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Full text of "The Gateway (2011-03-29)"

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OPINION 


luescLiy. march 29.2011 • n'ww.lht'^aUnvayonline.ca 


Proud art of prank calling still worth mastering 

ADRIAN with a modulator app, like Funny basics, it’s time to start making the target’s friends. Now. you’ll be break- to brighten the day of a lonely fast 

LAHOLA- Cali from iOKi. This will make you calls. Choosing someone is simple. ing some sad fake news, so choose food worker. Will you use Jack Black 

CHOMIAK sound like anything from Rebecca Scroll through your contacts and pick someone who isn’t so close to the to attempt to order the six-piece 

J ^ ^ Black to a chipmunk. Now that your anyone who you're reasonably certain target that it will actually traumatize Chicken McNuggets, but with only 

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T hese days, with the invention 
of caller ID and text mes¬ 
saging. it seems that prank 
calls havd more or less fallen by the 
wayside. But I’m not ready to sur¬ 
render this classic joke just yet; too 
many hours in my life have been 
spent trying to decide who to call 
and which prank to pull. So for all 
you wide-eyed, greenhorn, wan- 
uabe pranksters out there, here are a 
few tips on how to transform your¬ 
self from a refrigerator runner to a 
master. 

First, let's review the tools of the 
trade. There's the phone, and, well, 
that’s pretty much it — but you do 
have to worry about how you use 
it You’ll want to mask your voice 


"If a man 
isn't 

willing to 
take 

some risk 
for his 
opinions, 
either his 
opinions 
are no 
good or 
he's no 
good." 

- Ezra Pound 


GATEWAY 

OPINION 

Risk-taking since 1910 

Opinion meetings 
Thursdays at 5 p.m. 
on the third floor 
of SUB 


with a modulator app, like Funny 
Cali from iOKi. This will make you 
sound like anything from Rebecca 
Black to a chipmunk. Now that your 
voice is anonymous — and hilarious 
—- you’ll need to know three simple 
rules before you call 

The first rule of prank calls is do 
not pretend to be a telemarketer. The 
second rule of prank calls is do not 
pretend to be a telemarketer. How 
many times have you actually stayed 
on the line with someone trying to 
sell you tornado insurance? You need 
an alias that won’t trigger your tar¬ 
get's reptilian instinct to flee from 
bullshit. 

1 recommend choosing something 
that sounds official or benign. Fake a 
wrong number or act like a surveyor 
to avoid an undue amount of suspi¬ 
cion. The third rule is take the time to 
establish that alias with simple ques¬ 
tions and inside knowledge of the 
target — if you don't take the time to 
properly build the foundation of your 
prank, it will fail every time 

Okay, now that you know the 


basics, it’s time to start making the 
calls. Choosing someone is simple. 
Scroll through your contacts and pick 
anyone who you're reasonably certain 
won't get the cyber police to trace the 
call after the fact. 

Will vou use Jack Black 
to attempt to order 
the six-piece Chicken 
McNuggets, but with 
only four, because 
you're watching your 
calories? 


Choosing the actual prank is where 
you get to define yourself. You’ll 
want to start with some tried and 
true pranks before the complicated 
stuff, so here are a couple to get you 
started. 

The ’’secret life" is where you pre¬ 
tend that you’re a detective investigat¬ 
ing the disappearance of one of the 


target’s friends. Now. you'll be break¬ 
ing some sad fake news, so choose 
someone who isn’t so close to the 
target that it will actually traumatize 
them, but close enough that they'll 
care enough to not hang up. Start by 
saying you’re hopeful you will find 
them and then begin to ease into 
some questions about the fictional 
secret life you've created. 

"Did you know that your estranged 
uncle Ted had a membership in 
NAMBLA?" you could ask. “We talked 
to his 14-year-old friend Larry, and he 
said that Ted offered him 50 bucks to 
roll around ina tub of blue cheese and 
Cheerios. After the kid refused. Ted 
left and hasn't been seen since." The 
victim will be suspicious, but keep 
your delivery straight and you can get 
five minutes out of anything. 

While it's always fun to prank 
your friends, you also might want 
to branch out into pranking people 
at work. The internet soundboard 
has given the intrepid prankster the 
power of celebrity voices, and some 
of them are just begging to be used 


to brighten the day of a lonely fast 
food worker. Will you use Jack Black 
to attempt to order the six-piece 
Chicken McNuggets, but with only 
four, because you're watching your 
calories? Or will you pose as Hank 
Hill and attempt to sell propane and 
propane accessories to an unwary 
hardware store? The possibilities are 
endless. 

Frank calls may have made troll¬ 
ing people more difficult thanks 
to things like caller ID. Then again, 
other advances, such as voice modu¬ 
lators, have given the intrepid prank¬ 
ster powers that they could once only 
dream of. 

Mastering the art of reeling some¬ 
one in with a bullshit story takes lime, 
but many mistakes are easily avoided. 
The payoff of luring someone into 
your made-up world is orders of mag¬ 
nitude greater than simpler pra nks like 
the banana peel or the fake vomit. So 
fire up tire voice modulator, and reach 
a little higher. 

Now, if you'll excuse tne, 1 have a 
refrigerator to catch. 



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