Archive for the Pranks Category

Red Light Laughs

Posted in Pranks on June 12, 2012 by Arthur Gradstein

I am a firm believer that laughter is not only the best medicine, but also a powerful method of making peace.  Humor has an uncanny ability to disarm someone who is angry and make them realize their own absurdity.  For example, when my wife gets mad at me and her voice starts going the way of the tea kettle, I hoot and holler like a monkey, hop around, and slap the bed.  It always makes her break when I act like a wild chimp because, after all, when we get angry, that’s what we are.

Living in Los Angeles, road rage is commonplace.  People spend hours in their car alone, battling traffic, and the isolation makes it very easy to fall into a rage.

You get honked at, flipped off, cut off almost daily without necessarily even doing anything wrong.  That level of tension isn’t healthy.  Don’t bring that shit home to your family or your dog or hamster.  They don’t deserve it!   So I like to do my part for the good of society by helping road-ragers find some calm and enjoy the rest of their commute.  Here’s how:

Red lights provide a great opportunity to make a rager laugh.  If someone flips you off, honks, or mouths colorful words at you, catch up to them at the next red light.  They’ll probably expect you to yell back.  But instead, pick one of the following Stolen Duck approved methods:


Pull up alongside them.  Stare at them for a few seconds with an incredibly stern face.  Don’t even blink.  Then, with your left hand, pull your seat recliner lever and quickly lean back.  From their point of view, you’ll disappear below your window line and it’ll look like no one is in the car.  Stay there for a moment, then sit back up.  I guarantee they’ll be laughing.


This requires that you keep a mask of your choice in your glove box.  Before you pull up alongside the offender, put on the mask.  Face away from them at first, like you are too afraid to look at them.  Then quickly turn your head to face them, revealing your mask.  The shock and absurdity will make them laugh.  I like to use this mask (of course):

Be creative with your choice.  Even the classic glasses, nose and mustache is highly effective.


This requires a sunroof and a pair of binoculars, or even better, a spyglass.  When you pull up next to Mr. or Mrs. Angry, throw the car in park, slide open your sunroof and stand up out of it with your binoculars.  Look around like you are confused and lost.  Hold up your binoculars or spyglass and check the horizon.  Ask your red light neighbor if they know which way north is.


This one works especially well for the ladies.  When you get to the light, roll down your window and pull your own hair out of it.  Actually pull your own head out of the window.  Scream at the top of your lungs, “Ow!  Stop it!  Let go!  Violence is wrong!”  You can use your other hand to try and pry your hand off your head.  Keep it up until the light turns green, calmly release yourself, and drive away like nothing is out of the ordinary.


Just start yelling at yourself about how bad of a driver you are.  Loudly ask yourself, “Why would they let me drive?  What idiot decided to give me license?”  Ask your road rager if they agree.  “I mean, I should NOT be behind the wheel, right?”  If you have a car you don’t care about, grab a hammer or a tire iron and say, “You know what?  I deserve to be punished.”  Then lean out of your window and start smashing your own door panel.  Or even get out and smash your own hood.

And of course, you can always invent your own method, which Stolen Duck would love to hear about!