Vinegar prank backfires on fish and chip shop owner
July 18, 2001 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Vinegar prank backfires on fish and chip shop owner Listen up! Vinegar is harmful! "Eight-year-old Craig Hunt was splashed in the eye after Sam Kieu told him to sniff the vinegar then squirted it in his face." Have you ever pulled a 'small prank' which then went completely out of hand?
posted by wackybrit (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I did the same thing with a bottle of Avon's Skin-So-Soft when I was a boy. SSS is an accidental mosquito repellent (for chiggers, ticks and other bities, too), and my Mom was an Avon Lady, so my family was always in the habit of using it when we went out to the country. Once, I was holding the bottle, my cousin was cupping his hands, and I squeezed hard just for gag.

Skin So Soft is not good for the eyes, he found out. It hurt like hell, he said. So did my ass from the whipping I got. Later, when it was discovered he was color blind, they blamed me, though I've come to believe he was always color blind but just didn't know it.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:05 PM on July 18, 2001

When I was in high school typing class, I thought it would be a boyish lark to whip up a bomb threat. I discreetly dumped it at the office and promptly forgot about it, thinking (ridiculously), "Oh, they'll just get huffy and figure the damn kids are getting restless."

Well, of course not. They emptied the school 20 minutes later, and cops combed the place (earning me the instant enmity of all who lost booze, tobacco, whatever). We all went to the river to drink beer, and I let it slip to the wrong person, and soon everyone knew who the culprit was. I was busted the next day.

Five day suspension. With a really. really. pissed-off father.

And a federal file! WOOO!
posted by Skot at 3:36 PM on July 18, 2001

I once thought it would be a great hoot to take a garden hose, stick it in my neighbor's basement window, and turn it on. They found it days later, along with several inches of water coverning the finished basement.

Word of the incident spread around the neighborhood (no one knew who had done it) and, just as the lynch mob was forming I fessed up. At least, that's how I remember it. It probably wasn't really that dramatic.

Later, when it was discovered he was color blind, they blamed me,

Doesn't color blindess come about from a defect in the retina (lack of rods or cones or something)? unless you injected the stuff into his eyeball with a syringe, there's no way you caused it.
posted by jpoulos at 4:25 PM on July 18, 2001

I once killed a man with my bare hands, then ate him up good. Well, maybe not. But it sounded so good.
posted by jessie at 4:28 PM on July 18, 2001

Every so often, Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) would pull a prank and mention that it was almost as much fun as cooking a potato in a microwave. Back then, I went to a residential high school, and we had microwaves in every dorm. One day, I decided to live out my dream and stuck a potato in (another dorm's) microwave, set the timer, and left. I forgot about it until my friend came by and told me to go outside. I went, to see the burned out (warped door, hole melted through the plastic ceiling) microwave sitting on top of a barbecue. I mistook the potato for a piece of charcoal.

I confessed, and had to pay for a new microwave, and spent some mandatory time in my room. The worst punishment, however, was the grundy I got from the students whose microwave I had ruined. Popular at my school, a grundy is similar to a wedgie, except they kept pulling until the waistband ripped completely off. Depending on the quality of your undergarment, you'd experience some significant (and excruciating) hang-time before that happened.

I don't know if I deserved all the punishments, but it sure made me think twice before I did something stupid again. And I did get an extra picture in the yearbook because of the incident.

Notice I didn't say it stopped me from doing something stupid ever again.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 4:58 PM on July 18, 2001

OK, if high school pranks are topical ....

Our high school had a lovely little sign near the front door. In imposing gothic lettering, it read: "Profanity is an offense against civility, the state, and God; therefore I am neither a good neighbor, citizen, or Christian, if I swear." My cohorts and I decided this was an unconstitutional encroachment of religion into the public schools, and resolved to jeer it out of existence. We would walk past between classes and as we neared the sign cough or groan out (in the time-honored adolescent manner of disguising profanity) "Bullshit!"

Eventually I used my calligraphy pens (the modern soft-tip type, not a quill) to draw a compatible gothic . We'd affix double-sided tape to it, and neatly stick it on the sign in the lower right. Then we'd see how many periods it would take before it was noticed and removed. (The sign was also just 20 feet down from the main office.) After a couple, though, somebody caught on and would usually spike it quickly.

So we had to get more creative.

We decided we needed to actually install the sign inside the picture frame, behind the glass. I made sure to use matching parchment paper. To make this work, though, we couldn't make the change between classes. We had use our after-school, after-dusk astronomy club meetings as cover. Who'd ever suspect the astronomy club?! We'd excuse ourselves from the easygoing teacher who was our mentor and take the long way around to the bathroom, grabbing the sign on the way, popping the back, slipping it into place, and returning it on the round trip.

This worked quite well. The first one wasn't noticed for at least a whole day, and subsequent installations generally lasted past lunchtime. But they were getting savvy. Somebody superglued the sign back shut, and we had to cut it open (the glue, no part of the sign was damaged) with a pocketknife. We were certain, so far, that we were only engaging in a mock political protest (Abbie would have been proud), scrupulously avoiding permanent vandalism. Well, we thought so, anyway.

By this time I was a college early-entrant across town, not a student, and I had a difficult relationship with the school principal (he insisted I should remain in HS, and later, they denied my diploma based on phys ed credits). So some of these I didn't get to attend. My friends Bill and Kerry (hi, if you ever read this) were effecting one of these slit-slip-and-slide "missions" when Bill turned around and totally by chance decided to grab a drink from the fountain.

His hands turned bright blue.

The chem profs must have dipped the sign in an invisible chemical (whose name I've forgotten), which would react with water! Kerry and Bill rushed home. Bill spent at least an hour scrubbing the ink off his hands.

The next day, first period, an announcement came over the PA: all classes must line up and wash their hands, then present them for inspection. You've got to be kidding me, my friend Kerry thought. It only made sense if they were assuming the switch was taking place early in the morning. Fortunately neither of my friends' hands looked suspicious when inspected. Who knows what the rest of the school thought?

That was pretty much it for the Bullshit! caper. There were a couple more good pranks, though.

The first was a billboard decrying abortion. The local pro-life organ rented three of them around town that month, and they were inescapable: a big ugly red-and-black fetus twelve feet tall, with the slogan, "Yesterday it was a fetus. Today it's a human. Abortion is murder!" (Please don't pick this up and run with it, OK?) We decided to add to the sign a large banner made with old bedsheets and spray paint: "Tomorrow it may be abandoned!" Well, some poor planning led us to discover as we approached the sign that the contract had expired, and there was a billboard for an auto dealer instead. We had this sign, though, you see. After driving around for a while trying to figure out what to do, we realized that there was a middle school in the perpetually petulant "we're underserved" part of town that was considered for closure as school-age population declined. Not perfect, but a good second-best! We attached it to the walls on either side of the front door, to be found in the morning. I guess it was quietly removed, though, cause we never heard anything.

Then came the coup de grace. The school had four interior open-air courtyards. There was a big deal that year about sex ed in the schools, and we thought up a half-baked protest that was more fun than effective. We acquired a fire-escape rope ladder. Bill and Kerry would climb up on the roof via a low heating plant, make their way to the courtyard, use the rope ladder to get down, string a rope between two trees, drape a bedsheet over the rope to make a pup tent, and use two sets of hand-me-down jeans and tennies, duct-taped together and stuffed with newspaper, to stick out of the tent, apparentlly in flagrante delicto, then make their escape the same way and meet me in the car. (As a non-student, it was decided it was too risky for me to be part of this.) There was, I think, an elaborate plan early on to link this to promoting condom use that we didn't follow through on. Anyway, the walkie-talkies didn't work, and I got creeped out by somebody clearly wondering why I was parked where I was, so I did a couple circles of the school. Bill and Kerry, though, were climbing off the roof when a light suddenly flashed on inside the school right next to them. Spooked, they ran across the athletic fields like hell and through the woods. There was a presumably cute Stripes moment: "We had a car waiting ...", until I showed up. I'm sure it was fun, though. My part was just OK. The tent was taken down by first period, though, so only a few students saw it, and we wondered whether anybody could have appreciated the effort that had gone into creating it.

Well, now we had to come up with a grand finale. We plotted a Rube Goldberg inspired kidnapping of the profanity sign, to be given back to the administration through a series of clues, designed to win publicity for our protest.

We never got the chance. That year, at the high school across town, there had been some serious incidents of vandalism, including minor damage from arson. Well, one of my pals was trying to impress a girl, and shot his mouth off about our (admittedly geeky) exploits. Somebody heard just enough of this to suspect that it was about the arson, and reported it there. Instead of "Bill" and "Kerry", they had a name like "Phil" and "Jerry", and because of my participation, they knew that one of us wasn't a student. Only one of my pals, Scott I think, a B-lister in all of this like me, was ID'd by name. They questioned the three of my friends separately, threatening them with felony arson charges, putting way more emphasis on my role than it deserved, until one confessed all, just to explain that we'd done no permanent vandalism. I think they had lots of detentions after that, but no criminal charges, fortunately. It was really good that I hadn't done the tent thing.

This didn't help my case getting my diploma, and I had to go with a GED, even though I had college courses under my belt.

All of a sudden I have the bad feeling I've told this on MeFi before. Anyway.
posted by dhartung at 5:59 PM on July 18, 2001 [1 favorite]

My freshman year in college, I was of course living in the dorms, and my particular dorm happened to be situated across the street from a chaper of a certain un-named fraternity. Some of my friends and I had our differences with some of the members there, them being "jocks" and us being "nerds", you know how it goes.

Anyway, one boring night, right before spring break, S and I are laying around the dorm with nothing to do since most of our friends had left for vacation already. I don't remember exactly how it came about, but we both decied that since the two of us owned paintball guns, that it would be a good idea to go shoot something up, and what better a target than the asshole frat across the street! So we gassed up, turned out the lights in his room, removed the screen from the window, put our back against the far wall and let loose with a wicked volley. The resulting mess covered the plate glass windows on the front of their living room, and since they all were gone for the break, too, it would have time to dry and be noticed by all. Sucess!

After laying down a satisfactory second coat, we noticed a brand new, black convertable toyota celica sitting right out front. It had to belong to one of them, it had to . It just screamed "my yuppie dad just bought me a new toy for spring break!", and we could have none of that gloating. We moved in closer to the window to get a good angle, and popped off serveral shots right into it's black leather-coated interior.

No sooner than the last shot hit the car, the window directly below us was flug open and a shrill female voice shouted, "What the fuck are you doing to my car! I'm calling the police, you assholes!"

Holy shit.

We grabbed a duffle bag real quick-like and threw in all evidence of paintball gear and zipped it shut, tearing out of the room as fast as possible. As we hit the stairs, a RA came blasting out of the elevator and ran down to the room, banging on the door. We ran to my room and buried the duffel bag under clothes and garbage in my closet. S stayed in my room that night and left for break first thing the next morning, as did I.

Upon returning, he was of course caught, since we did the deed from his room. Nothing was seriously damaged, but he did have to foot the cleaning bill. I would have pitched in, but was relieved from doing so since I was seriously in debt from certain conflicts with law enforcement that took place over break, but that's a different story ;)
posted by Hackworth at 6:56 PM on July 18, 2001

This is just like!
posted by ericost at 7:28 PM on July 18, 2001

I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
posted by fidelity at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2001

Preface: I know I'm going to hell for this...

One hometown summer during college, I rallied my high school buddies into a prank that went awry. My hometown had a nunnery in the center of the town which had a rather peculiar statuette in its garden. I'm not religious at all, so I have no knowledge of the symbolism, but this statue had Mary holding an orb with a small cross sticking out of the top.

The problem was though, that the cross had broken off, so it looked like Mary was getting ready to take care of a nasty 7 - 10 split in the last frame. We took some black shoe polish that was water soluble, and heightened the effect one drunk night. Voila! Our Lady of Bowling! I don't think the groundspeople ever checked that they would be able to wipe the shoe polish off. In the end, I think they had it sandblasted it about a month later. I lay my head in shame...
posted by machaus at 8:13 PM on July 18, 2001

Many years ago, while exiting a concert (Alice Cooper, I think), there was a guy standing outside handing out pamphlets. I absent-mindedly took one, and shoved it in my purse without looking.

Next day I was at work, digging in my purse, when I found the pamphlet. It was some religious tract about the evils of drinking. It had an address on the back. I don't know what inspired me, but I quickly dashed off a letter to that address, explaining that I was an ex-con, and was desperately trying to find my way so I didn't go back to "the joint". I signed my friend's name and address and mailed it. I figured they'd mail her a bunch of pamphlets and she'd get a good laugh out of it.

About a month later I got a frantic call at work from my friend. Her mom had just called her from home. Turns out a carload of religious fanatics had shown up on her doorstep and were prepared to save her. Her mom, of course, had no idea what was going on, and couldn't get rid of them.

I heard about that one for many years afterward.....
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:44 PM on July 18, 2001 [1 favorite]

Once upon a time, in the lovely City of Oxford, 15 young teenagers all got together to take the same psychedelic stimulant at the same time and go to the opening of a new club called Spectrum.

As you can probably guess, some of them didn't last too long in the club. At least three never made it there at all having got caught up in a deep conversation about whether clubs actually existed. The rest of their night was spent looking at the living room wallpaper. Later they claimed it to be the best night of their lives and demanded framed copies of said paper for future reference.

After two or three hours, the main group had split into 3 or 4 smaller ones. One of the groups, 5 in number, (including a person whose name was Mucky and another person whose nickname was Messy) found themselves in a car hurtling around the rather intricate one way system that once cursed all those who used it to go round and round in ever decreasing circles.

Having finally figured out which passenger was driving, our assembled day-trippers decided that cars, one way systems and group hallucinations are really not the best things to combine of an evening. For example, here's how they decided to park:

driver: should we turn right, or go straight on?
group 1: turn right
group 2: go straight on
driver: so which one is it going to be?
group 1: go straight on
group 2: turn right
every one: hahahahahahah ahhhhhhh
Driver: so which one is it going to be?
(repeat several times)

Result? The car ended up sat on a triangular piece of pavement that forms a right filter towards the city centre, just opposite the ice rink on the Oxpens Road.

Everyone got out and had a think about where they wanted to go. After deciding against several of the distinctly metaphysical options, a large concrete building jumped to the forefront as the most inviting destination. Perhaps this was because it was the OCFE. Perhaps it was because it was smiling.

Alas, they never reached the OCFE as the route to it passed a small row of houses. In the front garden of the second to last of those houses appeared to be a hundred or so little red, white, blue and green men.

As it turns out, there really were a hundred or so little red, white, blue and green men sitting in the garden. They were, as you may rightly have concluded by now, gnomes.

After a wonderful few minutes of something completely non-sensical and idiotic involving repeated use of the phrase "no way!", the assembled adventurers decided to take three gnomes as trophies. Identical gnomes were sourced and fleet of foot, happy off head, the giggling buch got the hell out of there.

Somehow all wended their way to their respective beds and the gnomes sat in pride of place on a smattering of mantle pieces throughout Oxfordshire.

As time passed, one of those who had liberated a gnome became increasingly of the feeling that there was something 'not quite right' about it. Though white of body, blue of jacket, green of trousers and red of hat, something of its nature was “Ya know, kinda funny lookin”.

Upon further inspection it was discovered that pride of place on the mantlepiece had been given to a porcelain model of a small child about to wipe its arse, having seemingly just finished its business in the toilet upon which it sat. The confussion as to its true identity arose from the fact that it had been painted in gnomic fashion; red hair, blue jacket, white body, green shitter/lower- leg/trouser surrounded ankles.

Another of the gnome possessors was notified as soon as possible and two were returned to their home no more than a matter of weeks after the incident (though both sent postcards relating their holiday to their owners in the meantime).

Unfortunately Messy, proud owner of gnome/shitting boy no. 3, never got the call.

Last year she met up with a fellow adventurer from that fateful night. It was the first time they had met in nearly a decade. They got to talking and in no time at all this tale became the focus of the evening's conversation. After laughing about the intricacies of the night for what seemed an age, after having recounted tales of what others did whilst gnomes were liberated, the story came to an end with the words:

"...and of course it was all the more funny when we realised that the gnome was actually a boy doing a shit..."

Messy fell completely silent. A penny was heard dropping, soon after which a jaw fell slack.

It would seem that Messy's gnome had taken pride of place in her home for many years and that she had never noticed its true form (though, as she discovered later that evening, many if not all of her friends had).

And the moral of the story?: There is no moral™. Messy's really cute though.
posted by davehat at 11:07 PM on July 18, 2001

davehat: you rock. A little tipsy, at 3 a.m., just back from free-stylin' hip-hop at a nowhere club in Brooklyn, you rock hard.

Must remember to read Metafilter under the influence more often.

[Typing rate sober: 80 wpm. Typing rate tipsy: 12.]
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:02 AM on July 19, 2001

I once convinced my friend that it would be funny to put his mouth on the bunsen burner valve in chemistry class.... after i turned the knob, the next few classes he had gas (burping, as well as farting) and he kept saying random, nonsensical things.
Oh, the good old days.
posted by Espoo2 at 2:47 AM on July 19, 2001

Have you ever wandered through the hunting department of K-Mart and wondered what the deer piss was like?

I did. It's ass in a bottle. It is the most horrible stench in the world. A friend and I got some and sprayed it all over a friends car. So began the deer piss wars of Christmas '99. Four homes were fumigated along the way.
posted by ttrendel at 2:54 AM on July 19, 2001

I slept with a guy's wife and now she won't go away.
posted by pracowity at 3:01 AM on July 19, 2001

We heated a quarter over a chemistry class bunsen burner, then tossed it into the hall just before class change. The first person to come along was a teacher, who promptly blistered her fingers. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:34 AM on July 19, 2001

Mine's going to sound extremely tame in comparison to some of these terrific stories. But it's typical suburban youthdom, so what the hell.

The gaggle of 6th grade gals had gathered at Melissa's house one Friday evening and were feeling a bit wicked. One girl in our class (we'll call her Stacy) had been the object of ridicule for a couple years due to her rickrack-emblazoned clothing ensembles, so Karyn felt she was due for a bit of mischief. The game that night was prank calling, my friends. I'd already been bitten by the sting of failure when prank calling the cops with a friend of mine to report noise violations on some boy in our class and getting caught in the process. Of course, that memory completely eluded me as the excitement of the impending prank took hold. But in our collective ingenius manner, it was decided that instead of just prank-calling Stacy, we would prank call someone else and say we were Stacy. Sheer genius. That someone else was the class hunk, Ben, a Ralph Macchio-lookalike and the 'new boy' in school.

So we scout out digits and get down to business. I'd like to state at this point for the record that I am nowhere near the phone at this point and am just an amused onlooker. Anyway, Karyn picks up the phone, dials up Ben, and in a rushed jumble of words, exclaims "Hi, this is Stacy, will you go out with me? I'm really desperate!" and hangs up in a flurry of giggles as we spend the next couple hours laughing our asses off.

That is, of course, until I get home later that night.

Phone rings and Mom picks it up. "It's for you!" she says. Not thinking anything of it, I answer to find Stacy on the other end of the line.

"Vicki, what did you say to Ben? I know you know!" Good god, y'all.

My little 11-year-old mind scrambled as I tried to think of what to say. Realizing that my fruitless attempts at explaining my lack of direct involvement were getting nowhere, I handed the phone off to my mother to deal with and she spoke at length with Stacy's mother about the debacle. I distinctly remember us both sitting in the kitchen laughing like crazy after she got off the phone. Mom's pretty badass.

Turns out that after Karyn (a.k.a. "Stacy") hung up on Ben, he sat there for a minute or two and then looked up Stacy's real number and called her back. I can only imagine how that conversation went. "Are you really desperate?" "What?" Hoo boy. Talk about a backfire, and I wasn't even pulling the proverbial trigger. Oh, the days before *69 and caller ID, when prank calling was all the rage and still rather innocent.
posted by evixir at 8:31 AM on July 19, 2001

Early one morning, while makin' the rounds, I took a shot of cocaine and shot my woman down. Went back home, and I went to bed. I stuck that fuckin' .44 beneath my head.
C'mon, you gotta listen up to me! Lay off the whiskey, and let that cocaine beeeee!
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2001

I once shot a man just for snoring!
posted by jpoulos at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2001

When we were in grade 6, shortly after everybody had left for recess, me and a couple other guys tackled a kid that had been irritating (I forget why now even), took every stitch of his clothing and threw them out the classroom windows. Stupid really because there's no way you're not gonna get caught for something like that. Damned traumatizing to the poor little bastard too (Jeff, if you're out there, I really do regret it!). Anyway when the shit does hit the fan, I figure I'll be murdered by my parents, but the principal agrees not to call them if we talk to the religion teacher (and this was a PUBLIC school) about why what we did were wrong. So snickering all the way, we go get this 10 minute lecture on adam, eve, original sin and modesty, and then are allowed to go about our business. No wonder I have so little respect for organized religion...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2001

This prank foreshadows hacking:

In my high school days, a group of us practiced the art of getting into places where we shouldn't be (principal's office, teacher's lounge, girls' locker room, etc.). Once there, we would leave a note signifying our exploit. (I can't remember the exact wording of the note, something like "Igor was here". The wording was always the same, however, and it pointed directly at our group.)

One evening before a long weekend, some one of us planted a note somewhere that was found by a janitor making his rounds. He apparently pocketed the note and later died of a heart attack in a broom closet. When the body was found, so was the note. The immediate deduction was that my group had found the body (or even worse, the dying janitor), left the note there, and had gone our merry way.

The school administration considered me one of the leaders of this particular group, with the end result that I was given the joy of explaining to my parents why the police had come to our house to question me:

"We didn't kill the guy. The note was found on his body."

"We didn't plant the note on the body. He must have found it somewhere else."

"We didn't steal things. We just left the notes."

"Umm...I don't know?"
posted by joaquim at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2001

Backtracking a little bit...

I'm not religious at all, so I have no knowledge of the symbolism, but this statue had Mary holding an orb with a small cross sticking out of the top.

For those of you unfamiliar with Catholic iconography, the orb he's referring to is The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
posted by chuq at 12:39 PM on July 20, 2001

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