Good Car Practical Joke
April 12, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Our friend left her car in front of my house for the weekend. What are some awesome, cheap, reversible, pranks and/or decorations to welcome her home?

Originally, I wanted to make a paper mache stegosaurus but we are lazy and cheap. So far we have come up with writing For Sale and her phone number on the windows, adding offensive bumper stickers, or high school class of 2008—Seniors Rule! But, surely, mefites know best. Details: Car is a silver Saturn Ion, 4 door sedan. Car is parked on not busy street. We don’t have the keys. This is in Denver so all manner of supplies should be readily available if sold on the weekend.
posted by fieldtrip to Grab Bag (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Kragen and other car stores sell washable car paint. You could use this to add decorations.

Test on an inconspicuous area first, of course.
posted by zippy at 9:39 AM on April 12, 2008


Vinyl stickers.

It helps the cost of the prank if you have three years worth of them lying around like we did, but how far do you want to go for 'art', I guess?
posted by Brockles at 9:42 AM on April 12, 2008


Gift wrap the entire car in the tacky/themed wrapping paper of your choice.
posted by orange swan at 9:44 AM on April 12, 2008


Cover the entire car in Post-It notes.
posted by 4ster at 10:01 AM on April 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Print up some fake parking tickets? (At least one for each day, with the listed fine increasing each time.)
posted by fogster at 10:05 AM on April 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I don't know if you'll have enough time, but you could buy or make a fake Denver Boot to put on her car. You could aslo cover her windshield with fake parking tickets.

When she sees it and freaks out you could just play it cool and say "Yeah, they are pretty strict about parking around here."
posted by burnmp3s at 10:07 AM on April 12, 2008


We used to use saran wrap. I'd advise against this if you don't live in the north and/or the car isn't parked in the full shade. Or if the car's crappy enough and you live down south it might just improve the looks.

We set a car up on jackstands so the tires were about an inch off the ground. If done correctly it won't be noticeable.

You could put a whole bunch of fake parking tickets under the windshield wipers.

One of those old punch balloons clamped around the exhaust pipe (best in winter) - only advisable if you're mechanically inclined and willing to deal with any issues.

If the handbrake isn't set (I'm guessing the ION is FWD - too lazy to look it up) you could get two jacks and move it somewhere. Moved about 20 feet away it'll really confuse them - something won't quite be right. Then adamantly deny that that isn't where it was originally parked.
posted by krisak at 10:08 AM on April 12, 2008


In high school, I covered a friend's car in mud. Top to bottom except the windows (covered those with masking tape and plastic and peeled off when done). It looked like a very weird vehicle one might see in the Flintstones. He retaliated by shrink wrapping my car. He worked in the shipping department of somewhere and wrapped the car in heat-shrink plastic. He used hair dryers to shrink it. My mom helped by supplying the extension cords and electricity (and letting him know when I would be gone for a few hours). Definitely less messy than my mud prank.
posted by dogmom at 10:10 AM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a Saturn? Clearly it needs to be surrounded by its own ring system.

There's got to be a way to encircle the car with a sheet of horizontal material. Or maybe you just need a lot of suction cups, bamboo skewers and styrofoam balls.
posted by jamaro at 10:18 AM on April 12, 2008


Cover it in painters tape.
posted by iamabot at 10:36 AM on April 12, 2008


Hand wash, wax and vacuum her car and replace the Fresh-It tree with a new one.
posted by watercarrier at 10:36 AM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]




Swap out the badge for that of another type of car, or a custom one. See how long it takes her to notice.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:58 AM on April 12, 2008


My roommate woke up one morning to find her entire car meticulously wrapped in aluminum foil... To this day, she still recalls that day quite fondly.
posted by halogen at 11:33 AM on April 12, 2008


Following SupreSquirrel's suggestion: if anyone happens to be a science nerd (her? you?) you might turn "ion" into "Fermion."

I'm a big fan of jamaro's rings idea. This should be reasonable straightforward, but do make sure they don't stick out into the street too far. Also, don't forget that Saturn has several moons.
posted by JMOZ at 11:56 AM on April 12, 2008


You could always attach an extra wheel and tire or two to the carr and tell her it's picked up a couple of electrons, now it's a Saturn Balanced Molecule.
posted by pupdog at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2008


You could always attach an extra wheel and tire or two to the carr and tell her it's picked up a couple of electrons, now it's a Saturn Balanced Molecule.
Although I don't have a suggestion of my own, I vote for that one.
posted by majikstreet at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2008


QUICK! Eat some vegetables!

Now, grab the empty cans and take off the labels and replace the labels with this.

Slip a CD you make (with obvious content) in through the window if you can. It's so thin, you should hopefully be able to do that, and have it drop right on the front seat. Write "Hi [friend's name], play me!"

Can you rig the cans on a string under the back of the car so that when your friend drives off it falls down?

She gets in, she finds the CD, starts up the car and starts playing it, pulls off, and she's simultaneously listening to you-know-what at the loudest volume you could burn it onto the CD with, but she's also pulling a bunch of Astley cans bouncing noisily behind her.

Maybe a sign that somehow deploys from the back bumper that says "Rickroll'd!" as she drives away.
posted by cashman at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2008


This one can turn out a little mean.

Is there any way you can roll down the window (or convince AAA to open the car for you)? If so, roll 'er down and sprinkle a whole bunch of broken glass around.
posted by porpoise at 3:08 PM on April 12, 2008


This one can turn out a little mean.

No. That one starts out a lot mean.

I would not consider that a practical joke in any sense of the word. I would consider it vandalism or assault. But, hey, that's just me. I don't know what the cool kids are doing these days.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:19 PM on April 12, 2008


Call the AAA, tell them you locked your keys inside, get them to come open the car. Fill it with packing peanuts. Relock the door.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:30 PM on April 12, 2008


Spell out something funny/rude in gummi bears stuck to the windshield.

Caveat: I think that these are easy to remove by dumping hot water on them, but I might be misremembering what I heard from my friend who had this done to her car.
posted by cadge at 5:51 PM on April 12, 2008


Similar to the Post-it prank - you could obtain some removable mounting squares, double sided removable tape, or removable adhesive, and cover the car with pretty much anything that's light enough to stick to the squares - postcards, nekkid pictures, small toys, pictures of other cars, etc.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:44 PM on April 12, 2008


Fuzzy Skinner: He wasn't suggesting the person actually break the window. I think most people would consider that a practical joke. No harm done to the person's vehicle, but they are freaked out for a little while.
posted by trevor Manternach at 6:52 PM on April 12, 2008


Way, way back in my college days, I would help my roommate wrap cars in toilet paper. Around and over and under, front to back and side to side. Several rolls per automobile.

Once, his girlfriend made mannequins out of newspaper and pantyhose and old clothing; it made for an interesting drive to campus. (I kept her old bra on my rear-view mirror for ages.)

But whatever you do, do not pull apart Oreo cookies and stick them onto the car. This was done to my brand-new sister-in-law's car at the wedding. The creme filling eats the paint. No lie.
posted by bryon at 7:21 PM on April 12, 2008


Fuzzy Skinner: He wasn't suggesting the person actually break the window. I think most people would consider that a practical joke. No harm done to the person's vehicle, but they are freaked out for a little while.

Yeah, yeah, I get that. But putting glass in someone's car can cause injury. And you can never be sure it's all gone.

Now, putting something that looks like glass, but without the injurious properties... maybe that would be a prank.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2008


You can get paint pens at Michael's that are suitable for painting on glass. We did this to a friend's car and wrote on lots of naughty phrases and doodles.
posted by radioamy at 7:33 PM on April 12, 2008


If a window was cracked just a little you could put some live crickets in there. They're cute , harmless, AND you can get them at any bait shop, at least in the South. Plus, they're cheap. You can get a hundred for 7 bucks. But, do bait shops in the Rockies carry crickets?
posted by wsg at 10:39 PM on April 12, 2008


Don't do it. It's too mean...that goes for all of you.
posted by wsg at 10:48 PM on April 12, 2008


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