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Pranks
image Some guy (I can't find his name) has put together a huge and fascinating collection of examples of 'adventure art'. Many of the examples he describes are basically elaborate pranks. Some of the stuff is completely insane. Many of the stunts seem to end with the artist's arrest. I haven't had the time to read all of it, but here are a few samples that caught my eye:
  • The Austrian artist group produced "Nellanutella" as part of their contribution for the Venice Biennale. The artists threw themselves repeatedly into Venice's canals from café tables, bridges and boats.
  • Gordon Matta Clark cut large holes into the walls of Pier 52 on the Hudson River. The work "day's end" resulted in a warrant issued for the artist's arrest and his eventual flight to Europe.
  • Doug Fishbone installed a gigantic mountain of bananas - well over a ton of them - in the historic town square in Piotrkow Trybunalski in Poland. The work, which was eaten by the crowd in minutes, was meant as a commentary on greed, globalization, consumerism and violence.
That last guy, Doug Fishbone (the banana artist), actually went to Amherst College with me. We were both in the same year but never hung out together. I haven't seen him since Amherst.
Categories: Art, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 17, 2005
Comments (31)
Ssshhh! What I am about to tell you is a secret. Do not tell anyone. On Saturday, March 19, many people on the internet will hoax the world with the biggest mass UFO sighting in years. The craft will zoom around the United States and the world. What will they see? A craft with 4 lights, 2 of which blinked several colors. They will then report their sighting as happening at APPROXIMATELY (not exactly) the appropriate time, and that's it.... Report the sighting to the National UFO Reporting center by calling 206-722-3000. Do not post this information online. Only share it with 'real life' friends.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Mar 04, 2005
Comments (101)
I received this mystery image via email, and I'm trying to figure out what it is. It may have nothing at all to do with hoaxes or pranks, but I'm wondering if it's some kind of Japanese prank gadget that makes farting noises. Or is it a really badly named perfume spray? I have no idea. Click the image to enlarge.
image
Categories: Photos/Videos, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Mar 03, 2005
Comments (21)
image Here's a fun account of a prank involving an attempt to bring a touch of class to a New York City McDonalds:

The idea was to deck out a fast food joint with all the trappings of a five star restaurant. There would be a Maitre D’ standing behind a podium asking for your reservation, a hostess to seat you, a waiter to take your order, and an attendant in the bathroom. The obvious problem with this idea is that it would very likely be shut down as soon as it begins. I decided to focus on the bathroom attendant aspect, figuring that we could last much longer in a secluded men’s room.

My favorite part is how incredibly excited the group of British kids on a school trip were to find an attendant in the bathroom: "They've got a butler in the bathroom and he gave us sweets!" Also check out the video of the interaction with the store manager (about 3/4 of the way down the page).
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 21, 2005
Comments (3)
In past entries I've written about gnomes that have mysteriously disappeared from gardens and peepshows. Now I think I know where the gnomes have gone. They've travelled to the secret gnome garden that lurks beneath the waters of Wastwater in the Lake District. Authorities report that a gnome garden (which even had a tiny picket fence) was removed from the bottom of the lake a few years ago after some divers died while spending too long searching for it. Now the gnome garden has reappeared, but even deeper beneath the lake, beyond the reach of police divers. Obviously the police are worried that once again divers will be unable to resist the siren call of the gnome garden and perish in the search for it. I think this must be the underwater version of Midgetville. (via The Anomalist)
Update: I managed to find a picture of the underwater gnome garden in this recent article from Cumbria Online.
image
Categories: Gnomes, Places, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 15, 2005
Comments (18)
Residents of Newcastle in New South Wales are experiencing a very unusual problem. Plucked chickens are falling from the sky and crashing onto their houses. Mr. Warrick Slee had one smash through his roof. Mr. Slee observes that "I think you know there's something unusual going on... birds or chickens or whatever it is, they don't just fall from the sky and put holes in people's roofs." Very true. I figure the freefalling chickens could be the work of pranksters with a catapult. Or maybe they're falling from a plane. Or maybe extraterrestrials have given up on sending messages via crop circles and have now moved on to plucked chickens.
Categories: Food, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 09, 2005
Comments (14)
image For almost twenty years Glaswegians have enthusiastically upheld a tradition of placing traffic cones on top of a statue of the Duke of Wellington that stands in the city center. You can even buy postcards and t-shirts displaying a cone-wearing Wellington. But now the fun might come to an end on account of art historian Gary Nisbet who claims that the cone prank threatens to seriously damage the 160-year-old statue. He's campaigning to get people who climb up on the statue charged with vandalism. Unfortunately this would make a number of the city councillors vandals. Nisbet's proposal doesn't seem to be going over well at all with the residents of Glasgow, most of whom seem to think the cone is the best thing about the statue.
Categories: Art, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 27, 2005
Comments (11)
image The Tailspinning into Tomorrow Livejournal has posted a picture of a flyer put up by someone searching for their missing monkey. Here's the text of the flyer:

Missing Monkey
Last seen in diaper carrying blue 'blankie'
looks like Olsen twin (circa 1985 Full House baby)
Responds to nickname 'F123'
If found call: *******
Monkey is NOT trustworthy


I like how they specify that the monkey isn't trustworthy. But I'm wondering if the flyer might be an example of the classic weird-missing-pet phone prank. An earlier example of this I recorded was A Cat Named Killer. Here's the prank: put out an ad or flyer listing a weird pet as missing; include your friend's phone number as the contact; wait for your friend to gets hundreds of bizarre phone calls.
Categories: Animals, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 21, 2005
Comments (30)
The Sun reports on this very odd form of political protest:

GERMAN police are hunting for a gang who have been going around Berlin sticking tiny American flags into dog poo. Officers say they are baffled by the bizarre behaviour - which does not break any laws - and have stepped-up patrols to catch the gang.
Cops had initially thought the jokers were protesting about the war in Iraq, according to iol.co.nz. But the pranks continued throughout George W Bush's re-election leaving detectives without a clear motive.
Police spokesperson Reiner Kuechler said: "We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act. But frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red-handed."
Park boss Josef Oettl added: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2000 to 3000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time."


It seems like the real criminals here are the people who aren't cleaning up after their dogs.
Categories: Gross, Politics, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 19, 2005
Comments (12)
image When 9-year-old Diamond Robinson found a Cabbage Patch Doll under the Christmas tree, she was in for a rude surprise. Encoded in the serial number on the doll's 'adoption papers' was the message: _UCKME. (I think the missing first letter is an F, but I'm not sure. It could be an S.) The company that made the doll says it's an innocent mistake... a computer randomly generated the serial number. But I'm not so sure. Sounds like something a mischievous employee might have done. Kind of like a Cross-Dressing Ken type prank. Instead of complaining about the doll, the family should sell it on eBay. They're sitting on a potential goldmine.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 07, 2005
Comments (12)
image Hong Kong officials have pulled from store shelves a gag gift named the 'Fart Bomb' because the toy not only does exactly what it promises (produces a giant cloud of stench), but it also causes nausea, headaches, and eye irritation. Just imagine what schoolkids could do if they got their hands on these things. Thanks to Gary for finding this story. As he points out, it may not be the worst toy idea ever, but it's definitely in the top 100. But hey, it looks like you can buy fart bombs on the internet.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 28, 2004
Comments (15)
image Duct Tape Bikes seem to be popping up on the streets of New York. Here's one. And here's another one. I'm assuming it's some kind of prank. Somebody leaves their bike locked up in one place for too long and eventually they return to find it covered in duct tape. Or perhaps the bikes are some kind of weird art project. (via New Yorkish)
Categories: Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 17, 2004
Comments (15)
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