September 17, 2018

Funny pranks by Steven J Greenfield

Last updated on March 5, 2021

I rarely set out to do pranks on people—they just happen. Below are some of them.


Fortune cookie

I was in my 20s, I went to dinner with my family at a very nice Japanese restaurant with my aunt and uncle in Seattle. Everyone was talking and laughing, but I’m kind of an introvert. No one was talking to me, which is OK. At the end, we all got fortune cookies, and people were asking each other what their fortune said.

Well, no one was asking me. Which is OK, I just noticed is all. Then my aunt suddenly realized that no one had asked me (she was a good person) and asked me.

On a whim formed at that exact moment, I said “Fortune? What do you mean?” I put on an understated performance of someone who had no idea that fortune cookies had fortunes in them. She explained to me that everyone got a fortune in their cookies, and I did my best to look puzzled and said I didn’t notice anything in the cookie.

So she told the waiter that I’d not gotten a fortune in my cookie. Being a good restaurant, they brought out a tray with fresh cookies for everyone. I still had no clue what my endgame was.

The tray got passed around, and I noticed one had the tail of the fortune sticking out. So I grabbed that one. Once again, everyone excitedly asked each other what they got, but didn’t ask me. I kind of had a feeling about what I was going to do. I held onto the end of the fortune with one hand and held the cookie at the edge of the table with the other hand, waiting for my moment.

Just as my aunt turned to me to ask me what I’d gotten for my fortune, I pulled the fortune out with one hand and tossed the entire cookie in my mouth, and started chewing.

Everyone laughed while I sat there looking clueless. My aunt could hardly speak, she told me I was eating the fortune.

I said, “Oh, you mean these?” and held up the fortunes. She laughed even harder.


Throwing nuts

Another one: My wife and I went to visit her family in Michigan. Both of her sisters and their significant others were there.

So my wife and both of my sisters-in-law went down to the lake where they’d had a cabin. Lots of tall trees, lots of cabins now. We saw the old cabin their parents had sold years before and they talked a lot about the cheeky squirrels around there.

Again, on a whim—I started tossing nuts from the trees high in the air, and giving my best slightly interested “what was that?” look. I was subtle about it. I didn’t aim for anyone, but made them come down semi-randomly among us, even nearly hitting myself a few times.

After a few volleys, one of my sisters-in-law noticed and decided after a few more that the squirrels must be throwing them at us. This is not crazy—I’ve seen squirrels tossing things at people they don’t like. I was very canny about when I’d pick up the nuts and when I’d toss them. I had one sister-in-law ahead, and my wife and the other sister-in-law walking near or behind me. None of them saw me, although my wife knows me and figured out it must be me, but never caught me.

It became painfully funny but I was unable to laugh… because I kept it up after we’d walked far from the trees. I even accidentally hit my sisters-in-law a couple of times. I still had no idea what my endgame was.

One sister-in-law and I got back to the car well ahead of my wife and my other sister-in-law. I was still trying to figure out how to end this, and it isn’t funny if I just tell them.

So as we’re getting in, I tossed a couple more in the air in quick succession. They hit the hood BANG and the next one bounced off my sister-in-law’s shoulder a moment later. She said something like “they are getting aggressive!” as we got in.

And just as we got in the car, I tossed a nut at her, timed just so that she would see me just in time to see that it was me. I intended it so that she’d see this as her catching me in the act, not me revealing that it was me. I didn’t know that this would be my endgame until that moment.

We laughed so hard I thought we’d fall out of the car. When my wife and my other sister-in-law got to the car and mentioned the aggressive squirrels, we laughed almost as hard.


Turning beer

Later that same trip: When no one was looking, I kept turning my SiL’s beer around so the opening was pointing the wrong way. It was hard not to laugh when she’d pick it up, try to drink, and get nothing. I would never be looking at her when this happened.

I didn’t do it every time she set it down, so she’d check, then get complacent, and I’d rotate it again and she’d get no beer.

Finally, I let her catch me doing it and we laughed so hard we had tears streaming down our faces.

I told her that the best part of the jokes was that now, if anything strange happened, she’d wonder if it was me. Even if it happens after my wife and I went home.


Soda pop

Another one. I’d figured out that if I accidentally dropped a can of soda pop, I could lift and snap the tab a few times and it would not foam up. If it was cold, snapping it three times would result in no foaming at all, as if it had never been dropped or shaken.

So I was living in Phoenix. My roommate’s friend would come over, and when I would leave to get a can of pop from the machine in the courtyard, he’d ask me to get him a coke. But then when I’d get back, after he’d open it he’d say he didn’t have any money. Being starving students, this was not a small thing, besides just being a jerky thing to do.

So when he did have money and would head out to the soda machine, I’d ask him to get me a can. Guess what? I have to pay, he’s not buying me a soda.

Fine.

So next time I head out to the pop machine and he asks me to get him a can, I do, and shake the hell out of it. Boom! Pop all over him. “Sorry man, they must have just loaded it, and you know how those guys just throw the cans in.” I don’t shake it the next two times, but he goes to the trouble of opening it over the sink both times.

The fourth time, I shake it again and he’s complacent so he gets soaked.

This goes on for a few more cans and some random sprayings. Somehow I manage to do it so perfectly that it never sprays when he opens it over the sink, or when he puts it in my face and opens it.

Then one time he takes his can, then shouts “I changed my mind!” and snatches my can away and shoves his can into my hands.

As I calmly open his can and nothing happens, he opens my can and gets sprayed all over again.

You see, I’d been shaking my can every time in preparation for this. Even those times I’d not shaken his, I’d shaken mine. And he had not noticed me snapping it, thinking that my finger was just slipping as I was trying to open it. You see, at that time all soda cans had changed over fairly recently from pull tabs, and people were still getting the hang of the new ways cans open.

After that, he never sponged a can of pop off me again. Instead, the next time he visited my roommate, he offered to buy me a can of pop! Unheard of. He had such a smug look on his face as he handed me the can, and could not stop from chuckling.

I said “Thanks!” as I opened the can, and nothing sprayed out. He looked very confused. And very angry, when his can sprayed all over him. I’d given it a quick shake when he wasn’t looking.


Beep

Yet another prank, again on my roommate’s friend. He would come over on his bicycle, stay until we went to bed between 11 pm and 2 am, then say that he could not ride in the dark because he couldn’t see, so I had to drive him home. I’m too nice; he told me that he can’t see well enough in the dark so I’d drive him. The little shit never had money for gas, either. I’d remind him earlier that he needs to leave while it was still light, but after a while, I realized he was staying late enough on purpose so that I’d be forced to give him a ride home. We were in a studio, so it wasn’t like I could go into my room and lock the door—and my roommate would not send him home.

My roommate wasn’t particularly happy about him staying so late, so he played along with what I did…

I hooked up a small piezo buzzer with a 555 so about every 10 minutes, it would beep for about one second. The first time you snapped it on a 9V battery, it took about 15 minutes until its first beep. I made it quiet enough to have plausible deniability.

Then when he came over, after about an hour I snapped on the battery and dropped it into one of my many boxes and piles of electronic parts and boards—then turned on the TV.

It took a while. He started looking around the room, and moving his head suddenly. After a while he said “what is that?”, and we looked clueless and said “what?”

He got progressively more and more agitated. He got up and turned the TV up and down as we protested, as you would if someone started fooling with the volume and you didn’t hear anything wrong. He’d say “Can’t you hear that??” and we’d say “hear what?” and he’d get more agitated.

After two hours, I thought he’d burst a blood vessel. He’d turn the TV off trying to hear it better, and I’d time it perfectly—I’d go over and turn on the TV within 10 seconds of it beeping again, saying I was going to watch a movie, or I’d be at the table working on a project, and whatever I was working on would start making noise just as the beep started—or I’d start talking just as another beep was starting.

It was now after dark, when every other night he’d stay until midnight or later and then beg a ride home, now he stormed out, slammed the door, and rode his bike home. I guess he could see in the dark.


Beep in the car

I pranked the same guy a few more times with the annoying beeper in my car when he’d beg a ride from me with a promise to pay for gas, then weasel out of paying. I’d move it around when he was looking elsewhere. One time, it even spent time in his backpack while he was searching mine. I never used it on him unless he was being an ass, but we never let him in on it.

My roommate and I did prank a few other friends, but we always ended up letting them in on it.


Beep in the library

Then I made the annoying beeper even quieter, and took it to the library. I set it on one of the shelves on top of some books.

It took a very long time for me to see any effect. So long that I’d nearly forgotten it. It had been hours, and I was sitting at a table with a big stack of books. I became aware that one of the librarians was becoming rather upset, and very quietly but tensely talking to the other librarians. I faintly heard the beep and she said “There it is again, can’t you hear that?” in a strained whisper loud enough for a few people to notice.

Well, now I can’t go back and get it. I’m worried that if I do, it’ll just happen to go off as I pick it up and I’ll get caught and banned. Banned from the Phoenix library system? My life would be over.

They came out a few times and asked if anyone had something that was beeping like a pager. They started checking people’s bags and backpacks. Finally, there was a flurry of activity in the direction of where I’d set it just as it beeped, a short strangled string of expletives, a “crack” and the beep stopped.

Now those upset librarians went around like Nazi guards looking for who was digging that escape hole, looking intently into our eyes and questioning each of us. I managed to pass interrogation enough that nothing happened.

Yeesh! Never mess with librarians.


Headphones

OK, another story from the same time. Studio apartment, roommate. Two beds in the living room, 90 degrees to each other. When I wasn’t sleeping, my bed pushed under a table that was at the head of both of our beds.

My roommate would go to sleep with headphones on. Not those modern tiny headphones, but the old big cans that cover your whole ear. With them on, no one can hear it but you, but off your head, it is like having a pocket transistor radio turned on.

So he’d fall asleep, then about an hour later he’d wake up just enough to push them off and drop them on the floor. Where they would then wake me up, I’d complain, he’d stay asleep, I’d turn them off and now pissed at being woken, lay there for a couple of hours trying to sleep.

Then his aforementioned friend would call him at 8 am, long before either of us would get up. My roommate would not wake up, I’d have to answer it, he’d mumble dimly into the phone, then push it off on the floor, at which point I’d hang it up and stumble out of bed, too pissed off to sleep any more.

So one night, I tossed his headphones back onto him and told him to turn his *expletive deleted* stereo off. He just laid there, so I put the headphones back on his head. Without waking up, he started rolling over and over, wrapping the coil cord around his body many times. The headphones were now off of his head again, but I could hear them muffled under his body so I turned his stereo off.

The next morning 8 am again, his friend calls; I answer as usual, and as usual, place the phone on the side of the head of my now inadvertently bound roommate. Same mumbled conversation as usual, then he bucks around a bit—his arms are pinned quite thoroughly by about half a dozen turns of headphone cord, which back then was the size and strength of a ¼ inch rope. The phone falls off onto the floor. For whatever reason, this time instead of hanging it up, I set it back on his head.

After a certain period of time, as phones do, it started shrieking this “hang me up” alarm sound that they do. His arms struggle but are pinned, his legs start pushing. My bed is now pushed under the table, so rather than falling on the floor at the head of his bed, he slides between the rather tall table and my bed, and starts banging his head on the bottom of the table, shouting “shitshitshitshitshitshit”, and this is someone who only says “shoot!” when very angry.

I reach over and hang the phone up. I’m laughing so hard I can hardly stand. He works his way out, then struggles out of the headphone cord and phone cord, panting, and with a wild look in his eye. He looks up at me and I run just as he starts running at me. I race into the bathroom and slam and lock the door. He rages and bangs against the door for a while.

So I stay in there for a while. After 20 minutes, I’m bored out of my skull so I carefully and silently open the door, ready to slam it shut. He’s not there, but the closet door directly across is shut. So I make a noise. Nothing. I make a little more noise. Nothing—and I’m sure he could hear me in the closet. Maybe that’s a trick and he’s around the corner—that’s what I’d do. Nope.

I finally come out and make my breakfast, being quiet at first but progressively not being so silent. I eat, watch TV, then start working on whatever electronics project I was doing that day.

About 2 hours after my race into the bathroom, he comes out of the closet looking confused and wants to know how he got in there.


Door-to-door salesman

Another from the same time and the same apartment in Phoenix. This one is kind of long because of the setup, and the prank itself must have gone on for a half-hour.

We had people coming around—every month, a new batch. The want ads section always had “work for yourself! make loads of money!” ads each month. They were for one of four things (all door-to-door sales): the newspaper, magazine subscriptions, a subscription to HBO and Showtime which at that time was broadcast on 2GHz from South Mountain, and OnTV which was a paid channel that was sent out scrambled on UHF channel 15, starting at 7 pm each evening, and changing to soft porn after midnight.

Well, we didn’t want the newspaper, nor did we want overpriced magazines and they didn’t offer any we’d want; I had already built a descrambler so we could watch OnTV, and I’d also built a microwave downconverter so we could watch HBO (unscrambled) and Showtime (scrambled the same way as OnTV, so we were in like Flynn).

Every month no one selling that stuff door-to-door would make enough to live on, so they’d have a new crop coming around every month. We got very tired of it, and they were persistent. I was building a lot of electronics projects at that time, so I was always in the middle of something. I got tired of extricating myself each time, going to answer the door only to find out it was a disingenuous salesperson. So I would yell “If you are selling something, go away. If you are not, knock again.” Sometimes I’d head to the door on the second set of knocks, only to find a lying salesperson!

So one day I hear a knock, I say my thing, I see the shadow through the curtained window shift from foot-to-foot, then knock again. I say “who is it”, he says “a friend”. “Bullshit! You are selling something!” I say. “No, I’m not” he says. “Yes, you are selling magazines, the newspaper, or subscription TV! Go away!”

He stands there for 10 or 20 seconds, shifting from foot-to-foot, then finally leaves.

So that evening, I tell my roommate about it and we discuss what we’d like to do to them—you know, as you do, never intending to actually do anything. I don’t mean murder, that isn’t me. I mean we discussed ways to scare them off. We both decided that yelling isn’t really scary. Threatening will just get us arrested. We decided that the most frightening, unsettling thing you can do is to have a completely blank look and to not react to someone in any way, but to stare at them.

But we didn’t plan anything.

A few days later, a knock on the door. Without even thinking about it, I cheerily skip over to the door (that is so not me) and just open it with a cheery “Hello!”

It is some guy wanting to talk me into an OnTV subscription. He starts into the usual “How many movies do you go to?” line. After a few minutes, I tell him it is way too hot outside—come on in; I’ve got air conditioning.

As he comes inside, my roommate who’d been sitting unseen reading, slumped down in a big chair by the door, springs up and without a word or facial expression SLAMS the door, snaps the doorknob lock and the bolt shut noisily, and moves to stand a few scant inches from our intrepid but startled salesman.

I act as if nothing had happened but the door shutting on its own, and turn him back towards me to continue telling me about this great deal. My roommate stands next to him, chest just touching the salesman’s shoulder, eyes fixed on the salesman’s eyes but with no trace of expression and devoid of body language.

I keep the salesman talking for a long time. I have questions. How about dates? Will they charge me more if I have a date watching with me? I only refer to myself, I never say “we” or “us’. I never even flicker a look at my roommate. Despite the everpresent air conditioning, the salesman is sweating buckets.

The salesman is having trouble swallowing. I notice, and ask if he wants a glass of water, and I start turning to walk towards the kitchen. He shouts “No!”, and without taking any notice of his distress, I say “Ok. Well, I’m thirsty, I’ll be back in a minute.” He panics and decides that he’s thirsty too, and says he’ll come with me.

It is a short hallway from the main room to the tiny kitchen. My roommate follows him—in step so as not to step on his shoes—and probably breathing on the salesman’s neck. The three of us are now crammed into a kitchen too small for two, and I continue asking enthusiastic, curious questions. The salesman stands there with his glass of water, not taking a drink, but still having a hard time swallowing.

I suggest we head back out into the living room, he turns and looks fearfully at my roommate. I, with the aplomb and disinterest of someone holding back a curtain, put my arm out and hold my roommate back as the salesman heads quickly back into the living room. As we clear the hallway, my roommate manages to hurry without running and places himself between the salesman and the door he’d been hurrying to.

I go back to asking him questions, my roommate is again standing by the salesman’s side, chest just touching the salesman’s shoulder.

The salesman by now has said “I really have to go!” several times, but I have just a few more questions. Finally he says in a strangled shriek, “I really have to go, there are people that know I’m here!” Still taking no notice of his distress, I tell him OK. He turns to the door and my roommate moves in front of the door, and the salesman is now frozen like a rabbit in a viper’s eyeline, staring straight into my roommate’s expressionless eyes from just a few inches away.

As I sweep my roommate to the side like a curtain and unlock the door, I tell the salesman that he’s convinced me and I really want to get this, and can I pay for a year in advance? But I don’t have the cash now, can he can come back this Friday as it is payday and—just as he’s passing through the door—my voice changes and in a low voice I end the sentence with “…and don’t tell anyone where you are going this time”. That was the ONLY thing I said the entire time that was odd.

As the door was shutting, we heard him running like a bat out of hell across the balcony and down the stairs outside. I’ve never heard anyone run down 3 flights so fast. We both fell down laughing, tears streaming from our eyes.

They must have hobo signs they put out, because although we were ready to do this to someone else next month, not a single person came knocking to sell us things for a solid 6 months. Then it was one very beautiful woman so we didn’t want to scare her off, but she figured out after 10 minutes that we were never going to buy those magazine subscriptions. No one else came by to try and sell us anything for the next year that I was there.


Zinc pennies

I was working in an arcade. I’d just used some electroless tin plate (no power supply necessary—just tin plates out on copper from the mixed-up liquid) to repair some edge connectors. Rather than just toss it out, I’d dropped a bunch of brand new shiny pennies into it. That was the year that pennies went from solid copper, to copper plated zinc core.

I had no plans for the pennies, I just wanted to see how much more copper I could plate with tin.

Then one of the teens saw the pennies and asked what was up. Not knowing what I’d say until I said it, I told the (true) story about how they were doing away with copper pennies and changing them to zinc. True, but I left out the part about how they still had a copper coating. This was January, so not many people had the new pennies yet.

I showed how the new “silver” zinc pennies sound different than the old copper pennies (they do) and spin different (they do). They wanted to buy the pennies, and would give me a dime each.

I said no, I can’t sell a penny for a dime. Besides, everyone will have them soon and copper pennies will be in great demand, so I’ll gladly trade them these new pennies for old copper pennies.

They talked about it for days. A couple came back in with some new copper pennies and wanted to know what was up. Having no idea what the pennies actually said, I said that some states were fighting the change and were still making copper pennies. We checked, and just by sheer luck, the new copper pennies that they had were made in a different state than the “zinc” pennies I’d given them.

I even managed to convince them that the pennies still sounded different when struck or spun just by dropping and spinning them on different surfaces on the bench without them noticing.

The joke was on me, when about a week later I realized I’d accidentally taken a bunch of my new “zinc” pennies as dimes. They’d figured it out, and would hand me two pennies and a nickel for a quarter, and pranked me with my own prank. I told them I’d caught it and that it was a good reprank, no hard feelings. I made up the shortfall out of my own pocket.


The candle

I was at a dark bar with a group of friends. I don’t smoke, but at that time I always had a butane lighter with me for heat shrink tubing. I’d become fascinated with squirting the butane into the hollow of my hand and lighting it, then seeing how long I could hold it, or opening my hand and observing the “flump!” as it burned all at once. I was practicing making the largest pocket possible in my hand and putting as much butane in it as possible.

I was not involved in any of the conversations at that point. There was a candle in the middle of the table. I got out my lighter and started playing with it. I filled my hand, spraying butane in it for a very long time. Then lit it, held it looking at the pale blue flame for a bit as my hand got hot, then moved my hand over the candle and opened it.

Flump! And Crash! Everyone jumped back, sending beer and hot wax everywhere! Yelling and broken glass! “What the F#$^!” “What the H#$^!” I said, “What happened?” Someone said, “The candle exploded!”

You see, your eyes have an interesting property. In bright light, you can see things happen pretty quickly. But in the dark, your eyes see things “late”. There is a type of 3D they did on TV a few times, where you wear 3D glasses that have one dark lens and one clear lens. Then when something moves to the right, the eye with the dark lens sees the image a bit delayed, so you see a false 3D as it looks further away than the screen. Move to the left, it looks closer to you than the screen.

So no one saw the dim image of my hand and arm moving over the candle. It was delayed, when the bright (relatively) flash of flame appeared, it overwrote the delayed image of my hand and arm. As a result, everyone saw the candle suddenly explode in a ball of fire.

I tried to tell them that it was me, but no one would believe me because they were sure that my arm was at my side when the flash happened.


$2 bill

There are quite a few more, more than I can remember. I rarely plan anything, it is a spur of the moment. I often rely on insanely good luck, so it would never occur to someone that this could have been a prank, because who could set that up?

When 2 dollar bills first came out and everyone had at least a few, I told a friend that every $2 bill has at least 4 consecutive numbers in the serial number. I had not checked my $2 bills.

Out of sheer luck, the first $2 bill he pulled out had 4 consecutive numbers. I had pulled my $2 bills out, one of them also had 4 consecutive numbers. The other bills did not, but I read them off as if they did and he didn’t look closely enough to see that I was lying.

He came back the next day and told me he knew I was bullshitting him, but admitted he only found out after he tried to win a bar bet with that information. He found out that only one of his bills had 4 consecutive numbers, and the guys he was betting against had no bills with 4 consecutive numbers. He bought a number of beers.


The Outsider

I put together a costume that I wore to a science fiction convention. I got stopped a lot in the halls and pictures taken. Everyone kept asking me what it was from, and seemed perplexed when I said that it wasn’t from anything, it was from my mind.

This annoyed me. So when they’d ask, I began saying that it is a costume from a post-apocalyptic sci-fi TV show from the early ’70s called “The Outsider”. I’d go into a little detail and talk about how I had barely remembered the show, then found a listing for it in a dictionary of sci-fi TV shows and realized that I now look just like the main character and so I had to make the costume and props.

And nearly every person would say something like “oh, yeah, I remember that show. You do kind of look like him.” I did this all weekend.

The funny doesn’t stop there—later when I would tell people the story of that weekend, I would kind of fall into telling the story of the show as if it were a real show. And about half the people I’d told would say something like “oh, yeah, I remember that show. You do kind of look like him.” Even though I’d already told them that I made it up.


Chert

Sometimes, people prank themselves based on my past behavior. I went into my friend’s computer cafe and he introduced me to another of his friends. His friend had a rock he called flint. I told him that it looked like chert to me. I described the differences in appearance between obsidian, flint, and chert.

My friend told him not to believe me, that I was making it up and there was no such thing as chert. I invited him to sit down at any of the 18 computers surrounding us and look it up. My friend refused, saying that I probably already had websites set up to fake this. It didn’t matter that I had no idea until that moment that his friend was going to bring a rock in.

Even after his friend found chert on several websites describing the rather fuzzy difference between flint and chert, my friend would not believe it and refused to look at the sites.

It was quite funny.


Stereo

I don’t like really loud music. I can only take it for a short time. Loud music damages your hearing, and it suppresses being able to hear quiet noises for a while. I use my hearing to make a living.

I had a coworker who kept blasting out his stereo randomly while I was trying to work. It might take as much as 10 minutes before my hearing would fully recover.

So one day when he went to lunch and I’d brought lunch, I rigged up some special fuses. His stereo amp had speaker fuses inside the cover. I took much lower-rated fuses and soldered 22-ohm 1W resistors across them. So when played at normal volume levels, everything was fine.

He comes back from lunch, we go to work. I’m once again trying to listen carefully to something, he suddenly reaches up and spins his volume knob to full power. For a second or two, it plays very loud. Then there is a Pop Pop, the speakers got much quieter, then smoke started pouring out of his stereo amp. Then the speakers both went silent.

He sweated over this for about a half-hour. Checking the breakers on the speakers, checking everything was plugged in, plugging different speakers in, opening the stereo up, and poking the ’scope probe in. He could see the signal at the output transistors, but get nothing from the speaker terminals.

You see, the fuses were on the top of the board, and he was looking at the bottom.

When he finally found them, he knew he’d been had. After that, he stopped trying to blast me out with his stereo.


Fist bump

I’m not sure if this counts as a prank, or just delivering a comeuppance. I was in my mid to late 20s at the time.

In my group of friends and acquaintances, we started doing a fist bump. It was a bit of a guy thing as we’d bump them hard enough to hear a thump. But not hard enough to hurt if your fists were reasonably tough, and all of us had or claimed to have some kind of martial arts training.

As often happens with this sort of thing, one took it too far. He’d throw a straight jab into your fist and hit hard enough to hurt, and then pretend it was accidental and that he didn’t know his own strength. What he didn’t know, is that I had spent several years toughening up my fists and working on my aim.

So one day, I returned fire. Instead of just going in for a fist bump with him, I lowered my fist a bit so my knuckles hit his fingers near the next joint and delivered a short, fast jab. He made a noise and shook his hand, and got angry. I told him it was accidental and that I didn’t know my own strength.

Then I showed everyone else in our little group how to do the same thing to him. Within a couple of days, he stopped doing the fist bump at all.


Homophobic rants

This one will be more of a comeuppance than a prank, too.

I have a relative who is very homophobic. If an opportunity presented itself, he’d start going on about how the q****rs are infiltrating schools, or poisoning donuts to turn everyone into a f*****t, or some other nonsense. We’d sit around in pained silence, waiting for him to run down so we could change the subject.

He kept getting worse. He would go on a rant without an excuse, so he’d go off every time we visited. Sometimes more than once in a visit, and for longer and longer.

I’d had my fill of listening to this. So when he was just running down, saying “Ugh, just thinking about two guys having sex together, ugh, yuck, two guys, gross…” and as he trailed off, I said quietly into the silence:

“You sure do think a lot about guys having sex.”

Dead silence for like a minute. Then someone else started talking about something else entirely.

The next visit, he didn’t go on a rant. But the next time we visited, someone baited him—said something about same-sex marriage.

Everyone turned to look at him. His mouth opened as he took a deep breath, and… closed his mouth and let the breath out. We stared at him for a while and he said nothing, so we went on with our conversation. No more rants.


The bird

I was driving on the highway. Traffic was a bit stiff—all lanes full—but we were mostly going the speed limit. I was in the left lane because the other lanes were full of people getting on and off the highway.

A car starts aggressively tailgating me. That is when someone gets really close, backs off for a bit, then speeds up and gets really close again—over and over. I’m keeping up with the cars ahead of me, so it isn’t like I can speed up. If I go a lane to the right, that lane is going slower than we are now.

He takes advantage of a short hole in the lane to the right of us, goes roaring by, barely squeezes between my car and the car ahead of me, and then hits his brakes. I get being in a hurry, but if you break-check someone in that situation, it isn’t about being in a hurry.

I don’t normally flip people off in traffic. But I saw his wife and kids in the car, so I broke my rule and flipped him off. Of course, he raised his right hand and planted the bird right there in the middle of the car, in front of his kids.

His wife reached over and slapped the back of his head. It looked pretty hard. That is what I was hoping for.

After a few minutes of sitting there looking like a beat dog, he slowly rolled his window down, nonchalantly put his hand on the roof, and then raised his middle finger. It was hilarious. He was clearly hiding his actions from his wife.


Tin foil hats

Years ago, back when the internet was young… I hung around some UFO newsgroups for the entertaining reading.

After watching a few long threads about “tin foil” hat liners and Reynolds Heavy-Duty Oven Wrap, I posted a LONG post about how everyone knows it is tin foil that blocks the alien/government mind control rays. Tin foil has long been used for RF shielding, quite effectively.

But that if you are using aluminum foil, you have fallen into a trap! No one uses aluminum foil for RF shielding because it is only partly effective. However, the aliens will let you think it is working, until you are lulled into a false sense of security.

Then, at an opportune moment, they’ll turn up the power and take control of your mind.

I told them how to tell if they were not sure. Tin foil can easily be soldered, whereas aluminum foil is nearly impossible to solder.

It caused chaos. Because of course, everyone was sloppily calling it tin foil while buying rolls of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

But someone had the last laugh: several months later I went back, and found someone selling tin foil for hat liners. He used my post nearly word-for-word.


Embrace Autism | Funny pranks by Steven J Greenfield | portrait SJ GreenfieldLargeGreen

I hope you get a good laugh from these.

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