I stayed late Friday after work and printed this out on the color laser printer so that it covered four pages that I had to trim and tape together. So over twice lifesize, maybe three times.
Took that into the admin assistant’s (Sandy’s) office and removed one of the ceiling tiles next to the wall opposite her desk and taped it to the wall studs above the ceiling. The black background on the pic blended perfectly with the stygian darkness of the utility space. Put the ceiling tile back in place, cleaned up my mess, and awaited the perfect moment.
Timing is everything.
Tuesday afternoon. I’m within earshot when someone asks her to open one of the classrooms. She walks out, I enter and pop the ceiling tile out of the way with a convenient umbrella. Total elapsed time, 15 seconds.
I step across the hall to chat with ‘Joe’ while I await her return. Joe is unaware, as is everyone else, what mayhem brews. This has been completely a solo operation. She returns to her desk and whatever she was working on when she was earlier interrupted. A few minutes later ‘Wayne’ pokes his head into her office to ask about something. She then asks Wayne if he knows anything about the hole in her ceiling. He glances up and says, “No, what’s that critter?”
Sandy looks up and actually looks at the opening. And shrieks.
Joe is startled but quickly recovers and looks at me with that What have you done now look. Wayne staggers into the hall, blood dripping from his ears. Did I mention that Sandy shrieked? Loudly?
Some of the other cave dwellers venture from their domiciles once they are sure that no one is being disembowelled. We all gather in Sandy’s office and comment on how perfectly evil that prank was and how nearly impossible it will be to top.
Everyone had a good laugh and the department now has a new mascot, Sparky.
Sandy: Refuses to have ceiling tile replaced so she can show Sparky off to everyone that visits.
Joe: Returns to his office much amused.
Wayne: Files for workman’s comp for his damaged hearing.
Me: Escapes prosecution this time and begins plotting my next evil scheme.
Back in the Mac OS 7.x to 8.x days, there were a couple great joke extensions that you could use to wreak havoc on co-worker’s machines;
Backwords; all text is displayed backwards
Gravity; the mouse pointer is affected by “gravity”
Moof; changes all text in menus and controls to the sound Clarus the DogCow makes (Moof!)
Sniff; the Mac emits a random sniffling sound
Belch; the Mac emits a Homer Simpson-esque belch when ejecting discs
and the crown jewel;
AARGH!; the Mac would randomly emit a bloodcurdling Sam Kinison-esque scream
We used to change the error beep to a recording of the owner’s name spoken in a reproachful tone.
Back when we used a VAX (VMS), we had fun with aliases difined in the startup script. One of my coworkers alway cursed at the computer. So when one time she forgot to log out and left her account open, we set it up so that when she typed “mail” to access her e-mail, she would get the message " I am not talking to you any more, you are not nice to me". She had to type “sorry” to get her mail.
Conan the Librarian: would monitor the Mac’s microphone for ambient noise. When things got too loud, it’d play a sound clip of Arnold Schwarzenegger from Kindergarten Cop screaming, “Shut up! SHUT UP!!”. The sound file played varied with the ambient noise level.
And my personal favorite: Minitors. Truly evil. This extension would progressively remove one line of pixels from the user’s screen at each startup, alternating between the horizontal and vertical axes. As the viewable area got smaller, icons would shift over to remain on screen. I’ve heard tales of people still attempting to use computers whose screen size had shrunk to about two inches of viewable area.
Ah, the Joker Inits. My favorite was the one that would randomly add a character while typing every 30 characters or so. Almost impossible to detect, and used to drive my 160 wpm co-worker insane.
As for one I did personally back in the day: this was when the rage was SETI@Home screensavers. The purpose of this for the uninitiated was to connect every computer using the screensaver to search the skies for UFOs and gather data. It looked basically like this, although not as fancy - this would have been around 1997 or so, back when PointCast was hot.
Anyway, one of my coworkers took this waaaay too seriously. So I replaced his screensaver with a kiosked slide show on loop, with the original screenshot on one slide and a manipulated one on the next slide with a giant red spike and a message that said “RADIO TRANSMISSION RECEIVED - CONTACT SETI IMMEDIATELY,” and a beeping sound. Hilarity ensued.