Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The Prankster's art
A correspondent asks me whether I’m keen on practical jokes. I reply that I enjoy a harmless prank as much as the next ape, but keeping them innocuous is no easy matter in the wild. I recall the case of an infant gorilla who put a live frog inside his sleeping mother’s mouth. She was so shocked when the croaking awoke her that she swallowed the amphibian whole. It must have hopped about inside in her belly for a good five minutes before expiring. It sounds amusing, but what if the frog had been poisonous? The wrong sort of caper can be deadly in the jungle.
There were far more opportunities for this sort of thing in the circus. I remember a trick we played on an acrobat – a pretty girl who looked in the mirror a lot. We were watching a home movie of a recent show when she fell asleep in her chair. “Must have had a late night,” someone said. One of the clowns got a felt pen and was about to draw something on her face when I grabbed his wrist.
“What are you going to draw?” I asked softly
“A Hitler moustache,” he whispered in reply.
I immediately thought this was a bad idea. Who really wants to see a woman who looks like Hitler? Not even Hitler himself, I should imagine. Eva Braun might have, but she was a kinky mare. More to the point, there is a dearth of good quips to toss at a girl with a Hitler moustache. Asking her if she’s going to make Rommel commander of the Africa Korps is not particularly funny and tends to give the game away.
“I’ve got a better idea,” I said, taking the pen from the clown. With a few delicate strokes, I drew some very fetching cat’s whiskers on her face.
She woke up a little later and yawned with her hand over her mouth.
“How long have I been asleep?” she asked. “God, I must look awful!”
Sensing that a trip to the bathroom was imminent, I made eye contact with the clowns to signal that the wisecracks should commence without delay.
“Nonsense!” said one of them to her. “You look like an absolute sex kitten!”
“Thanks,” she said beaming, while everyone else smirked.
“Can I get you something to drink?” another clown asked her. “Tea, coffee…saucer of milk?”
Everyone laughed liked mad. After asking what the hell was going on, she went to the bathroom and found out for herself. I am pleased to say that she took the joke in good spirit, perhaps because she did look rather cute with those whiskers.
Now this was a genuinely harmless prank with no ill consequences, but many others have not been so benign. A sure sign that a joke has got out of hand is when someone calls the police. This is what happened when a 17-year-old girl in New Zealand sent lewd text messages to a 31-year-old man, promising him unspeakable debaucheries if he presented himself at a certain address. To speed things along, she advised him to strip naked when he got to the front door. He did as she suggested and rang the doorbell. The person who answered was not the girl, nor anyone else expecting the company of a naked man. Infuriated by the nude intruder, the householder called the police, who arrested both the man and the girl.
The moral of the story is that a good practical joke requires careful forethought. The Kiwi girl was clearly inexperienced and didn’t think through the consequences of sending a naked sex maniac into someone’s front garden. The man, of course, played a big part in the debacle. Based on what happened, I would describe him as a village idiot seeking promotion to the rank of moron. If you’re going to hoax people, you should choose your targets carefully. There’s not much kudos in making an arse look like an arse.
You visited my blog and being an upright curious type I decided to WALK (that's right, walk) over to your site.
I've only read your first post and this one....are you no longer affecting the Gorilla persona. Or are you really, really a Gorilla.
Funny stuff...will definately return to catch up on the missed posts. Thanks for visiting me.
Liv: I won't ever play a trick on you Liv, not even on April 1st.
Eve: What do you have to say about the man's white bottom?
NurseMyra: Happy New Year to you, Nursie.
Randall: I love the whoopee cushion too! I sit on one when I'm about to fart.
Zap: I'm still a gorilla, Zap, even though I've lived among humans for a long time. You are new here, so I'll forgive your scepticism.
I have a real fondness for whoopee cushions too, and don't mind sitting on them. When I do, I immediately hold up the offending cushion and announce loudly to all present what has happened. In fact, after reading your comment to Randall, perhaps I'll start carrying one around with me.
Amazing what the power of pussy will make men do, eh? Also, let's not be too harsh on him, at the point where he knocked on the door sans clothes all the blood had left his brain and had rushed to his third leg.
Kara: I think you'd have been good in the role of the householder who called the cops.
Emma: I'd like to know exactly what she said to him on the phone.
Ms T Cow: I see you're a woman with a one-track mind!
Aku: The sofa? Is what what made him so horny? Must have been a good one.
Mrs Cake: Confronting people with eccentric behaviour is much funnier than humiliating them.
Native Minnow: I assume you're not including your brother in 'most people'.
And honestly, what was Ass Boy thinking in listening to anonymous text messages? Does he wear a tin hat too?
Good choice of last line about making 'an arse look like an arse' coupled with the photo. I thought that was another arse holding his own in the background, alas they were merely balls.
It's white. By that, I mean.. he's not the same colour all over... Hehehe... the basketball pic in the background is eminently suitable for the scene... perhaps that was why the girl chose the location she did? :-)
Kate: The kindest explanation is that he was maddened by lust, as Emma said.
Pi: People send you lewd messages? How disgraceful!
Bemused: Welcome, Miss. Something tells me you know a good posterior when you see one. Your blog, in fact.
Eve: Do you like a man's behind to be that colour then? It's not a cause for shame if you do.
Suzan: Glad to have amused you, Suzy. The pictures are freely available from a well-known source.
Approximately: Hah-rah and a Happy New Year to you! Are you Osvaldo speaking on behalf of the whole team?
What Have I told you about looking at mens bottoms online? (=:
I'm no colourist, so any colour should be alright *as long as it's not purple*
Mr Bananas has a black hairy one so it should be OK for you to view his.
Mr Bananas , will you post a photo?
Or maybe one of those course Baboon bottoms.
I agree. I photo is needed asap!
Hitch: A gorilla's skin is actually rather pale - it's the fur that makes us look dark. Ebony-butted African men seem to be popular with the ladies, so you better spend some time under the sun lamp, Hitchy.
Zuba: Good to hear from you! You're recovering well, I trust?
Jahooni: I gave you a picture of the girl with whiskers, ma'am. D'you want the hair off my butt as well?
Birdwatcher: Rugby players are famous for it, aren't they? I wonder why No Good Boyo never talks about rugby? It must be shame.
Boudica: I agree about forgiving the girl, ma'am, but I fear the man in the picture may not be the one referred to in the text.
Tom909: Thank you kindly, Sir. I learned everything I know about writing from humans. So by appreciating this blog you are really appreciating yourself. Which is good.
Has to be said, it's pretty funny, even if the poor householder will never open the door to the Avon lady ever again just in case!
The next card came from Bulgaria, the next from Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia (as was), and so eastward to China. A gap in his correspondence gave rise to concern for his welfare. Then a card arrived from San Francisco; another from the Grand Canyon, Dallas, New Orleans, and so up the eastern seaboard of the United States. At the Statue of Liberty Jack's photo was taken by a kind tourist and sent in a letter.
About ten months after his departure, he suddenly reappeared one morning, exactly in his old place in the front garden.
His face had been repainted in a slightly darker, sun-tanned hue. Otherwise he was entirely undamaged and unharmed by his adventure.
The police suspected an airline employee was responsible, but the culprit was never found.
I for one love a good joke there is nothing better than belly ache from a good giggle. Yet to achieve this by someone else's demise, takes away all the humor. It is a artful craft and treasure, when people in our life's have this gift to entertain us.
Saying that, I not sure if finding a naked man at my door, wouldn't have created a bit of a smirk about my face WHOOPS! there goes my reputation.
I see that my friend Nick encapsulated what I'm trying to say in far less words (isn't he a saint)?
Sorry I've wrote you a book, sad that you have visited my blog when all I'm doing at the moment is Friday 55s, but if you don't mind I will certainly be back to visit you.
Hitch: Does this mean the Hitch G-string is coming out of the closet?
Mermaid: I hope you take a baseball bat with you when you answer the door, Mermaid.
Jahooni: We taste of small insects! They're an acquired taste for humans!
Dennis: A most excellent prank, which I may have heard of before. I admire the planning and hard work that went into it.
Saintly Nick: I think his mistake was to start salivating before the food was on the table.
Mutley: Practical jokes are fine as long as they are tasteful and harmless. If you are incapable of making them so (?), by all means avoid them.
Queenie: Welcome Queenie, you're sexy. Try letting your hair down. Any naked man who dared knock on your door should be placed in stocks. I loved your Friday 55 about 'Mother Nightie' and you'll always be welcome here.
Freelance: Hi, Freelance. I'll take your word for it!
DH: I think the gorilla mistook the tourist he collared for Reinhard Heydrich. There's quite a resemblance.
So hilarious! She didn't think so though and shaved my eyebrows off while I was asleep. Feck.
If you found Hitler asleep, what would you draw on his face? It wouldn't make much sense to do a 'tashe.