Fun & Games at work
May 13, 2008 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Of course you know, this means war!

So, I've found myself in a friendly cube war with my next door neighbor at work. His latest trick was barring the entrance of my cube with a Bugs Bunny 'do not enter' sign and packing tape. (Crappy camera phone pic here.)

I swear, I only turned my back for a minute! Now, I clearly need to up the ante - but in a nice way. This guy is a great coworker, and I'm not a fan of practical jokes.

Can you help me plan my 'retaliation' and win the next battle of this war? We're at a toy company, so we're probably a bit more relaxed than most workplaces. Ideally, I'd like to do something with a gradual build over the next few weeks and end with some sort of grand finale. Ideas? Anyone?

Extra points for cheap and/or Bugs Bunny/Warner Brothers theme.
posted by Space Kitty to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If he leaves his desktop unlocked for a second: (in windows) make a desktop shortcut with the 'force shutdown' command. Put it in the startup folder.
posted by mullingitover at 9:12 PM on May 13, 2008

That is a very bad idea, because it would interfere with work and would be very hard to fix.
posted by Class Goat at 9:17 PM on May 13, 2008

Class Goat writes "That is a very bad idea, because it would interfere with work and would be very hard to fix."

I assumed 'don't take the joke too far' was implicit, but yeah, don't take the joke too far. It's good for a few minutes of harmless prank payback though.
posted by mullingitover at 9:23 PM on May 13, 2008

Take all the plants in the office or any fake plants you own and place 1 or two randomly in each day (this way it also looks like he stole them and has some plant fetish) As a grand finale I'd take every fake plant in the office (this assumes you have a multitude of them- if any at all) and make his cube into a jungle.
posted by bobdylanforever at 9:35 PM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think it would be helpful (and delightful) to make use of Acme products in this situation. I feel certain that you could repurpose nerf-like components for this. You should be able to get several good ideas from almost any Wile E Coyote/Road Runner cartoon. And the good thing about those is that it's usually going to have the build up to the big event in the cartoon for inspirational ideas.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:53 PM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Does your toy company have an iconic mascot? Tie a noose in some rope and hang the mascot from the ceiling. Tip his chair over so it looks like a suicide.
posted by spatula at 10:09 PM on May 13, 2008

Wait for him to leave his workstation unlocked

Alt - left shift - print screen

Windows High Contrast mode to the rescue. It doesn't affect anything he's working on, but makes everything look exceedingly weird.
posted by phredgreen at 11:15 PM on May 13, 2008

(btw, just do it again to disable it)
posted by phredgreen at 11:17 PM on May 13, 2008

On Monday bring him a nice little plant for his cubicle and tell him it is a very fast grower. Each day replace the plant with an identical one in a larger size (make sure the containers are the same) On Friday place the largest variety of the plant you can find, filling up the whole space and when he arrives say something like "Holy crap, what are you feeding that thing, Seymore?" Azaleas or a similar plant will work well.
posted by Acacia at 11:43 PM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seriously, do you want to shoot him now or wait 'til you get home?

You could cut up some black trash bags into little circles, put a little light adhesive on the back and cover his workspace with (semi-)Portable Holes.

An audio assault of Michigan J. Frog music accompanied by a pop-up plush frog might be attention-getting... but maybe too much.

I couldn't google up a toy anvil that could be set up to dangle precariously over his chair, but one could be carved out of a large block of black or dark gray foam rubber.

On a Bugs Bunny theme, a serious impression could be made with a large enough quantity of carrots.

Or get further inspiration from the Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products, or simply put ACME labels on everything in his cubicle.
posted by wendell at 11:47 PM on May 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

air superiority.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:02 AM on May 14, 2008

Booby trap his cube with a party popper - extend the cord with some string tied to his office chair leg, so when he sits down, the popper goes off. If the popper is behind his monitor, it's safe, and the confetti will appear from nowhere.

You probably have to engage in some R&D to get the trigger mechanism working reliably. I've haven't done this.

(Label the party popper "ACME TNT")
posted by -harlequin- at 1:14 AM on May 14, 2008

A sign that says "Wabbit Season" taped to his cube.
posted by briank at 5:35 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Make a "10 Ton" weight out of cardboard and hang it above his cube.
posted by bondcliff at 6:00 AM on May 14, 2008

Could you do something with Bugs Bunny audio? Ringtones, computer sounds, get someone to make announcements over the company intercom, leave messages on his voice-mail?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:30 AM on May 14, 2008

I've always wanted to do this: let's say his name is Dave. Get some kind of cheap recording/playback device (e.g. cassette-tape recorder) and tape yourself (or, better yet, a friend whose voice he won't recognize) calling his name: "Dave!"

Get the longest tape you can and record this call with over and over, with ten or fifteen minutes silence in-between each call:

Dave! ... (10 min silence) ... DAVE! ... (12 min silence) ... Hey, Dave! ... (10 min silence) ... Dave! ... etc.

Get to work before him, hide the tape player someplace near him but really hard to find (e.g. if you have those little ceiling squares, hide it behind one) and start it playing. The "Dave"s should be too short for him to locate where the voice is coming from.
posted by grumblebee at 7:30 AM on May 14, 2008 [3 favorites]

Hold down his right Shift key for eight seconds until the FilterKeys dialog pops up, then click Cancel, then hit Caps Lock. He'll go nuts wondering why the number keys only produce punctuation now.

Turn Caps Lock off and hit the left Shift key to restore normality.
posted by flabdablet at 7:57 AM on May 14, 2008

I realize that this is unrelated to your employ, but ever since I found out about Mariachi Plaza, I've been wanting to use this on someone.

You can hire mariachi bands by the hour there, for usually about $30 an hour (though there's plenty for more or less). Hire several bands and stagger them so that the first arrives at, say, 10am, then the next group arrives at 10:15, then 10:30, then 10:45 (you'll likely have to have them all play until around 11:30, just so you can arrange to pay them properly).

I dunno. I just have this fantasy of the office slowly filling with a flood of competing mariachis, all in costume, while your coworker gets more and more flustered.
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on May 14, 2008

Reconfigure his mouse to swap his left and right mouse buttons. Even after he figures out the "gag", he'll find it difficult to overcome his learned responses.
posted by SPrintF at 6:37 PM on May 14, 2008

I'm not a fan of practical jokes.

You do realize he's going to retaliate, right? And that you'll basically have asked for it?
posted by GardenGal at 7:25 PM on May 14, 2008

Response by poster: Heh. Yeah, GardenGal. I'm counting on retaliation! I'm pretty sure he and I are both on the same page about practical jokes. We're both all about cartoon humor, and so far the hostilities have only reached the level of sending "look up" emails while launching packing materials over the cube wall.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:54 PM on May 14, 2008

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