Pranks can be fun, but some folks assume that the sole criterion of a prank is that it comes at the expense of others. And in those cases, "friends playing a practical joke" quickly devolves into "unrepentant sociopaths entertaining themselves." Here are some recent examples of that second thing.
#4. A Cop Leads His Co-workers on a High-Speed Chase
Michael Milo Arbulic decided to prank his fellow officers of the North Vancouver Police Department by blazing through a speed trap at more than 37 miles per hour over the posted speed limit at 1 o'clock in the morning, because Arbulic was one of those kids we knew growing up whose idea of an April Fools' Day joke was to punch people in the chest and say "April Fools!"
"April Fools -- you're adopted."
He led patrol cars on a high-speed chase for over 3 miles before finally pulling over and identifying himself, although we assume he had to shout in order to be heard over his pursuing co-workers' urgent commands to put his hands in the air lest he be filled with more bullets than beads in a rainstick.
Rather than showering him in waves of laughter and congratulatory high-fives, Arbulic wound up getting reported for his antics and fined $700.
#3. A Friend of General Petraeus Sends a Fake Grenade to His Office
A friend of General David Petraeus recently mailed the former CIA director a novelty grenade as a joke, because apparently Petraeus has friends, and fake grenades are a thing that remind those friends of him.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
He was originally going to send him a sex scandal, but shipping was too expensive.
Since Petraeus had long since reached the echelon of employment that excuses him from opening his own mail, the admittedly hilarious dummy explosive was received by his secretary, who immediately called the police because it looked like a real grenade, and killing Petraeus with a hand grenade is something a terrorist would do.
Police evacuated the entire building and shut down 58th Street in New York City before determining that the grenade was fake. Petraeus' office didn't issue a comment, presumably because they were too doubled over with glee at this rib-tickling knee slapper to catch their breath.
#2. Women Stage Their Friend's Kidnapping to Celebrate Her Birthday
Two British women arranged for one of their friends to be kidnapped by an entertainment company that specializes in whimsical birthday abductions to celebrate her 40th year. They took her for a day out on the town in Portugal, and two men came roaring up in a white van and flung her inside like Jame Gumb from Silence of the Lambs.
"Yeah, we put the lotions in her gift basket."
The subtle complexity of this joke was lost on the onlookers in the crowded public square where the "kidnapping" took place, and it took exactly zero seconds for someone to call the police, who quickly arrived and arrested everyone involved because it looked like a motherfucking kidnapping. It is unclear why the women didn't just mark the occasion with margaritas at Applebee's like every other 40-year-old.
#1. A Man Chases Strangers Around With a Chainsaw While Dressed Like Jason Voorhees
Vitaly Zdorovetskiy almost got shot last year while pretending to be a zombie and was arrested for telling a random stranger that they had 60 seconds to flee the area before his briefcase exploded.
Undeterred, Zdorovetskiy decided to give the world one more chance to grasp his Andy Kaufman level of genius. So, he grabbed a hockey mask and a chainsaw and started chasing people around in the middle of the night. Totally random people. Who had no idea who he was or that the chainsaw's blade had been removed.
The only thing shittier than this prank are the pants of its victims.
Once again, these people were total strangers who had no idea they were being filmed. For all they knew, Vitaly was an undead murder juggernaut. He may not have meant anyone any real harm, but pranks like this have an excellent chance of going down in history as "the most hilarious way anyone has ever gotten shot by the police."
Official departmental procedure for this situation is "bullets."