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Several years ago, my middle daughter, then about five years old, and I were at home getting ready to go out for the day. I was in the shower, and the doorbell rang. I yelled her name and she didn’t respond. I went barreling out of the shower, dripping wet, and continued to call her name. Still silence.
I got to the living room, and she was sitting on the couch. “Did someone ring the doorbell?” “I did. I just wanted to scare you.”
Components - Quality - Prank - Suffering - Terror
There are a few components to a quality prank. It can’t cause long-term suffering, but it has to cause momentary terror. Expressed scientifically, it’s something like “nearly causes a heart attack, but doesn’t cause PTSD.” Given that criteria, her prank was definitely quality.
Golden State Warriors player Jordan Bell, on the other hand, was recently suspended for one game for pranking assistant coach Mike Brown. But he didn’t even cause the coach to rush out of the shower in horror. No, Bell did something much, much worse. He apparently charged a $15 candle to the coach’s hotel room as part of an ongoing prank in which players charged small items to each other’s rooms.
Result - Brown - Bell - Pay - Bell
As a result of pranking Brown, Bell lost $9,505 in pay, which may not have caused Bell to almost have a heart attack, and is unlikely to have sent him on the road to PTSD, but definitely caused more long-term suffering than the coach would have been subject to had he merely laughed at the prank, lit the candle, and enjoyed its soothing aroma. That’ll learn him about participating in one of America’s richest traditions.
Care for a Cup of Saltwater Tea, Governor?
United - States - December - Group - Colonists
It all started back before we became the United States. On December 16, 1773, a group of colonists gathered on the decks of the Dartmouth,...
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