Everyone knew that one big kid in school who was constantly playing "pranks" that simply involved physically hurting other people ("You just punched me in the kidneys!" "Ha! Gotcha!"). Well, those kids grow up, and often go their entire lives without ever discovering the difference between a "practical joke" and "randomly harming other people just because." Fortunately for them, an entire industry has emerged to help them raise their game.
6Ultimate PC Prank Master
The Ultimate PC Prank Master is a $29.95 USB device that, when connected to any computer, proceeds to cripple it in several random and annoying ways.
Gadgets and Gear
The only way that USB drive could be more obnoxious is if it were full of bootleg Dane Cook routines.
It's basically like having a particularly malicious virus, so really you can achieve the same result by taking a regular USB drive to a public library computer and then lending it to a friend. Presumably this was created by someone who went through a devastating malware attack and thought "Hilarious!"
"More people need to go through this, for no good reason."
The available "pranks" include jerking the cursor around, turning caps lock on and off indiscriminately and typing nonsensical snippets of text at random times, essentially recreating the experience of being 14 and on MySpace all over again. You can control the frequency with which these things happen through a series of buttons on the device itself, which also features a convenient time delay setting so that it doesn't start working immediately after you volunteered to clean the 10 years of dust off the back of your friend's desktop computer.
Gadgets and Gear
This is the perfect hiding place, because nobody knows what half those cables do.
So, apparently, at some point the victim is supposed to find this piece of destructive technology you've secretly placed in their machine, say "Oh, you card!" and ... hand it back to you? Because if he, say, angrily steps on it and tells you to fuck off forever, you just lost $30 on a pretty shitty joke.
And if Proposition #297 passes, most of the skin on your back.
The device won't press "Enter" or close unsaved documents, because that would be too easy -- it's not meant to get your friends fired, it's only supposed to drive them to suicide. And hey, if you can get them to pick up the phone and dial the number for the suicide hotline, that makes them the perfect target for the next "hilarious" joke ...
5Wrong Number Generator
The Wrong Number Generator does exactly what the name implies -- it makes the victim's phone call the wrong number. So it's a simple gadget designed to exasperate not one, but dozens of people at the same time: the "friend" whose phone it's installed on, the multiple strangers said friend will accidentally interrupt whenever he tries to make a call and the phone company employee who will eventually get yelled at over a nonexistent problem. It's a miserable time all around, for only $89.
Most courts consider owning one of these as proof of sociopathy.
This is the type of joke that might seem funny for a second or two before you consider the potentially disastrous or even tragic consequences. It's an innocuous-looking piece of black plastic that, when attached to a phone line, randomly changes the number that was dialed to a different one. Whether the caller is trying to urgently reach their sick mother or simply wants to engage in some anonymous phone sex, the result will be the same: They'll end up talking to someone other than the person they called.
"Why yes, I am wearing panties right now."
And just to make sure the victim doesn't catch on, the extremely easy to hide device is programmed to let the right number go through 25 percent of the time -- it's all coldly calculated to make victims question their own sanity and/or ability to dial. The only number that is never blocked is 911, which is probably just a security measure in case someone catches you installing this thing and deservedly beats the crap out of you.
"I'm sorry, sir, but our department doesn't waste manpower on people who had it coming."
This is supposed to be "for recreational purposes only," but the real reasons behind it become more apparent when you consider that the same company also offers a Disconnected Number Generator that does the opposite: It blocks all incoming calls and plays a "You have reached a number that is disconnected" message to anyone calling in. What exactly is the joke there?
Even the product description reads more like it was written by Dr. Doom or, at least, his understudy: "Just imagine the incredible havoc this could create. The potential consequences of this device being installed on a business telephone line are even more staggering."
You're only allowed to use words like "havoc" and "staggering" if you have a steel mask.
Of course, if you really need to reach someone, the solution is simple: Just use a cellphone. Unless the prankster also bought ...