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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Thursday, October 5, 2006

An Excerpt from Gotcha! The 500 Best Practical Jokes for Amputees

Chapter 4:
The Great Outdoors
a (Pages 45-46)

… and while the mark is wiping her face on her shirt, with the prosthesis in your clean hand, simply wink and say, “Gotcha!”

#131, A Day at the Beach.
Sunny days seaside can be loads of fun for the prankster amputee. My favorite beach trick requires nothing more than patience and perfect comedic timing. I bury myself up to the neck in sand and wait. Many families will surely pass by and laugh and joke with the man buried in the sand—always a friendly exchange. But eventually some guy is bound to make a joke to his girlfriend about “the severed head” on the beach. That’s when I like to spring from the sand angrily shouting, “YOU THINK JOKES ABOUT SEVERED BODY PARTS ARE FUNNY, PAL? WELL DO YA?” Then continue to provoke the mark with challenges of a fight by bumping his chest with your own and shouting things like “I COULD KICK YOUR WHOLE ASS WITH ONLY HALF AN ARM!” At the last possible moment before fisticuffs ensue, smile wide and say, “Gotcha buddy! Just joshing.”

#132, Shark Tales.
You don’t live near the beach? No worries! This prank is even funnier at a freshwater lake or pond. Be sure to arrive early and go for a swim. You may want to bring floaties or a life preserver to prevent your leg(s) from getting tired as you tread water. Wait for people you don’t know—what I like to call “F.F.s,” or Future Friends—to arrive lakeside and then swim in their direction. Once you’re close enough to easily be seen, begin splashing and flailing and shouting, “HELP! HELP! SHARK! SHARK!” while making sure to keep your stump above the water so that everyone can see that you’re clearly not joking. As they begin screaming and diving to your rescue, stop splashing and calmly tell them, “I got you. There’s no shark. I’m just a prankster amputee.”

#133, Choo-Choo Boo Boo.
Railroad crossings are amusing for countless reasons. For the double amputee, however, they’re a veritable laugh riot! With a full bag of groceries in hand, find a railroad crossing near a busy intersection. Choose one with lots of pedestrians and retail stores nearby. Being careful to select a spot close to the tracks but within plain view of passersby, wait until no one is looking and simply lie down on your back and scatter the shopping bag and its contents at your side. Warning: Do not position yourself too near the tracks. There’s nothing funny about actually being run over by a train. Now just wait for a horrified onlooker to discover the unconscious body by the tracks! Hopefully they’ll run quickly to your aid, shouting for help and calling 911. Wait until they’re very near and begin to mumble in a semiconscious manner, “I was hit by a train …” Wait a brief moment, then sit up quickly and with a wide grin say, “… but it was eight years ago!”

#134, Scream-O-Rama.
Many coastal communities and river towns offer sightseeing and dinner cruises. With a little ingenuity, a prosthetic arm, two large bags of birdseed and a thawed six-pound ham …

As a small child, William Sawalich likely lived in a house with peeling lead paint. He collects everything from pine needles to plastic fruit, but his true passion is crushing aluminum cans. He once received a fortune cookie that read "You will always have good luck in your personal affairs" and was divorced within three weeks. When he's not trying to stick it to The Man, Sawalich considers himself a passable photographer, a tolerable writer, and just barely a filmmaker. He is a valued friend to some. Sawalich has lived in towns from Illinois to California, and almost nowhere in between. Except St. Louis, which is where he lives now. He has two dogs. Their names are Hazel and Myra. He is full of it. Sawalich's favorite words are "absquatulate" and "cinnamon," and his pet peeves include the gray heels on white tube socks and people who write ridiculously unfunny biographies in the third person when they were clearly written by the subject him- or herself. Also, he is fat.