At Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wa., I knew a guy who had some sort of ugly Detroit iron, like a '57 Plymouth. He wanted to sell it, & put ads all over town, but only got one response, from a guy he couldn’t stand. He didn’t want to sell a car he’d loved, but needed the money, so a deal was struck. He was supposed to deliver the car one day, and before he left the house, a friend showed up who’d just gotten back from fishing. Among the sea life the guy brought back was a mudshark(aka dogfish), which was the car’s nickname. When the friend heard who The Mudshark was being sold to, he cae up with an idea. They lifetd the car up, & placed the fish over the transmission, then ran wire leader through the critter’s eyes, wrapped the wire around the fish a few times, then ran the wire through the fish tail, and cinched it down. They then delivered the car to its new owner. After a few days, there was no chance The Mudshark would get dented in parking lots, since no one parked nearby. After a week or two, if the car was parked on the street, people would cross to the other side of the street due to the bouquet. Eventually, the fish dropped off, but the car was last seen abandoned on a side street. My friend said he realized his joke was too extreme, and that seeing his poor beloved car sitting there forlorn was like seeing an ex-girlfriend…
That is a story based on a Walter Mathaw movie.
Good comeback, except that the Walter MATTHAU movie you’re thinking of is “Grumpy Old Men”, which came out in the late 90’s, while this occurred in 1971 or '72
The best “practical joke” was a situation I was a aware of that is similar to that in the movie “Stand and Deliver”. We “stole” a good friend and head football coach’s International Scout plow truck. It was then taken to a body shop and “de-rusted” and repainted the school colors, complete with the helmet striping down the middle and logo on the sides. He was under the impression it was loaned to a friend for a camping trip; something he did willingly for almost anyone. It cost a bundle but was well worth it.
“Be true to your school!”…and there’s no way he could complain
One night I was working late at the tire shop I worked at. Some guy and his two boys came in in a pickup truck for an oil change. I got the work order and keys and went out to the lot to bring it in. As I sat down in the driver’s seat I felt something under me. Here someone had left a small animal trap on the driver’s seat.
It clamped on my work trousers so I just pulled it off and tossed it on the floor. I didn’t even know or care that it was a practical joke. I just wanted to get the guy’s oil changed so I could go home.
Later when I turned the work order in up at the counter the two kids were giggling. Here they had thought their Dad was gonna be the next one to get in the driver’s seat so they had set it for him. When I realized what was going on I started cracking up. Nice way to finish up the evening!
One based on the old log chain around the rear axle happened here quite a few years back; and on a cop car no less. There was an all night cafe at a main intersection and a large empty lot across the street that was formerly occupied by the Dodge dealer who had moved into new digs a mile or so away. This lot was dark at night, wide open, and had a large welded 6" pipe rail down the back side.
This cafe was a hang out for the cops (most of whom had no business with a badge or gun) and the cops often parked in the empty lot across the street. This left the cafe parking for regular customers and the cops free reign to their cruisers if they had to bug out in a hurry.
Sometimes the cops parked facing the rail and sometimes they backed up to it. One night there were about 5 cruisers sitting there and someone parked around the corner, sneaked up to the rail, and ran a log chain from the rear axle of a backwards facing cruiser to the pipe rail, which was firmly embedded in concrete.
Eventually the cops assigned to that cruiser exited the cafe, took off, and were instantly slammed to a halt. Both cops hit the dashboard (no airbags and 3 point harnesses then) but were not seriously hurt due to the low speed.
In this case the rear axle was not yanked from underneath the car but it did pull it sideways and caused some suspension damage. The rail did not budge an inch.
Mythbusters tried diligently to pull the chain trick off using the same type car as in the movie. They were unable to do get the axle to come out from under the car.