Jameson Filston, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor
April first is here, and people all across the country will be breaking out whoopee cushions and buckets of water to prank friends and family alike. However, pranks have become a controversial topic as of late with people using the guise of pranks to justify unethical and illegal behavior.
As a triplet, pranks have always been a part of my life. I grew up sneaking into the bathroom to throw cold water on my brother while he was showering, or folding my sister’s sheets in an “apple pie” so that she couldn’t get into bed. These jokes caused laughter from both parties and often resulted in me waking up with my stuffed animal shark hanging above my nose or my toothbrush hidden in a drawer.
These harmless pranks were fun, but a different kind of prank has been glorified by YouTube videos and other social media platforms. This kind of prank can involve pulling a fake gun on a stranger in the street or causing damage to public or private property to get reactions. This kind of prank is immoral, disturbing and dangerous, and should never be emulated.
When performing a prank, you must keep in mind how the people will feel about the prank, what can go wrong and whether the prank is acceptable in the setting. If performed right, a prank can be fun and funny for everyone involved, but it can be disturbing and angering if done wrong.
In my senior year of high school, I attended a weekend retreat with a group of friends. When one of my friends would not wake up for an activity, the boys staying in the room carried him through the camp on his mattress and laid him in front of the building. When he woke up, he was amused as we knew he would be.
The setting of the retreat was perfect for this prank, because the people were there to have fun and go a little wild. In the end, this was a positive experience for everyone at the expense of no one. My friend enjoyed being the center of attention and the crowd was amused to see such a bold move from his friends.
This could have been a very different situation if my friend was shy or if we were in a more formal setting. However, we knew the friend and the situation well enough that we were confident in taking the risk.
If you don’t know someone very well, don’t pull a big prank on them. Ask them if they like pranks or start small. If someone doesn’t like taking a squirt gun in the face, then you probably shouldn’t make any plans to dump them in the lake.
It is also important to be careful to prevent property damage, especially when water is involved. A friend of mine had a sibling “borrow” their phone while someone dumped water on their head, and even filmed the event with their own phone. However you do it, make sure that any valuable or fragile property is off a friend’s person before doing something that can damage it.
Every prank has a risk, but if you consider the consequences and the factors carefully, you can minimize the risk of failure and make your pranks positive for everyone involved. Be creative and be careful, but always keep pranking!