Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Pranks, gags, jokes and hoaxes

The first day of April, the only day of the year when you can cause someone a heart attack and still get away with it, well…almost always that is. But in recent times, on April Fool's day I have really been disappointed with all the dumb practical jokes that are suppose to fool people, but only manage to irritate the hell out of them. I mean telling someone that he has chewing gum stuck in his hair or has a call waiting for him or his dog has been devoured by a Korean football club on tour of Bangladesh, is not funny. Seriously, people really have to realize the difference between lies and pranks. But I guess, that is at least better than jumping out of hiding and shouting 'boo'. My school principal, who is a former army colonel, can come up with better pranks than that, with the left side of his brain paralyzed.

By now the faithful day known to us as the April fool's day is already over. Hence, I think, I can very well elaborate on some 'real' practical jokes and pranks without the risk of being sued by some probable victims. One of the classic pranks of all time involves a thin transparent plastic sheet. The sheet is then used to cover a toilet bowl. And, when someone enters the toilet, it is obvious that he/she won't be in the most stable state of mind to notice the seemingly invisible sheet. Just imagine what happens next, but visualize at own risk. Another really good prank is to leave some worthless books or pieces of paper on the streets, around town. But before doing so something similar to this is written on the front page- “If the book/document is lost please return it to the address stated below. Returnee shall be rewarded with 10,000 taka”. Off course all of the addresses are the same and belong to the victim. It's easy to guess how annoyed or in some cases scared the victim would be.

While spending most of my school life in a residential institution, I have had to witness my fair share of cruel pranks. To be honest, when a bunch of teenage boys are living under the same roof, a special day is really not required to bring the devil out of them. And having a self proclaimed “master of pranks” as my friend obviously added more spice to the whole situation. According to him, he once “returned” an omelet to a hardware store and got 50 taka worth refund (yeah…sure). Anyway, taking someone's clothes away while they are in shower, soaking someone's bed with water at night to create an embarrassing situation in the morning or placing cigarettes under someone's pillow and then informing the house master about it, are some of the common pranks that everyone has to endure during some stage of their stay.

One of my favorite pranks, though, has to be the “Anthrax Prank”. First, “ANTHRAX” is written on a blank piece of paper, in bold letters. Then the paper is smeared with talcum powder (somehow the flowery fragrance is removed). After that it is sent to the victim by mail. But, the victim has to be smart enough to know what anthrax is. Another version of this prank is to create a bomb shaped thingy, attach a ticking clock, place a leaflet on top of it and then leave it in the principal's office. The leaflet can say something like this-“You have been conducting heinous crimes against our religion by......umm…by teaching kids, by letting them shave their beard and by taking frequent exams. As per your punishment we are going to blow up half of the school with the time bomb which is directly underneath this document. And if you don't restrain from your evil ways we will soon blow up the other half.

Truly yours

However, all pranks and practical jokes don't necessarily have to be nasty or harmful. You can pull off some great pranks without much effort at all. For example say, go to a busy street with some friends and pretend to look at some imaginary object on top of a skyscraper. Soon some really curious fellows will join you to see the important thing, (they really can't help it. It's in our gene). Some might even claim to see something interesting. At the end of this article I can't help but reveal another classic harmless prank; super glue a five taka coin to the street and wait for the pedestrians to try and pick it up. It's quite a scene, I tell you.

Note- If any of the aforementioned pranks actually occurred in the author's presence, then it's just a mere coincident. The author is in no way liable for the damage, panic or broken egos caused by those events.

By Sadman Alvi

From The Reporter's Journal

The Emu speaks out…

It seems that the sign of status and wealth has changed in our fine country; it used to be large, bulky, top heavy SUVs. Nowadays it's the number of animals that you have in your backyard (and the fact that you have a backyard gives bragging rights too). Deer are a favorite, according to our Reporter because of the fact that they make very good kebabs. Our Reporter being the quintessential reporter couldn't let such an opportunity pass and thus decided to interview one of the recovered animals. The only obstacle facing him was the language barrier that existed between animals and humans. After long weeks of searching, he finally found a kobiraj who claimed to have a powder that allowed humans to talk to Emus (the Reporter was slightly disappointed that he couldn't talk to deer but he guessed he couldn't have everything). Jubilant the intrepid Reporter headed towards interviewing the Emu. On the way he came across an abandoned Infiniti and drooled over it until he noticed the cops arriving. He quickly left then, lamenting over the fact that he didn't have an Infiniti and with his pay would probably never have one either. Now here are his findings (which are very disturbing).

Reporter: …Hi…?

Emu (doesn't answer but mutters under his breath): Insolent fool…

R: Excuse me?

E: Look at him…such insolence…he doesn't even bow…

R: What? Would you stop mumbling and speak clearly?

E: Bow before me!!! Do you have any idea who you are addressing?!?!?

R (confused): …Err….no…who are you?

E: I happen to be a member of Emu Royalty!!! I'm twenty second in line to the throne!!!

R: What throne?

E: The Emu throne!!!

R: You guys have a throne?

E: Yes. We do. I am the Emu ambassador to Bangladesh. I was sent here to monitor your country's progress for the great King Emu.

R: …right…So you guys have a great king… So how'd you end up here in a minister's backyard?

E: Well, see, I was not exactly one of the more important members of the council, so they sent me here. My brother though got sent to the USA.

R: You emus have ambassadors in every country?

E: Yes.

R: You guys came here to monitor our country. So, what are your opinions?

E: When I first arrived here the first thing I did was visit the zoo. The condition of the zoos in this country is deplorable. I was very angry with it. Then one of the ministers told me that the country lacks the funds. I was able to persuade the Emu Council to grant an aid.

R: The Emus gave our government aid to fix the zoo? How come no one knows about this?

E: We try to keep our intelligence a secret. Did you know that behind every successful country there is an emu?

R: No. But anyway, your aid went to waste. The zoo is still in a deplorable condition.

E: No it is not. The minister told me they had improved its condition.

R: They haven't. They lied. The aid is probably resting in a minister's bank account.

E: What?!?!? Such insolence!!!! Your country will pay for this!!! The Great King will be sure to know about this!!! You do know this means war?

R (worried now that he'd initiated a war): No it isn't that serious. You guys should have known better than to trust our ministers.

E: How was I supposed to know he was lying to me?!?!? He took me to his home and assured me that the aid was being put to good use!

R: Well you could try contacting this new government. They might be able to help you.

E: I tried talking to them. But these new advisers seem too busy breaking buildings and catching corrupt people to worry about the zoo. I was greatly angry when they seized me and treated me like a common animal.

R: But you have to admit that this new government is doing a good job of cleaning up this country.

E: Yes, but they are doing nothing to establish better ties with us emus.

R: I'm sure they'll come around and realize how important you are.

E: I hope so.

R: You never really answered my question. What's it like living in a minister's backyard?

E: Well…the minister was very hospitable. He had deer and peacocks and other such animals there for my entertainment.

R: Must have been fun.

E: He had a good taste in cars too.

R: Really?

E: Yes, a Jag and a H2. He taught me to drive actually.

R: A Jaguar and a Hummer!?!?!? And he taught you to drive them?

E: Why? Is something wrong?

R (weakly): No nothing's wrong. Its' just that I've never even touched a seen a Jaguar and you learned how to drive using one. I learned using a crummy Maruti.

E: Don't forget, there was a Hummer too.

R: Wish I was an Emu ambassador.

E: You know, I could recommend you to the Council as a member willing to help the Emu cause.

R: Would that help me buy a cool car. It's just that we journalists don't get paid much.

E: Well….the pay isn't bad by Emu standards. You might be able to buy a car....making no promises though.

R: That would be really nice of you. And I have to go now. It was meeting you.

E: Same here. You're not all that bad for a guy who understands bird talk.

After that our Reporter made his way back to the office, his swirling with images of a large bird sitting behind the wheel of a Hummer. On the way there he noticed an abandoned Porsche and drooled over it until the cops arrived. Then he made his way back lamenting about the fact that he probably would never be able to sit behind the wheel of a Porsche…..

By Tareq


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star