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Stocking Shock: Co-workers always complaining about stapler theft? Get them a Secret Santa shocker.


2004 Gift Guide
Gifts for the festive film lover
Holiday gifts for the Paris Hilton wannabe
Musical cure-alls for the difficult giftee in your life
Clutterless gifts
My big fat art books guide
Scandalous gifts for the lusty angel in your life
Expert gift recommendations for your favorite workplace prankster
Holiday happenings


Grinching It

Expert gift recommendations for your favorite workplace prankster


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PRANKS ARE those poetic acts of heroism designed to the thwart the habituation effect whose cause is daily living. Perhaps no better place exists to interrupt the flow of daily life than the good ol' workplace. All you have to do is jump online and order some prank gifts from various Internet sites and auctions, especially San Jose-based eBay, and you'll be ready to go.

Start with a nice one, though. For example, are you sick and tired of everyone at work borrowing your stapler? Well, start out with a Shock Stapler, available from www.thegag.com for $9.99. That'll do the trick. Once they use it, a harmless electronic shock goes through their fingers. It's a gentle, risk-free little joke to start the day going. Thegag.com also offers shock lighters, cameras, computer mice, calculators and pens. You can waste time all day long with these things. And again, they're harmless.

Not nasty enough for you? How about a bottle of Nasty Yellow Teeth from DSG Laboratories? Just pour it into any drink, whether it's coffee or soda, and the target's teeth will turn a most wretched, vomit-yellow color. Available all over the Internet for around $10.95, this wonderful tonic is great fun for those boring manager meetings or company picnics. You can make someone look really stupid if you want to. "A drink before your meeting, boss?"

And it's all uphill from there! While online, be sure to purchase a wonderful instrument of creative electronic harassment called a Mind Molester. You can have all sorts of fun in the workplace with this one. Usually retailing at around $24.95, this is a little electronic chirping device that can disrupt an entire office. It lets out a one-second chirp every four minutes, and due to the chirp's frequency and characteristics, it's a thoroughly maddening task to find out where the hell it is. All you have to do is attach a 9-volt battery to it and stash it away. You will completely drive your co-workers nuts with this one.

For those in the workplace with a single-line telephone system, there's always the Disconnect Number device, which is available on every online auction you can find. The Buy-It-Now price on eBay is usually around $67.99. Install this device into a co-worker's phone line, and everyone who tries to call him will get redirected to a telephony company disconnect message: "We're sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service." His outgoing calls will be completely unaffected, so he'll never even know what's going on. The possibilities are endless on this one. Imagine installing it on a business line. Oh boy. If that nasty receptionist keeps complaining that your desk is too messy, well, this prank is for him. You just might ruin his entire job.

Finally, for a different kind of disconnect, pick up the locally invented TV-B-Gone universal remote control. This $14.99 keychain fob from San Francisco Cornfield Electronics promises to turn off virtually any television—just point and click. The remote can be quite handy in the workplace and out. Competitor screening her rival ad presentation? Click—strange, the TV doesn't seem to be working. Obnoxious sports programs blaring at the bar where the Good Ol' Boys have decided to meet? Click—ah, the sound of actual conversation. Available at Target, or from tvbgone.com.

If these snarky stocking stuffers seem like too much money for the equivalent of high-tech coal, then just glue a silver dollar to the floor and watch everyone try and pick it up. Or tape off the roller ball on someone's mouse and watch him check the hard drive, restart the machine and try and figure out what's going on. Ho-ho-ho!

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From the November 17-23, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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