Comedian Frank Skinner tells quite a funny story about a practical joke he used to play on people before he got famous. Frank had found an industrial size bolt; he kept it and when the funfair next came to town, he queued up to go on the Ferris Wheel, bolt in pocket, as Chrissie Hynde almost once said.
As you’ll know if you’ve ever been on one of these, it can take quite a time for the ride to get started, as they have to let the people from the last ride off before allowing the next lot to get on. Consequently, if you’re among the first on, you find yourself slowly moving round, stopping to let the next set of folks on, before moving round one position again. Eventually, you find yourself stationary at the top of the wheel for a time, and it’s at this point that he would implement his joke.
Having smuggled the bolt on, he would surreptitiously drop it onto the floor of the cab so that it made a loud “Clunk”. He’d then bend down, pick it up, look quizzically at it, then up at the mechanics of the machine, keeping one eye on his now terrified co-riders.
He tells it a lot better than I do, admittedly.
I’ve never really been very good at coming up with, or implementing practical jokes. (I may have already told this story, forgive me if I have, I can’t be bothered with trawling through all my old posts to check). The closest I came was at Secondary School when I orchestrated all of the bells throughout the school being hidden during one break-time, the logic being that if the bells couldn’t ring then break couldn’t end. I thought I’d be a hero; instead, we missed one bell which rang to signal it was time to return to lessons, which we then found ourselves trapped in when the bell didn’t go to signify home time. I had to sneak out of the classroom with a bag full of clunking bell-ends to rectify the situation.
A friend of mine in Cardiff told me that he had one which he used to do a lot. I’m not really sure that it qualifies as a practical joke, but it would sure weird me out if he’d done it to me (and I didn’t know him).
He would get into a lift, and when there was just him and one other person in there, he would suddenly start pounding the sides of his head with fists clenched, shouting “Get out of my head!!!”
I mention this just so that I don’t have to mention the word “earworm”, as I don’t want you to think that I only steal ideas from features on BBC 6 Music. However, for the past week or so I’ve had a song stuck in my head that I can’t shift, and which there is no logical reason for it being there.
So I thought I’d pass it on to you lot.
No need to thank me!