How I Pranked the Interns

My favorite pranks involve misdirection that doesn’t hurt anyone emotionally or physically. Pranks that, although transparent, make the person wonder if it just might be real.

My workplace has four interns. A few months ago they heard about how I pranked the entire staff last year for April Fool’s. It was decreed that no more pranks would follow, so I did a fun little survey for the staff instead this year.

However, the interns got it in their head that I was going to prank them. So over the last few weeks, they’ve been doing little pranks to me. Really small stuff, like switching my nameplate with someone else’s.

With April Fool’s Day approaching, I knew I had to figure out a way to get them. I knew if I did something to them at work, they’d see through it. Plus, I didn’t want to interrupt their workday–Holy Week is really busy for our campus ministers.

Fortunately, three of the interns live in the same house. It’s an intentional community with an older married couple. So I enlisted the help of the couple. Here’s how it went down:

Before Holy Thursday Mass, the couple mentioned to the interns that they had a termite problem arise that evening and they had to call in the exterminator to fumigate most of the rooms of the house. The interns had different reactions to this (some though it was a prank, others started planning ahead for an alternate place to sleep that night), but they didn’t have time to respond because Mass was starting.

After Mass, late at night, the first intern returned home to find that his door–and many other doors in the house, including the bedrooms, were taped over and had the following sign on the door:

This particular intern did what I did not expect any of them to do–he opened the door and walked into his room (and, naturally, found no fumigation device. Some dry ice on the floor would have been perfect.) I had thought that even if someone thought it was a prank, a little part of them would worry about the consequences of opening the door. Not this guy.

Fortunately, he played along, so when the next intern got home, she found the other intern and the couple sitting on the couch (because they didn’t have access to their rooms). This intern believed the prank a lot more than the first one. She even Googled “methyl isocyanate,” which is an actual chemical used for fumigation (thank you, Wikipedia!).

The last intern had the ideal reaction. He truly thought his room was being fumigated, and he was very close to finding another place to sleep that night when the prank was revealed to him.

All in all, I thought the prank went well. No feelings were hurt, and I’m almost even with interns on pranks this year. I need one more to pull ahead for good.

Did you get pranked on April Fool’s Day? Did you prank anyone or hear about any good ones?


13 Responses to “How I Pranked the Interns”

  1. Jasmin says:

    I know one. I don’t know him but this is what happened.

    On a hot Spring afternoon of 2005, Greg was hearing the alarm for the first time after a dozen repeats of the snooze button. His first thought, “Man, that was some night.” Then he looked at his clock with his half-opened eyes. SHIT! It was 12:55pm and class starts at 1:00pm. The instructor liked punctual people. Every semester she rewards her students who have three or less tardies five extra points. Greg was not the best student and he needed every point he can get. He already had two tardies. Anyway, He jumped out of bed, changed into he had on the floor, bulled out of his room, ran downstairs, sped through the kitchen for a quick bite, and into his car. The clock on the kitchen said 12:58pm. He stepped on his gas and off he went. Good thing his house was close to school. He got out of his car and sprinted to class. He was panting, sweating, and pumped with adrenaline. His watch said 1:01pm. He didn’t make it. Or did he? He was shocked and confused to find no one was in the classroom. He thought to himself, “Normally, everyone’s here by now.” Bewildered at the situation, he looked at the clock in the classroom. It said 12:03pm. What?! Greg’s brother was probably laugh in his sleep at the moment Greg was running out of the house. He pulled off one of the best pranks ever. That devilish brother of his turned every time telling devices in the house back one hour. He was able to do this since their parents were out of town. So Greg was at school an hour early.

    So yeah, it was a very good prank. We all laughed when he told us what happened.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      That’s a great story! I love the attention to detail–if the brother had forgotten a single clock, Greg probably would have figured it out. Well done, brother!

  2. Red says:

    In high school, I had a few ladies that I spoke with two or three times a week. Granted, I was not seeing any of them, but I liked to keep lines of communication open. So one night, I call my friend Courtney, and she sounds a bit different. We talk for a minute, and then she says she needs to call me back. A little concerned, I hang up, and watch a little Dawson’s Creek or something (first season ONLY).
    20 or so minutes later, the phone rings, and Courtney still doesn’t sound quite right. Not sick, but tenuous. She is deciding whether to tell me something or not. So I gently press her on the matter.
    She brings up the guy she had broken up with a few weeks ago (complete D-bag). Thinking that the uncertainty was because she doesn’t want to tell me that they were getting back together, I bite my tongue, and let her continue. She said that just before they broke up, they had this crazy wild night in bed, and that now she was L-A-T-E, and didn’t know waht to do.
    I’m 15. My biggest concern most days is whether the cafeteria has run out of Mambas. What the hell do I tell this girl who has aparently confided in me this life-altering worry? “Be supportive,” says that inner monologue. Whether she is pregnant or not, whether she decides to keep the child or not, whether she gets back together with Captain NumNutz or not, she is looking to you for support. So I tell her that it’ll all be fine, and we’re all in huge support of her, and our 15 year old friends will find a way to save up our allowences for diapers etc. And, realizing that I don’t have a lot of experience in the area, she should go call her slutty best friend. She’ll know what to do.
    We end the conversation, and my stomach is churning with “what will this mean for her?, Will they kick her out of school? will her parents kick her out of the house?” All very Seventh Heaven kind of concerns (With Jessica Biel on that show, you’re damn right they could fix any family tragedy in an hour). She calls back in 15 min, and has me look at my calendar. It’s April 1. “So what?” So, I just got punked, Catholic High School style. And as relieved as I am, I wish I had been able to think it through and be more suppotrive.
    That was the best, and only April Fools prank that I remember.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      This is a fantastic story. I think my favorite line (among many) was: “My biggest concern most days is whether the cafeteria has run out of Mambas.”

      I’ve actually also been “pranked” about a pregnancy–it was also in high school, and my cousin told me she was pregnant (and then forgot to tell me she was kidding until much later). Women of the world: Don’t joke about this! If you expect us to take it seriously when you actually do get knocked up, don’t joke about it otherwise! 🙂

      • Jennifer says:

        I had a friend who pulled this prank on her boyfriend in college. Needless to say…it didn’t end well. I told her she was so completely deranged for pulling that prank. I definitely don’t think this is something for women to joke about.

  3. Colleen says:

    Jamey, I got a kick out of the fumigation prank! 🙂

    I got pranked this year, too. On April Fools, my boyfriend said to me, Hey – did you hear about what happened in the Mississippi River? I said, No – what happened? He proceeded to tell me how they found a whale that had somehow made its way up the river. Not even thinking about April Fools, or how unlikely it would be to find a whale in a midwestern river, I was like, What?! lol. Apparently it’s pretty easy to fool me! haha.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Ha ha…that’s great! I probably would have believed it to if he had some evidence (a fake article) to back it up.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I’ll never forget the last April Fool’s Day group of pranks I pulled on my father in high school. I set it all up the night before while he was still sleeping.

    The next morning, I’m in my room and I hear this bellowing yell, “Jennifer!” I walk into his bedroom and he’s standing next to his bed holding his hand like he has something on it and curses me out right there for “whatever the hell” was put on his light pull-cord. He said if I did anything else, I needed to fix it before he leaves. Well, I cleaned the Vaseline off the pull-cord, took the rubber band off the sink hose (so that when you turn the faucet on, the hose automatically sprays you), cleaned the peanut butter off the door handle, and removed the plastic wrap from the toilet seat. I totally expected him to find that one first. Woo, I never pranked him again, but we laugh about the story now and he can’t believe I had set all that up.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      That’s absolutely incredible…you didn’t just pull one prank on your father, you pulled every prank in the book! Well done 🙂

  5. Lindsay says:

    I just finished an internship with a magazine publisher (and start a job as the editorial assistant on Monday!!!) I spent 2 months planning my boss’s press trip to Chicago (it’s a travel magazine).

    On the morning she was due to leave, she calls the office to tell me that she just got a message from one of the hotels saying they’ve had to cancel our reservation and won’t be participating in the trip/story. As I’m panicking and trying to figure out who I should yell at, she says “Oohh, Happy April Fool’s, by the way. Can I talk to Sarah [her assistant]? I’m going to ‘remind’ her about the 100-page directory due tomorrow.”

  6. […] I’ve written about before, I love a good prank. Some sleight of hand where you have someone thinking one thing while something else is going on. […]

  7. […] Here’s an example of a good prank I pulled a few years ago. But read on, because here’s an example of a great prank pulled on me last week. […]

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