The Hoax Museum Blog
Bottle Cap Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 22, 2004
When Velvet Scott twisted off the cap of a bottle of Mountain Dew and found a message beneath it that said "Winner! $10,000 Cash," she was pretty excited. But when she contacted Pepsi, the manufacturer of Mountain Dew, to find out how to collect her prize, she was in for a disappointment. They said she hadn't won anything, because they weren't holding a contest. The bottle cap was a hoax. According to this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (requires registration), this hoax goes on a lot. You can buy phony winning bottle caps to fool your friends, and there's even a website devoted to debunking this prank. But Velvet Scott, even after learning all this, still…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 15, 2004
Here's an ingenious office prank. Kevin Kelm's coworkers were wondering all day about that guy who had been in the bathroom for hours. You could hear him groaning away on the toilet. Was it the CFO? No, it was RoboDump. As Kevin explains: "RoboDump is a robot. Sort of. And it poops. Sort of. Forever. A horrible, never-ending bowel movement complete with straining grunts, horrific gas, splashes, and pee sounds." (via Boing Boing)
Smoking In Cars Illegal
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 11, 2004
A rumor flew through Lexington, Kentucky that the County Council had passed a law banning people from smoking cigarettes in cars. Given all the new laws banning smoking in public places, I guess such a law wouldn't be that unbelievable. Reportedly, hundreds of people called the Lexington police and City Hall to ask if the rumor was true. It wasn't. The rumor had been started as a prank by DJs at a Lexington radio station, Z-103. An early April Fool's Day joke apparently.
Indecently Exposed Toothbrush
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 04, 2004
Jan Harold Brunvand calls it the "Indecent Exposure" urban legend. It involves a vacationing couple whose hotel room is broken into and robbed of everything save a toothbrush and a camera. When they get home and develop the film in the camera, they discover pictures of their toothbrush up the robber's rear end (to put it not so delicately). It appears that this urban legend has now served as the unfortunate inspiration for a prank that a New Zealand golfer played on his rival. As this article describes it: The Dominion Post understands bad blood between teenagers Kauika and Aucklander Kevin Chun boiled over when a bare-bottomed Kauika misused Chun's toothbrush as…
Book Contest Winners
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 10, 2004
The book contest has now been running for a week, and I got a lot of great responses. It was pretty tough making a decision (and any choice like this is bound to be somewhat random), but I finally opted to award a book to 'Redmond' for his account of the brownies with the secret added ingredient that turns urine blue. I'm also giving a book to Quentin Smith for his description of how they filled a school administrator's office from floor to ceiling with shredded paper (in order to give him a little more paperwork). The photographic evidence of the prank being pulled was great. So thanks to everyone for contributing their stories, and if you…
Win a Free Book
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 03, 2004
One of the great things about having a website is that occasionally people send me free stuff, out of the blue. For instance, a British publisher named Harriman House sent me three copies of The Life & Death of Rochester Sneath by Humphry Berkeley. Since I don't have a use for three copies of the book, I've decided to give the two extra copies away. But first, what is the book about? It documents a classic British public school hoax from the 1940s. Headmasters at elite British public schools such as Eton and Rugby began receiving letters from H. Rochester Sneath who described himself as a…
Truthful Phone Message
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 29, 2004
Customers who called up NTL (a British cable company) to report a problem were greeted by this bluntly truthful message: "Hello. You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a f**k about you. We are never here. We just will f**k you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f**k off and leave us alone. Get a life." The message was yanked, of course, as soon as NTL management realized what was going on... But really, I think I'd prefer the in-your-face message to something bland and innocuous and then being kept on hold forever.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 27, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 27, 2004
A message posted on the microsoft.public.word.printingfonts news group: When I print out flashing fonts they do not flash. I have tried a color laser printer but even so they do not flahs. Do I need to update my printer soft ware. or is is it a problem with my printer? THANK YOU I bet this guy was constantly being sent to the store when he was young to pick up some striped paint, sweet vinegar, or straight hooks. (via J-Walk)
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 04, 2004
The Anchorage Press reports on a prank whose grossness lies not in what is said, but rather in what isn't. Read it for yourself: Troopers were called to Showboat II, a club also known as “Showgirls,” where “a female employee had spiked another female employee's drink with a laxative” according to troopers. No further details were given, and the investigation continues. Thinking about this too much might just give me nightmares tonight.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 16, 2004
Someone dressed in a gorilla suit has been jumping out from behind bushes and terrifying pensioners in Austria. At least, police assume it's someone in a gorilla suit, though I'm sure some would speculate that it could be a real creature. Commenting on the prank, one pensioner said, "It's really horrifying when a gorilla suddenly jumps out in front of you." Truer words were never spoken.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 13, 2004
This is one of those great pranks that only gets discovered a long time after the deed is done. Oklahoma State University officials realized that the letters 'OU' (the initials of their rival the University of Oklahoma) were gracing the side of their recently renovated stadium. Apparently one of the bricklayers working on the renovation project used darker bricks to spell out the initials of their rival. Unfortunately the officials are not taking the prank in very good humor. They've ordered that the offending bricks be replaced, at the expense of the contractor who did the work. Personally I can't see the initials that well in the picture that…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 26, 2004
The Washington Post reports on a growing epidemic of eggings. As they say, "Nationwide, there is evidence of eggings escalating into much more than a practical joke." The reporter, Mitra Kalita, actually called me up to get a quote about this issue, and so if you go to the very end of the article (on the second page) you'll be able to read my profound thoughts about the phenomenon of egging. To tell the truth, I've never egged anyone in my life, so I didn't feel like much of an expert on the topic. But I do run a website about hoaxes and pranks, so I guess that makes me as much of an 'egging expert' (or egg-spert)…
Car Filled with Gum Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 07, 2004
Magic Mackeigan decided to help his girlfriend quit smoking by filling her entire car up with gum. Valerie Karriman discovered the surprise when she walked out to her car in the morning. I guess she was late to work that day. Of course, gum melts in the sun, which is something that it doesn't sound like Magic thought about during his elaborate preparations. I'm assuming Valerie managed to clean the car out in time, but if she didn't I figure Magic would be out one girlfriend. (Thanks to Goo for the link)
Bus Shelter Prank
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 29, 2004
A bus shelter in Norfolk County, UK has become a favorite target for pranksters. Local residents woke to find the shelter transformed into a living room. "The culprits decked the shelter out with a comfy chair, a television, a lamp, a stereo system and even created a fake fireplace on the wall to complete the homely effect." This isn't the first time the pranksters have struck. Last month "a lawn appeared in the shelter, along with a gnome and a windmill." Unfortunately the article doesn't include a picture of the transformed shelter.