The $800 Computer Prank
When I was in college I lived with three other guys and for some reason we loved playing pranks on each other. This is the story of one of the pranks I pulled on one guy, and how it backfired.
We lived in suite style dorms where two people shared a room and two rooms shared a bathroom. The locks on the bathroom doors never worked right which means that both rooms could easily have access to the other. In hindsight, I guess we should have gotten that fixed, but having such access kept our pranks in full swing, so we didn’t worry to much about it.
One day when the two guys that lived in the other room went to class, I went into their room and pulled the best prank I had ever done up until that moment. I went straight to Rick’s computer. I first took a screen shot of the desktop and saved it as an image. I then selected all the icons on the desktop and put them in a directory. Then I moved that directory into a hidden location off the desktop. I then changed his background image to the screen shot I took before. Finally I dragged down his task bar so the start menu and task bar were unreachable.
As a result his computer looked perfectly normal but he couldn’t click anything because all that was visible was the screen shot of his desktop with icons set as his background.
Different variations of this prank are all over the Internet, but I have never heard of them turning out the way this one did….
After I set up the prank I had to go to class. I had three classes that day, back to back, so I figured that I would get home in the afternoon to find Rick banging on the keyboard and complaining that his computer didn’t work. I would laugh and then tell him about what I had done, then we would all drink beers and be happy….or so I thought….here’s what actually happened:
I got back from class that afternoon and found Rick on the phone.
“Thanks a lot Tom for picking it up. I will pay you back tomorrow, I need to go to the bank first.” said Rick.
Soon Rick hung up and I said, “Hey man man! Whats up?” I was hoping that he would start complaining about his computer and I could start laughing.
But instead he said, “Oh that was my step dad, he just found a new computer for me.”
“He found a WHAT!? For you??” I stammered.
“A new computer. I came back from class today and the one in my room is frozen. I tried restarting it and nothing changes. I called university tech support and they said over the phone that the hard drive must be corrupt.”, Rick explained.
“So your step dad found a new computer? Did he buy it yet?!”, I said.
“Yeah, he just bought it. Thank god, he found one for $800 I only have $950 in my bank account. I think $150 will hold me over til my next paycheck.” Rick said as he moved his old computer off his desk to the floor near the garbage can.
I didn’t really know what to do next so I just muttered, “oh my god”.
“Yeah it totally sucks, but shit happens. Hey do you know if I can just throw my old PC in the dumpster behind the building? Or do I need to turn it in for recycling?” Rick asked.
“Um no, don’t throw it out!!” I said.
“Um I…I um….I will help you move all your old stuff off of it and then onto your new one.” I said.
“How are you going to do that? Its frozen.” Rick asked.
“Um..I am not sure yet, I will..um..just try and let you know. Oh and by the way, I have an extra six pack of beer over here, do you want it?” I said
“Wow! Sure! Thanks man! You always have my back!” said Rick.
“Yeah man, I always have your back.”