuff out of his mouth an off his tongue. A few days later he got me back by collecting more and dumping it on my car, into the ventilation inlets. To this day years after he did this, an occasional rectangular cardboard piece of confetti will float up out of the ventilation system every time you turn on the fan/heater.
You take the top off the standard sugar dispenser found at restaraunts around the country. You place a single layer of paper napkin over the opening in the glass part, then put salt on top of that. Put the top back on and tear off all the paper showing around the edges. The first victim gets salt in his coffee, which I suppose is funny to some people. But what is even funnier is this same guy, or the next, trying to get sugar out of the thing. They think the sugar may be caked and bang the dispenser on the table, shake it, hold it up to the light and squint at it, etc. ...
Many years ago, before all the young studs started taking their dates to motels for, er, recreation, there were always Lover's Lanes around. On a typical moonlit night there might be a dozen cars at one of these places with the windows all steamed up from the activities within, and occasional flashes of red as flailing feet inadvertantly hit brake pedals. Some people I knew used to get their jollies chaining the bumpers or axles of these cars to the nearest fence or tree ...
The most elaborate joke along these lines was played by three friends of mine, whom we'll call Tom, Dick and Harry.
On a moonlit night as described above, Tom came running out of the woods onto the Lover's Lane screaming, "No! NO! Oh, God, Please NO!"
When Tom had everybody's attention, Dick stepped out of the woods with a shotgun, yelled "Now I'll get you, you bastard!" and fired the gun over Tom's head.
Tom dropped to the ground and lay there writhing and screaming until Dick came over and fired a blast into the ground near his head, then went limp and quiet.
Then Harry came rushing over, yelling "Jesus, Jack, why'd you DO it? He was our FRIEND!! Oh, my God! ..." and the like. Then both Dick and Harry grabbed Tom by the heels and dragged him back to the woods. When they were out of sight Tom got up and all three enjoyed the activity back at the scene of the "crime", which needless to say had changed considerably from a few minutes before.
When I was living in the dorms on campus, frequently someone with a car would offer to drive into town on a rainy day, to save a wet bike ride. There were always takers. I have a car, so I took many friends to the store, post office, or Bank. If someone banked at the same place as I did and I knew they were going to make a deposit, sometimes I would get a few bucks together and also make a deposit. BUT, as I was standing at the little table (you know with the little chained pens) I would take a deposit slip and write THIS IS A STICK-UP GIVE ME ALL THE MONEY IN YOUR DRAWER on the back. Then I would casually slide it over to my friend and hand it to him, face up. After making my deposit I would leave the bank. The friend would step up and hand the teller the deposit slip. They always check both sides to see if any additional checks are listed. Sitting across the street was a good place to see the cops pull up. Usually things took about 20 minutes before he convinced them he was not a bank robber. You have to pick a friend with integrity and a quick mind though. If he panics and gives your name, you are history. I only tried it twice.
Dump a whole bottle of detergent into the toilet tank. This produces great billowing suds out of the bowl on first flush. Especially great if first flusher is sitting at the time.
Use a clip lead to connect the brake light switch to the horn relay on the targets car. Every time they step on the brake the horn blows. It's amazing how many people can't associate the horn blowing with using the brake. They just report that the horn blows at random times. This is especially useful joke to watch in parking lots when work lets out.
Carefully pick up sleeping targets bed and set it on four coke bottles. When target rolls over or makes any significant move bed will crash 6 inches to the floor and there will be bottles rolling all over the place but not a soul in sight.
Steal a banana from targets lunch. Use large sewing needle to pierce skin at seam and move needle back and forth to "cut" banana in half. Continue doing this along the seam and banana will be sliced when peeled by target.
Saran wrap on reading glasses that have been left on desk is good. Trimming at edge of lens is hard but effect is great. Not usually noticed when first picked up but optical quality of saran is spectacularly bad.
I know of a variation of the fake workmen digging the street that worked well. In the original (very risky) you masquerade as real workmen and dig a hole in the street and leave. When this was first done in NY in the fifties it was days before anybody realized something was wrong and traffic was a disaster until the street department patched the hole. In the variation, the jokers observed real workmen digging the street and reported to the police that college students were again digging up the street as a joke. The police thanked the tipster and headed for the dig. In the meantime the jokers approached the workmen and toldthem that the college had freshmen dressed up as cops as part of fraternity initiation and that they would be around soon to give the workmen a hard time. The workmen thought this was great and agreed to give the "cops" a hard time back. It was a long time before this mess was sorted out. (this was my all time favorite practical joke)
Another idea that I couldn't perfect might be of interest. I got one of the air freshener gadgets that had a battery operated timer that causes a brief push on a self-contained can of air freshener every 10 minutes. I guess you leave this thing in the bathroom and get a brief pssssst of freshener every ten minutes. Anyhow, I tried to change the can of air freshener (which is indeed replacable) with a freon horn. Unfortunately the freon horns sold for emergency use in boats etc. have a different cap on top that I could not adapt to the freshener. If you could make this work you could plant this thing in somebodies shrubs or cellar or warehouse... or office.
One of my favorites is to put a couple of ping pong balls in someones gas tank. The car will start just fine and will run for a couple of blocks. Then the balls will get sucked into the gas feed and cause the car to die. The balls will now float back to the top of the tank and he will be able to restart the car. This will be very frustrating to the car owner, espiality if he works on his own car. First he will replace the fuel filter then maybe the fuel pump. From there on out he will be pulling his hair out to figure out what to do next.
How `bout those relatives that seem to stay longer than expected....
If you had someone staying at your house, especially if they're traveling with small children, help them pack up the car. Slip some limburger (sp?) cheese into their car somewhere where it'll slowly get warm. You can imagine the consternation when they pull to a rest stop to change junior's diapers and find nothing there. Or the line, "Did you hit a skunk or ...?"
Speaking of fun practical jokes with a car, I have a couple of interesting ones.
1. Give the victims car an oil change, to 70 wieght oil. This should work very well in places where it gets cold because when it is cold enough, the oil should more resemble a brick the oil, and the car should be unable to crank. I wonder how long it would take even a good mechanic to figure out what has been done.
2. A Classic. Stones in the hubcaps. If done correctly, the driver will hear something rattling in the hupcaps and check to see if it is the wheel nuts, finding nothing, they will continue , only to hear the sound again.
3. When expressway driving becomes boring. This trick is been done with a radar detector and a very fast (looking) car. While driving on the expressway, look for a fast car that looks like it may not have a radar detector. Accelerate hard to about 70 and see if the other car follows. If it does, bring your car up as fast as you feel safe and pretend to be racing him. This should get the other car's driver to start going very fast. Continue this "race" until you come on a turn or hill. After going through the turn, hit your brakes hard and bring the car to exactly 100 mph. The effect is to make every one on the road start doing 100 because they assume that if you are going that fast, youmust have a radar detector, and it must have just gone off. (I hope I don't need to mention the illigalities with this joke, and the need for a radar detector.)
On the other hand: one day some friends of mine and I were going to 7-11. There were several parking spaces open along the wall of the store. We were in two cars: a 14 year old chevy wagon and an 10 year old dodge dart. As the first car was about to pull in to the lot, a brand new cadillac pulled in from another entrance and PARALELL parked accross 3 perpendicular spaces. Needless to say we were not amused, and quickly retaliated. Before the driver (a man in his 60's) could open the door, my friend and I (in the wagon) drove up and paralell parked alongside him 6 inches from his door. The other car pulled up so that he couldn't pull up past us. This left him hemmed in by brick walls on two sides and cars on two sides. Of course, he could have slammed his way out, but since his car had just cost 10 times the combined values of our cars, he didn't try it. We left both cars parked there (with doors locked, brakes set, etc.) while we picked up some party supplies and left him there fuming.
We have various local spots where the teenagers park, cruise, hold drag races, drink beer etc. We happen to own a white 1983 Dodge Diplomat, the exact kind of car used by the State Patrol around here as well as many law enforcement agencies nationwide. (Actually our car WAS a state patrol car, but that's another story). Anyway, my brother in law, who is a cruiser, would occasionally borrow this car and drive it down to the cruising spots. Needless to say, when they saw him coming there was brief but furious activity. He finally had to stop doing this because it made his friends so mad.
People hate to pass us on the freeway too. It is not unusual to see some Camaro or Porche come zipping along through traffic until he is about 2 car lengths behind us, then decelerate to a perfect 50 miles per hour. It takes him about 10 seconds to look us over, decide we aren't in uniform, notice that we don't have state license plates, and make up his mind. He will then typiclaly test how fast his car will accelerate to about 90 mph.
This sounds suspiciously like one of David Brenner's "Best Practical Jokes In The World". He claimed to do this and put the slip back, three or four slips down. The lucky recipient was a kindly-looking little old lady who had a habit of smiling vacantly and nodding. When the bank teller read the back of the slip, and saw this little old lady smiling and nodding, he tripped the silent alarm, the doors slammed shut, the guards all pulled out their guns, and the only two customers in the bank were the little old lady and David Brenner in the corner laughing his ass off. Naturally he recommended that against trying this little stunt.
The other practical joke of his that I remember involved getting a friend with a car to help you. Pick up about a dozen cheap brooms, and get on a local (downtown) bus. Of course, the brooms will be impossible to manage as the bus bounces and sways, and will annoy passangers and driver alike. But, as you've paid your fair, the driver figures you'll be off the bus soon enough and he'll be done with you. Get off at the last stop, hop into your friend's waiting car, and zip back to the stop you got on at, and get on THE SAME BUS. Much yucks.
This is one that a friend of a friend of mine did to his mom.
This kid was going somewhere with his mom in the car. The kid was in the back seat, and the mom was driving. It was summer time, so the kid had the window rolled down.
Anyway, the kid see's this jogger comming up the side of the road, so he starts motioning to the jogger. The jogger didn't really know what was going on, but just as the car passed the jogger, the kid reached out of the window, and whaked the side of the car rather loudly with his hand. The jogger, getting the idea, dove in the ditch and acted like he was in great pain (similar to the pain he would feel, say if he just got hit by a car).
The mother obviously notices the loud noise and see's the dieing jogger in the ditch, slams on the breaks to see if this poor guy is dead or not. Naturally she is worried sick.
Years ago when I still lived (and went on my bike to work) in Bucharest, Romania, I was often sprayed with mud by car and bus drivers who felt a sadic pleasure by doing this. I used to note the license plates of the culprits and in four instances I spotted those cars parked on streets not too far from my home. I provided to their owners several mornings of hard work to remove newspapers stuck on their windshields with a very good glue. In one instance I filled the exhaust pipe with wet cement... In all cases I left a note with "thanks for the shower".
Here's one that my roommate and myself did to a residence buddy. One morning (early) we taped together a bunch of sheets of newspaper to cover the victims doorframe. Then taped this big sheet over the doorframe which left a gap of about two or three inches between the sheet and the door. Then we filled the gap with paper balls right to the top of the doorway. When he opened the door he was showered with a barrage of paper balls (makes a nice mess too!) Of course, the door has to swing in for this to work!
My roommate was (and is) rather inventive and can be quite nasty. He buttered all of the toilet seats in our wing of the residence (fortunately told me first). He also buttered doorknobs at one point. We wrapped celophane over the toilet bowl then replaced the seat: this one can be really messy!
Try this: hang a shower curtain out a window. When the person below reaches out and pulls it in, pour a bucket of water onto the shower curtain. Listen to hear the results. Requires a nosy neighbor below you.
Six friends of mine and myself tried a less complicated version of the classic dismantling of a car and putting it back together somewhere strange. We lifted a friends car that was parked between two other cars and turned it so that the front and back end were facing the neighboring cars. This posed quite a problem for our friend when he decided to go home. Requires either a small car or a lot of very strong people! :-) I take no responsibility for any back injuries that result from this. Of course I take no responsibility for any of my actions. :-)
There are, of course, some fairly standard pranks that are pulled in residence. Typically, people are shafted on their birthday which is therefore a hazardous date to reveal. Total demolition of a room is quite common, but lacks any real humor. A common shaft is to remove everything from the victims room and set it up somewhere else exactly as it was. The best examples I saw of this were: a room moved to the roof of a science building, a room moved to the front courtyard of the residence (really funny when it started to snow!) and a room moved to the dining hall.
When I was younger, I had a practical joke genius for a working companion. We both worked in the same computer store for a while. He left and became manager of another store. I remember receiving an envelope with his firms return address on it. Inside was a very silly brochure. I said aloud "There has to be something else in this envelope". So I looked and of course there was a sheet of paper. It read "No there is nothing else in this envelope!" I could never get him back for anything that he pulled but he was an inspiration. The last practical joke that I will relate was one that he taught me and it requires a bit of time to prepare. First you need: iodine cristals and some amonium hydroxide. Mix the two together and a brown sludge will form. Drain off the excess liquid and let the sludge dry. The result? Snap powder, a pressure sensitive explosive. Just sprinkle this on the floor and watch people's reactions. Its quite amusing.
half* his mustache.
His intended was slightly disturbed when she heard the news the next morning, so she decided to get us back. While we were in the ceremony, she had someone sew up the pants legs to our clothes.
We got the last laugh though. As the newlyweds were getting into the car, we pulled up in a truck, kidnapped the groom, and drove away. We took him a few miles out of town, stripped him, and hand-cuffed him to a road sign. Taught her.
I think I have one of these books. It is by George Heyduke (Hayduke?). When I read it, I was practically overcome with mirth. Some of the things he sug- gests are hilarious! It says right in the book that it is written for enter- tainment purposes only, and not to try any of the ideas, so I guess he has his behind covered. Some of the better ideas that I remember are:
1. "Time bombs." This is the phrase he uses to describe chicken parts. Easily gotten at any supermarket, they are innocent little items that can be carried almost anywhere (in a baggie, if neccessary). But when stashed in an out-of-the-way place, like under furniture cushions in the house or under car seats or in the trunk in a car, and given a little time, YOW! Watch out for the smell! Gotten ripped off by a used-car dealer? Wait awhile, then take some test drives in some other cars. With a few strategically placed "bombs" in a car with the windows closed in the hot sun.... use your imagination. Getting evicted? Remove some outlet covers or switch covers and stuff some of these babies down inside the wall. They'll be impossible to find, and won't start to smell until after you're long gone.
2. Parties. Parties are great fun to plan, especially if you plan them for someone else to host (as a surprise). Print up a few flyers for a party at your victim's house and distribute them where undesirables will be sure to see them. For example, you might put up flyers around biker bars advertising "all the beer you can drink", and "crowning of Miss Biker", or something equivalent. Even if the reluctant host doesn't let them in his house when the horde shows up, he will still wind up with a party on his lawn. Of course, if you're his neighbor this gives you a good reason to complain to the cops or to his landlord, etc.
3. Set your victim against a third party, or against another victim. Let other people do your dirty work for you. Here's an example: Call up the electric or gas company and impersonate your victim. Request that service be terminated for a week or two (going on vacation, or whatever). As soon as that happens, call your victim. Impersonate an officer of the gas/electric company, and be very nasty and abusive, saying that service has been discontinued because of non-payment of bills. This should rile up your victim, asasuming that he HAS paid his bill and knows it. At any rate, tell him he must come down to the office immediately to discuss the problem or you will send the police to his house to collect, or something like that. Then, once you have him mad, and know he is going to the gas/electric company, call up that company. Impersonate your victim. Be very nasty, and try to get into an argument with a supervisor. Wind up the conver- sation by saying that you are coming down there right now with a gun, and you are going to kill somebody. Then hang up.
Or, if you call enough times so that people associate your voice with his name, you could call back some time after the argument and make a bomb threat. They would recognize the voice as being 'him', and knowing that he was disgruntled would make him a prime suspect.
4. Buy a cheap toy gun. Plant it in your victim's car. Then call the police and anonomously report that you saw a suspicious armed person in the area, and give the vehicle's description and location. A variation of this would be to plant baggies full of phony drugs. He probably won't be arrested, but he will probably be stopped and harrassed.
5. Enter subscriptions in his name to the most filthy homo/bondage/snuff magazines you can find, and change his address by one so his NEIGHBOR receives them. His neighbors will not only be disgusted by his perver- sions, they will also be irritated by the fact that he is too dumb to even get his address right on a subscription.
6. If you can get one of his credit cards, or even a charge receipt or carbon copy of one, use the account to order gifts through the mail. Order gifts for REAL friends and relatives of the victim, and have them delivered directly to the recipient. It puts him in an embarras- sing position to have to explain to his family and friends how his gift to them must be returned. Also, can you imagine the guy trying to convince the bank that HE did not make the purchases? Don't use his charge accounts for your own benefit, or you will very likely be caught.
Another good practical joke taken from the "Tippy Turtle" series on Saturday Night Live is as follows:
Take one of those musical grreting cards (the type that play a song when opened) and carefully rip out the part that actually plays the music. This is only about the size of a quarter. When the victim isn't watching, plant this somwhere near him/her. Since it is so small, it is relatively easy to hide in a pocket, purse, etc. Afterwards, watch the victim become maddened by the recurrence of Jingle Bells, Happy Birthday, etc. in the background.
I was a victim of this one, and at first I thought I was hearing the muzak at the restaurant I was eating at. After I was done, I returned to my car and the music followed me. I thought I was going insane.
This practical joke is hearsay. A fellow student some years ago related the following. Apparently another student was a bit of a braggar. His favourite topic was his car, and one sub-topic was the terrific gas milage (pre-metric) it got.
So it began one evening. Fill up a one-gallon container of gas each night and pour it into the victim's gas tank. Wait for the story each day to get better and better. Repeat until it cannot be taken any more. I believe 2 weeks was sufficient.
Finally the moment (days) of truth. Each night for 2 weeks, the effect was reversed, and one gallon of gas was REMOVED from the victim's tank. It was amazingly effective at reducing some of the stories. I suspect the truth was never revealed to the victim.
To be done in warmer climates: break apart oreo cookies so that white, creamy filling sticks to 1/2 of cookie (the way most kids eat them). Discard or eat other 1/2 of cookie without filling. Place cookies (filling side down) on victim's car -- this should take several bags of cookies. When the warm sun hits the victim's car, the cookies ooooooooozzzzzzzzzzzzzzeee down the car, leaving opaque stripes. Really quite a sight! Really!
OFFICE PRACTICAL JOKES >>
New secretary (second day on the job) answers telephone as is told in official tones: "This is the phone company. We are testing a new circuit wiring scheme in your offices. Please keep everyone off the phones for the next 10 minutes. We will be verifying the correct wiring of your system by passing HOT STEAM through the wires. Instruct your employees to place their phones on the floor, or, better yet, wrap them in towels to avoid scalding themselves. We will advise you when the tests are complete *click*" After momentary panic, the secretary begins a frenzied "Paul Revere" routine, running from desk to desk while glancing frequently at her watch. Just as the 10 minutes are about up, she bursts into her boss's office (while he is in the midst of an important long-distance call) and, screaming, grabs the receiver from his hand and flings the whole phone under his desk...
In my younger days, while employed at a warehouse, I was the butt of the usual practical jokes directed at newcomers.(Fetch me a light-bulb repair kit, son;etc) As days passed, I noticed that one of my antagonists was actually afraid of his terminal. This was at the time when the press was full of accounts of the dangers of X-rays from color TV's, and this guy was deathly afraid of the noise made by the high-voltage section of the CRT as it warmed up. Each morning he sat in his swivel chair, coffee in his left hand, and with the chair as far as possible away from the terminal, used his right hand to quickly flick the ON switch, and then jerked it away from THE CERTAIN DEATH THAT AWAITED. After the racket settled down, he would wheel up to the terminal and commence operations. This situation was too good for yours truly to pass up. I went upstairs and pulled out a stock item, a stadium buzzer, used by high schools on the football fields to announce the end of a quarter. I came in early the next morning and installed it in one of his file boxes, near the terminal. I ran the wires out to the next office via a pass-thru, and alerted all of the staff (but him) of what was about to transpire. He entered the room, coffee in hand, and sat in his chair. All others were heads-down in work. He adjusted his chair to the proper distance, reached way out for the switch, and as soon as he pulled, I plugged in the cord. As the buzzer sounded, he assumed the facial expressions of one who has seen death reaching it's skeltal fingers to snatch him from the land of the living. Coffee flew to the ceiling, and for a few brief seconds before hitting the opposite wall, a new world land speed record for backward swivel-chair operation was established!
My favorite practical joke was performed back in high school on the director of our Audio Visual Dept. Upon purchasing a brand new, expensive video camera, he set it up in the AV lounge so he could watch us hoodlums on a monitor in his office. While he wasn't looking we taped a clear piece of plastic over the lens of the camera. Then the designated provacateur made sure that he was watching while another went up to the lens with a squeeze bottle of highly caustic liquid, and crusty, grime laden rag, to "clean the lens". Fred jumped over his desk and knocked over a couple of onlookers before realizing what was going on.
( All the standard things happened to this guy too! remove all the screws from his chair, disconnect ( or reverse ) key components of his phone, placed packing material in his fan. )
One good practical joke that I've seen done to somebody:
1. Take an old record album cover.
2. Fill the insides with shaving cream.
3. Place it halfway under a locked door to the victim's office, home, room, etc. with the open end inside the room.
4. Jump on it.
Another, if you can get access to the victim's key chain is to switch all his keys for keys that look exactly the same, but don't fit the locks he's trying to open. If you can be around for this one, it's much more fun to watch the person go crazy as he cannot open anything he owns.
Odd that no-one mentioned the fun to be had with all the new and wonderful phone features available now. None of the below are truly destructive. Adjust gender as appropriate (women's lib be damned, I'm not going to type his/her, s/he every time). Switching these on/off from time to time can drive people nuts trying to figure out what is going on.
1. If call forwarding is available at your company, forward the victims calls to an "appropriate" number (Highly moral people get dial-a-sex, bosses get dial-a-joke, boring people get time/weather, flamboyant ones get dial-a-prayer, etc). Victim may go days without figuring it out. Spouse may get interested in what's going o at office as well. Forwarding to a VP makes for interesting reactions as well.
2. Variation on above is to get an answering machine, record an imitation of victim's with outragous comments (busy right now with X-rated move sound track going in background, inviting all callers out on dates, denouncing whatever private beliefs they have, etc). Forward calls OR splice into phone line so only happens on occasion.
3. If someone is silly enough to put call waiting onto a line used for modems, call it EVERY time they use it. Vicitm will complain to phone compnay about "line noise".
4. Reprogram all their speed calling to dial-a-sex, etc numbers (as appropriate for victim). Love to watch the face of someone who thinks he is calling his wife and a sexy girl comes on the line demanding a credit card so she can "talk dirty" to him...
5. If victim is out of office for an extend period (week+), answer his phone and say "Oh, Mark doesn't work here anymore. I think that the company caught him stealing equipment/supplies/money; using drugs; sleeping on the job; sexually harrassing the boss; etc."
6. If the phone system depends on * or # pound keys, reverse them. Most confusing. Even better, rewire 0-9 as well! Interchange only 2 keys for continuing wrong numbers.
7. Replace answering tape messages with something "more exiting". Effects records make good backgrounds. Barmaids and dancers will often help you out on this one as well.
8. Call victim's answering machine. Leave what sounds to be an important message and, 3 digits into the phone number, end the message.
9. If the company tracks every phone call, have everyone in the office make long distance calls from the victims phone whenever victim leaves the room. You need a spotter to keep from getting caught at this one. 900 numbers that charge
10. 50 per call are good for this.
11. One of my favorites works best in large office buildings: Stay late one night. Go through the building and forward EVERY phone to victim's line. Be sure to do yours also to avoid being suspected.
12. If victim keeps phone numbers online and you have write access to database, scramble the numbers (Be sure not to mess with medical or other emergency numbers. You can't play as many pranks on dead/maimed victims).
13. Turn off bell on victims phone. On AT&T phones this requires a bit of disassembly to implement but may be corrected by just adjusting the volume (there is a stop to keep bell from going off but lifting a lever permits the dial to rotate past the stop. Rotate back and no-one can tell that it was done. This is a design feature of the phones)
In 1972 I was working at a very boring job in an aerospace factory. There were three guys my age (early 20's) in the department and we werw always playing what we saw as a joke on some poor unsuspecting soul. I was also in the Navy Reserve at the time and had to take two weeks off during the Summer to due my training. When I returned from two weeks off, not yet bored enough yet to begin playing more jokes, the other three guys went off their heads pulling any kind of trivial, dangerous or otherwise obnoxious stunt they could think of. At the end of the second day the supervisor called me into the office and said:
"Jones, I don't know what's the matter with you but you better knock it off. I've had two weeks of peace and quiet while you were gone and now that you're back all hell's breaking loose. You go on back out there and stop bothering people."
I knew that I hadn't done anything but I didn't bother to protest. I could recognize a well executed joke when I saw one.
Instead, get a cannister of the foam insulation that is used in home construction (IT EXPANDS TO SEVERAL HUNDRED TIMES ITS VOLUME IN THE CANNISTER). Make sure victim is not in his/her office, bedroom, etc... Then fill room into solid block of foam.
Baby powder inside someone's hair dryer, causing the CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST look is also a cute one.
The hardest to do/forget practical joke that I know is a variation on the theme of dismantling something large and then reassembling it in someone's office/apartment/dorm room.
Locally there was a VP who was a Volkswagen Beetle Fan, so for his birthday, some of the people who work for him stuck one in his office. It made the newspaper when the refused to take it apart.
Speaking of practical jokes, my wife pulled one several years ago...
For my wife's birthday several years ago, some people at the law office where she works hired a male belly dancer to entertain her. She swore sweet revenge. Six months later, the instigator of the belly dancer incident had her birthday. My wife arranged for the single brother of another secretary to meet the instigator for lunch, etc. The instigator didn't know the brother before this, so it looked like someone had hired an escort service for her to help celebrate her birthday. The joke, however, backfired. The secretary and the single brother are now married. At the wedding, held at a large and famous Chicago hotel, a gorilla handed out bannanas to the guests, courtesy of my spouse.
PC PRACTICAL JOKES >>
the dept administrator is somewhat of an msdos jock, and one day, he changed my adviser's rainbow prompt to be something like:
fatal disk error
so everytime the return was pressed, this was displayed... now seeing that we have been having various hardware and software problems, one after the other with the little trash machine rainbow, my adviser was very upset... when he realized that it was a joke, he thought that maybe i had done it... (i don't know why, because i don't normally do this type of thing).
once we had sorted out what had happened, we set up the administrator's account of the vax to behave in a similar, but more frustrating way... i am a bit worried about this, though, because he rarely uses the vax... it has been about two months, and still no screaming... (just redefine some symbols in his login.com... important ones, like:
$ dir*ectory :== type
$ type :== directory
$ show :== logout
An OSU Architecture prof (I'll call him Dr. Jones) had a habit of telling his students to "Go take a flying leap" when they gave dumb answers. One student decided to take the prof to task; the class was taught in a second floor room so the student practiced jumping out the window (with the help of an assistant who would catch his arms as he jumped). The two got this down to an art, and one day provoked the "flying leap" comment from Dr. Jones. The student said, "Okay, if you say so," turned around, and leapt out the window. His partner (who was supposed to grab him but say, "oh God, I missed him !") *did* miss, and the jumper fell and broke his ankle.
No, this is not a cut on stupid practical jokes. The humor follows:
As a result of this episode, the department chairman had to file an accident report. One line of the form requires the DC to outline "What actions will be taken to prevent future recurrences of this accident ?"
The Department Chief answered, "In the future, all of Dr. Jones's courses will be taught in the basement."
I had a UNIX practical joke pulled on me that was absolutely insidious: the perpetrator simply changed my .profile to include a stty call to change my wake-up character from a newline to a space. The effect was that if I typed a command in correctly everything worked, but if I 'kill'ed the line or tried to delete characters, only the last parameter would be deleted. He had me going for WEEKS trying to figure out what was wrong with the system...
While in grad school, I was an "assistant" in a lab which contained two pdp-11/23's running UNIX System 2. Much of my education came from jokes played on me by my more knowledgeable friends. I'm sure I deserved them; I was into writing multi-player games, and I got a kick out of writing special caveats that only I knew about; these caveats could give other players invisible handicaps. (Don't ask me for the games; they're very terminal dependent and I don't even know where they are anymore.) We once wrote a multi-player version of Walter Bright's empire from scratch. I added H-bombs (like fighters, but when they hit a city it goes neutral, and when they hit a neutral city it goes away, etc) Only, the program was rigged so that when a certain friend completed an H-bomb, he got this dialogue that ended with the H-bomb developers testing the bomb in his own city! It was VERY funny.
 The lab contained two kinds of terminals; Zenith-something-or-other for one pdp and TVI-something-or-other for the other. The console for each pdp was some other type (e.g., vt100 or somesuch). I normally logged in on a Zenith in a particular spot. One day my first attempt to login failed and my second succeeded. I thought nothing of it, and continued. Later, I happened to be on the console when I did a ps and noticed a program running in the background belonging to one of my friends, B. Although it was not uncommon for real work to be done this way (and the program had an innocent sounding name), I poked around in B's directory to see if I could figure out what it was doing (I was root; what a feeling of power!). An ls revealed a very strange directory name; under that directory lived some interesting looking programs and files.
It turned out that B had written one of those password-catching programs, and had run it on my favorite terminal, apparently hoping that I'd login as root there. The directory name was an escape sequence that caused an "up-cursor, carriage-return", so an ls on a Zenith would overwrite the funny directory name with the next file/directory. I had done the ls on the console (different escape sequences) by pure luck.
I figured out the file in which B was writing the login name and password, and replaced my login and password (yes, his program worked!) with: "B is a bad boy". Eventually he came in. I casually asked him about the background process, and he had a simple explanation ready. I then left him to the "Zenith" room, and went to the adjoining "console" room and waited. His reaction was quite rewarding.
 B waited almost a year to try again, and this time he was nasty. I was working on a huge program, a dbms, for my Master's thesis. I was having some trouble debugging, and looking at the prospect of spending yet another semester finishing it. During a particularly frustrating session, another friend stopped in to mention that B had done something to my ..profile; I thanked him and checked it out.
It was a very subtle change; I don't remember how I happened to notice it. My PATH was set with /usr/bin in front of /bin (default on our system was /bin in front of /usr/bin). I looked at /usr/bin, and found an executable cc, owned by B. Further exploration revealed that B had written new read() and write() primitives; his cc arranged that the resulting a.out would get the bogus primitives. These primitives read or wrote garbage about 1/6 of the time. Can you imagine debugging a dbms with this handicap?
So, how to get back at him? I figured the first step was to pretend I hadn't discovered his little trick, so I modified my makefile to run /bin/cc directly. After a day or so, B stopped in to ask how I was doing, and I told him everything was going well. He happened to notice my /bin/cc lines, and asked why I did that. I told him I had some simple shell scripts named "cc" scattered about, and didn't want to accidentally pick one up (this was before aliases). He swallowed it.
The next day, /usr/bin had an executable make to go with the cc. B's make made a backup copy of the makefile, changed all the /bin/cc's to /usr/bin/cc's, and ran the real make; when the make finished, it moved the original makefile back. I was amazed at the trouble he had gone to -- and got a good lesson in shell programming as well!
Last year I had a job teaching an officeful of secretaries to use their IBM XT. Well, for April Fools Day, I inserted a Pascal program at the beginning of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (runs on startup). The program essentially said "Hello, Department of Defense Missile Network..." and gave instructions which led to "Missiles Launched", and "congratulations, you have just launched World War III. Say goodbye to everything you love." I slowed down the printing to match 300 baud, so it looked quite threatening. After the "say good-bye message", I had it tell the user to hit RETURN, after which the program said APRIL FOOL and went on to the normal programs.
The results were interesting. The people who were comfortable with the computer loved it. The real computerphobe registered only that this wasn't her database program, and (as usual) demanded key-by-key instruction, ignoring the prefectly good instructions on the screen. No-one really was startled, they didn't have the background.
REVENGE PRACTICAL JOKES >>
It should be noted by people wishing to play practical jokes, that some people take them dead seriously. Such people tend to escalate the level of jokes by a couple of magnitudes. My three favorite stories are from different colleges.
One joker sprinkled finely ground powdered milk underneath his victim's sheets. It acts like powdered sugar in the sense that, as you sweat in your sleep, it dissolves and comes up through the sheets onto your body and into your pores. But your sweat makes it sour, and when it gets into your pores, it stays there. You smell very strongly of sour milk for about a week (4 days if you shower and sauna every day). The next weekend, when the joker was walking back from a party, three guys jumped him. They were dressed in ski masks and painter's suits (those light paper/cloth jumpsuits that people wear to paint autobodies). They stripped, tied, blindfolded and gagged the joker, and spraypainted him blue. No one was ever caught.
In another case, a yuppy practical joker taped a guy's car closed with strapping and duct tape (the thing apparently looked like a ball of tape when he got through). For those of you that don't know, the adhesive on such tapes ruins a car's paint job, and can, if you try to remove it en masse, even take off chips of paint and door guards (especially in winter). Two days later, the yuppie's BMW was found with all four of its racing radials slashed to ribbons. The yuppy of course, called the police on the guy who's car he taped. The guy did not admit to slashing the tires, as opposed to the yuppie, who told the police why he thought the other guy was responsible (ie: he admitted to the police that he taped the other car). Charges were never pressed about the BMW (lack of evidence), and charges were pressed about the car taping. Did the guy actually slash the BMW wheels? He always claimed that he didn't (of course the last time I knew, the statute of limitations wasn't up yet).
Then of course there's the people who take the direct route to revenge. Some guy thought he would make a very large, easy going, farm boy feel more at home. So he got some fresh pig manure and dumped it in the farm boy's room. The very large farm boy, apparently lacking a cultured sense of humor, beat the living shit out of the joker. Then he told the joker that if it happened again, the joker would eat the pigshit. Nobody doubted him.
So be very careful who you decide to pull a practical joke on, because they may not think it's as funny as you do.
Yet another answer to that silly revenge problem: Tape down the little white things that spring up when you lift the receiver. (another alternative would be to open up the phone and remove two little spring things so that the white things don't come up at all.) Of course all this should be done in the victims absence. Now the fun begins... When he arrives, dial his number from a nearby phone and don't hang up.
An acquaintance of mine and his friend were once asked to leave a rather posh country club for what they considered innocent fun-loving behavior. To get revenge for their inconvenience and show what truly obnoxious behavior is like, on their way out the door they went into the coat room, and exchanged all the keyrings they could find in people's jacket pockets for similarly shaped keyrings from other pockets.
Then they sat in their car in the parking lot and enjoyed their revenge! It was evidently quite a show.
Enter subscriptions in his name to the most filthy homo/bondage/snuff - magazines you can find, and change his address by one so his NEIGHBOR - receives them. His neighbors will not only be disgusted by his perver sions, they will also be irritated by the fact that he is too dumb to even get his address right on a subscription.
An ex-brother-in-law of mine did something like this for revenge on a downstairs neighbor. He put a very kinky ad in the Berkeley Barb, which included said neighbor's phone number -- "call any time".
Another person I know told me he once ordered some phony business stationary, and used it to place an order for a 70,000 pound steel coil to be delivered to this person's (a high school teacher) address. The coil showed up and got dumped on the front lawn.
1. Got a neighbor that's a real pain in the ass? Do they have a lawn? Do they have a garden that's accessible? Yes to all the above? Great! Go out and get yourself some grass-killer and fill the suckers hose with the stuff. Then sit back and wait for them water their lawn! Nuff said?
2. Does the person that you want to get even with drink red wine? If so, have I got one for you! Get yourself some Neutral Red, a water soluble, crystalline, red dye. Mix some into the persons wine and wait for them to take a leak. (Nuetral Red comes out as red as it goes in, and people have a tendancy to get really nervous when they start pissing what they think is blood!
3. (I'm surprised nobody mentioned this one yet.) Go to a pet shop and buy a fancy looking pet collar and leash. Then, the next time you see a dead animal in the road, attach the leash and collar setup to its neck. Attach the whole thing to revengees rear bumper, making sure to toss dead animal under the car so it won't be seen. When revengee drives away, chances are he/she will be stopped by either a cop or a member of some animal lovers group for draggin some poor defenseless pet down the road. Either way, they are gonna have some awful quick explaining to do!
4. Last, but certainly not least, is a great stink bomb. This one takes a bit of time for preparation, so it's not too good for spontaneous revenge. (But it's worth the time!) Get a quart jar with a rubber seal. (Mason jars work quite well.) Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of crystal Drano along with about an inch or so of warm water into the jar. Place the lid on the jar and allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for about an hour. Take the lid off and add six egg whites, (no yokes). Add a quarter cup of Methylene Blue, then fill the jar to within an inch of the top with water. Seal the jar tightly and allow to sit for four to six weeks. (I warned you it takes a while!) When the 'bomb' is ready to use, you can either throw it like a molitov(sp?) cocktail, or shake it up and pour the contents out, making damn sure you don't get any on yourself. The results have to be seen, or is that smelled, to be beleived!
It all started with a girlfriend's birthday party. Her boyfriend, who I had known since elementary school, wanted to give her a suprize party. So he asked me what should we do. I came up with a plan to kidnap her during dinner. But this wasn't any kidnapping. What we did was to get three people that she didn't know to arrive while we where having dinner. Of course all of these people were speaking a foreign language that she didn't understand. She was bound, gagged and blindfolded. Then while everyone drove to the resturant, she was driven around in a car with three people speaking a foreign language. BTW-she new something was up and wasn't scared, because she knew something was up. Anyway, they bring her into this very nice resturant. We're all waiting at the table, about 15 of us, and we proceed to start dinner. Her food was in front of her, but she was still bound gagged, and blindfolded. After a few moments we untied her, she was really embarrassed, because everyone in the place was staring at our table, which was in the middle of the room. She vowed revenge.
Joke 2 She wanted revenge. So I came up with the idea of getting a baby picture of my friend, her boyfriend, from his mother, and printing up posters of it and putting it up all over campus. Out side of his classes, labs, and work. His mother gave me the most adorable picture of him when he was a baby with his teddy bear. His features hadn't changed that much and the way the picture was set up he looked as though he was in a police line up. So we made it into a "Most Wanted" poster, with a concise discription, and his name across the top in 40 point type. I printed up about 150 posters which we put up all over campus. The next day every where he looked and turned there was a poster, even in some of the men's rooms around campus. It took him weeks to find all of the posters.
If you are wondering what all of this is building up to. Here is the ultimate joke that was pulled. After several more *practical* jokes which I was the ring leader on. My friends realized that at the hub of each of the jokes I was the organizer and brains behind the opperation. So it was my turn.
I really liked this one upper division Economics class that I was taking that quarter. I was the VP of one of the Econ clubs on campus and everyone knew who I was including the professor. Well, one Friday afternoon while this class was meeting. One of those warm afternoons where everyone in the class is dozing, including the professor. All of a sudden three people enter the class in surgical grab, masks, protective gloves, boots, green suits, the works and a wheelchair.(I learned later that they had
One of my favorites is to go into somebody's room and turn EVERYTHING upside down. This was done to the cook at a summer camp I worked at (she was a lousy cook; this was revenge for hamburger in white sauce for breakfast). We invertedeverything in the kitchen; the stove, the refrigerator (both previously disconnected) and everything in the refrigerator; everything on the shelves and which (i.e., top, bottom, middle) shelf it was on. Best of all, there was a table in the middle of the room with large JARS of ketchup, mustard, etc.; the tops of all of these were hidden and they were inverted (place waxed paper over mouth of jar, invert, remove paper) and the table rested on top. We also inverted several posters on the walls. Of course, the cook wasn't very happy about this; after she'd gotten it cleaned up she demanded that whever did it apologize and wash dishes for a week. If nobody claimed responsibility, she said, she would quit. We cheered.
PRACTICAL JOKES >>
A friend who lived in Durham sent a postcard to his girlfriend in Milwaukee that said "Here is a check for the twenty dollars I owe you." and had a blank spot and a piece of tape on it.
Six letters came to him from Milwaukee, some with photos, none from people he knew, and all expressing interest in a personal to which they alluded. One was from a male. He assumed that his girlfriend had placed a personal with his address in the paper there; she had just enlisted help in letter- writing.
Back when I was in high school a friend of mine, Robert, hurt his back while rolling his car and had to wear a plaster cast around his torso, from just under his armpits to a few inches below the navel. When he wore a jacket it was impossible to tell he had on a body cast. Now, for maximum effect you have to picture Robert. He was a tall beanpole with hair down to his butt (a scraggly beard, John Lennon type glasses with blue tinted lenses, and old clothes. One day we decide to go on a picnic at a local park. So here we have 4 hippies in a park surrounded by families, when Robert grabs a large butcher knife, jumps up, yells 'GODDAMN IT I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE', and plunges the knife into his chest. This was followed by some very dramatic histronics as he fell to the ground, ending up on his back with the knife sticking up in the air. Well, the three of us knew the knife was really in the cast, not his chest, so we double up laughing as these families are looking on in shock. I'll never forget some of the looks on those people's faces.
Good ol Ray decides to do Robert one better. He grabs the picnic basket, yells 'lets go!', and runs off to the van. Naturally we followed, leaving Robert laying on the ground with the knife sticking up. Boy, this really got them families into shock! Robert realizes he's suddenly all alone and tries to get up and run after us. If you want to see something funny sometime watch someone with 50 pounds of plaster wrapped around their chest, who can't bend at the waist, try to get up unassisted off their backs. Then picture this person trying to run after a van, in which his 3 buddies are driving off. Remember, Robert still has this knife sticking out of his chest. Boy, them families didn't know what the hell was going on.
Anyway, we went down the road 100 yards or so, just enough to scare the crap out of Robert, and stopped to let him get in the van. I still wonder what some of those families thought of that episode.
Do it the Caltech way. Dump water on the victim's bed until it's soaked, and pour liquid nitrogen on the bed until the water freezes. You're right that it's heavy -- so heavy that the victim must wait for it to melt before he can get rid of it.
PS - It destroys the mattress covering, so be prepared to replace the mattress.
At my high school (many years ago) over a dozen Polymorphic 88 S-100 computers were used to teach computer lit in the math department. Now I was the curious type and I took to reading the supplementary documentation to the operating system and I implemented a number of nasty suprises for the other students.
NOTE: These changes were never to the boot tape just to the currently running copy, so the changes dissapeared when the system was rebooted.
1. Change the prompt to some strange greek character that no-one knew existed in the machine before.
2. Change the opening logo to something humerious and strange like Muppet Labs Operating System V.5.1
3. Change the (Go to Monitor) command to return. To leave monitor a command must be entered which is terminated by return, which is no longer available from the keyboard and results with the screen clearing and the monitor all fresh and ready to accept a command! Very nasty!
[Englishmania - It's not English, but an INCREDIBLE simulation!]
My favorite dorm practical joke involved collecting newspapers for about 3 months by everyone. When a guy on my floor had a three hour lab we crumpled up newspapers and completely filled his room from floor to ceiling. When he returned, he had to go in through in the bathroom, and wasn't even able to get the door open far enough to get through.
Something I have done before is wire someones bed to give them a nice shock.
It was done as follows:
strip some stranded wire and use the wire to form a grid under the top sheet. it works best to have this grid look like fingers that interlace but don't touch.
this was then connected to the 110 V side of a texas instruments calculator transformer. to the calculator side of the transformer add a 12 or 24 Volt DC supply (i can't remember which we used) connected through a normaly open switch.
then press the button rapidly to cause a transient in the transformer.
It is funny as heck to watch someone wake up as they are getting the shock. if you stop while they are still partially asleep they really have trouble figuring out whats going on.
i'm sure you could automate the process so the person has just enough time to fall a sleep before the next shock.
Where I used to work, one of the group leaders used to have a Playboy calender. One of the young ladies who objected to the posting did a mastectomy & placed the paper in the phone between the pickup and the connection. The phone seemed to be complete, but did not work.
A few months ago I saw a newspaper clipping which told of a newspaper in Illinois (I think...) which ran a story warning consumers that, on such-and- such day, Illinois Bell would be "blowing the dust out of the phone lines" and that all phone owners should cover the earpiece of their phones with a bag to catch the dust.
Bell made them print a retraction, after receiving numerous calls asking what sort of bag to use ...
People, they is amazing.
One joke that we did in residence was the Chinese Fire Drill, I don't quite know why it is called that. Anyway..
The victim is on the pot in the dorm washroom. Everyone grabs a bucket (we used the waste baskets from our rooms) and fills the buckets with water. Take a paper bag and set it on fire, toss it under the door into the stall. Yell fire as everyone tosses the water into the stall. Needless to say the fire as well as the victim get very wet.
This one fellow in the house was hit a number of times and took to relieving himself in other locals. We followed him a couple of times and nailed him in many parts of the residence.
Later of course we conspired with our victim to get back at the original instigator of the drill. The guy in the stall had a bucket of water, and when the the instigator tossed the bag in we all hit him.
Put a couple of cc's of methylene blue in a coke/coffee/dark colored drink.
The next time the person has to use the restroom, surprise!!! blue urine.
Forget about phenothaline, coat the inside of the cup with Nitrogen tri- iodide, when it dries, don't move the cup! When the owner attempts to do anyhting with the cup, even breathe on it, it will probably exsplode! Don't use to much or the mug will shatter very viontley!
AH yes.. ye ole highschool days.... (seems everyone knows of or has done a VW bug stunt already). We also had a rather unliked teacher, whose VW was carried up onto the gymnasium stage on the last day of school. Needless to say, every year after that he arrived on the last day of school driving the cab of his brother's semi.
delivered to the school*. He got called on the carpet but good, and the Superintendent would not believe his protests of innocence..
Another paper punch-hole trick that is even better is to take a plastic 35mm film canister, paper punch-holes and a can of freeze spray (at fine electronics stores everywhere). Fill the film canister with about 1/4" of freeze spray then add punch-holes until the film canister is at least half full, replace the lid on the canister, set the canister on a desk or shelf and then wait for the fun. The neat thing is that when the canister pops it shoots paper all over the area (sort of like a party 8-)). Before you try this with the con- fetti, experiment with just the freeze spray and canister, different amounts of liquid causes it to pop at different times. I know one person who filled one of those blue solder extractor bulbs half full of freeze spray, sealed the end and put it under his bench at work, he thought it might make a pretty good pop and after 30 minutes had completely forgotten about it. It went off about ten minutes later and could be heard all over the building (he later told everyone that a power supply had blown). Bubble pack behind the wheels of an occupied chair also causes some fun when the unsuspecting person rolls back.
Actually I'd rather hear mind game type jokes which are a lot more fun. ex: Bet some one they can't eat a slice of bread in less than a minute. Conditions are, nothing on the bread and nothing with the bread (like water). There are people who can win the bet, but watching them suffer is worth loosing, and I have won more money than I have lost.
Another door-related practical joke, good in dorm-life scenarios:
1. Locate undesirable LP record w/ jacket. I recommend "Mystic Moods".
2. Fetch cardboard jacket-- should be in good condition, no split sides or the such. (Save disc for frisbee-- they shatter in fine fashion when hurled in a room. But I digress.)
3. Fetch can of shaving cream, e.g. Gillette Foamy or the like. Fill album cover with shaving cream.
4. With accomplice, go to room of victim. Their door should be closed.
5. Fit open edge of cream-filled album cover under bottom of door.
6. Accomplice braces album cover.
7. Jump on album cover, ejecting shaving cream into dorm room.
8. Run like hell.
Note that if the intended victim's door fits the frame very tightly, leaving little or no room for the escape of the shaving cream, step number 7 will instead result in a shaving cream explosion in the faces of the would-be jokers. This suggests an obvious alternate "patsy" scenario...
This was funny when tried. Of course, most things are funny at 4 AM.
When I was out at Union College in Schenectady N.Y, we had a great college radio station that would give away pizzas, movie passes, clothes, etc. for answering trivia questions throughout the day. One day, my friend and I recorded a trivia question on our tape deck and kept the tape in the deck. A little later one of our good friends came over to visit and we were all listening to the campus station. As soon as one of the songs ended, we turned on the tape with out our friend noticeing and the D.J asked a trivia question for a large pizza. Our friend knew the answer and since he was closed to the phone, he immediatly picked it up and dialed the station. He was really excited that he got through and started yelling the answer at the mystified D.J. He was incredibly embarrased, we were trying so hard not to laugh it hurt.
Here is a classic which has been fading into a lost art. It works extremely well someplace like a military academy or such, where everything must always be in impeccable order, but can be used for good effect in a dorm room, too:
It's the fine art of stringing up a room. The idea is to string the room (trough makeshift pullies and levers, etc.) such that as the victim turns his door knob and opens the door, his entire room is upset. One classic example involved stringing the bunkbed so that it lifted itself up of the floor and turned upside down, books would tumble off a shelf, in turn moving a dresser across the room, emtying a wall locker, pulling the shoes up into the light fixtures and otherwise creating serious havoc. What's nice is that the destruction itself is done by the victim; all you did was run a little string.... This, however, can lead to serious counter-pranks. Don't say I didn't warn you!
You can do this to a business associate whom you think is a jerk:
Get a few copies of his business card. Hopefully, it has his home phone number on it. Go to your local red-light district and pass them out to the girls (or guys) saying "Call me some time."
This is most effective if he has a family. If he is single, he may want to thank you.
This can be taken to the extreme. Once at Carleton U. an entire floor received a "leaner" as we call it. There are three elevators, and late at night another held all three elevators, placed trash cans filled with water and leaning outward in each. Then they pressed 4 and slipped out. The result: a big mess on the 4th floor. Unfortunately the water also went pouring down the elevators and caused some damage. Housing was not amused.
This is more of a practical joke WITH a Beetle . . . . MIT has some very wide, very long corridors that turn out to be VW-accessible. One night a guy I knew started cruising the corridors. The practical joke came when the campus police started chasing him. He whipped around a corner, into a freight elevator, and away. They never found him.
The apocryphal friend-of-a-friend brought a can of chunky beef stew on board an airliner. At some point he emptied the contents into the barf bag. Later during some minor turbulence he pantomined using the bag in the conventional way. When the flight attendant asked if she could dispose of the bag for him, he replied, "Not yet, there are some choice bits that I haven't finished with yet," and proceded to pick out chunks from the bag and eat them. According to my informant, everyone nearby immediately tossed their cookies.
does* work, even if it sounds ridiculous) Go out and get 2 or 3 styrofoam beer coolers. Inflate the balloons in the privacy of your own room. Fill the beer coolers with liquid nitrogen. (at 77 K it can liquify air) Stuff all 2 thousand or so inflated balloons into the beer coolers. (don't worry, they will fit, liquified air occupies
When I was in college our RA told us of a good one that (supposedly) some friends had pulled a couple of years earlier. These two guys made up a concoction of all kinds of left overs, semi-pureed it in a blender, and filled a hot water bottle with it. One of them took the hot water bottle, taped it to his stomach inside of his shirt and put a short piece of hose into the top so that it came up to the front of his shirt collar, but not visible. They both went to a local pub and sat at the bar, acting already slightly intoxicated. After having a couple of beers the guy with the hot water bottle says that he is feeling sick a couple of times and "barfs" VERY loudly all over the bar to attract attention. Naturally this causes the patrons to move away from him, all except his buddy, who calmy pulls a fork out of his coat pocket and begins EATING the stuff. ;-) I don't know how true it is, but I'd love to have been there watching faces if it was...
Here are two of my favorites (which I've never yet performed: maybe I'm just not spiteful enough.)
Prickly pear cacti have two kinds of spines: large ones and tiny reddish hairs that are incredibly irritating. Gather the tiny ones, and distribute them into the clothing of someone you detest, perhaps the underwear. They will probably be noticed too late. Caveat: this should make the clothes permanently unusable.
Collect an engorged tick from a dog, and keep it until it produces an egg mass. Hide the egg mass at a spot where the victim sits. Several hundred tiny "seed ticks" will patiently wait their opportunity to swarm over the first warm-blooded creature available. They are too small to easily pick off, and just large enough to see. (This happened [by accident] to me in Georgia this summer. I wasn't disturbed much, but then I study ticks and mites for fun.)
Don't make an enemy of an imaginative biologist.
How about some chocolate Ex-lax in brownies.
Or maybe some ambesol in the mouthwash.
Buy a BIG pile of magazines of every conceivable sort, and clip every coupon for a catalog, trial product, free brochure, etc. Specialty magazines have the most, such as hobbies or sports (or computers). Your victim should be deluged with junk mail (and since most such lists get sold to other lists, the response will be a geometric function of the number of clips you send).
A friend of mine and I once almost started a junkmail war, but formed a truce before, because we knew it would follow us around for years...
A friend and I pulled a similar stunt on a co-worker some time back. After a long series of joke-perpetrating back and forth, we procured a rather large box and filled it with packing 'peanuts', then proceeded to cut a large hole in the bottom and invert the box on the victim's desk. We then took a short length of string and fed it into a tiny hole in the top of the box, taping the other end to the side of the box. This 'red herring' was easily mistaken for some type of trip-wire to be engaged if the box was opened. When the victim saw the parcel, he immediately knew the source and, wary of opening the box, followed his initial instincts and quickly grabbed it to move it off his desk ... the rest is fairly obvious ...
A friend of mine, "BUX", recounts a tale of mirth caused to by two bored hackers on a PDP/11 running RSTS/E. They wrote a program which wandered around the system looking for people in the editor. Once found they siezed control of the terminal. On the bottom of the screen the program wrote
"I think there's a bug in your program!"
Then a cute little character'ature of a bug ran across the screen. Then the screen was repainted and they relinquished control of the terminal. Leaving the poor victim cleaning his glasses, checking his coke can, and rubbing his eyes. This worked best late at night.
At one of the dorms here (Techwood) I remember when lots of practical jokes were played on people. Of course there was the 'penny in the door frame' to 'penny' them in (keep the door from opening). But i always liked the more original versions. Cover the door with paper, just paper. Let the mark open the door, find the paper, and break it all down... do this as many times as you wish. The next time, paper the door and either place a wall of bricks or cement blocks behind the door (by this time, he just walks thru the paper) or even prop a trashcan full of water against the door...
These and other jokes became quite popular, but, alas, a new class of students seems to have moved in (they actually
The best practical joke I know of is from MASH. However, you need a reputation as an incorrigable joker for it to work. Just let the person know you are going to play a big one on him within 5 days. (Pick your time frame.) And that he will be powerless to stop you. If you do it right, he'll worry himself to pieces and make a fool of himself. Then DO NOTHING.
I am far too Nice a person to ever have done these, but a friend of mine...:
1. Leave old trash paperbacks around launderettes and other public places. Write inside the front cover: Property of *Victim*. I need this book for my thesis. If found, please return to *address* for $100 reward.
2. Post ads around town for a garage sale (or open house) at Victim's house starting at 7:00 AM next Sunday.
3. Call lots of people and identify yourself as the victim, and say "I was walking throught the neighborhood recently and just realized I dropped my wallet. Could you please check the sidewalk in front of your house and let me know if you find it? Thanks *so* much. My phone number is...
One of the best ones I heard, was to do the following:
During winter time in any part of the country where it gets really cold, take your victims mattress, soak in water until it has reached it's saturation level, then hang it outside until it freezes solid. Once solid, replace on the victim's bed and make the bed up to look like normal. Boy will they be surprised when they go to bed.
Preface: The person that this is played on must be someone who really deserves it because it takes several people to pull off. He must also live on the first floor of his dorm. It must also occur in the winter in a suitably cold and barren area like Dartmouth.
We did this trick to someone we found very difficult to live with. When the victim was away from his room we began to pile up a large amount of snow outside of his window. The conditions were perfect. His window was divided into two sections. One didn't open, the other (in theory) swung outward like a door. The snow was wet and packed heavily and easily. (On colder days a hose may be used to harden the snow.) We built a huge pile of snow which reached six or eight feet back from the part of his window that swung. We then, as a demoralizing factor, put a cosmetic layer of snow which completely covered the section which didn't open.
When we had finished the outside work we went into his room and closed his shade and curtain so that he would not notice what we had done until it was too late.
We then waited for him to come home. Luckily his room was on a side of the dorm away from the entrance so that our work wasn't visible from the approach. He arrived and entered his room. We listened outside his door until we heard his shade go up and a sudden "What the F--K?" as only pure, white snow was visible through the window. At this point we wedged a paperback book between his door and the frame. (Similar to using pennies, but more effective.)
We then sat back and listened as he started towards the door. "Allright, who put all the snow outside my...what the F--K? OPEN THIS DOOR!"
The show got more exciting as he, thinking that he could still just go out the window, walked over, opened his curtain, tried to open the window, and became aware of the magnitude of the problem facing him. He had no phone, and so could not call the campus police to come help him. His neighbors would not heed his cries, because most of them had assisted us with the trick.
We eventually released him, but only after he had come to the realization that he needed to be more considerate of those living around him, or else face living out the rest of a prematurely shortened life in a small, snow covered dorm room.
My father loves to tell of the builder he knows who had to evict some guy from one of his rental houses. It seems the renter left his pet in the master bedroom. A duck with lots of food and water... The builder didn't get around to checking out the house for about a week. Yech. Needless to say, the not only the carpet needed replacement, but the sub-floor also.
This one hasn't come up despite the presence of UCLA on the net. I'm led to the sad conclusion that the tradition has died.
In the mid '70s, just before it was overrun by fanatic Dungeons & Dragons (tm) players, the UCLA Computer Club was host to a long series of "glitter traps." Example: joke subject sits at a desk, pulls out a drawer. A string runs from the back of the drawer, up the wall, into the false ceiling, over to a spot directly over the subject's head, where it triggers the trap: a mousetrap whose action snaps a card away from its position covering a funnel, releasing a handful of glitter, which flows down the funnel, through its spout, through a hole in the ceiling acoustic tile, onto the subject. It was wonderful to watch: a muffled snapping noise, a quiet "chuff," and the slow, glittery descent of a cloud of brightly colored dust, to settle over the head and shoulders of a club member who by now has assumed an expression of appreciative resignation.
Another, more short-lived ploy was to suspend a wooden horseshoe by a string from the ceiling in the corridor, such that the horseshow dangles a couple of inches above the top of an upright broom. Most conventional brooms will stand on their straws with a little coaxing. We attached a sign labeling the horseshow "wood magnet." Quite a few people took it at face value.
very* little space) You may need a refill or 3 of liquid nitrogen. Get a friend or 3 to help carry the coolers to the victims room. Make sure there isn't any paper or other water-damagable stuff on the floor. Strain out the majority of the LN2 and dump the inflated balloons onto the floor. Close the door. (if there is a window or transom, it's great fun to watch the balloons reinflate to fill the room)
I believe this is from "The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks."
First, go to the library and find some phone books for large cities. In one of the phone books you should be able to find a person who has the same name as the target. Then go down to the post office and file a change of address for the target, forwarding his mail to himself in a far away city.
If I remember correctly the book states that this is very illegal and is only included for amusement.
It is common for draftsmen to sprinkle SCUMEX (powdered rubber eraser) on tracings prior to doing any drawing on it. This reduces smearing of the pencil marks and such and results in a cleaner tracing.
At a former employers we had replaced the Scumex at one draftsmans desk with dried parmesian cheese. It looked about the same. It was extremely interesting watching him draw for a while and then begin to smell the paper. Took the poor dude almost 10 minutes to guess that he had been gigged!
The best practical joke that we pulled was pulled on my friend's floor's busybody. I showed up at his dorm, went into his room, and proceeded to yell at him (my friend). He yessled back, and we got into a heated arguement. Eventually, I fired a few blanks, which this busybody was sure to hear. I then ran from the room, and when the busybody went to look, he saw my friend lying in a pool of blood (we used fake stuff). When he went to call security, my friend quickly changed his clothes and put a rug over the "blood" on the floor. When the cops and the campus rent-a-cops arrived, my friend was sitting quietly, studying. It was suggested to the busybody that he take a nice long break from college to let his nerves recover.
One joke that we did in residence was the Chinese Fire Drill, I don't quite know why it is called that. Anyway..
The victim is on the pot in the dorm washroom. Everyone grabs a bucket (we used the waste baskets from our rooms) and fills the buckets with water. Take a paper bag and set it on fire, toss it under the door into the stall. Yell fire as everyone tosses the water into the stall. Needless to say the fire as well as the victim get very wet.
This one fellow in the house was hit a number of times and took to relieving himself in other locals. We followed him a couple of times and nailed him in many parts of the residence.
Later of course we conspired with our victim to get back at the original instigator of the drill. The guy in the stall had a bucket of water, and when the the instigator tossed the bag in we all hit him.
One of my favorite practical jokes is to get a somewhat long spool of rope, and when walking down the street ( acting official..), get someone to assist you in measuring a distance. Pick a spot near a corner , go around, and find another person to hold the other end of the rope. Go across the street and just wait...
This joke has been done 50 (yes, 50) years ago by my father-in-law.
First, a little background:
He lived in a small village, north-west of Quebec City along the St-Laurent river. In those days, toilets were located outside the house in what we call in good ol' french canadian 'becosse', from 'back house' I think. These are a little wood shack with no floor over a hole in the ground where you ... You can guess.
Now, for the joke:
He and a friend were thrown out of a party by the doorman.
When it was really dark,, the doorman went to investigate what was knocking at the window. They had suspended a rock to the window frame so it hung right it the middle and tied another string to the rock and hid behind the 'becosse' where they pulled that second string to make the rock knock in the window. That's an old trick. The doorman wouldn't fall for that one. So he followed the second string in the dark and soon concluded that they were hidding behind the 'becosse'.
He ran toward the merely visible wood structure...
But my father-in-law and his friend had taken care of moving the shack six feet ... Boy he fell in the sh*t !!
This batch entered March 1
My sister was the butt on this one.... She had a box turtle who lived in a terrarium in her room. I haunted pet shops and bought a series of turtles, as identical as possible, but getting smaller and smaller. She was quite concerned....
After a while, I got tired of the game, so I reversed the process till she had the original (who was bigger by now) back, and took the rest down to the woods and let them loose.
Love is the law, love under will!
We were very proud of the following practical joke. When we were juniors at Williams, I lived in Agard House with three friends of mine. Several large and loud boors who lived there as well were always taking over the TV when we were watching it (to the point of them physically throwing one of us out of the TV room when he was in there watching something they didn't want to watch ... that is, something that wasn't a sporting event). They would sometimes call important house meetings without telling us, and so on. Suffice it to say, we didn't get along with them. Anyway, we got them back in the following way. The remote control in the TV room was usually ignored, because it was always getting lost. So a couple of weeks before the Super Bowl, we purloined it. We bought some supplies and set it up so that an infrared (?) emitting diode was behind a curtain in the back of the room, connected via wiring outside the house (which we strung) to the lounge next door, where we sat with the remote control. We listened to the game on a radio, and every time something dramatic would happen... "He's at the twenty! The fifteen! The ten! The ..." ZAP! Masterpiece Theater! They would all immediately charge down to the cable hookup in the basement, but no-one was there. They'd look in the lounge and there we were, studying quietly. Ah, it was great. (The remote control was discreetly hidden by a window-drape.) When they told us about this mysterious phenomenon, we said, "You know, the same thing was happening to us the other day. Hmm, I wonder what could be wrong." They were sure we had done it, but couldn't prove it. They kept trying to goad us into revealing it, for example: "No, they couldn't've done it; they're not smart enough". We kept our mouths shut and just grinned.
If you live in a dorm with tiles on the bathroom door, pour rubbing alcohol in the cracks, wait for your victim to go into the bathroom and seat himself, and light the alcohol.
If you can get into your victim's house, staple the sides of many paper cups together so that they are in a ring or matrix configuration (anything too large to drag out the door), and fill them all with water.
study**) and these jokes became out- lawed by the RA's (hall monitors)... (RA's used to help... and were usually helpful with their pass key)... But these jokes were called a fire hazard (i.e. would block people in, in a fire...) "so it goes..."
Another practical joke under the guise of a co-ordination test is the following. Ask your victim to take a quarter and place it on a piece of paper. Then ask him to take a pencil, and without removing his finger off the quarter, to draw a circle around the quarter. Have him repeat the same exercise with each of his fingers pressing on top of the quarter. Afterwards, have him pick up the quarter and rub it along the bridge of his nose. It'll then be really funny to watch him walk around with a black line on his face.
I also have heard of a practical joke that can be done to a person while he/she is sleeping. If the person's hand is dipped in warm water, this causes a subconscious relaxation of the bladder and causes the person to wet his/her bed. I have never tried this, nor have I seen it tried, but I've heard it from quite a few people. Has anyone out there ever tried it?
Practical Joke 1: After making sure that the victim is out or sound asleep (if the victim is in make sure he can't get out), put a line of baby powder along the bottom crack of the door (or on a piece of paper and slide it under the door -- hold onto one end). Then use the blow-dryer to spray the powder into a fine mist that will cover everything in the room.
Practical Joke 2: Make a small, off-center hole in a can of shaving cream and then heave the can into the victims open door. As the pressure spews the cream out, it will spin the can and create a real mess all over the place.
Something similar happened to me. The phone rings at 3:30am the night before my calculus exam, the following conversation takes place: Hello
Let me speak to Cindy
I said put Cindy on the phone
Sorry but you have the wrong number
Look ass*ole, put Cindy on the phone NOW
There is no Cindy here, what number are you trying to reach?
You f*cking b*stard, I know where you live, now let me talk to her.
Ok, Ok (long pause) can she call you back, she's in the shower with my roomate.
[This is childish, but harmless] Leave a fake phone message pink slip to call a number. Give them the zoo's number, and ask for "Elli Fant" or "G. Raffe" etc... make sure it is a department in the zoo who won't answer "DC National Zoo" or something. BTW, the zoo gets tons of these calls every April 1st.
This is true. It seems that a colleague and myself are scheduled to present a paper next month at an AI conference. We've never heard of the conference nor did we write a paper.
Also, just today I got a letter that begins "Thank you for agreeing to serve as chairperson of the following session at ICASSP-87 in Dallas, texas." I've never met nor spoke to the person sending the letter nor did I agree to be a chairperson. Either someone is setting me (us) up or this is a sneaky way to get volunteers.
I had a mischevious roommate in college. Fortunately, I was the object of his machinations only once. It didn't take long to track down my furniture from the ten places on campus where he had distributed it over spring break.
His masterpiece, however, was a concerted effort that involved everyone on my hallway. The victim: our "sponsor" (at Pomona College, an upper- classperson in charge of a gaggle of fledgling freshpeople).
This one takes some preparation. Wrap very thin filament wire (high resistance, low flash point) around the fuse of an M80 firecracker. Imbed this assembly in a box of cornflakes, leading the wires out of the box.
Next, wire several old-fashioned camera flashbulbs in parallel, and put them in a circuit with the firecracker wire and a 12 V lantern battery. Rig a solenoid to close the circuit (we used an old clothespin).
Now you're ready. When the victim is out of his/her room, hang the cornflake box in the middle of the room. Arrange the flashbulbs near the door. Place the solenoid so that opening the door will close the circuit. Lounge nearby and watch the fun.
When the victim opens the door, s/he thinks that the room just exploded. Bright light, loud noise, and the burnt cornflakes feel like a bomb-blast concussion as they hit your body.
Boy howdy, that woman could run. Caught up with her somewhere around North Campus. Being dutiful sponsees, we helped clean up the cornflake mess later.
This reminds me of something I saw at our residence a couple of terms ago. Outside one of the houses was an entire bedroom suite! (bed, desk, chair, the whole bit - even the bed was made!) I don't know exactly from which dorm it came from or whodunnit but I imagine somebody was not too happy!
Try this one out sometime. While the victim is asleep carefully put Vaseline between his/her toes. What you will obeserve is the person's toes starting to wiggle. The apparent mechanism is that when your toes start slipping against each other, your mind insists on making them slip and slide more and more. The upshot of this is that the part of the mind that's supposed to be getting rest is busy moving toes. The victim wakes up having had no sleep at all.
How 'bout this: if the victim uses Head 'n Shoulders or Selsun Blue shampoo, and a few drops of methylene blue (available in pet stores) to a FULL bottle. Over time (if the victim is fair-haired), you will notice their hair turning blue, as methylene blue stains all organic material.
Also writing things on someone's back with indellible ink is pretty good. Use your imagination. "Laugh, but don't tell me about it." is a pretty good one.
Get a group of people to chip in 1 or 2 bucks, and bet the victim the collected sum that he or she can't put a cue ball in his/her mouth. Hint: cue balls go in, but they don't come out. In fact, medical science has developped a tool to aid in the removal of cue balls.
Take doors. Just take them off the hinges and put them somewhere else.
Another idea for a practical joke is to put goldfish in all the toilets. I haven't tried this, but it should be interesting to see what people do.
Everyone's heard about filling the victim's room with balloons, right? (balloons are great, especially if the victim is your SO and you come by later, acting innocently, and suggest...well, you get the idea.)
Unfortunately, inflated balloons are bulky to carry, and it can take a dangerously long time to inflate them in the victims room. There is a solution. (I've actually done this, it really
Needed - Small wad of brillo pad.
When friend is out sneek into his room. Take his lightbulb out (power off!). Stick brillo into socket. Leave. When friend switches on light the brillo acts like a fuse and blows up(small flash and quite loud noise). Be careful with this one, it has been known to knacker the odd light switch.
Apparently there is a well-known story in the television industry about the early days, when parts were scarce and 'friendly competition' was just be- ginning between the networks. There was going to be an important speech by someone important, probably President Eisenhower or someone of that stature. Naturally, all (both?) of the networks wanted to cover this speech. But on the day of the speech, the tube in NBC's camera went dead. There was no hope to order a replacement in time, so the NBC brass called the CBS brass to ask if they could borrow a tube until they could get a replacement (maybe they borrowed a whole camera, I don't know). At any rate, the good-natured guys at CBS said sure, they would deliver a tube to them in plenty of time for the speech.
Well they DID loan NBC a tube, but not before setting it up in a camera and focusing it on the brightly lit door to the men's room. To understand what happened, you must realize that these early "image-orthicon" tubes were ex- tremely sensitive. So sensitive in fact, that a bright unchanging image would "burn-in" to the face of the tube and remain for hours, or even permanently if the damage was severe enough. So to make a long story even longer, when NBC brodcasted the speech, the president appeared with "MEN" emblazoned across his forehead. Of course they discovered it much too late to do anything about it (this was live TV, folks).
(This was a story I heard from someone who worked at a CBS affiliate TV station and may or may not be true, or the networks involved may be wrong.)
Another joke which one can easily perpetrate goes like this:
Fill a plastic, or rubber, tube with water. Hold the tube vertically up into the air and with the thumb of one hand plug up the bottom hole of the tube and place it next to your ear (hide the fact that you are plugging the hole).
Next, call a friend, or victim, and tell him that you are hearing something really strange through the tube and he should come over and listen in on it. When he gets close enough to your ear to listen turn the tube towards his ear and release your thumb.
Ok, this forces me to tell one more of my favourites. I worked once in an academic setting where folks tended to complain that UNIX operating system was user-unfriendly. I had a program that generated the message (to random users)
Hello. This is the new user-friendly interface of the UNIX operating system wishing you a pleasant day and happy computing. UNIX is the registered trade mark of Bell Laboratories. %
In the good ol' days of punched cards, every keypunch machine had a container into which the square "chips" fell. A favorite practical joke at a certain famous Eastern Technological Institute, paralyzed around science, was to dump a bag of these collected chips on someone taking a shower and shampoo in the dormitory. It could take weeks to get rid of all those wet chips ....
one time in my undergrad days, it was snowing like mad out. someone decided it was time a make a snowball. then someone else suggested that we should put this snowball in this one guy's room-- nobody liked this guy-- so when the word got around, half the people in our dorm section came out and help! we got this sucker so BIG that it must be at least 4 feet in diameter. it took about 6 person to haul the darn thing up 3 flights of stairs. we got the snowball into this guy's room while he was out, turn off the heat in the room and left all the windows open, so the snowball won't melt too fast. well... the turkey came back 3 hours later and found a HUGH snowball sitting in the middle of his room, and started melting! I still have the picture of the snowball. (if you really wonder how big the snowball is, just imagine a snowball the size of a normal dinning room chair!)
Okay!! Here's one I haven't seen: Get a list on the free classified throwaways in town and print the following: RED 86 Vette: Won on game show, must sell, leaving country. Steal!! First reasonable offer takes... Call after 1 am (I work nights) and let it ring. Desperate, please hurry...
This should bring the desired results for at least a week...
I guess I am too restrained to perpetrade anything that might get the victim shot by the cops, or committ credit card fraud in the process. But... My favorite was always the Saran wrap on toilet bowl one. Second prize goes to the chubby girl eons ago in high school. A single teacher had made out of line remarks *during class* about her size. She got him a paid subscription to a raunchy skin-mag
In the last few hours before the Corps of Cadets dorms closed for Christmas break, someone led a horse into a departed friend's room and shot it. When the dorms reopened a month later, the smell was so fierce that the entire wing of the building was unusable.
In view of the large number of recent postings of college practical jokes, I'll 'fess up that some friends and I were the instigators of many a prank while undergraduates in college. The following are some of the better pranks:
1. I lived in a three-story dorm during my freshman year. Most everyone listened to the same radio station, which played the National Anthem at the stroke of midnight every night. It occured to my roommate and I that there should be some kind of stunt that could be arranged which could use the playing of the National Anthem as a coordinating cue. Finally, we hit upon the answer: at the stroke of midnight everyone in the dorm would flush their toilet! Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon your point of view), all of their toilets were of the tank variety so that a simultaneous "flush" would guarantee a copious discharge of water into the sewer. We really didn't know what would happen when The Time arrived; bets ranged from "no event" to blowing the basement rec room toilets off the floor. The Time was a Monday evening, and I figure we had about a 90% participation rate. The results were not disappointing: a cleanout plug (which upon retrospection must not have been properly secured) blew out of the floor in a basement utility room, resulting in about 1/2 inch of water over the basement floor. The campus maintenance people went apeshit the next day trying to figure out what happened; as far as I know, no one ever told them the truth.
2 .It somehow came to our attention that most of the campus street and walkway lighting came on _simultaneously_ each night, the actual time being based upon the actual level of ambient light. It was obvious that there was a central control point with a photoelectric sensor somewhere. After a few exploratory tours of the campus, we came upon a likely location: two photoelectric controls mounted on the roof of a service building directly across from the campus electrical substation. After "borrowing" an extension ladder from a telephone company truck (which was always left parked near a service building), one Friday night about 10:00 PM (peak campus traffic time) we climbed on the roof of the service building and taped flashlights to each of the two photoelectric sensors. Instant blackness! Actually, the most amazing part was that it took OVER ONE HOUR for the campus maintenance people to restore the lights! I would have thought there to be some kind of manual override for the photoelectric cells, but perhaps the maintenance people thought there was some kind of underground cable fault so they didn't rashly restore power.
3. My father managed a soap manufacturing company ever since I was a little kid, so I grew up with some knowledge of soap formulation chemistry. There was a civic building near the campus with a large outdoor fountain, and it occurred to be that the water in this fountain needed "treatment" when the fountain was turned on in the spring. While home for spring break, I swiped from my father's plant two gallons of a surfactant called Triton X-100 (a tradename of Rohm & Haas). This surfactant _really_ foams; like a few drops will fill a bathtub with suds. So one night, some friends and I carefully filled some thin plastic bags with the surfactant, and then casually threw the bags into the fountain (the bags broke upon impact). The next morning, the fountain was a mass of soapsuds. The next evening, the picture of the fountain made the front page of the local newspaper. The caption beneath the picture attributed the soapsuds to college "spring fever". Since we weren't caught, I wonder how they knew that???
4. The father of my dorm roommate worked as a repairman for the Otis Elevator Company. One weekend, I stayed with my roommate at his parent's home. While talking with his father, we learned an _amazing_ fact: almost all escalators are reversible for use in breakdowns or emergencies; there is usually a key-operated reversing switch located under the handrail at each end of the escalator. We also learned a second _amazing_ fact: most all Otis elevators and escalators use the _same_ key. While my roommate's father went out for the evening, we swiped his work keys, and were able to get many of them duplicated.
As soon as we returned to campus on Sunday evening, we went in search of an Otis Elevator (we didn't have to go far - our dorm had one). Sure enough, we had The Key. Over the next few days, we found that The Key worked on every Otis Elevator that we tried on campus.
We were now ready for en escalator (there were none on campus), and we readily found one in a five-floor department store in the heart of the downtown shopping district. It was an Otis, and sure 'nuff it had a reversing switch at each end beneath the handrail.
We came back on Wednesday night, which was the peak shopping night of the week. There were two pairs of escalators - one at each end of the store. After nervously waiting for the right moment when no one was on the UP escalator, and no one was looking, my roommate inserted The Key, and turned it. Grrr-klunk-grrr. The UP escalator came to a halt, and reversed direction - it was now going DOWN! We quickly went to the other escalator pair, and I got the honor of inserting the key.
We now had an increasingly crowded department store with four escalators on the main floor, all going down! We tried to act inconspicuous as possible (not easy with half dozen 18-19 year-olds sporadically going into fits of hysterical laughter!) and watch the action. People would step on the UP escalator without looking at direction, and then step back in shock. Then shock would change to disbelief: an UP escalator going DOWN - impossible! People in the store were forming an oval as they traveled from the front escalators to the rear and back, trying to figure out how to get to the second floor. After about ten minutes of this, with the main floor crowd growing larger, a _very_ agitated person wearing a suit (must have been the manager) came by with a big ring of keys, frantically trying each key in the escalator until he found the right one to operate the key switch. Since the manager was eying us suspiciously, we didn't stick around to find out any more about the situation.
This is a simple, harmless, and hilarious practical joke, that has claimed me as a victim. The setting is a pool hall, bar, or anyplace else with a pool (billiards) table. Place any ball at one end of the table and give your victim the cue ball. Challenge the victim to focus on the cue ball while walking around the pool table three times. At the end of the third time, the victim is to place the cue ball on the table, take a cue stick and hit the cue ball so that it stikes the ball at the other end of the table. This is very difficult to do; not because of a loss of coordination from walking and staring at the ball, but because while the victim is concentrating on the ball, you lick your finger and wipe chalk off the end of the cue stick. The victim will miscue almost every time. It gets funnier, because if the victim is like me, he/she will be determined and try it again.
My favourite practical joke involves on of those long line-ups for tickets to a concert or something. First you go to the front of the line and then walk the entire length, looking over everyone as if you were trying to find a friend. When you get to the back you walk back to the front doing the same thing, but this time even slower. Then when you reach the front you turn and quickly run to the back again, machine-gunning everybody as you go. Then you go up to the ticket office and say "Get it?" This is a classic joke and as you can see it is also quite practical, since it gets you to the front of the line very fast.
This one happened impromptu. A group of us were novice UNIX hacks working for our department of computer science, all on similar terminals. I had written a small program that would transmit a single character at a time to another terminal. (No big deal, but no one else had tried it.) One guy was typing away, and I was making his cursor "wiggle" by pressing the forward and reverse arrow keys. He exclaimed that something was wrong with his cursor. Another guy picked up on this, and explained that the cursor beam must be loose. He gave the right side of the first guy's (John's) terminal a good hard whack, I transmitted a carriage return. John laughed, but actually sat there typing in (some text), and whacking the side of the terminal every time he needed a carriage return, FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. Needless to say, we were hysterical.
The second guy, (Tim), says "John, watch this!" and put his hand under John's desk and gave the underside of the desk another whack: I transmitted a "HOME" character, moving the cursor to the top of the screen, again as if the whack had moved the cursor. John continues typing, whacking the bottom and side of the terminal whenever he needs cursor motion. Tim smacks the top of the terminal and I transmit a CLEAR key: it looked as if the characters have been "knocked off" the screen. John is just about the get the lab manager when we clue him in.
I once had a job as a COBOL programmer. A particular program was to input no more than 20 items from an operator, and them produce the appropriate report from them. I asked my boss what the program should do if the operator wanted more than 20 items to appear in the report. He said, oh, that will never happen. But what if it does, I asked. Gruffly, he said, have it notify the operator.
This particular machine had a seriously loud bell (control G) that sounded like a real bell, plus it was fairly easy to make the screen flash off and on. I coded it to flash and ring the alarm for a minute. I tried it once and it was truly alarming. I never heard if anybody tried to enter more than twenty items, but it is something I think about from time to time ...
A computer related practical joke a played in my younger days (2 years ago...) was to write an unstoppable program (disabled break, ^C, etc...) that would imitate the login procedure. I would leave it running on a public terminal and whenever somebody tried to logon, it would always print the message 'User validation error' (Or whatever message corresponding to the operating system [that was VAX/VMS.] login error) and loop back.
Meanwhile, the user ID and the password were written in a file in my directory...
The only way to get out of the program was to turn off the gandalf box.
Get a thin sheet of lead, cut out the outline of a reclining nude (trace from a magazine if you wish), tape it onto an inside wall of your suitcase. If you're really artsy, glue or sew on a cover sheet, such that the deception is non-obvious when the people check it. Other shapes, or messages (taped onto cardboard) work too. Don't do something that suggests a hijack attempt.
About nine years ago the book "The Adolescense of P1" was very popular at the computer shop where I was employed. In case you don't know, this is about a hacker named Gregory and a computer program he wrote which is self- perpetuating. Years later he is employed as an honest Systems Analyst and has almost forgotten about his "child." Then the system downstairs prints out "CALL GREGORY" and locks up ... followed by a thickening plot, some humorous, some frightening.
I worked nights. It wasn't hard to replace the boot file on our system disks with another that typed out "CALL GREGORY" before replacing itself with the original.
It's funny that there haven't been more computer practical jokes posted here. What a marvelous opportunity the computer affords the practical joker!
I designed and wrote a point-of-sale system which was first installed in 1976, after which I left the company. At midnight, December 31, 1977 every system in the country stopped whatever it was doing, flashed every light and sounded every beeper on every cash register, printed "Happy New Year" on every printer, and went back to whatever it was doing. I wonder how that happened?
Some of the least elaborate practical jokes are the most effective. Go with a couple of friends, stand near some busy street corner, and take a great interest in some point near the top of a tall building, or maybe just up in the sky. Watch the reactions of people around you.
Take an old windowshade, go to a gymnastics show or anywhere else where people wear leotards, wait for someone to do a split, and tear the windowshade briskly, making a very loud ripping sound ...
Go to any gag store and get a fake plastic vomit. Put it in a drinking fountain. Wet it is amazingly realistic ...
Go to one of those miniature golf courses that has a windmill hole. Replace the motor with one that can spin the windmill at about 1000 RPM. Then illuminate it with a strobe light so it looks like its moving at about the same speed as before.
I was party once to an attempt at humorous cow placement. I attended a boarding school that actually had a dairy farm ( George School, Pa. - The farm is since defunct ) We thought it would be a simple matter to coax a cow over to the main building.
Cows, however, live a life of routine, to which they adhere tenaciously. I'll never forget the sight of that cow placidly loping back to the barn with two or three upperclassmen dangling from it.
My favorite was to place a singles' advertisment for the victim. I'll leave it to you to think of what to say, but my favorite was (for a heterosexual person) to place an ad looking for someone of the same sex.
In the afore-quoted book, such a trick is suggested as a way of getting even with your bank. Rent a safety-deposit box and fill it with fish. I don't know how you can prevent them tracing it to you, though...
The oft-quoted "Volkswagen-in-the-bedroom" schtick is good. A simpler variant avoids the hard labor involved here by subtituting a self-propelled obstacle for the VW. In this case, one or more sheep.
While the animals themselves are easily removed from the abode, they do leave behind "the gift that keeps on giving" !
In our student hall we had those cheapo carpet tiles. When a friend went away for a long weekend, his `drinking pals' broke in, flooded his carpet and spread about a sack full of cress seeds. One hour before he returned they `borrowed' a sheep (fromm agric. or vet. -- I can't remember) and put it in his room to grazed. The they then set up0 a camera to take a picture of the surrounding scene 3 seconds after the door was opened. You've never seen such a funny expression.
One that's good for a few chuckles with a new user is, while they're away from the terminal put a few cute aliases in their .profile, .login, whatever, for example:
alias ls echo 'ls: command not found.' or alias vi rm
(The second one is admittedly a bit nastier).
These were told to me by a friend who once attended Devry Inst. in Arizona (a tech. school for electronics types). Three favorite practical jokes were:
1. The access to the supply room (to obtain lab materials) was via a Dutch door (two-piece job where either top or bottom could be opened independently), where the top half was left open so students could lean over and request supplies. The lab grunts wired a thin filament wire to a power supply and strung it across the top of the bottom portion of the door. Normal instincts of students led them to lean or place hands there while waiting for materials, and were met with a small yet satisfying jolt.
2. This one I've heard of from various sources. Charge up a bell-type capacitor and tape the leads in such a way that they are almost but not quite touching. Call to the victim with a rousing "Here, catch!" and lob the cap to them. When they catch, the slight squeezing pressure will connect the leads and the capacitor will pop. (VARIATION: Leave 'loaded' cap on chair for them to sit on)
3. The most common labs involved circuit design and troubleshooting, and students were forever wary as they applied power to a new circuit for the first time. My friend's prank involved running some thin hollow plastic flex tubing from his lab station to a point below and behind the victim's station. He would then light up a cigarette and wait. As soon as the victim applied power to his circuit, he would blow ciggie smoke into his end of the tube. Within a few seconds, victim would see smoke rising from his board and cut power. He would examine board, find no trouble, and fire it up again. Soon smoke would appear ... this can be stretched out for a good long time, or until he sees the tubing.
If you have access to a two(or more) line phone, this is a great one, dial the first six numbers of your prey's phone number, and put that line on hold, then dial the other number; a pizza place, or his girlfriend is good for starters, then escalate to college offices, activist terrorist organizations and the CIA are good from then on. After you dial the second number, quickly put the second number on hold, then dial the last number of the first number and push BOTH buttons down at the same time to activate both calls at once, then listen, but don't laugh, or they might hear you and do worse in return.
I had this joke played on me and it was quite effective.
A small box was filled with the punch-holes from paper tapes. The bottom was removed and it was placed on my bookshelf at work, with no trace of the punch-holes. Seeing the box, the first thing I did was pick it up. Needless to say, the little things were everywhere for several days!
Here is a simple, but fun, practical joke you can try.
You need a phone with a handset so that you can unscrew the mouth piece and remove the pickup. It's real easy, they are just sitting in there and not wired down. Replace the mouth piece and think up a good excuse to get someone to use the phone. This joke was done to me when I was in college. My roommate told me that this girl who I thought was cute had called, and that she wanted me to call back. I felt pretty stupid yelling into the phone trying to talk to her. And all I heard was her say 'Hello, hello, is anyone there, hello?' After I realized what had happened, we went out and tryed it on some other friends, with similar results. It's a good joke because it is totally harmless, and even more fun after a few drinks.
For a quick laugh, try:
zork | valspeak
If you don't have valspeak, I would suggest getting a copy. It's a great way to hand in weekly reports to your boss.
Back in my graduate days, I used to bring my lunch to school which consisted of a sandwich and usually a hard boiled egg. I kept a small jar of salt in my desk for the eggs. One day I dipped my egg in the salt only to discover it was sugar. It was easy to spot the prankster(s); everyone in the room was snickering!
I used to bring my lunches in plastic lined paper bags with bend-over tabs on the top. The bags were very good and kept my sandwiches fresh. I got them for free from the pockets of airline seats. One day as I was opening my "lunch" bag in the lab, the same bunch of pranksters from above gathered around my table and opened their own barf bag lunches (they had just gotten back from an out-of-state conference). However, the joke was turned around on one of them. He was spooning yogurt out of his bag and eating it. After I told him what it looked like, he lost his appetite.
Recipe for LARGE quantities of soapsuds:
1. Fill a large bucket with hot water.
2. Empty contents of one bottle of dishwashing detergent into bucket (Ivory, Joy, Dawn, or equivalent).
3. Drop in a few pounds of dry ice that has been crushed to small pieces.
4. STAND BACK!
Recipe will fill a phone booth, or a small room (or even a big one). A friend and I once did this in the bed of his truck. While stopped at traffic signals the whole bed would fill up to the rim with suds. Then, as we would accelerate away from the light, large "chunks" would break loose and waft lazily through the air, causing much consternation to the traffic behind. On the freeway the result was much smaller pieces of suds billowing out of the back of the truck. It looked like a snowstorm! It's funnier to see than the description sounds. We were hysterical.
Also, the soap can be omitted from the above to obtain fog. A phone booth that is opaque with dense fog looks pretty strange too.
Back in the good old college days, when pulling all-nighters (sure, you must have done some of those before!), at about 2 or 3am, try calling someone to "remind" them to go to the bathroom (or do something). Wait for half-an-hour or so, call again just to make sure s/he did what you asked them to do earlier!
A practical joke I was witness to at Lancaster involved moving the entire contents of some-one room. The peron concerned was taken out for the night by his 'mates', who duly got him very drunk. A few of his other mates moved the entire contents of his room from the top floor of the residential block to an identical room on the ground floor. At the end of the night, all the merry souls came back from the bar, carrying their, now ,very drunk friend. An arguement broke out, and the friends grabbed hold of the drunkard, opened the window and threw him out of the window. Imagine his alarm, he thought he was three floors up!
This supposedly happened a bunch of years ago, when deposit slips imprinted with one's account number were becoming available, but banks still had trays with generic deposit slips for their customers' convenience.
This gentleman opens an account, deposits a few thousand dollars. He then leaves _his_own_ deposit slips in the counter slots in various branches. A few days before next month's statements appear, he goes in, checks his balance, withdraws one hundred eighty thousand dollars in cash, and disappears. Seems the system credited his account with deposits that others made (seemingly to their accounts) using his slips.
And one that doesn't involve banks, but allegedly happened...
College student returns to his room to find a bucket of water amateurishly balanced above the door, ready to fall on him when he opens the door. So he lifts down the bucket and empties it into his sink.
Too bad the perpetrators also removed the drain pipe from the sink.
A simple yet effective joke for all seasons...
Fill the sugar bowl with salt...
Mmmmm...sure makes them wheaties/coffee/etc taste good !
For a more light-hearted collection of jokes, see the section on Hugh Troy in _Merry_Gentlemen_and_One_Lady_, by J. Bryan, III. Troy's jokes did not get people in trouble or stink up innocent people's apartments; they did cause utter bewilderment worthy of talk.bizarre.
I think Bryan also tells of the time Robert Benchley and a fellow Harvard undergraduate, dressed in work clothes, went to the door of a house on a veddy nice square in Boston and said to the maid, "We're here for the sofa." "Which one?" she said. This was a dangerous moment, but Benchley saw a sofa in the corner of the living room and said, "That one." They then walked, carrying the sofa, to another house on the same square, rang the bell, and told a second maid, "We're here with the sofa." "Um, I guess you can put it there," she said; and so they did.
Benchley heard, in a roundabout way, that the lady of the first house visited the lady of the second one some six months later and recognized her old sofa.
I remember a practical that failed -- or I guess you could say that it succeeded too well. In Philadelphia, 10-15 years ago, a man decided to play a practical joke on his best friend. He took out an add in the "help wanted" section of the Bulletin, advertising job openings for demolishing houses. Applicants were to meet in front of the site at 6:00 AM Saturday morning. Naturally, the site was the friend's house. The perpetrator imagined a couple of hundred men waking up his friend and asking to demolish his house. Alas, the friend was not home. Another problem was that this was during a recession, with high unemployment. About 2,000 men showed up. It was apparent that only a small percentage would be hired, so a few decided that if they could present the employer with an accomplished deed, they would be the ones to get the jobs. Everybody joined in. A few minutes later, they sat down to await the coming of the employer.
I can't remember what happened after that, if I ever knew. I imagine it got pretty unpleasant. It made the evening news.
Other types of phone fun...
While we were in the other room, listening through a modem (we were in NY State), a friend of mine, using his impeccable british accent, would call a random number in London England..... collect; stating that he was Sir so-and-so from the British consulate or some other such agency. These people would almost all accept. (It was about 2:00 AM for them, so I guess that might be part of the reason...). He then proceeded to take an official telephone survey:
"1) Do you believe Margret Thatcher's handling of the Falklands crisis was a) Excellent b) fair to good c) fair etc... .....
At least at the time, it was hillarious... especially his ability to sound and act authentically enough for these people to accept the collect call in the first place.. form the USA... and then stay on long enough to actually do the survay!
One night when you have a few friends around, take turns calling the same phone number, a really obnoxious acquaintance that won't recognize your voices is always a good choice. When the person answers, try to leave a message for John Smith (or any name that sounds real). Insist that you have the right number and even read their number to them. Have a bit of fun here, and stretch this on as long as possible. Repeat several times, once or twice an hour. Let everybody have a turn at calling. Just as the party is breaking up, call one last time. Tell the poor soul answering the phone that you are John Smith, and ask "Are there any messages for me?" This is sure to get a groan.
Is everyone out in net land familiar with Sensormatic? They are the company that make the large plastic clips that set off alarms when you exit a department store. I used to work for a department store and the is what we did.
Open up the clip and remove the shiny piece of paper. It is about an inch long and about half an inch wide. This is the "thingy" (that is the technical word for it) that sets off the alarm. This "thingy" is easy to insert into a pen case, lining of a jacket ...
We did this to a co worker and needless to say, he had problems wearing a particular jacket to work.
I can't resist a few:
1. Once you have stolen a dormmate's room keys, the room is yours to plunder. As a variation, steal the dorm keys but reverse the lock (so the keyhole faces INTO the room); we had a mechanical engineer who got this down to about 20 seconds. Then loudly announce to the victim you own the keys, but "let" them win the race back to their room. PRESTO! Locked inside their own room (with no keys). If you've fixed the phone to continually ring, they get very pliable after about 10 minutes.
2. We connected our secretary's electric typewriter to a variac (can vary the line voltage). At about 40-50 volts (out of the
3. The little ball makes three or four jerky attempts before finally striking a faint imprint. Fairly pathetic looking, actually.
4. Reverse the horizontal yoke leads on terminals (so the text comes out backwards from right to left). This works best on a software team who thinks they have just released the firmware for screen drivers. Besides, hardware people figure it out too quickly.
5. Hand lotion inside of an air hose on the final assembly line is effective, but very vindictive. Use with caution (now, I'm not saying I ever did this, but I "saw" it done once :-)
And the standard saran wrap across women's toilets, Karo syrup, flour in the shower, water-filled surgical tubing jammed in a drawer....ah, for the good old days!!
Way back when, like before electric lights were invented, I worked in an engineering department where the general-use computer was an IBM 10. This was a standalone computer of roughly PDP-11/34 power with a disk, console typewriter, slow line printer. Its primary I/O was a combination card reader/punch. Some things you ought to know before proceeding futher:
1. The card reader/punch had one input hopper and two output hoppers. Cards came from the input hopper through the read station, through the punch station, to whichever output hopper was selected. Cards could be read, punched, or both as the program saw fit.
2. The CPU had a "bootstrap" mode in which it read one card as the binary image of a program and executed that program. The standard "coldstart" card had enough program on it to read in the operating system's startup block which then got the whole software system going.
3. The user community used the machine mostly for applications written in FORTRAN and was largely ignorant of the details of computers and how they work.
Still with me? Good. Naturally, _any_ card without characters printed on it and with lots of holes all through it looked, to the uninitiated, like the "coldstart" card that people placed at the start of their decks. So it was a small matter to leave a few spurious cards around the computer room and wait for the results.
My favorite was the card that just ran the deck through the reader/punch, placing alternate cards in the other output hopper. What a delight with long decks! One fellow was so sure he'd done something wrong that he took his cards, reassembled them into the right order, and ran them through _again_ with the same bogus coldstart card.
I never did work up the nerve to write the one that punched all the holes in all the cards following.
on the subject of practical jokes on the computer, i pulled the following one. when i was in college at new mexico tech (located in socorro, which is spanish for help!), i was a programmer for several departments. as a result, i was setting up some user interfaces. the machine was a dec 20 (with tops) and there was a central terminal room with about thirty adm 3s (now, there is a terminal) in it. anyway, when this 20 went down in a controled manner it would send out a warning "dec 20 going down", then three dots at one second intervals, then a "p", then go down. when it came up, it would send out a message "dec 20 coming up", then three dots at one second intervals, then a "p", then the login header. anyway, the victum sat down to use a statistical package (it is so much fun to play with people whose use canned stat packages). after he had been on for ten minutes, he received the dec 20 going down sequence and then his terminal went dead. so he waited (about five minutes). however, all during this time, everyone around him was typing away merrily. finally he asked if the system had gone down. everyone said no. then he asked the operator. again no. then the system manager. he finally brought back the user servant (someone paid to answer user's questions) back to the terminal. they played with the switches, then the user servant scratched his head and said "beats me". about this time, the message "dec system 20 reengaged" appeared on his terminal, then the three dots, then the "p", then the message "automatic login in effect, status at crash resumed" and he was right where he left off! the program that caused this then deleted (and expunged) itself. to this day, i don't think he knows what happened to him.
1. Take your Video camera (take someone elses if you don't have one)
2. Enter your toilet room
3. From the other side of the room to the toilet, stand on a chair and video a shot from near the ceiling of your toilet seat (about 5 mins should do)
4. Have a party !!
5. When someone leaves the room to visit the lav. put the cassette in your vid player.
6. Just before the person re-enters the room start playing the tape - with everyone in the room laughing at the TV screen.
7. WATCH THE FACE OF THE PERSON RE-ENTERING THE ROOM !! :-)
All this talk about practical jokes reminds me of one I heard about in high school. It seems that a psychology class decided to give their new found knowledge of the "power of suggestion" a little test. Some of the students had another class together and decided to play a little trick on their teacher. Whenever the teacher was on the left side of the room, they would act really interested and when he was on the right side of the room, they would act really bored. Well, it seems that this behavior did its job on the teachers sub- conscious and he was practically crawling on the left wall by the end of class.
There was a computer operator at a certain college (I don't know where), who had been fired for something (I don't know what). He acquired one of the ten platter disk packs that the university was using on its mainframe computer system, and took it home. He disassembled the pack and replaced the disk platters with phonograph records. He then sneaked back into the computer center one night, placed his new pack on the shelves, and wrote a script that would prompt the operator to mount the pack. Later, when the new operator came in to do his job, he saw the message to mount the pack, so he did so. Being new, he didn't know how heavy the disk packs actually were so he didn't suspect anything, until he powered up the drive. The phono records literally exploded inside the drive and sent the spindle straight through the drive door.
Several years ago at our site I had an argument with a co-worker about the use of menu screens. I argued that they are fine for a while, but that soon become tedious and that direct verb commands were preferable. His argument was that menus were the ultimate in user- friendliness, and that he would always prefer them.
A few days later I heard him holler from his office. Seems he started up the local editor, which gave him a menu selection to a)insert b)modify c)delete a character
It was talked about for some time.
PRACTICAL JOKES >>
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