I was listening to the Halloween podcast of CBC's Definitely Not the Opera, and I got to thinking about times when I have been scared, or scared others. Then I remembered something that happened a long time ago, at a place where I worked.
Our workplace was bustling during the day, but at night, a skeleton crew remained on duty. Skeleton was a good word for this bunch, considering their macabre sensibility and black sense of humour. They liked to scare each other. One way they did this was to plant a life size human dummy in various places, so that an unsuspecting co-worker would come across it and be startled. The dummy disappeared in between pranks, so nobody was sure where it was, or when it would pop up next. Imagine walking into a darkened room and finding a realistic looking person lurking behind a door, or slumped in a chair. booga booga booga!
At some point, one of my co-workers (who we'll call prankster #1) decided to notch the gag up a bit. He enlisted the help of a buddy (who we'll call joker boy), who convinced another co-worker (who we'll call poor sod dupe) to plant the dummy, then wait for his friend - prankster #1 - to be scared. Joker Boy and Dupey hid and watched as P1 walked into the room in the dark, saw the dummy, shrieked, then had a (fake) heart attack. As P1 writhed on the floor in faux cardiac agony, Joker Boy jumped to his rescue. "Look what we've done! Oh my God! We've killed him!" he shouted to poor old Dupey, who was just about dying himself of panic and guilt. Dupey ran to call 911, and it took everything P1 and JB had to convince him it was a hoax.
After this incident, the dummy was dismembered by a supervisor who had had enough of practical jokes. I'm sure they just went underground a bit deeper, but that was the end of dummy ambushes and fake coronaries.
question: have you ever pulled (or been the object of) a prank?
mompoet - wondering where the line is between startling someone in fun, and actually scaring a person to death