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Wide World of Pranks: Rant

Prank the Monkey -- Buy This Book!

I love a good prank. It's why I dream them up; it's why I created this Web site. People always ask me to suggest a good book on how to do pranks. It's really hard to find a good book on the subject. So much of what makes a prank good really depends on the situation, where you are staging the prank and how you intend to pull it off.

Sir John Hargrave is best known for his work with the humor Web site Zug.com. Hargrave recently took up the challenge to write on this subject and his book, Prank The Monkey, is inspired genius.

The book is goes far beyond childish pranks and veers deeply into the territory of cultural jamming. Hargrave goes after companies like Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and even takes on the United Nations. Most people would shy away from his outlandish stunts for fear they might be kicked out of Wal-Mart or never be able to visit France again.

Part of Hargrave's brilliance is that he discovered when pulling a prank, unless the police are involved, nothing you do will end up on your permanent record. You can do anything you like in a corporate box store and usually the worst thing that will happen is the Manager will ask you to leave. But he takes it even further. He starts doing things with pranks that even make me squirm. Not because he's taking the joke too far, I start wondering if Wal-Mart might ban me from the stores just for looking at what he wrote. Because we all know they can.

The true genius of Hargrave is that his pranks are original and fun. Each one he illustrates makes me wish I had a time machine so I could go back in history and do the pranks before he dreamed them up. I feel inspired to go out and try antics that reach the same prankish level. Admittedly, it's hard to top what he has done. That sounds bold, but take a look at his name, Sir John Hargrave. How did an American with no political power, not a war hero, who never brokered a lasting peace agreement get knighted? He didn't. He attempted to get knighted by the Queen of England, but when that failed, he just had his name legally changed. Then went back to Buckingham Palace to taunt them with the name change.

If you consider yourself a prankster, a cultural jammer, an activist or just someone in search of a really great read, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of Prank The Monkey.


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