Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Name, Prank And Serial Number

I Is For Intenet (And IT And Irritable)

Before I start writing the actual post, I just want to run this concept past you. Trust me, you'll understand exactly why in a moment:

WHITE TYPE ON A RED BACKGROUND LOOKS LIKE THIS:

WHITE TYPE ON A PURPLE BACKGROUND LOOKS LIKE THIS:


BUT WHITE TYPE ON A WHITE BACKGROUND IS INVISIBLE:



Okay, so I've pulled a few pranks in my time, but this will always be one of my favourites. This happened in the early days of email, long before most offices and corporations implemented policies for use of the Internet and office-based email.

A very close friend of mine - and a terrific worker, I should point out - was having a bit of a chuckle about an email he had received. The attachment contained a file that I would classify as risque, rather than anything totally offensive. He spent several moment spluttering with laughter and then called me over to have a look at the file.

``That sort of stuff could get you into a lot of trouble,'' grunted another colleague - with a twinkle in his eye. I took that as my cue. I hatched a plan and returned to my desk. I rang the office IT support team to tell them what I was doing. I told them my friend would soon ring to report a computer problem - and I told them exactly how to respond to his phone call.

That was the easy part. The hard part was finding the opportunity to take over his computer for about ninety seconds. Midway through the afternoon, my good friend left his desk for about five minutes. I quickly raced over to his computer and changed the settings on his control panel. Instead of the default setting of black text on a white background, he would now get white text on a white background.

In other words, anything he typed would be invisible! (And he’s not a nerd, so I knew he wouldn’t figure out what had happened!)

Sure enough, when he returned, he thought his computer was playing up. Bless his cotton socks, he's a wonderful bloke but he's hopeless with computers. And he gets really, really narky when technology ceases to function as expected.

When he returned to his desk, he soon realised there was a problem with his computer. Speaking through gritted teeth, he picked up the phone, rang the IT department as I had predicted - and asked them to come and sort out his ``bloody computer''. The two IT experts who had been ``coached'' by me appeared shortly after. They could have each received Oscar nominations for carrying out their parts without betraying the game. In a nutshell, this is what transpired ...

IT experts: ``Do you have pornographic material on this PC?''
Colleague: (startled) ``No.''
IT experts: ``Any offensive downloads?''
Colleague: ``No.''
IT experts: ``Have you recently opened any email attachments?''
Colleague: (cautiously) ``Er, yes.''
IT experts: ``Can we inspect them please? There is one attachment doing the rounds that is classified as pornography - and it is causing a strange virus that is wiping out the hard drive of the computers of everyone who opens the attachment.''
Colleague: (with a slight stutter and showing signs of cracking under the strain)``There is one email attachment that I opened today ....''

For the next five minutes, the IT guys shook their heads as they sternly inspected the email, opened the attachment and told my colleague, stony-faced, that he could be responsible for IT mayhem in the company.

Just when he started sweating bullets, they told him there would be serious consequences.

Colleague: ``Like what?''
IT experts: ``Like if you don’t go and talk to your mate David McMahon, who orchestrated this entire prank.''

54 comments:

Neva said...

very funny...but I would've smacked you up the side of the head....lol..just kidding...cute...

kml said...

You guys are brutal - he must have got you back somehow! Thanks for the chuckle!

david mcmahon said...

Hi Neva,

He is a good sport, but he said he came very close to smacking me on the side of the head - both sides, in fact!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi KML,

He was too much of a gentleman to get me back.

That and the fact that the pressure was on him to come up with a better prank!

Keep smiling

David

oldmanlincoln said...

Well your post is about as bad as my fart post today. Thanks for the comment on it.

When I came here I thought this was about what colors work best for the human eye when it comes to type and paper or paint and font.

It is black on yellow.

Anyway....

If you have not see my new blog about my early life in Japan (1950s) then it might be worth the click > Here

~**Dawn**~ said...

Tsk tsk tsk, David! ;-)

Honestly, I am so gullible when it comes to pranks that I'm just glad you don't have the access to pull things like that off with me.

CHEWY said...

Wise Guy! LOL!

I tried to color my text white for this comment, but the box won't allow that HTML tag. DARN!

lime said...

oh my goodness, i can just imagine the moments of terror this guy had thinking he was responsible for utter technological chaos! wish i'd thought ot it!

dot said...

You are a true prankster! Enjoyed your "I" post.

it's the little things... said...

You meanie!

Eve said...

Suweet! I bet he didn't open attachments for a while after. :)

Michal said...

brilliant!

Colleen said...

David!
This is sooooooo awesome! i wish I could have seen this whole thing played out. That's hilarious!!!

RUTH said...

I wish you were nearer I'd take a photo of you as my "P" is for Prankster. Think the worse we ever did at work was change one (very bumptious) colleagues speed dial numbers to the direct line number of the managing director. The biggest laugh was when he rang the canteen and and before any one spoke at the other end said "Get your ar*e up here and bring me a coffee". He was summoned by tannoy to the Directors office and we quickly changed the numbers back. He did keep his job as one of the pranksters was the Directors "girlfriend" and explained the situation. He was a good sport and roared with laughter...the bumptious colleague never forgave us though!
Rx

backpakker said...

Hilarious !Nothing like humour (even if its at someone's cost :))to brighten up a dull day...thanks

Suldog said...

That is excellently funny! I'll have to remember that for use in the future.

Dottie said...

That's hilarious! I work in IT and we've pulled some fun pranks on our team mates. Laughter is good things. Have a great day.

Peter said...

Great story Dave, that trick is always a winner, like your sense of humour

Mushy said...

One of the simplest ways to send secret messages there is...of course the other end must know to highlight and change the color of the font!

Good prank, and an even better blog title. You are the King.

Luke said...

I had no idea that you were such a prankster. Don't take it the wrong way, but I'm glad that we don't work in close quarters.

Max-e said...

Good one David. Makes work more fun when you play the occassional prank

KaiBlueCreations said...

LOL..you are a total silly billy, nice prank David!
PEace Kai

Nessa / Goldennib said...

Great prank.

BRUNO said...

If you'd have done this more recently, I'd swear to God that "Our Gang" has started to rub-off onto you!

You see what we done to poor little "Shrink" Carol! We've probably ruined HER for life...!

Hin Man said...

You so funny and I will kill you if do that to me. You are soooo funny. I am born to be a serious person and I were the poor guy, I would be mad for few minutes but I would soon give you a big hug for the laugh and reminder NOT to take things seriously. We have to enjoy and embrace life in the positives and bear with setbacks such as the silly old computers.

Mike said...

Funny story David. Did he ever get his own back?

david mcmahon said...

G'day Old Man Lincoln,

Yes, my design background in newspapers and magazines confirms that black on yellow is the most clearly visible.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Dawn,

Hmmmmmm - just thinking about how to overcome the tyranny of distance!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Darlene,

That was a killer - you win comment of the day for that one.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Lime,

He was a great sport - or maybe he was just relieved it was a prank!

He's still a close friend ....

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

G'day Dot,

Hmmmm, one day I'll have to tell you about some of the other office pranks!!!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Its The Little Things,

He said pretty much the same thing. He's a gentleman - was then and is now!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Eve,

I'll send him one now to find out if he opens it or not!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Michal,

I just hope he doesn;t decide on revenge!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Colleen,

I was a little nervous but he took it very sportingly. Not everyone would have seen the funny side! But he sure did!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Ruth,

Happy to pose for your camera! By the way, you prank is even better than mine - PLEASE write it as a post on your blog....

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi backpakka,

It was a very dull afternoon - until The Email Prank took place.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Suldog,

Sir, you have my permission to use it any time.

But it's almost a decade on and most people are tech-savvy now!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Dottie,

I;d like to hear some of those stories. Post 'em on your blog ....

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Peter,

He was so good about it. He acknowledged there was no malice in it.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

G'day Mushy,

Thank you for that ggreat comment. Glad you liked the post title.

My mate, the victim of the prank, was a very gracious man - otherwise he would have sent me to the guillotine!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Luke,

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Meanwhile, you are about to ge a visit from your team of IT support staff .....

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi KaiBlue,

Yes, I've been known to descend into gratuitous stupidity fairly regularly!

How's your writing going? Keep me informed...

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

G'day Nessa,

It was a great prank to set up and it worked perfectly, but the ultimate accolade goes to the victim for being so sporting.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

G'day Bruno,

I'm intrigued now - I'm off to find out what's happened to Carol!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Hin Man,

I think I was born to have fun! Maybe I'll grow up one day ...

You;re so right. We all need to have light-hearted moments.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Max-e,

Yes. I'll go along with that one. And it helps if you have great colleagues as well. He is a fine journalist and a terrific bloke.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Mike,

I'm sure he's plotting his revenge. You'll be the first one to know when he launches his scheme ....

Keep smiling

David

Chele76 said...

oh that is PERFECT!!!!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That's hilarious. You're bad.

Mark Leslie said...

Okay, this is hilarious! I can't wait to try this on someone. :)

rk said...

rotfl!! hilarious and well planned prank!
david, you are deadly.

love to read more of such posts.

cheese
rk

Deborah Gamble said...

I'd say you and your pranking could give DH a run for his money.

edison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.