I write this at the risk of tarnishing my near perfect and angelic reputation. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, I was known to dip my toes into the blackened waters of prankdom during the fragile years of my youth. These fairly harmless excursions into the world of mischief were sometimes tainted with mishaps and threats of revenge by the unsuspecting victims it also taught me the skills of diversion of blame to nearby innocents. Let me cautiously provide a couple of examples, some of which have suffered by lifestyle changes. First, the cigarette load, a small explosive device that could be placed in the end of either a cigarette, cigar, or bowl of a pipe. you buried it a little ways down so that you can effect an escape before it explodes from the heat of the fire spraying tobacco everywhere and possibly causing release of a small bit of fecal matter in ones pants. One should always check for the nearest exit and spend several minutes beforehand perfecting a look of innocence and astonishment. It is my understanding that these have become scarce because cancer is thought to be scarier and less people smoke. There is/was a product called "Morning Breeze" a few drops of this on an escalator railing or in a crowded elevator is sure to have those nearby looking for the person who could not control their propensity for flatulence. The infamous 'Whoopee Cushion" when placed properly and not over inflated, filled the air with the sounds of farting when sat upon. Gum was the vehicle for a few tricks, one would turn your teeth black, another would have you searching for water to put out the fire, of course it could have a tainted flavor. Finally the pack could be rigged to snap on your finger like a mousetrap as your trusted friend would offer you a piece. These are just a few of bygone sources of infantile delight, I don't even know if they're still attainable. Those of you who are from Des Moines will utter a prayer for the demise of our own little "shop of horrors" better known as Pinkeys on 6th Avenue downtown next to "the Nuthouse".
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