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It isn't funny

December 14, 2012 - Heather Ziegler
I hate them, despise them, actually. I'm talking about practical jokes. And who coined them "practical" anyway? There's nothing useful in them. An entire industry of "pranking" has developed on the tube and Internet and I find it stupid. If you enjoy these jokes at the expense of embarassing someone else, so be it. I'm entitled to my opinion, too. Perhaps my distain for such amusement stems from being the butt of some of these pranks over the years. Anyone who has been the target of such events remembers them forever -- just ask them. And usually the purveyors of these jokes pick on someone more timid or different than themselves. I guess I see it as the ultimate step in bullying. Imagine sitting at your desk at your workplace where you are brand new. A few co-workers standing at the front of your desk begin to talk about their lunch plans. They look your way and one says, "Hey you want to go to lunch with us?" You look at them, surprised because they've never even talked to you before, and you say, "Sure." And then the co-worker looks you straight in the eye and says, "I wasn't talking to you." Laugh, laugh. And another co-worker standing behind your desk begins to laugh. It was a set-up. Humiliating to say the least. I saw that happen and felt sick for the new person. From that day on I vowed to take on the bullies at all cost. Those DJs over the pond who called the hospital where Princess Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness learned the hard way how pranking can go oh so wrong. They posed as members of the royal family as they asked about Kate's condition. The nurse who spoke to them was so distraught over the joke that she committed suicide. Now nothing that comes out of those two DJs' mouths can make up for the hurt they caused that nurse's family. You can argue that the nurse is the only one responsible for her actions, but you can also argue that someone helped her to that end. I've probably opened myself up to all sorts of criticism and possibly future practical jokes, but I've got broad shoulders and can and have taken more than my share of harsh words But please before you go for the laugh at the expense of someone else, think. How would you feel if the tables were turned? Are you a practical joker or been the victim of a joke?


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