1Practical Jokes

After a recent con­ver­sa­tion I was reminded of the numer­ous prac­tic­al jokes I have car­ried out over the years. A quick scan around the Inter­net doesn’t actu­ally reveal a par­tic­u­larly good selec­tion of cheap harm­less pranks to play on friends so I thought I’d share some of my favour­ites

The cheesecake wash cloth

cheese-cloth

One of my school mates used to have reg­u­lar house parties at his stu­dent place in Not­ting­ham. His parties were always legendary, and there were always pranks going on. One prank that exceeded all expect­a­tions was the cheese­cake scour­ing cloth. I had wanted to bat­ter and deep fry some­thing ran­dom for a while and leave it to be found, but I couldn’t find any­thing that really seemed to work. Since I’d already set up the oil I even­tu­ally decided to just bat­ter and fry the wash­ing up scour­er. The next hurdle was the bat­ter — there wasn’t any­thing ideal to use, so i resor­ted to crush­ing up a bag of crisps and mix­ing them in with egg. The scour­er proved easy to bat­ter and with so little mass (and no water) to it, it fried to a lovely crisp light-brown in well under a minute. Fairly pleased with the out­come I placed it on a small plate on the kit­chen side­board, tidied up and went to bed.
The next morn­ing (or pos­sibly after­noon) I got up to amused con­ver­sa­tion in the kit­chen. Upon my arrival I found the scour­er had been spot­ted by my poor-sighted host when he had got up an hour or so earli­er. With bleary eyes and totally unreal­ist­ic optim­ism he had iden­ti­fied my cre­ation as a cheese-cake and had cut into it hop­ing to have some. Obvi­ously cut­ting it open revealed it’s true iden­tity, so kudos to him for own­ing up later. Of course I replaced the items I had used (½ bottle oil, 1 egg, 1 pack crisps, 1 scour­er) and every­one saw the funny side. If you are used to deep fry­ing, are not drunk, and have an elec­tric (not gas) hob with which to do the deed I can highly recom­mend some ran­dom fry­ing.

The iced-keys

Pos­sibly my favour­ite prank of all time was the frozen keys. After the suc­cess of the deep fry­ing prank I had always wanted to bat­ter and deep fry a set of keys (and then restore them to their loc­a­tion), with bat­ter applied. How­ever, my friend was now wise to the pos­sib­il­it­ies of bat­ter­ing and fry­ing and kept a far closer eye on things. Fig­ur­ing innov­a­tion was required I decided to go back to an old clas­sic — freez­ing ran­dom things. This had star­ted years before with ran­dom objects placed in the freez­er. I decided to take it to the next level — I wanted a sol­id block of ice, with the keys frozen inside. When next my friend invited us for a party I was ready. I pre­pared an ice cram tub which I filled to about 1 inch with water and put it in my own freez­er overnight. I took this, and a bag of super­mar­ket ice cubes to the party. Quite late on I was able to loc­ate his keys and set about the task. First I settled the keys onto the 1″ ice lay­er, right in the centre of the tub. Then i pack around and on top of them with some of the ice cubes I had bought. Finally I popped the lid onto the tub, except at the one short edge, through which I filled the tub with water. Finally, I sealed the lid on and bur­ied the ice cream tub in the freez­er amongst oth­er desert items to avoid sus­pi­cion. After that I just had to wait. I am sorry to say I wasn’t stay­ing over on this occa­sion so was unable to wit­ness the out­come first hand, how­ever I am assured by my friend’s ex girl­friend that the entire ice-cream tub was a sol­id block of ice, with the keys beau­ti­fully presen­ted in the centre. I gath­er from my friend that it took a ham­mer and a kettle full of boil­ing water to lib­er­ate the keys the next morn­ing. Hap­pily noth­ing was harmed and he incurred no costs, so all in all, it was an ideal prank. Some day I hope to repeat the prank and will try to get a photo.

The mint-cream

I have to start by giv­ing cred­it for this to anoth­er school mate of mine. We were on hol­i­day in Crete and there had been a few pranks when this gem was inven­ted. Sev­er­al (but not all) of us were going on a boat trip to Spin­alonga, and one of the people not going decided this would be an ideal oppor­tun­ity to carry out a sun­cream prank. So, the night before he care­fully uncapped the sun­cream of anoth­er mate, and added a small (marble size or less) quant­ity of tooth­paste. All went to plan, and the next day, were all on board the boat when the vic­tim decided it was time for a fresh applic­a­tion of sun­cream. After 2–3 minutes of furi­ous rub­bing he enquired wheth­er we had any idea what was wrong — why did he sun­cream smell minty, and why wouldn’t it rub in. After much laughter we told him, know­ing we were safe from repris­als. Of course we also lent him some func­tion­al sun­cream as well. The sight of him look­ing like a ghost and smelling like a mint fact­ory was abso­lutely price­less, just be warned that the whole bottle of sun­cream will be ruined, so be pre­pared to replace it!

The gluebrush

The sol­id tooth­brush was a dir­ect retali­ation to the min­ted sun­cream above. The vic­tim of the sun­cream was quite keen to return the favour to the per­pet­rat­or but after a couple of days had been unable to think of a suit­able retali­ation and so I was brought in as “con­sult­ant”. I had noticed that the ori­gin­al prank­ster liked to brush his teeth after a night out in the loc­al bars, so I settled on a tooth­brush (or tooth­paste) related prank, which seemed fit­ting giv­en the first prank. After a little more thought it occured to me that the hot cli­mate of Crete (over 30C in sum­mer) was ideal for a glue based prank as super­glue could be relied upon to dry quickly and to set very sol­id in a rel­at­ively short peri­od of time. Super­glue based pranks should always be approached with care. So, one after­noon whilst the ori­gin­al prank­ster was down at the beach we retali­ated. We took the tooth­brush and covered it with lots of super­glue on the bristles and put it out of sight in a warm spot to dry (out of sight so it couldn’t be acci­dent­ally used whilst wet). After a few hours when we were cer­tain it was dry and sol­id we restored it to it’s ori­gin­al loc­a­tion. Super­glue being trans­par­ent the tooth­brush looked entirely nor­mal unless inspec­ted very closely. That night we returned from the bars and each went to our sep­ar­ate rooms. No more than 3 minutes later the new vic­tim came banging on my door demand­ing to know what I had done to his tooth­brush. I, of course, was able to deny car­ry­ing out the crime and the next day was able to get the full story. He had put tooth­paste onto his tooth brush as usu­al and popped it into his mouth to start brush­ing. As soon as he tried to brush over his teeth how­ever he found the brush was set as sol­id as a rock and he was unable to brush his teeth at all — a per­fect res­ult, just make sure there is a loc­al shop which sells replace­ment tooth­brushes.

The hot cornflakes

One of my favour­ite go-to type of pranks is the cer­eal based prank, and this was one of my top 2 res­ults. One of my friends always likes to have a large bowl of crunchynut corn­flakes for break­fast and I had noticed how sim­il­ar the little nut pieces are in size and col­our to chilli seeds. Before the next house party I bough a small bag of dried chil­lis and broken them up, extract­ing and set­ting aside the chilli seeds. Dur­ing the party I care­fully dropped a small hand­ful (a couple hun­dred) chilli seeds into the cer­eal bag and gave it a gentle shake before return­ing it to the cup­board. The next morn­ing as usu­al my friend poured him­self a large bowl and then without spot­ting any­thing amiss loaded up gen­er­ously with milk. I watched him munch through the bowl with grow­ing amazement (and dis­ap­point­ment) right up until he had fin­ished. I was just about to reveal my fail­ure when he star­ted to look a bit con­fused. 10 seconds later he was run­ning to the kit­chen to pour a large glass of sooth­ing milk. I had for­got­ten about the sooth­ing power of the milk, which had masked my prank through­out the whole break­fast. Once he had fin­ished it had taken just a few seconds for the fire to kick in. 10 minutes (and a few pints of milk) all was ok again. Or at least I should say he was able to speak again. A great res­ult, and it only cost me a box of replace­ment cer­eal and a pack­et of dried chil­lis.

The antique

There are vari­ous flour-based pranks, with basic “antiquing” even mak­ing it onto the TV show Jack­ass sev­er­al years back. I prefer my vari­ant to that fea­tured on Jack­ass as they simply threw flour at each oth­er when sleep­ing which was a bit to aggress­ive for my style. The simple improve­ment in my ver­sion leads to someone effect­ively ‘antiquing’ them­selves. Find a poster or some oth­er paper, ideally some­thing stuck around the house. Unstick it from the wall, put some flour on the back and then stick it to the ceil­ing. When the vic­tim notices the poster on the ceil­ing they will assume that it is a poor prank and will detach a corner, lead­ing to the flour to slide down onto them.

The shaving bag

One of the first pranks that ever occured in our social group was in the early days of uni­ver­sity. 3 of us were vis­it­ing a friend who was at uni­ver­sity in Leeds. One of our mates got espe­cially drunk, but still just about man­aged to crawl into his sleep­ing bag before passing out. We waited a few minutes and then used his shav­ing foam to fill out his sleep­ing bag around him. It didn’t appear to pre­vent him from sleep­ing solidly, and proved doubly amus­ing in the morn­ing when he star­ted talk­ing to us about how after a night out he often feels greasy and he named this phe­nomen­on “club­bing grease”. After sev­er­al minutes of cry­ing with laughter he even­tu­ally real­ised his can of shav­ing foam was empty and the real­ity slowly dawned on him. A clas­sic.

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