It’s that time of year, when you might hear something kind of funny or a little bit off and then an hour or so later it clicks in your head, “What’s the date? Aw. It’s April 1,” otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. You’re either one of two people on this precarious day, the prankster or the prankee. These ten inventive U.K.-based pranks, not exclusive to April, may provide some Fool’s Day inspiration:
1. Stop the Presses, Spaghetti Grows on Trees
The BBC pulled a prank on the world with a news post featuring spaghetti grown on trees in 1957.
2. Keep a Close Eye on Your Facebook Page
Brit Oli Beale tweaked his friend’s Facebook photos, making him look grim, and then re-uploading.
3. When in Doubt, Turn to Shakespeare
A man from Bristol was duped by a fraudulent Gumtree.com seller (U.K. equivalent of CraigsList.org). When he realized he was not getting the product he had already paid for, he turned to William Shakespeare for some inspiration. The 24-year-old sent the seller the content of every one of Shakespeare’s plays, at no cost to him, via text. The buyer was able to cut and paste the words, in one swoop, and send it with one push of the key. The thing is, the seller, on the other hand, could only receive the texts 160 characters at a time, resulting in him (or her) receiving 29,305 texts.
4. Telemarketers Get a Taste of Their Own Medicine
Lea Beaumont, 25, who lives in Leeds, England, was fed up with receiving numerous calls from solicitors and took matters into his own hands. He set up a new phone number using PhonepayPlus so that incoming callers were charged 10 pence to connect and additional charges per minute. He has made £300 ($464) since then. He has a separate line for friends and family who can call him for free.
5. The MI6 is Hiring James Bond-like Assassins
An advertisement appeared on the official U.K. government’s job board, DirectGov, with the following description: “Target Elimination Specialist, job code 007, ‘to remove people whose continued existence poses a risk to the effective conduct of public order.’” The advertisement was taken down shortly after it appeared.
6. Mind the Gap … and Many Other Situations
Very realistic, yet a little bit off, warning stickers have been popping up in the London Tube.
7. Trickster Bus Stand
Pepsi Max set up a bus shelter in London and gave commuters an unbelievable experience. The folks behind this prank replaced the glass window in the bus stand with a video screen. The people waiting think they’re looking through the window at the street but then things get tricky when, for example, the man hole cover pops off and a huge tentacle slides out grabbing a pedestrian or when a meteor lands on the street. But, not really, it’s a visual effect.
8. London Zombie Attack
Two guys and a camera took to the streets of London with one running after people, dressed as a zombie, and the other catching their reactions on film. We do have one complaint, the “zombie” was moving way too fast for it to be believable. Because, of course, the living dead walking the streets of London is believable other than that.
9. A Ton of Phone Calls Might be a Red Flag
A British bloke turned to GumTree.com to prank his friend. The guy posted an ad with “ridiculously good deals” like a flat for £200 ($333) per week in a posh area of London (yes, this is expensive in most parts of the U.S.). The discounted, yet believable, posts included his unsuspecting friend’s number. The friend received so many phone calls that his phone was rendered “unusable.”
10. Some Pranks Pay Off!
A serial prankster, based in Brighton, has gained the attention of American director Kevin Smith (Clerks). Prankster, Chris Parkinson, 34, gained a following after pulling off a prank offering free lodgings for anyone who was willing to dress up like a walrus. The ad explained he was a man who befriended a walrus on holiday and missed him terribly. The ad received over 400 responses and was covered by local media outlets. Apparently Smith is making a movie about the outlandish ads but Parkinson has yet to speak with him directly. Maybe Parkinson is the one being pranked this time around?
Have you pulled off a prank you’re particularly proud of?