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By M.D. Thalmann

MISGUIDED PRACTICAL JOKES A prank is only a good prank when it’s funny for everyone, or so I’ve been told—repeatedly. I always tend to pull pranks that are only funny to me and a handful of the other inmates on my ward, so I have experience in the area of misguided practical jokes. I may be able to save you some heartache by sharing a few of my botched attempts at humor.


M.D. Thalmann is a local writer and author. To see his work, visit

TOP 12 PRANKS YOU SHOULD NOT TRY THIS APRIL FOOLS’ DAY Invite your parents or close friends over for dinner. Once they have all arrived, lead them to the dining room, where you have a mannequin sitting opposite your chair. Grab its wooden hand tenderly and tell your guests that you have invited them over to meet your new fiancé. Raise your glass in a toast and invite them to say a few words as well.

Try to sell your spouse’s car on Craigslist, He or she will have a blast wading through those e-mails and could possibly get kidnapped in the process, which will give you plenty of free time to prank the kids.

Get an air horn from a sporting goods store and walk around your coworkers’ desks, blaring it in their ears when they are on the phone or deep into an e-mail about kittens. Then yell, “Have you seen my keys?” (or “Happy Fourth of July” or something equally ridiculous) and run off.

Gather 12 to 15 rubber snakes from a Halloween surplus store and lock them in the room with someone you love while he or she is sleeping— drape them all over the bed and ceiling fan. Vaseline the inside door handle to make escape impossible, and then bang on the door like a maniac. It would be wise to capture this on video and see if you can’t get some money out of the deal.

Replace all the coffee with freshly ground potpourri.

Cover the floor in industrial-strength two-sided tape or flooring glue. This is also known as vandalism, or so I’ve been told—repeatedly.

Set all the clocks in the house an hour or so early so that your special someone gets a jump on traffic. Print up a bunch of signs and arrows that say “Estate Sale,” set them up on busy roads and intersections, and use them to route traffic to your ex’s house.


Do a factory reset of someone’s smartphone. It will take the person days to get all those apps back but will give him or her something to do while glued to the floor.

Replace key items from someone’s wardrobe with nearly identical but smaller-size garments. You can watch the person try to figure out what went wrong while squirming and shouting as he or she tries to get into those comfy old jeans that no longer fit.


Burn a CD that starts with 45 seconds of total silence and then add in two minutes of blaring horns and crashing noises. Put it in someone’s car with the volume all the way up, and watch from a safe distance as the driver throws potpourri coffee all over the upholstery. It’s hilarious.

Steal a bunch of detour signs and use them to route traffic in a circle near your home. Then set up a little stand selling maps for $10. No matter what you ultimately chose to do, be safe.

Profile for North Valley Magazine

North Valley Magazine  

April/May 2014

North Valley Magazine  

April/May 2014