Friday, April 1, 2022

Why Pranks Are A Bad Idea

 "It's just a prank, bro!" - No it's not and you're not my "bro" either!

April 1st is April Fool's Day - a day traditionally used to play cheap jokes and pranks on other people. It is not one of my favorite "holidays" to begin with.  Some lame jokes in the media are fun and all, but like with hazing, people have to take a good thing too far.  "My brother pranked me last year, and I will one-up him this year for sure!"  So what starts out as Saran-wrap on the toilet progresses over the years to arson and murder.  Not literally, but things do get out of hand.

Most "prank videos" you see on the Internet are staged - for the simple reason that if you did these things in reality, you would be sued.  So a guy attaches a thin cable to his bicycle an a "thief" tries to ride off on it and the bike is yanked out from under him.  Hilary ensues, except that the "thief" was some homeless dude he gave ten bucks to, to be in the skit.

If you find human suffering amusing, may I suggest you check yourself into a mental health clinic or run for office.  Hurting people, either emotionally or physically isn't funny, and if you find that sort of thing amusing, chances are you have psychopathic tendencies.   The common denominator in these "prank" videos - or videos of people doing "stunts" that go horribly wrong is some teen-something dude behind the camera who laughs this hollow sick laugh as his friend doubles over in pain after trying to skateboard off the roof and into the pool, only to fall short and hit the concrete - with his head.

That laugh - it is in all the videos.  It is the laugh of a sick individual. It is how a villain laughs in those movies.  It is bad enough to laugh at others' misfortune, it is worse when it is that sick, hollow laugh that sounds like Dr. Evil.

There are listicals galore about pranks gone wrong - from some with deadly results to others that just fell flat.

Pranking is a classic form of passive-aggressive behavior.  It is a way for people to do mean things to other people while professing innocence of it all.  The retort, "It was just a prank, dude!" sums it up nicely.  Someone dumps a can of red paint on your new sweater and it's your fault you don't find it funny.  There is something wrong with you clearly - the prankster is innocent of any wrongdoing!

You know what?  Fuck that shit.  And fuck pranksters.  They aren't funny, they aren't clever, they are just passive-aggressive assholes who want to hurt people and get away with it.  And sadly, every year, people are actually hurt and sometimes killed, due to pranks.

One "prank" the resurfaces from year to year is the urban legend that a drop or two of visine brand eye drops in your teacher's coffee will give them raging diarrhea and class will be cancelled.  Well, it may cancel classes, but it may also cancel your teacher as it can put people in a coma or even cause death - and even if they live, survive with major liver damage.  This is why I avoid fast-food restaurants where you can't see the food being made.  Bored teenagers are a dangerous thing and no, it isn't funny.

Frankly, just putting ex-lax or a laxative in someone's food isn't funny, either. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration and yes, even death.  And putting someone even in mild discomfort as a "joke" isn't funny, it's just sick.

"But it's a prank, bro!  where's your sense of humor?"  Well, here it is: If you think these pranks are funny, let's tie you to a chair and force you to ingest visine or ex-lax or whatever.  What?   You don't want to do it?  Why not?  It's just a prank, bro!  Where's your sense of humor?

And therein lies the definition of a psychopath.  They find amusement in doing unto others that they would strongly object being done to them.  To them, other people are just wallpaper - background noise - and not real people with real feelings and emotions.

Sadly, "prank" videos are not going away anytime soon.  A sick as the people are who make such videos, the folks who want to watch them are just as bad.  After all, who gets joy from seeing someone hurt?  It just makes no sense to me.

Even a "good" April's fool joke really isn't all that funny. There are no belly-laughs here.  At best, the teller makes the recipient look foolish for a second or two, and people say, "Oh, ha-ha, that's a good one!" and move on.  There are no timeless April Fool's jokes, I'm afraid.  It is hardly a staple of comedy.

Maybe it is time we just put the whole thing to bed!