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This is a question Messing With Their Head

Gaslighting, mindfucks, call it what you will - what subtle ways have you messed with people? The pettier or more subtle the better.

(, Thu 16 Apr 2015, 14:58)
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pearoast
My dad was a bit of a cunt. I remember one year as a kid he asked my mother what she wanted for her birthday. She jokingly said he might as well get her a new pan so she can cook his pasta in it. He took her to her word and on the morning of her birthday he presented a pan shaped present wrapped in happy birthday paper and all hell broke loose. He got her something else pretty sharpish but it was never forgotten

Years later it turned out he hadn't just bought her a new pan after all, he had bought her a set of pans. Six in total, each slightly smaller than the next - they stacked into each other.

Eventually she calmed down and the time came for us to chuck the old pan (loose handle) and use "The new pan" instead. Dad took great pride in saying it was a useful present after all and despatched the old one with the wonky handle to the bin. I think she might have taken a swing at him with it at some time during the proceedings.

Of course after two weeks "the new pan" was substituted (in the dead of night) for the next size down by my dad who had hidden the set in the loft. Two more weeks later and the next smallest pan was taken down from the loft and replaced the previous. 3 months later she was down to the milk pan, insisting all along that it must be the heat shrinking the metal.

Of course this became a topic of intense discussion with everyone and anyone she knew even for years after. Quite frankly she's never been the same since.
(, Thu 16 Apr 2015, 15:51, Reply)
Large Family photo
Friend of mine posted a picture of a family gathering on Facebook. Later, I found he had printed and framed said picture and it was now on display on his mantelpiece.
It only seemed right that I downloaded it, edited it in Photoshop, had it developed and swapped it for the one he had on display. Consequently, there were an extra three random strangers in the group after that, including Richard Nixon standing at the back. His brother now sported a pork-pie hat and his late father is now a good 4 inches shorter.
9 months later, he can tell there's something not quite right but can't quite put his finger on it.
(, Sun 19 Apr 2015, 20:04, 1 reply)
Anal graphic designer
No, I don't know if he was good at drawing arseholes.
Another mate of mine worked for a graphic design company, in the office a designer who had a huge array of pens, all neatly arrayed in his drawer, and very very protective of them.
For weeks they gradually tightened a nut on the drawer runners, till it required quite a pull to open the drawer, the knack of which the victim got.
The payoff, one night they removed the drawer stops, graphite lubricated the runners. Following morning pens hurled through the office along with a disintegrating drawer.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 12:02, 3 replies)
Snooker
When I was a student a couple of (20) years ago, my housemates and I were smoking 'erb and watching snooker. One of them was really into snooker, and would make comments about it every few seconds.
This time we quietly taped it. When he went off to the toilet we would rewind it 20 minutes or so, and start playing it again. He only noticed after about 3 hours when he realised he had said "ooh blinder!" three times when Hendry performed exactly the same trick shot.
Then we all ate some galaxy and fell asleep and that's the end.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 15:35, 8 replies)
Popetastic
A mate (same one as the graphic design gag) used to go past a 'catholic repository' (a shop that sells tacky religious stuff) on his way to work.

Each morning he would drop in and buy a postcard of the pope. Eventually shop owner started to interrogate him as to why. Friend would smile a beatific smile, and say he liked them.

Eventually he was banned from the shop.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 14:20, 8 replies)
Resistors
You need a little knowledge of electronics to get this one.

My uncle used to work at Plessey. The jokers there would get liquorice comfits, and paint coloured bands round them. Then they'd gently drill a hole in each end, and insert a wire, then very gently solder them into a circuit board.
(, Sun 19 Apr 2015, 21:44, 2 replies)
Steve
I work with a guy called Steve. Steve is a very quiet chap but he has his moments of what I personally like to think of as genius.

Steve works in an office with a woman who is a complete pest. Total pain in the arse. Not only is she completely useless she's annoying with it, speaks with her mouthful, talks over you all the time, doesn't understand the concept of having a conversation requires there to be times when her mouth isn't moving.

This lady likes to make lots of personal calls on her mobile that can last an hour sometimes. These calls are a constant source of annoyance for the people that share the staff room with her. Steve has taken it upon himself that almost every time she is making one of these calls he stands up after a few minutes goes to the staff room door for a minute, pretends to have a conversation with someone, calls the ladies name and he is waved away while she finishes her conversation. When she hangs up and asks who was at the door he says "oh I didn't get a name, he was tall scruffy looking" or something similar to this.

She then spends the entire day stopping any student that vaguely matches the description given. She will continue to look for this person for a couple of days and then she just assumes it mustn't have been important. Until the following week when the imaginary student turns up again.
(, Sun 19 Apr 2015, 16:41, Reply)
If I see my son heading up to his bedroom with headphones, I get that kettle on pretty sharpish I can tell you.

(, Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:04, Reply)
Intercept that, you twat.
Don't think this would work these days but sometime in the mid-90s a friend of mine was getting abusive phone calls from the family of her ex-husband. She knew who it was but couldn't prove it. (This is house phone, pre-mobileocene period).

I went to hers late one night and found her in tears - apparently they'd been at it again and she'd reached breaking point. Just then the phone rang. 'It's them', she said. 'I know it is.'

So on the spur of the moment I picked up the phone and in the most laconic, bored, Sarf London accent I could manage, said 'Hello, BT Interceptor. I have your details here - what number are you calling?'

It's amazing how silence over a phone can be so evocative. It was as if the wanker on the other end had stopped even breathing. Then there was a click.

I thought they'd probably try again - and they did. Twice. That was all, though - she never heard from them again. Result.

Would loved to have been a fly on that particular wall when I first answered the phone, though.
(, Tue 21 Apr 2015, 13:29, 13 replies)
one christmas eve, my brother's children were staying at my dad's house
and i got stuck babysitting so my brother and his wife could fuck off afternoon boozing.

i told the kids that the magic eye on my dad's burglar alarm sensor was a "santa-cam" and that santa was keeping a very careful eye on how they were behaving. it worked like a charm. every time one of them moved, that little red light went on, and they all froze.

they still eye those sensors with suspicion, a good couple of years later...
(, Mon 20 Apr 2015, 15:15, Reply)
Hello, Moto
Once, many incarnations ago, I worked for a large organisation in their vast, cavernous open-plan office in one of your major cities. My job was menial and tedious, even demeaning, to one such as I with my vast intellect and range of superior talents, but I needed the money, so I put up with it until something better came along. I was there for three months and after a only a week I was bored out of my Time Lord mind. So, to break the tedium, to entertain myself, I destroyed the mind of one of my work colleagues.

His name doesn't matter - let's call him Andy. It wasn't personal, he had done nothing to me, we didn't even work in the same team. I just picked him at random as my plaything. Andy was a young, fresh-faced chap with neat brown hair and a pleasant, cheerful face. He always wore crisp white shirts and pastel ties, a different shade each day. He was quiet, well-regarded, and good at his job. By the time I had finished him, he was a broken toy, fit only to be pitied, destined for a life of homelessness, prostitution, alcoholism and suicide.

How did I break him? It was simple, so so simple. Every time he walked past my desk, I would look him straight in the eye and say 'Hello, Moto' in a creaky comedy voice, as in the Motorola television advertisements of the time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOkgLQdyQOs/

That was all it took, over the course of three months, to dismantle a human being and send it to the scrap-heap of life.

The first time I did it, Andy looked surprised, and a little bit scared. After that, he smiled, obviously thinking it was a joke. After a week, he started raising his eyebrows and shooting me a look of disapproval. Then, after a few weeks, he started ignoring me, but I could see a little twitch in his left eye every time I intoned the magic words 'Hello, Moto.'

Then one day, as he approached, I was about to say 'Hello, Moto' when, before I had the chance, he said it to me. I simply reacted with a blank stare of incomprehension and watched the smile melt slowly from his face.

I was half-expecting his manager to come and have a word with me about my behaviour, but what could Andy say? 'Skagra keeps saying "Hello, Moto" to me and it's beginning to affect my performance.' He obviously felt too embarrassed to raise the issue. So on I went. Every time he passed my desk, I would look him in the eye and say, 'Hello, Moto.'

'Hello, Moto. Hello, Moto. Hello, Moto.'

He went back to ignoring me, or trying to ignore me, and the twitch got worse. After a month or so he took to scowling angrily and averting his face, his fists clenched hard.

After two months, this happened:

Andy approaches my desk.
Me: 'Hello, Moto.'
Andy: 'Look, can you stop this? Please?'
Me: 'Stop what?'
Andy: 'Saying fucking "Hello, Moto" each time I walk past!'
Me: 'I don't know what you're talking about.'
Andy: 'You do... Stop it. [Choking back a sob] Just stop it, right?
Me [as Andy walks off]: 'Hello, Moto.'

After that, he would flinch convulsively each time he walked past and I said 'Hello, Moto.' His once cheerful face took on a gaunt, haunted aspect. There were dark rings beneath his eyes and he was more often unshaven than not. His sick absences increased sharply and I heard gossip that he was drinking heavily. All this pleased me immensely and provided me with a welcome distraction from the tedium of my work.

It all came to a head one Friday. I didn't see the first act, but I did witness the denouement. Andy came in late and extremely hungover, and just before lunch, went to the toilet, never to return. He was found by an alarmed member of staff to have locked himself in one of the cubicles and was sobbing hysterically. His manager was fetched but all attempts to talk him down failed. Eventually, security guards were called in and they broke down the door only to find Andy curled up in the foetal position, his screaming face a mess of tears and snot, his trousers and boxer shorts round his ankles and the words 'Hello, Moto' smeared on the walls of the cubicle in his own excrement.

Andy was hauled shrieking from the cubicle by the two burly security guards and escorted out of the building, trousers still round his ankles, screaming 'HELLO, MOTO!' over and over again at the top of his voice. I watched with extreme satisfaction as the broken toy was dragged across the atrium and ejected from the building, never to return.

A week or so later I got a new and better job, which didn't require such distractions. Andy, I later found out, lost his job and his house and became a homeless alcoholic male prostitute and was arrested for smashing in the windows of a Motorola shop. He hung himself with his trouser belt in his prison cell.

LAIGHT8ERSZ, SWEEETIESZE!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(, Sun 19 Apr 2015, 13:07, 11 replies)
The Chicken Dance
[Time to haul this one out again]

I was once handed the opportunity to really blow someone's mind -- they were literally running in circles and flapping like a headless chicken...

A mate of mine had met a Californian girl, Catherine, while he was visiting relatives in Ireland. She was travelling around Europe, and arranged to come and stay with him when she came to the UK a few weeks later. She duly turned up, and was introduced to his disreputable friends (such as me) and depraved lifestyle. I got on well with her, and I was sad when it was time for her to go back to the US.

Then, on the day she was leaving, I got a call out of the blue with the offer of a month's work in Silicon Valley, if I could get there by the end of the week. This was entirely unexpected - I'd never been to the US before, and had no inkling that the job would come up. And by an even more bizarre coincidence, I'd be working the in same area that Catherine came from. And so an evil plan was hatched.

The first weekend after I arrived, I found my way to her address. She wasn't in, but once her flatmate had decided that this strange Englishman probably wasn't a mad axe murderer, she told me where Catherine was - a bar nearby.

As I walked in, she had her back to me. So I walked around into her field of view, and simply said "Hello, Catherine"

From her point of view, here she was back in her familiar environment, amongst her friends, and her travels were probably already seeming like a dream, the way travelling does. Then suddenly she's confronted with someone who should be on the other side of the world, and who she probably never expected to ever see again.

She did a marvellous comedy double-take, screamed, then started running around in circles, flapping like a chicken and gibbering incoherantly.

Comedy gold!
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 17:23, 4 replies)
Similarities to the pan gag
A friend of mine worked for Rolls Royce many years ago in a drawing office. The lifers there were know to all as 'lifers'. After Christmas one of them came in in a Homburg, joy ensued as the gang decided what to do with it. They pulled down the hatband, and added masking tape, twice a week for weeks. Eventually the lifer mentioned that his head seemed to be expanding. Two more weeks of addition, followed by steady removal at the same pace as the original addition.

They never told him.

To this day the guy believes that his head expanded and contracted, quite spontaneously over several months.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 11:57, Reply)
Pearoast
Alan shared a house with a 2 other men, one of whom was a friend of mine, which is how i got to hear this story
Nice enough chap generally but a bit prone to bragging about anything and everything.
One january he comes home from the sales with a new pair of jeans and proceeds to bore the other guys with talk of what a bargain he got and how he was still wearing the same size jeans after several years.
Richard ( my friend) in the guise of feigning admiration asked where he bought them from.
On being told, him and the other guy pooled resources and went and bought 2 identical pairs, one a size smaller and one a size bigger.
Then had great fun swapping the jeans over and stifling smirks when Alan got all confused and shouty that sometimes the jeans fit right and other days they were either too tight or too big.
It took the silly sod nearly a month before he looked at the label inside and realised he'd been had
(, Sun 19 Apr 2015, 16:55, Reply)
I always tell Labour party people who knock on my door to fuck off aggressively.
I have voted Labour all my life, and will again in May
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 11:51, 3 replies)
Because in China I never knew where I could next find a clean toilet,
I trained myself to pee whenever I clicked my fingers, a sort of auto-Pavlonian response technique. Well one day I was listening to the start of "Killer Queen", and long story short I pissed in my own mouth.
(, Mon 20 Apr 2015, 8:38, Reply)
I have an aversion to people who put up signs around a work kitchen area. "Please put your plates away", that sort of thing
It's like a form of permanent nagging.
So I'll put up my own signs with messages like "UNAUTHORISED SIGNS. It has come to our attention that people are placing signs in the kitchen area without OH&S review or fire hazard risk assessment. Please refrain from doing this in the future"
Ok, so not exactly high on the scale of workplace dissent, but at least it seemed to troll a few of the OCD's, which was my goal
(, Mon 20 Apr 2015, 1:23, 3 replies)
Getting to know each other
I was checking the messages on my girlfriend's phone and according to her friends she has Stockholm Syndrome, but it's only the fat lip that makes it sound like she has an accent.
(, Sat 18 Apr 2015, 14:57, Reply)
Working in the centre of Warsaw, I meet many lost and confused tourists
I put on the most over-the-top Eastern European accent I can manage, and offer to help. Over the course of 5 minutes, while getting their map turned the right way and pointing out where the train station is, I'll let my accent settle down into my native south-east England one. They invariably compliment me on how well I speak English, and I instantly switch back to the Eastern European accent to thank them and hope have nice day.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 12:03, 6 replies)
Simple pleasures
I pack clear plastic disposable cups when I am riding the subway or the bus. I then crank my neck while I'm shattering the cup I snuck into my armpit. I can do this all day.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2015, 3:24, 5 replies)

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