Five things I would like to do to a stranger

Vanessa giggling

Some of these I’ve seen elsewhere, and some I thought of all by myself.

I dare myself to do the following (when I’m feeling brave enough) -

1) Run into a shop and ask someone who works there what year it is. When they reply, throw my arms in the air and shriek “Eureka! It worked!”. Then run out again.

2) If a stranger stops to ask me something (the time, directions, whatever), look at them wide-eyed and then whisper “You mean you can see me?”.

3) Go to a cash machine and withdraw a load of cash from my account, then turn round to the next person in line and excitedly wave the money at them shouting “I won! I won!”.

4) Go to a fast food drive through window, one where you go right to a window to order, not one where you talk at a box. Start trying to give my order without opening my car window. However much the person keeps gesturing or shouting for me to open my window, just keep looking confused, putting my hand to my ear, and mouthing the words “I can’t hear you”.

5) If ever I’m in a restaurant where someone at another table has a dish that the waiter sets light to at the table, rush over with a glass of water shouting “It’s ok, I’ve got it!”.

What do you dare yourself to do?

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98 responses to “Five things I would like to do to a stranger

  1. I would love to do number two, I think that would be absolutely hilarious!

    Maybe – Single out one person and follow them round Tesco, spraying everything they touch with like disinfectant spray.

    Orr, I think it would be funny to walk up to a small child that looks like me, and tell them that I am them from the future.

    One that I would love to do, but requires patience and someone you know, is to sit in their wardrobe and then when they open it, say ‘Welcome To Narnia’ and it’ll freak them out.

    No.. just me?

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  2. I’m laughing so hard right now. I want to do all of those, but I don’t think I will. Umm ..I would like to ask a random person for their autograph and giggle and get all excited about it.

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  3. I’d like to act out this sketch from Big Train:


    ;) :P

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  4. What a hilarious idea! And all the comments so far too. When I lived in London and was going out a lot, I used to take a dice and play a similar game. We would make a list of 6 things to do to other people, roll the dice and do it. I remember having to go into the men’s toilet and explain that I was halfway through a sex change… (No disrespect to people currently at that stage in their lives.)

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    • Last Saturday night I was out in London on my friend’s hen do, and one of the girls had a pack of cards that were ‘Batchelorette Party Dares’. There were all kinds of things in there, most of which we didn’t dare to do! Much fun can be had from just contemplating these things though, even without actually doing them!

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  5. Vanessa, I think I’d like to hang out with you somewhere where I know no one. ; ) All of those dares sound awesome, especially the time travel one.

    We used to come up with all sorts of things like that in high school… I can’t even remember all of them. Note: they are so much more fun with an audience.

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  6. 1,2 & 3 I’ve done… I actually do #2 quite often…

    Time to add 4 and 5 to the list I guess…

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  7. Thanks for the early morning laugh. On the one hand, I’d love to try some of these. On the other, I’m not brave enough to pull off such humor.

    If you don’t mind, I’m going to point folks to this blog post from my site. Thanks again for starting my morning off so well!

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  8. Pingback: Some humor after more political divisiveness | Stan R. Mitchell — Action fiction writer

  9. These are great, Vanessa! What a huge smile you gave to start my day. :)

    My stunts usually happen more or less spontaneously. I once wore a Mexican wrestling (lucha libre) mask to a conference I was attending (and passed through a separate conference to get there); that got me some comments. Another time, a friend and I got into a lift at separate floors, then turned to each other, said, “Want to trade?” And swapped wallets. He got off at his floor and I got off at mine. We didn’t hang about to see anyone else’s reactions. And I regularly break into dancing on the train platform.

    I like to make people’s day just a bit more surreal. :)

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  10. #4 is great!
    Hmm how about ordering the exact same meal as the person next to you, and eating it the same way, trying to sync your bites, drinks, everything perfectly.

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  11. What I like to do, especially when I’m eating at a restaurant by myself, is to start moving the dishes, silverware, ketchup bottle, etc. around the table. When the server comes up and tries to take something away, I swat them and say, “That’s in play!” Of yours, all of which are hilarious, I like #1 the best.

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  12. Vanessa,
    The more I read you, the more I like you. Your second prank has Le Clown written all over it… But it would be more like: You can see me? It took you long enough…
    Le Clown

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  13. Oh What fun!!!! Id like to do all of them too….. hey, can we do them together?

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  14. i would enjoy seeing some of those …..

    you have a little wicked in you……me does think….

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  15. Vanessa, you come up with the most hilarious ideas for posts! I do enjoy reading them! I’m afraid I don’t have anything to contribute to this, but I tweeted it to my followers, which are now up to 417 – yea!

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    • Oh thank you so much! I usually have a little crisis of confidence just before I hit ‘Publish’ wondering whether my post will be well received, so it’s always nice to get good feedback! And congrats on the large Twitter following!

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  16. Always wanted to walk into a bank and yell ” This is a deposit”

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  17. Good stuff! I tried a variation on #3 several times. At the bakery or at the deli counter where you take a ticket and then you wait and then the clerk finally calls your number, I rush up to the counter yelling “47! Bingo! I won!”.No one has ever laughed at that one, so I wil have to try some of yours.

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    • That ticket one is hilarious! Some people have no sense of humour, if they didn’t laugh at that one, then they probably wouldn’t laugh at any of the others either. I’m going to try that one next time I get a number ticket.

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  18. Haha! I love #2. That would be so cool to try, but I know I’d be too much of a wimp to give it a go.

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  19. This list turned out to be a lot less slutty than what I conjured from the title alone. But I’m only a litttttle disappointed. It was still a great list!

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  20. These would be funny. I don’t have the guts, but I would love to be a co-pilot and watch from the wings. Out of them all # 2 would be awesome.

    I’m pretty sure my grandmother did #4, but not on purpose. It was pretty hilarious.

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  21. My wife and I have sometimes toyed with the idea of entering a bar or club seperately, pretending not to know each other, maybe noticing each other and passing a few polite comments before suddenly, without warning, snogging each others faces off.
    Never was brave enough though…

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  22. Fun post, Vanessa! One and two are ones that I could see myself doing in a town far far away where no-one knows me!

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  23. Horrible. I love it. I wouldn’t have the nerve to do any of these, however.

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  24. 1 and 2 would be such fun, but I’ve never had the nerve to do anything like that in public! Even when my friends would do crazy things, they knew I’d be the one to hang back. ;)

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    • The only thing I’ve done that comes close I guess is playing Knock Down Ginger as a kid – do you call it that over there? – It’s where you knock on someone’s door and then run away. It’s best if you can hide somewhere but still watch them come out and look around. Once though this nasty man that we did that to got into his car and came and found me and my friend up the other end of the road and gave us a right telling off, saying that he knew our parents and would be telling them about what we were doing. He terrified us, and I don’t think I ever played it again! Oh the other one that another friend and I used to do is the one where you stand somewhere busy and look up at the sky and keep pointing and saying things like “What is that?!” just to see how many other people stop and look up too. That one’s quite fun!

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      • We do have a similar prank, but I don’t know that it had a name in my neighborhood…. But your nasty guy was exactly the kind of response I feared! And that’s why I didn’t join in many of those pranks. Even when I was little, I didn’t like it when people got mad at me!

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  25. This could be for people you know as well as strangers. When going about your daily business whoever you meet just say “I know what you’re thinking but this is not what it looks like”.

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  26. You’d have to follow through on #5 and douse it. Now that would be amazing.

    C’mon. I triple dog dare you!

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    • Well we almost did that one in Corfu earlier in the year, that’s where we got the idea for it. Someone a few tables away from us was having a steak that was doused in Jack Daniels and then ignited by the waiter at the table. Me and the kids were giggling and daring each other to run over with the glass of water, but none of us actually did it!

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  27. I particularly love number 1, 2 and 5. I once spent an entire shift at work asking each customer at the till “Do you know the Muffin Man?”. I was always pleased when people said quizzically, “Who lives in Drury Lane?” HA! Small pleasures.

    In the past I have walked down the street close to a friend and we’ve both pointed at the sky, our eyes filled with wonder. That’s quite amusing. The other day my man and I kept offering strangers sweets. That was just a nice gesture. No-one took one!!! I also get a real kick out of waving at strangers, really acting like you know them. It’s amazing how many people smile and as soon as you’re away they stare round, totally baffled! HA! :) Great post! :)

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    • Yes, I mentioned about the staring at the sky one in my reply to jmmcdowell”s comment, people can’t help looking can they! I like the waving one too, I forgot about that! We occasionally do it in the car, if there are a few of us, slow down a bit and wave enthusiastically at some people on the pavement, they usually do a half wave while trying to peer into the car looking confused!

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  28. Those are really funny:) What a great start to my day. I can’t think of anything I can repeat that will match. But I will laugh a while longer with yours.

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  29. Haha those are hilarious! Now if only I had the courage to do at least one of them :-D Although people in California are just so nice and courteous in general, I’m scared they will thank or congratulate me in return.

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  30. Hi Vanessa, we are new to your blog, finding you while visiting 4 a.m. writer. Absolutely loved your post! When me and my three girlfriends were rooming during school, we used to order from Luigi’s. We were always scraping and clawing to survive as I’m sure most young people do. You would think, when your paying, a twenty dollar tab in all coins, that someone would catch on. But every single time, the same del. guy would give us our order, and then stand there, unwilling to leave, making us feel awkward and uncomfortable. Michon, would try and shut the door, and he would put his foot inside, just enough to stop it. Michelle finally asked him. Is there anything else?”
    “Well, no…not really” he said short-like. “It’s just that we normally get a tip!”
    Irritated by his pushy statement and refusal to leave, I walked over to the door, pushed his foot out of the way with mine, and told him. “You want a tip, Don’t take candy from strangers!” Then closed the door. We all busted out laughing. We never ordered from the place again.

    Wrong numbers were always fun too. Whenever someone would call; “Is John there? Susan there?” We would act completely nervous and begin gasping and talking fast. “Susan? Susan? How did you get this number? Who told you about us? Was it Susan? Oh God no! What has she done? We told her not to mention us! You can expect the FCC-BTS department to arrive within the next twenty-four hours! You’ve bought this on yourself, you can thank Susan for your grief! Please don’t call this number ever again!

    Gives a whole new meaning to, I’m sorry you’ve got the wrong number!” Loved the post!

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  31. Absolutely hilarious….I was just replaying the scenarios in my head and imagining the reactions….

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  32. Hi Vanessa, they’re hillarious. I once went to stay in the Savoy with my aunt and nephew, as a birthday treat. They didn’t warn me when they checked in, they spoke posh and gave different names. I stood wondering whether to say Betty Boop you know, yes indeed. But I chickened out. Sometimes, me and my sister would do strong midland accents and call ourselves Ciccy and Mabel when we went on holiday. That was fun.. I’ve given you an award over on my blog. By the way, those roasted pumpkin seeds were fab.

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    • Hi! Thank you so much for the award and glad you enjoyed the pumpkin seeds :)

      When I was about 12, a friend and I played a similar thing, on the tube train going into Covent Garden. We pretended to be very loud posh girls, doing this whole “Mummy’s buying me a new pony on Saturday” type of thing. When were coming back home we decided to play again, we were so focused on the game that we didn’t notice we had accidentally got on the wrong tube train, and we went about 10 stops in the opposite direction! We panicked a little as we were still quite young and had promised to be home by a certain time! But it was all alright in the end.

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  33. I’m quite amused by all this, Mum. HF

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  34. Oh Vanessa, I love your lists! You never fail to make me smile. :-)

    I’m going to dare my friends to do one from your five. I’ll let you know what they say. lol

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  35. Pingback: Interview with a Vanessa | Vanessa-Jane Chapman

  36. The candle-water trick sounds awesome, is now on my bucket list. Yes, I am a very sad person with no life and my bucket list is composed entirely of immature pranks. Thanks for asking!

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  37. Pingback: Blogroll Inductee – Vanessa Chapman | A Clown On Fire

  38. Hi Vanessa,
    I’ve come here over from Le Clown. It’s very nice to meet you. I love number two! There all really good. Congrats on being inducted into his blogroll. You now have instant blog fame!! I always admire and enjoy people on his blogroll!

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