Published on September 18th, 2012 | by TLV News0
Practical Jokes, Pranks, and Shenanigans (by Sarah Reddick, from TLV #164)
Practical Jokes, Pranks, and Shenanigans
“There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her: they never meet but there’s a skirmish of wit between them.” – William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
My friend Stacey and I have been engaged in a practical joke war for about two years now. It all started one night because she had done some thing or another that had mildly irritated me, and I thought up a way to get her back. The second film in the Twilight series was about to be released, and I put her phone number on Craigslist advertising a FREE pair of VIP TICKETS to the TWILIGHT PREMIERE!! I emphasized that the tickets were first come, first serve and then I sat back and waited. Sure enough, about a half hour later I saw a frantic status update on Facebook from Stacey begging the responsible party to please delete the Craigslist posting. She received literally hundreds of calls before I took the ad down. I called her and feigned ignorance for a few minutes before I started to laugh hysterically. She yelled a few choice things I can’t print here and hung up on me. Did I mention she was on a date?
I guess I shouldn’t have messed with the woman who a few decades back decided it would be a great idea for her senior class to steal the Big Boy from Shoney’s and put it on the roof of their high school. Stacey’s response was swift, and I am still dealing with the fallout. Within a few days, she had almost every major religion send representatives to try and save my soul. I came home to post-it notes from folks telling me I had missed my initial Bible study and asking if I would like to reschedule. My doorbell rang early and often. My mailbox quickly filled with issues of Watchtower magazine, and a ton of mail from the Celebrity Scientology Center in Nashville: pamphlets, free informational guides, and handwritten letters urging me to pursue my heartfelt interest in spiritual enlightenment. I managed to get a shipment of extra-large adult diapers sent to Stacey’s house, and it’s been going on ever since.
I think a good, clean practical joke is an excellent way to keep life interesting. One of my favorites historically is the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest of 1957. A venerable BBC news show, Panorama, announced that Swiss farmers were celebrating a record breaking crop of spaghetti, due in part to a mild winter and the discovery of a way to eliminate the number one spaghetti crop predator, the spaghetti weevil. They showed footage of Swiss farm workers pulling cooked spaghetti noodles down from tree limbs. An alarming number of people fell for this story and called in to the show wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti at home. The BBC answered, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Whether you are a person who likes the instant reaction you might get from fake vomit or a bucket of water over a door, or someone who will plot for months on an intricate prank designed to live on in infamy amongst your circle of friends, I applaud your efforts. As Will Rogers once said, “Everything is funny as long as it’s happening to someone else.” If you’ve got a favorite practical joke, let us know on the TLV Facebook page! (http://www.facebook.com/thelocalvoice)