This week on Car Talk, we shared a few of your favorite that you emailed us. You can hear them right here.
But, we know there's always another great practical joke lurking out there. What's your favorite? We'd love to hear it! Share it here, and thanks.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers
Years ago in college (Tucson, AZ), I drove a bright yellow 1970 Mustang Mach 1. The car was in showroom condition and I hand waxed it every day. A good friend of mine, Steve, was very envious of the car and always begged me to sell it to him. (BTW- I still have the car)
One day Steve located and bought a red 1969 Mach I. After driving the car home, he parked it and had to leave for class. He handed me the keys and asked me to check it out. The car had been repainted but otherwise looked pretty good.
I decided to play a practical joke on Steve; I bought a pint of upper valve lubricant and poured in into the carburetor.
When Steve returned from class, I told him there was a little problem with his car; (he didn’t know anything about engines) I told him that the dealer had advanced the timing on the engine and when I corrected it, it started burning oil.
Steve jumped in the car, turned the key, started the engine and a jet stream of white smoke poured out that was beyond belief. As i stood on his front lawn watching him peel away, he drove straight through a stop sign and almost broadsided a police car that was responding to an emergency. I couldn’t see much though because the entire neighborhood was blanketed in a white fog. The police car stopped in the middle of the intersection, one officer got out of the car presumably to get Steve’s license plate number and the other proceeded a few houses up the street. The officer that stood in the intersection was barely discernible in the fog. I could hear Steve’s car in the distance because the exhaust was rather loud. He turned back toward his house and as he approached the intersection the office standing there signaled for him to stop. At that point the exhaust fog caught up with Steve’s now stopped car and the two were encased in a thick white fog.
The officer that responded to the house up the block, arrested an intruder (The owner had caught him breaking in and had been holding him at gunpoint).
Guess the intruder at gunpoint wasn’t as serious as Steve’s reckless, polluting driving. Steve received numerous tickets.
One that was pulled on me on my wedding day was someone borrowing my car keys on the pretext he had left his camera in my car. He proceeded to fill the defroster outlets (they were round on a Dodge dart) with confetti.
When we drove off on our honeymoon, it was raining and I put the defrosters on and was met with a hail of confetti. This stuff periodically blew out for the next 6 months, albeit in smaller qauntities.
I had a patient request a left-handed urinal from the new nurse’s aide in training. When she went to fetch one I informed her that she had to go to Neurological unit and request one, since it was a neurological issue. I used some fancy words to convince her. I was laughing so hard anticipating her reception at the neuro unit. She was mad at first, but bore the joke well, and at the end of the day even said she wanted to work on our unit, since we really cared about our patients. The hospital is a great place for initiations and pranks.
When we lived very rural, I had the UPS driver buy some ice cream in town and pack it in a box. A couple days earlier I had casually dropped the set up to my husband, informing him that my brother was sending him a surprise. When the ice cream arrived on April Fool’s Day, he didn’t put two and two together. He really thought the ice cream had traveled cross country and arrived frozen without even being in a styrofoam container! When I commented that the ice cream wasn’t even soft, he made the driver’s efforts worthwhile by stating “UPS is really good”.
thinking of today’s discussion of multiple horns reminds me of the fifties - an era when the air conditioning consisted of rolling the windows down. i often towed a small utility trailer behind my 1950 mercury and the rear of the trailer was equipped with a very loud model a ooooogah horn. when passing another car - with its window rolled down - out on the highway, i would wait until the trailer was alongside the other car and let go with several blasts of the ooooogah - for “let the next car pass!”
what car? where? it would have driven sgt. mcmillan wild
Years ago on a night out in Seapoint, near Cape Town, a large group of us went for a meal at a local all-night restaurant after a particularly heavy night at the pub. Toward the end of the dinner one of the group passed out with his face in the remains of his desert. After settling the rather large account (there were about ten of us) we recruited the waitress to help us pull a joke on our sleeping friend … We left the table and hid, out of sight but able to see our friend, while the waitress went and shook him awake. As he groggily straightened himself and asked for something with which to clean his face the waitress handed him the bill for the entire table and explained that we had left over half an hour ago and told her that he would be paying the bill! Lot of laughs (muffled as best we could) from us, as he tried to bluster his way out, explaining there must be some mistake, offering to wash dishes, etc. The waitress kept it up and faked anger really well (give that girl an Oscar!), saying if he didn’t pay it would be deducted from her wages, until he was nearly in tears, at which point we couldn’t hold back our guffaws any longer and burst out, rolling in laughter, to put an end to his misery.
Years ago I worked in a cube farm at a insurance co. - they didn’t like me much because I was an alien - a new creature that knew PC computing And their ancient Mainframe computing ways. Everyone despised me. I was a dumbass farm boy and a joke. But, they knew that I was the incarnate of the inevitable. My cubemates befriended me but also made sure that I was placed in the most undesireable cube on the floor. THEY KNEW that I would get every nasty smell on the floor blown down on me (including theirs) by the badly ventilated building - And they lived nextdoor. I worked incredibly hard but they resented me. It took a while but I realized that they were really stinky Old Farts that had worked together for 20+ years. They would give up the gas and then walk away leaving me with the results. Well; Being a smart young gassy lad myself and a good comeback artist I would ‘Save Up’ until they went elsewhere. Then I would go sit flatly in their fabric coated foam cushioned office chair and LET LOOSE as I slowly stood up and walked away. When they came back and sat down they got the full effect of the foam rubber and it’s release of a personalized rebuke. I got them back many times without them realizing that they were not the culprits of their own stinkey selves!!! Great days in the Grid!
Never underestimate an old Farm Boy!
We made our own entertainment - look for more posts.
One night with a bunch of friends were Racoon hunting in my 50 Willy’s Overland we had let the dogs go and were driving around listening for the dog’s reports (calls = barking). We listened for many long minutes for the dogs, hearing nothing, decided to drive on down the road. The old Willys only ran about 50 top speed and not very well anyway. One of our compadres was not the sharpest pencil in the box and I decided to pull a ‘Yank/Prank’ - on all and pulled the Choke knob out and waited for it to sputter and die. Everyone else knew what was Up except Dave. We all discussed and cussed and decided that Dave was the one that should walk to the nearest house and ask for help. With a lot of argument against the group he got out, slammed the door and started walking down the dark road and disappeared in the dark. All of the rest of us sat in the old Willeys laughing and talking and waited several minutes until I pushed in the choke, turned on the lights, started the old Willeys, and watched poor old Dave turn around in the distance and then stare and cuss at the now running car coming towards him.
Bless him, He’s still a good ol boy.
Just a military fubar (kind of a p/j):
My brother was an enlistee in 67 in the V. War days right out of high school in the US Air Force as his Father did in the USAAC (WWII). After completing his service and his achieving rank he exited the military around 1970. After a short time as a civilian in a piss poor economy he re-upped and was sent to report immediately to a base that he had been to before. Upon arrival the (?) assignment officer told him to report to a barracks (late at night) for the night. Arriving at the barracks he was refused by the Dept. Officer On Duty DIC) because he had Long Hair and did’t have proper papers. He argued and was refused. (OK this should be proper procedure during the war = ok) So he went back to the office and Officer In Charge called the barracks and told the Seargeant to bunk the man for the night regardless. It happend. Very early the next day my brother mustered and went to the barber and obtained the proper Tech Seargeant uniform and emblems of his rank and returned to the barracks on time for muster.
When the same SGT saw him the next morning in the barracks (my bro) he had to stop and top salute and ask Yes Sir What are your orders?
The T.S. (my bro) replied. Get your greasy hair cut and in order and present yourself!
I Salute ALL Military Vets and (Air America and S.E. Asia(nonrecognized), Medics, Battle Non-Coms and all Patriots.
Some years ago, at my brother’s wedding, I switched the wires to two cylinders on his Karman Gia. That was an old Jeep trick. It should idle but not be able to move the car. Well that Gia was not a sensitive as a Jeep. He was getting on the freeway before we could stop him. Yea it slowed the car down a little, but it sure did not keep him from driving it.
Note: I suggest this on a modern car, who knows what damage it might do.
Remember Freshman orientation at M.I.T.? They told us “Look to your right, look to your left, one of those guys won’t be here a year from now.” I was the guy on your left. I flunked out in my Sophomore year. But I was part of some great hacks while I was there. I hardly need to tell you guys that a hack is a practical joke.
I lived in East Campus Dorm, which is two parallel buildings with a grassy space between them. One day we woke up to see a wooden fence across the end of that space, and the news that some ungodly sum of money had been spent by the student government to build that totally unnecessary fence. I have no idea if it is true, but we all assumed that the president of the student government was getting an early start in Massachusetts politics by using somebody else’s money to build something expensive and useless and taking a generous contribution for himself from the contractor.
One night, we awoke to the whine of air raid sirens. We rushed to the window. Searchlights were playing back and forth across the grass. The sirens continued. Then, out of the darkness, came someone dressed as a POW. He ran, dodging and weaving, across the grass. Sounds of machine gun fire split the night. He made it all the way to the fence, where he died spectacularly trying to climb up and escape.
Was you there, Charlie?
Several years ago I found myself living back at home with my parents. The night before April Fools Day, I reversed the hinges on the door to the refrigerator, but did not switch the handle. When my mother tried to get something for breakfast, she discovered that the door wouldn’t budge.
I’ve read about some legendary MIT pranks, but we had our fair share at Michigan Tech too. One favorite was taping cardboard across the hall side of a door frame, and packing snow between it and the door. Nothing wakes you up on your way to the showers quite like 60 lb of snow dumped on your bare feet…
Another I heard from an older classmate: The long runs of radiator pipe that heat the dorm rooms pass through holes in the walls. Well it so happens that these holes are just a tad oversized - enough so to accomodate, for example, a length of tubing pilfered from Chem lab. Along with some clever trash can modifications, this tube can be used to deposit water into a neighboring room. If one plugs the door well enough, I’m told a single night is time enough to turn a dorm room into a wading pool. Hey water’s harmless right?
Not so harmless… before they were banned, we used to construct some incredible lofts and decks in our rooms. And as good (over-)engineering students, we built them TIGHT! …Tight enough to stay together even after all the bolts had been removed… Nothing says ‘gotcha’ quite like jumping into a bed completely lacking fasteners of any kind.
Not really a prank but we had a young mechanic that two days in a row left the oil out of two diffs. Well as punishment he was taken off the"line" and told to work with the grumpy old maintiance man for a day. Well this punishment backfired on the Manager as the kid was told to check the oil level in all the in ground hoists (you get it, he left oil out so he was made to check oil levels). Well on one lift this idiot did not relieve the air pressure first and he was using a 1/2 impact to unscrew the lift dipstick. This dipstick looked like a two foot long dart and the air pressure sent it into the cieling and the oil gushed out and about 2 gallons went into the car sitting next too the lift. So much for trying to teach him a lesson. This young mechanic really could have gotten hurt badly if that dart hit him, sometimes this is the result of pratical jokes.
I have pulled the plug wire switcheroo on a mechanic that would not stop whisteling constantly, it was fist fight time but it got broke up (perhaps he was too attached to his 911)
While attending university I worked on a pipeline crew laying 26" pipeline. It was incredably hard and dangerous work but the practical jokes were great. There were always young guys on the crews who were “green” as could be and very susceptable. There were some really big guys (i.e. retired pro wrestlers, football lineman, etc) so one joke was particular easy to pull. Someone would start the con: I bet you that Bill (a huge guy) can pick up any three guys on this crew (and he probably could). So green guy would be allowed to pick two guys, usually the biggest and he would be the third. So they would lie on the ground and in order for the guy to pick them up they would have to intertwine their arms and legs with the “greenie” in the middle. Well there he was pinned to ground and it was no problem to unzip his britches and fill his shorts with heavy duty bearing grease and since we were miles from the city, he would have to go all day like that. He would usually come up swinging unfortunately he had picked the biggest guys to hold him down, he was in out of luck.
The other one was to pick someone with a really nice hat and the deal would go: bet you can’t hit this can with an ax if you are blindfolded. Of course he had to take off his hat to put on the blindfold and someone was gladly hold it for him. Once blindfolded it was easy to replace the can with his favorite hat and he would gleefully chop up his own hat. Oh, bad, bad…
One guy at work had a variation on that first joke. Instead of filling the middle guy’s pant with stuff, the guy doing the “lifting” would act like he’s unzipping his own pants. I never seen a skinny guy try getting up so fast, almost pulling the larger guys holding him down up with him.
When I was an onry kid, my dad was testing the tail lights on the car by grounding them to the bumper or something weird. Somehow i knew that he would receive a jolt when the key was turned. He told me to just bump the ignition; ya right. I cranked and held while my dad is screaming bloody murder behind me. I about wet myself I was laughing so hard. It still makes me smile many decades later.
A very good practical joke is to have click in one room and clack in the other. Click goes into clacks room and discreetly puts mayonnaise all over the ear piece of clacks phone.Clcik goes back to his own room and calls clack, waiting for clack to get an ear full. We did this when I worked for the railroad. It was great to get a guy two or three night is a row.
When working on the railroad I would wait for a co-worker to get a new girlfriend. I would find out the name then give co-worker a note that Sally called and wants him to call back. I would always list the number of The Colorado State Hospital which is a hospital for the criminally insane. I loved to see the look on their face when the operator answered, Colorado State Hospital.