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» Evil Pranks

The Game
About 5 years ago, I was entrusted with the task of looking after my sister's cats over the new year while she and her boyfriend spent a month in Australia. As I was still living at home at the time, I jumped at the chance.

In the run-up to their holiday, my sister's boyfriend (Johnny) started hinting that he would be leaving a not-inconsiderable amount of booze somewhere in their flat, but that this would have to be earned. It was all a bit cloak and dagger and when I tried to enquire further all I would get was an enigmatic smile and shrug.

Cue mid-December and my sis and Johnny are heading off to the airport. My sister hands me the keys and her boyfriend hands me a video tape that he says I'm not allowed to watch until I've got friends round (which, jakey student that I was, I had planned for that very evening). The tape was a blank VHS simply marked "The Game". 30 seconds after they leave, I pop it into the video player, feeling the need to check that I'm not going to be showing my friends a scat film. It turns out to be a cloe-up of Johnny's face. His first words are something to the effect of "Don't worry. This is not a scat film, but the start of a wonderful adventure." He then goes on to say that if my friends haven't arrived yet (which they haven't) I should turn of and wait for them.

The man's a psychic.

Time passes and 4 of my friends turn up. We crack open some beers and I tell them that the evening's entertainment appears to be some sort of treasure hunt dreamt up by my sister's other half.

To cut a long story short, Johnny had hidden 4 video tapes in various locations around Govanhill (one of Glasgow's less salubrious areas) and each of these tapes gave the location of the next one. Over the course of about two hours, all the while drinking ourselves silly, we collect 3 of these 4 tapes and traipse back to base feeling both silly and invigorated to watch the penultimate tape.

This one's a bit different from the others. Instead of the usual talking head, it has Johnny's face half-lit, something akin to a Scottish Colonel Kurtz. He stares at the camera for what feels like an eternity before slowly and deliberately starting to speak:

"You think you've got all the answers, don't you. Well it's going to get a little bit more tricky from here on in. Your final mission is a tough one, but my mother used to tell me that if something's not worth doing right, it's not doing at all. There is a shop about 5 minutes along the road from here called Vivo's. Mr Vivo is a very close personal friend of mine and he's holding an item that you'll need to complete your task. One of you must go into Vivo's, tell him that Johnny sent you and ask for the latest copy of "Asian Babes". Mr Vivo is holding this for you behind the counter. Contained in this magazine is a map to where your reward has been hidden. Once you have selected one of your party to get this item and he has left the flat, the rest of you must wait for three minutes before resuming this tape. I will then issue my final orders. Press stop NOW."

Since we'd got that far, we figured we might as well go along with this too, so we stopped the tape and, after much deliberation (read: arguing) we decided that my friend Stephen would be the one to go to Vivo's for said pornographic publication. He cantered off at pace and the rest of us waited for the longest three minutes of our lives before pressing play again. Johnny's face spooled back into view:

"Have you waited your three minutes? You'd better have, you slimy wee shites. Here we go:
You've just sent your friend to an Asian-owned shop to ask for a copy of Asian Babes. There's only two outcomes from that. Mr Vivo (who I have never met, having never been into his shop) will either laugh your friend out of there or beat him into a pulp for his insolence. The booze is in the cupboard under the sink. Now, the real question is whether you care enough about your friend to stop him getting a kicking. I suggest you run. FUDS!"

From the line "who I have never met", I had been pulling on my trainers and getting ready to go running from the flat to try and catch up with Stephen. He won't mind me saying that he was a 20-a-day man and I fancied my chances of catching him before he made a twat of himself, or worse.

I pelted off through the heaving throng of junkies and neds that make up most of Govanhill. It's a straight road to Vivo's from my sister's and after about 30 seconds I caught sight of Stephen. But he seemed to be going the wrong way. Why was he coming towards me? And why was his face so red?

It would seem that I'd underestimated Stephen's athletic prowess and overestimted my own. Rather than taking a leisurely stroll to Vivo's, he'd ran all the way there too. What Mr Vivo thought of this panting, sweating man coming rushing in to request Asian Babes, we'll never know. Maybe he got it all the time, grown men scurrying into his shop because they'd run out of porn and were approaching the vinegar strokes. To my amusement and my friend's relief, Mr. Vivo wasn't phased at all. He advised my friend that he didn't have that particular publication, but directed him to the myriad other top-shelf publications that he stocked. Stephen declined, thanked him and bought a packet of Orbit before commencing his walk of shame. I explained what had happened on the way home.

The prize for these shenanigans was better than expected. A bottle of Jack, a bottle of Aftershock and 24 cans of Tennents. Okay, so the hiding place was obvious, but that only added to the hilarity.

Well played, Johnny. Well played.

A man can only apologise for length so much.
(Tue 18th Dec 2007, 18:07, More)

» Evil Pranks

The German Open
A few years back, I was working as a labourer for my family's joinery firm. Working along with us was a tiler (Jim) and his friend who also happened to be a semi-professional darts player (for those in the know, he goes by the moniker "Pauly Boy").

One Monday, Pauly and Jim came in with ear-to-ear grins. It turned out that Pauly had just won the German Open Tournament, giving him a nice lump sum and quite a large trophy. Congratulations were given all round and we encouraged him to tell us all about it.

Pauly and Jim aren't averse to a good drink, Morgan's Spiced being a favourite tipple and, instead of telling us the tale of how he got to the final, who he beat and so on, Pauly launched straight into an altogether more macabre story.

The trophy won, Pauly and Jim went back to their hotel, a grim affair with no en-suite toilets. Instead, there was an annexe across a car park which you had to go to if you needed to micturate. In the room, Pauly and Jim continued to drink their spiced rum into the wee hours, eventually succumbing to booze-aided slumber.

The next morning, a party of organisers came to the room to say thanks and congratulate Pauly for a good tournament. The head German official, seeing that the trophy is full of frothy yellow liquid, decides he'll join in with Pauly and Jim's celebrations. "Ah," he says, "Champagne! If you don't mind..."

With that (and before Pauly or Jim could stop him) the official picks up the trophy and takes a couple of gulps to slake his thirst. I'll leave it to Pauly to tell the rest:

"No way was I going across that car park every time I needed a slash. Stupid prick picks up the cup and tans about a gallon o' spicy pish! Funny as fuck, man!"

He's right. It was funny as fuck.

(Edit: It's not strictly a prank, as it wasn't intentional, but close enough for me).
(Wed 19th Dec 2007, 9:31, More)

» Lies Your Parents Told You

Maggoty bunny
When I was eight I had a rabbit that lived in a hutch in the back garden. One day I woke up to find the rabbit gone. upon asking my father where "Tufty" had gone, he told me that he had run away to be with the other bunnies. What had actually happened was that the poor little thing had died during the night and my dad had buried him under a secluded nook in the garden before I could wake up and ask awkward questions.

I found out the truth a week later when a fox dug him up and made a tasty meal of his entrails. I still have nightmares.
(Tue 20th Jan 2004, 13:03, More)