In my Army days, we pulled a lot of pranks. Our platoon would sit in a computer bay and go nearly insane at the sound of the dits and dahs of Morse Code for hours upon hours during whatever shift we were on in our windowless rooms. Those conditions were prime for playing tricks on each other. So we did.
Some of the pranks stood out for their uniqueness, such as wrapping a sleeping soldier up in Christmas lights and plugging them in without his waking up. That one is my personal favorite. But some stood out for their predictability. It was certain that someone - even if they didn't think they would - would get engrossed in their job while someone would crawl up behind them and tape paper spurs onto the back of their boots. When they finally got up to walk around, the whole bay would start singing, "Jingle Jangle Jingle," in unison, how could anyone not feel the joy?
Tags, or taping a note on someone's back (like "kick me"), were so ubiquitous that I - and I'm sure many others - developed a habit of swiping their back whenever they left a room or stood near others. Getting pranked enough made you develop defenses, and even if no one was immune to the joke, you could keep yourself out of trouble for a while.
An essential part of getting pranked and pulling pranks is the ability to laugh at yourself. If you take yourself too seriously, the pranksters will just keep trying to make you cry. You become an easy and ready target. It helps to develop a thick skin.
So, if I'm so used to getting pranked, why has my family been able to get me with the old rubber band around the sink sprayer so many times? I don't even think I'm the target, but if someone puts a rubber band on, I WILL get sprayed. Tonight I got sprayed and decided to leave it on for the next person. And guess what! I forgot and got sprayed again! What the hell?
It's funny, no doubt about it, but I hadn't planned on changing my shirt twice tonight and I can't even guarantee that I won't do it again. I use that sink all the time!
Which totally reminds me about pranking myself a couple years ago on Halloween. I filled up a pair of pants and a shirt that belonged to my husband, put shoes at the bottom and something red at the neck to look like a severed head. The whole thing was standing next to the front door to scare people. I put it there. I knew it was there and I scared myself over and over again because I saw a "man" out of the corner of my eye every time I left the house.
When the heck will I learn?