The Saratoga Sun -

Hand-me-down pranks


There are loads of fun (and semi-abusive) things most guys teach their kids.

Ever hear of a Native-American Burn?

Well, neither have I since they used to be called Indian Burns.

But that’s rant for when I can get my ducks in a row to tackle “political correctness”.

Anyway, my father taught me the trick which, if properly performed, turns the affected area red and burns temporarily.

It’s great sadistic fun! If you are not aware of how to do this ask an old guy. He’ll probably be happy to show you.

Then there’s “Fuzzy Wuzzy”.

To pull this one off you have to get your victim in a headlock and grind the knuckles of your free hand back and forth into their skull while reciting the following poem:

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.

Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy was he?

Some people put a “very” into the last sentence.

This is WRONG!

Putting “very” in loses the phonetic balance the short commentary bears.

It is supposed to sound like: “Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy wuzzy?”.

Sorry, had to put that one straight.

There’s “Odd or Even” in which you rip hair out of someone’s arm or leg1 and ask “odd or even?”. This game is usually perpetrated among friends since by the time males have hair on their bodies they are usually in school and surrounded by other teen boys keen to get in on the barbarous revelries.

There are also “Noogies”, “Got Your Nose”, and the “Fart Game2” to name but a few other of the physical pranks boys and men pull on each other.

Then there are my favorites, the psychological tortures:

The Elevator

The timing on this has to be perfect. You, personally, have to be “primed” while you and a buddy head to an elevator that either is, or is in the process of being, packed with people.

As soon as the doors close on what is hopefully a relatively long elevator ride, you fart. It must be silent and it must be deadly. Give it a second, look at your buddy with a wild look of distaste and exclaim “OH, DUDE!”

You can “remember the time …” him forever with this one.

Expect to be gotten back in the end.

I unintentionally pulled a variation of this one on a friend of mine named Hazel and her boyfriend at the time (and really long-time friend of mine) Phil.

Hazel was in the hospital with a breathing malady and Phil and I went to visit. Phil was visiting with her on one side of the Hazel-only occupied double room when I felt the pressure come upon me.

I didn’t want to torture a woman with breathing difficulties, so I walked to the other half of the room and pretended to look at something while something that smelled like it had died crept from my body.

About a minute later, in a shocking display of suddenly having air, Hazel screams “PHIL!” and slaps him.

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stop laughing for quite a while.

The Board-Stretcher

This one is normally pulled in the middle of a project involving wood3.

The puller announces that “Damn, I’ve cut this board too short!”

It doesn’t matter if the board in question actually has been overcut — but if you have, it’s always fun to take your misdirected anger out on someone else4.

If you want to play it up, you can spend some time looking around for your board-stretcher.

In the end though, you will end up sending the unsuspecting dupe to the lumber yard or hardware store for the aforementioned lumber lengthening device.

The advice that “You have to ask for them. They keep them in the back” is essential.

I know there’s no such thing as a board-stretcher. You may know there’s no such thing as a board stretcher.

The important thing is that your local hardware salesman knows that there is no such thing as a board stretcher—and can hopefully keep a straight face as they direct you to a series of other employees who might “know where we have one left”. If it is played right, the pullee can make it home with the message that the hardware store will have to order one.

More likely the prankee will just get laughed at immediately upon asking.

Blinker Fluid

This is a modified version of the “board stretcher” and involves being humiliated at the auto parts counter instead of a hardware store.

The Snipe Hunt

This prank begins by building up the huge amount of fun you can have hunting “the wild snipe” and describing how the intrepid snipe hunter captures the elusive quarry by standing very still in the woods with a burlap sack (to catch the snipe) and giving the snipe mating call: “Koo-Ree, KOOOO-REEEE, kooree, kooree, kooree!5”. Eventually, having heard all the fun snipe-hunting stories from other “credible” persons,6 the target is invited to go along on the next hunt. Picture a carload of men and one boy gleefully holding their burlap sacks and swilling beer as they head to the suitably remote7 hunt site. The pullee is then shown to the appropriate spot and told to begin the call “as soon as we’re out of sight”. The out of sight command is given so the victim doesn’t catch on as the others explode in mirth on their way back to town.

I get the humor in these jokes. I have pulled some of them on youth with the intention of “toughening them up”.

I also see the slightly sadistic and potentially harmful side to these jokes.8

Now when I pull pranks I try to weigh any possible humor against any possible damage (both mental and physical).

Just remember, if you pull these jokes on inexperienced youth, they may someday turn into something completely annoying like a graphic artist or newspaper columnist.

1. Or chest, if they have any and you can get to it. I would say back too — but eww!

2. Men sometimes share this hilarious game with their gals. This version involves covers being pulled over heads though.

3. Have you noticed that anything men can “bond” doing, there is a juvenile prank for?

4. Men suck sometimes ... alright, a lot of times.

5. The call varies based on who is the narrator of the joke.

6. They will most likely only be “credible” to the young and impressionable.

7. The amount of remote-ness is based on the amount of cruelty intended.

8. Maybe not the Fart Game. Farts are funny.


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