6 Office Pranks That Went Horribly Awry
Do you work in an office? I'm sorry you made that poor choice in life. Of course, if you work anywhere except on a rocket copter full of bosomy dinosaurs (which is where I do my writing, unless I'm on the toilet), then I pity your poor life choice. But that's not relevant right now. (P.S. I'm on the toilet.) What is relevant is that in any office, you need office prankage to make the crazy stay back 50 paces. Because oh man, when the crazy comes, you need to watch out. One time I worked at a non-profit in accounting, and it was kind of like having a person who doesn't much care for me balance in a callous fashion on my scrotum for eight hours a day, every single day. You can't deal with that. But on the other hand, you need to be careful with your office prankage, lest any of this shit happen and piss on your proverbial corn flakes.
Mail a Male
Everyone loves getting mail, because email sucks so hard. Don't you just hate opening your inbox and seeing that half of your emails are from stupid sites you subscribe to that never have anything important to say and the other half are from your dad, who's still in that Albanian brothel stealing Wi-Fi from a cafe down the street with a smartphone he's had hidden in his ass, begging for you to call the authorities?
Real mail brings with it a sense of accomplishment. A tree died to make that, and that ain't bad. Plus, who knows, maybe you won a million dollars and the ghost of Ed McMahon will bring it to your house and when he's there you can ask him what he thinks of the Paranormal Activity movies and he'll be all, "They suck balls, is what they do. Hey-yo!"
That said, a fellow in China, appreciating how awesome mail is, especially since it's kind of like a surprise in each and every envelope and package, decided to mail himself to his girlfriend at work for an awesome prank. The plan was probably that he would jump out just after she got back from lunch and sex her right on her desk in a way that would ensure that the Q key on the keyboard never worked properly again.
Instead, what happened was, after a buddy taped him up and a courier picked him up for a 30-minute trip to her workplace, the courier mixed up the boxes and our friend was stuck in his box for about three hours with very little air. By the time he showed up and was supposed to pop out all surprising-like, he'd already passed out.
At this point, you may have two critiques that I can address for you. The first: Why not make a breathing hole? Apparently this was some sturdy-ass cardboard, and as such, immune to the feeble pickings of an oxygen-deprived nitwit held within. That's why every time I get boxed up, I make sure I have a small etching tool and a vial of my own saliva to break down the bonds in the cardboard. Someone's going to be breathing pretty in the back of a warehouse, and that someone is this fella.
The second concern you may have: Why not call for help? Why not, indeed. The answer, from the man himself, was that he didn't want to spoil the surprise. Instead, he just cut off the oxygen supply to his own brain and probably doesn't remember math anymore. Surprise!
Back in 2010, Britain was preparing for a visit from the Pope. In Britain, things like this are overseen by what they call the Foreign Office. It's like a really helpful secretary, but for a whole country, and she never dresses in anything that shows off the goods because she's just metaphorical. Anyway, those Brits are a saucy bunch, so when they heard that the Pope was coming, a memo circulated around the Foreign Office listing ways the Pope could spend his time when he was visiting. A bit of a joke list, you might say. A bit of a list that wasn't meant to leave the office. But then it left the office. Shite. (That's how they swear over there. Crazy shits.)
Among the list's highlights were suggestions that the Pope open an abortion clinic or that they release a line of Pope Benedict condoms. To British newspapers, this sort of thing is horrible, even though everyone probably laughed and the same suggestions would appear in an article I would write had I thought of it first. "The 5 Most Hilarious Things the Pope Should Do on His Next Road Trip." In it, I'd specifically bait an easily baitable group of readers, maybe by outrageously mocking creationists, or Republicans, or someone else in an obvious troll fashion and wait to see if anyone notices. Not that I've done that before. It's just something I feel like trying sometime. Point is, who could get it up for a condom that had the Pope's face on it?
The linked article details the "crime" in about two paragraphs, then has a properly British bug up its ass for the remaining 12 or so, when in reality we all know that everyone would have thought this was funny if it had never gone public. But once it does, we must all pretend that papal abortions are tasteless. Such is the danger of the office prank.
They say that dentists have a high rate of suicide because, let's be honest, being a dentist is even worse than being a proctologist, because at least you can chat with people if you're an ass doctor. No one can say anything to a dentist except to scream like a deaf person as their jaws are misaligned by a person they look at with abject fear. The dentist is the closest thing we have to the boogeyman. It's surprising then that there are some dentists who have enough of a sense of humor to engage in office pranks, and then totally unsurprising to learn that, when they do pull pranks, they end in lawsuits.
Dr. Robert Woo was performing some dental work on an employee and decided that it would be pretty funny to implant boar tusks in her mouth while she was out. Before I continue, I want to take the opportunity here to point out that yes, that is absolutely funny. That's funny as shit.
Anyway, Woo's task was to implant two new teeth. He'd secretly had a temporary bridge made and shaped to look like boar tusks, because the family of the woman he was working on raised pigs. So he put in her piggy teeth and snapped a few photos. Then he put in the real teeth and all was well, until she happened upon the photos circulating around the office. She sued Woo, and he gave her $250,000 as a settlement before suing his insurance company for not covering it, which he then won. In fact, they had to pay him $750,000 plus expenses and the settlement, so you should probably always be putting boar tusks in people's heads -- it's a fast track to becoming a millionaire.
If you're like the rest of us, you recognize the innate hilarity of fire. It burns stuff, destroys stuff, and hurts like hell. It's like nature's Silly String. Any workplace prank involving fire has to be at least a third again as funny as one that only involves blunt objects and diseases of a venereal nature. Toss in some Australians, and you've got yourself a funny prank stew, baby.
In this case, a new kid at the olde mechanic shoppe was suffering some good-natured ribbing from three of his co-workers -- probably they called him things like "noob" and "greenhorn" and "boner pilot." And then they sprayed him with brake fluid and set him on fire. Chortle!
The apprentice lived through his impromptu barbecue, and afterward the other three were prosecuted for not fully grasping what a prank is. Also for man arson, but the lack of prank understanding was kind of wrapped up in it. The judge in the case also made a statement that includes the line, "It's of concern you were told and formally warned that what you were doing was dangerous." This implies two things -- one, that someone knew that a torching was imminent and, at this place of business, simply warning your employees not to immolate each other is not enough to stop it from happening, and two, that these employees need a stronger influence than that of management to prevent them from lighting another man on fire. This wasn't an accident -- they planned it, were caught about to do it, were told not to do it, then did it anyway. And at no point did they fully appreciate or understand that lighting a dude on fire might not be the best idea. And that's why everyone is afraid of Australia -- because even comedy will kill you there.
The Wedding Pranksters
Picture it: You work in construction, so you're a bit of a tough, rough-around-the-edges kind of guy. Your co-worker is going to get married soon, and before he does, you want to pull off a good prank on him as a way to say congratulations, and we, being manly men, can't understand feelings or intimacy, so we want to emotionally and physically scar you to show that we care. What do you do?
If you answered, "Engage in a chain of increasingly Saw-like forms of torture," then you heard this story once already! The day before his wedding, Gianni Catanzaro was grabbed by two co-workers and immediately plowed right in his nuts. So far, so hilarious. They then used duct tape to tape him to some fencing by his wrists and ankles. Then all of his clothes were cut off down to his underwear. At this point, the prank was still known as an Abu Ghraib Surprise Party. Then they started pelting him with eggs. And then they sprayed the floor with gasoline and set it on fire. While Catanzaro struggled to get away from the fire, duct taped to a fence as he was, he managed to get loose enough to actually fall into the fire. And he ended up spending so much time in the hospital recovering from his burns that he had to cancel his wedding and his honeymoon. And he lost his job. We can only assume that the pranksters planned to also bury his elderly parents alive and maybe pimp out his wife to dockworkers before forcing her to chain smoke her way to cancer as a final act, but the duct tape giving way ruined it for them.
In case you were wondering, yes, this also happened in Australia.
That Escalated Quickly
Because Australia is obviously a hub of good choices, let's stay back there for another prank. This one starts in Leave It to Beaver fashion with a blue-collar prankster gluing together a few screws so that, when his co-workers reached for them, they'd be hard to pick up. That is a 100 percent perfectly mundane office prank. We do the same thing in the Cracked office, only instead of screws, it's Adam Brown we glue down. Every time Kristi Harrison tries to make him dance, it's a slapstick rumpus we all have a good giggle over. I just mentioned two other columnists! It's like when The Golden Girls crossed over with Empty Nest. God, those were good shows.
This prank took a predictably Australian turn, however, when the victim of the prank tried to pick up the screws. Unable to do so, he approached the prankster. The prankster, perhaps basking in the glow of his own hilariousness, fired point blank at the other man with a nail gun. You guys remember that prank? The old "glue a screw, nail gun someone" prank? The nail went right into the other man's arm and fractured his humerus. Get it? His humerus! Because the prank was humorous! But really it probably hurt like hell. Don't shoot a guy with a nail gun.
The prankster's defense was that he didn't know that the nail gun's air supply was still connected, but as any fan of '80s soft rock knows, Air Supply is always there when you need it. It's inside every one of us. Even when we're all out of love.
Hey. You're welcome.