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Some more in my ever popular series of survival guides for the urban warrior.

If you’re not to become the victim of this, the greatest practical joke ever, you’ll have to become the perpetrator. You will have gathered by now that I’m a bit of a prankster, but I very rarely operate on a practical level. I usually work with words, lead people into traps from which there is no escape but to yell ‘Kamerad! White flag!’

There is a very good reason for this. I very much dislike being embarrassed, and despite my hard-nosed persona, I embarrass very easily. I do. It’s the Mr Fluffy in me. I hate it. Yes, i will take the piss mercilessly. Going further is anathema to me. Because of this, I try hard not to inflict embarrassment on others. I’ll never be a willing party to a strip-o-gram, because I get embarrassed. I really do. I don’t find it funny at all. Nor to a friend ending up with no money or passport waking up in Prague. I don’t think that’s at all funny either.

Words can confuse, but they do not hurt. Ending up in Brighton railway station wearing only a bin liner – and I do know someone to whom that has happened – doesn’t strike me as very funny at all. I’m a real time funmaker, though you mess with me at your peril. I don’t carry grudges. Not for very long. Retribution is swift and sure. Not very Fluffy at all.

But I’ve been thinking about this. What would I do if someone really pissed me off? How would I get my own back? What would you do? I’ll tell you what I’d do. I would not rest until the perpetrator was in prison or in the ground. And ‘in the ground’ was a phrase that got me thinking in a way that’s oblique even by my reckoning. The best payback the world has ever seen. The world’s best practical joke. Ever! So I’m going to tell you how to go about it.

This will take some preparation, but I’m sure it will be worth the effort. I can guarantee you, with no question, this one has never ever been done. It’s potentially brilliant.

You’re going to need two accomplices. One of the accomplices will need to be a bit of a propellorhead.

Here’s the tricky bit. All three of you, and your intended victim, need to be members of the crew of the Starship Enterprise. I can see this might take some setting up, but it’s still three weeks to April Fool’s Day, and there’s always next year. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Here’s what you need to do. You need to contrive that two of you, plus victim, are on a landing party being transported to the surface of a new world with a new civilisation. The other accomplice, the propellorhead, has to be in charge of the transporter. Because what he’s going to do is subtly alter some settings somewhere.

The transporter is incredibly accurate in its placement, hence the frequent line ‘I can’t get a fix on him, Captain!’ So your mate has to make sure that you and your accomplice arrive safely planetside in a hail of gold sparks and accompanied by various suitable SF/X. But he also makes sure that the patsy rematerialises from a hail of gold sparks and SF/X, but unlike you, safely on your feet, he’s materialised about 5’ further down, and is buried up to his neck in the ground! Just how funny would that be as a practical joke? Really, come on. You could die laughing at someone in that fix.

You can now be really cruel, and make things worse for the victim whom I’ll call Kowalski, a name that is often attached to victims in sci-fi. They nearly always die when they’re called Kowalski. I don’t know why this is. But I digress. Here’s how it plays out.

‘Hey. Where’s Kowalski?’

‘I dunno. Thought he was with you.’

‘Nope. Hey, KOWALSKI! KOWALSKI!’

Errrmmm, I’m over here guys.’

‘Did you here something just then?’

‘No. Hey KOOOWWWWAAAALLLLLSSSSKKKIII!’

I’m over here guys. OVER HERE!’

‘We’d best go and look for him.’

‘Good thinking.’

You wander off with you colleague prankster.

Guys! GUYS! OK very funny. Now joke over. Can you dig me out, please? GUYS! This really isn’t funny any more! I can take a joke but it’s really wearing thin now. HEY! COME BACK! COME BACK HERE RIGHT NOW! HEY YOU JERKS!

Shit those guys think they’re so godammed funny. What a couple of dorks. I wonder who they’ve got up in the transporter room doing this shit. Whoa! What was that noise? Kind of shuffling sound…. Wish I could turn my head…..

‘OHMIGOD! GUYS! GUYS! Help me out here. There’s a big thing looks like a Styrofoam rock with rubber tentacles AND IT’S COMING MY WAY! Look I’m sorry I called you both jerks! Come on, help me out! PLLLLEEEEAAAASSSSE. Ohmigod, it’s about two feet away. It’s looking at me. Ohmigod, I’m dead. Ohmigod….’

At which point you stand up and take off the carnival alien costume.

It’s a good one isn’t it? Really a good one.

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