For some reason I spent a large portion of last Saturday watching videos of people torturing other people with pranks. I was hungover, that’s my excuse.
I’m not generally much of a fan of pranks. For the most part I think they’re a low form of humor, often they are humiliating for the victim and sometimes they can even be traumatic. Pranks can however be incredibly funny…if done right and thought all the way through.
One problem I have with many pranks is that they have quite a bit of potential for serious injury or even death. Anything that involves causing people to fall, such as slippery stuff on the floor, removing furniture that would break a fall (this one does make one wonder seeing as the victim seemed to have something of a death wish already) or scaring people while showering (slippery bathtubs/shower stalls anyone?) are simply spectacularly stupid. I do wonder how many people have died as a result of such pranks. I also have a problem with deliberately hurting someone simply for laughs. A swat on the ass is mostly all right. Punching someone in the face (or in this case making them hit themselves in the face), hitting people over the head with solid objects and hitting men in the balls. Not so smart. People have been known to die from head injuries (duh!) and a solid kick in the balls can be quite dangerous.
I also have a problem with pranks that all about scaring people by messing with existing fears or phobias. A real phobia is no joking matter. Using a person’s fear/phobia against them in such a way is not only not funny but also incredibly cruel. Using a real (or even fake) tarantula to prank me like this would not only probably scare me to the point of a real panic attack, but also create a serious trust issue between me and the pranker.
When planning a prank it is also important to make sure you really know the person you’re pranking. Some people find this sort of thing funny, a lot of people don’t. Some people react violently, and as in the second example sometimes they are pretty much justified. Sometimes people react badly to fairly innocent pranks.
The worst pranks though are the ones where the victims are children! I saw quite a few of those and in all of them the perpetrator was the parent. Why would parents deliberately scare their children into tears? I don’t understand. The most common ones were parents filming their children while they play games online that end with that famous picture from The Exorcist and the screaming. You know the one? Yeah. It’s cruel. Here’s one, and another one, and another one, and another one. These aren’t funny, they are horrifying. In the last one the kid is crying and the dad is still laughing!!
Then there’s this one. I can’t even begin to describe how angry this one makes me. Tricking a poor kid into thinking he’s getting an Xbox when he’s not and then laughing at his humiliation? Disgusting. Some people aren’t meant to be parents.
There was one video I saw on Saturday which really, honestly made me think “this is going to have a lasting effect”. A woman is tricked into a basement where she sees a hanging body. Who thought this was a good idea?! She’s obviously seriously traumatized!
BUT! That’s not to say that I don’t have a sense of humor. My sense of right and wrong is simply stronger. :P I did find quite a few videos hilarious. Such as the snow in the shower one, wrapping everything in pink paper one, filling the room with newspapers one, almost all water+flour ones.
Basically my message is this: pranks can be funny, if done right. A lot of the time they aren’t.
To end this all on a good note, here’s a video of laughing babies. :)