Practical Joke – Funny or Bullying?
I recently saw someone re-post a video from Youtube of a lad trying to wash his hair while his friends keep adding shampoo to his head. I am not going to promote the video but if you want to see it search on Youtube for Shampoo prank.
I commented on the video that I did not think it was funny and suggested is was basically bullying the response that came back was it was just a prank and funny.
This got me thinking about have I lost my sense of humour?
Has all the political correctness, safeguarding and things like the beat bullying campaign made me stop seeing the funny side of a good practical joke.
I have just received the “Lets Stamp Out Bullying Together” booklet from the Scout Association (free copies are available from Scout Shops)
The booklet seems to state that “Bullying is deliberately hurtful behaviour that may be repeated over a period of time”
it gives some examples
- Being Called Names
- Being Teased
- Having Money, mobile phones or other possessions taken.
- Being hit pushed, pulled, pinched or kicked
- Receiving abusive or threatening text messages or emails
- Being ignored or left out
- Being attacked or abused because of their religion, gender, sexuality, disability or appearance.
If we go back to our person in the shower you could suggest that he is being teased he is the butt of a practical joke and everyone is laughing at him not with him. I can hear you shouting at the screen “Come on Chris you must have played a few practical jokes in your time” and you would be correct I have been the butt of a few too.
I guess there were two things about this video that got to me.
- There was a point towards the end where the young man was obviously getting quite stressed by the incident and rather than when the shampoo bottle ran out them saying “hey mate it was us doing, we really had you didn’t we” allowing everyone to laugh together at the incident the lad is smacked on the back of the head with a shampoo bottle and almost ridiculed for not realising it was a prank.
- with the Youtube generation that we are now that practical joke is not something that is remembered by the 3/4 people who were there, but it is live on the internet to be viewed by everyone.
I guess for me a prank has to be something that all those involved in it, including the person being pranked, will laugh at the end. I always think about the parachute jump as being one of the great scout pranks.
When you get a table on it you put a smaller table if you can then you have chair on the floor you then tell the YP that they are going to do a blindfolded parachute jump. They will sit on the chair and two leaders will then lift the chair on to the top table when they are up there the leaders will move into place a crash mat and they will then jump from the table, land on the crash mat and do a commando roll like they have parachuted.
All YP leave and are lead in blindfolded and sat on the chair. two leaders carefully lift the chair and then with lots of talking like “up a bit” “no more your way” “almost there” raise the chair up about a couple of inches so on to a block or wood so they YP’s feet are just off the floor.
The YP is then told they are in position and they should jump.
I think it is funny event the bravest of Scout is reluctant to jump. However when/if they do slip of the chair and wobble and fall over, take off the blindfold and look back to see that they were just not as high as they expected they are part of the joke.
But maybe I am wrong, maybe that is bullying to, let me know your thought in the comments below