Playing a prank on someone should be an utter joy, both for the prankster and the recipient. Maybe the joy comes later for the recipient, but it still should be a positive experience, with lots of laughter and stories for years to come. Since there are no written rules for pranking à la Emily Post, here are some general guidelines for those new to pranking from someone who has built her life around it.
1. Pick the right target
Some people are just more fun than others. Some people will appreciate your prank more than others. Some people have really weak hearts. It can be easy to figure out who to prank, often because they just got you and you want revenge. Or it is a good friend or family member who you know all too well. Other times it will take some thought and reflection to find a suitable target. Make sure this is someone who you would like to get into a prank war with. Make sure this person is fun. Seriously, this thing could last longer than many marriages.
2. Plan, plan, plan
If you are going to go through all the trouble to pull a prank, don't half-ass it. Do your homework, check your route, involve the right people. Think about what could go wrong and what the ramifications are if they do. If preparedness isn't your thing, keep your pranks simple. But even the best laid plans can sometimes go awry. My super simple Meow Hear This cat sound device can trigger some unexpected repercussions, as reported in this review on Amazon.com:
3. No Damage to People or Property
You don't want your prank to end up with an unanticipated repair or hospital bill. For that reason, we LOVE removable bumper stickers. One time, a small group of my friends toilet papered a boat, in broad daylight and plain sight, of a mutual friend- we'll call him Piss. No damage, very silly, but he got pissy and wanted revenge. Piss decided that throwing a washing machine into my pool would be a good idea. Thankfully for my pool and Piss's wallet, his friends convinced him any other idea would be better retribution.
4. No racism/sexism/homophobia/etc.
I like to think we live in an enlightened age where we have stopped getting joy from putting others down. Unless that other is your boss, and then there is always joy in that. But joking aside, calling groups of people derogatory names is not at all witty and not at all funny. We can all do a lot better than that, right?
5. Prank's End
Not all pranks go according to plan, sometimes for the better or sometimes for the worse. Be ready to abort if things don't go according to plan. Plan a graceful exit if things are going too well: find a fun way to let the target know it was a prank and you were behind it. Maybe you reveal to your neighbor that it was you that has left a steamy fake [edible] poop on their doorstep all week by leaving a box of poop cupcakes the last day. And posting this blog admitting to it. ; )
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