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Ways Of Making Tampa Smile Essay

1911 words - 8 pages

So there you are driving down Dale Mabry Highway and the traffic in front of you stops dead. Now you know it’s going to be a while before you get to work. You’re stuck in traffic and you’re out of coffee and you probably have to pee because of that coffee. Then, after traveling a block, which took you fifteen minutes, you see a guy holding a sign. Not one of those “I’m broke I need money” signs but a sign that says “In the next two blocks you will see my friend Dave”. You think this is curious but you just keep creeping along behind the person in front of you like every other day. About 500 more feet there, on the side of the road, is a lady holding a sign. This one says “Dave is building a tower”. Again you think this is pretty curious, but you ignore your jut and just keep on creeping inch by inch along the road. Next, you notice the people in the cars in front of you start looking around their cars for something. It looks like they are all pulling out a stick or two of chewing gum and that’s when you see the next sign “Dave’s tower is made of A.B.C. gum and he needs some more”. So immediately you begin searching everywhere in your car for a piece of gum. Next, you see something extraordinary, a tower of gum six feet high and a guy standing beside it with a sign “Hello, I’m Dave and I need your A.B.C. gum!” Of course, Dave is not causing the traffic jam but he sure made your commute just a little more interesting. You’ve just been a small part of a creative public prank and it will be a story worth telling today at work. Creative pranks in public places would impact Tampa in a positive way because they make people laugh, smile and notice the world around them.
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Public Pranks are not a brand new concept or even a 21st century concept. Public pranks have been played on people for thousands of years. In 219 a.d. a teenage roman emperor named Elagabulus played a prank on some of his un-expecting, high class guest. The emperor placed deflatable leather pillows around his low set dining table so that by the end of the meal all his guests were sitting on the floor. This may have been the first ever recorded prank. About 1300 years later Thomas Betson, an English monk, put live beetles into hollowed out apples causing the apples to move by themselves. In 1810 London, an Englishman named Theodore Hook bet his friends he could turn one home into the most talked about address in the city. To do this he had every possible product and service delivered to a woman named Mrs. Tottenham. There where so many deliveries that it caused a traffic jam and Hook won his bet. (Winterbottom, 2013) These people used pranks to entertain a group of people in a public setting. They are not usually making fun of someone else but are using pranks to make others’ lives more entertaining. According to Gamerman (2008), random occurrences of public pranks are meant to wake up people, shake up the day to day dullness and create a memorable moment they can share with others....

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