Divided Review Project: Prank the Monkey - the ZUG Book of Pranks

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Page 61-62 61 and 62. 61 was is un-numbered, the start of a new section entitled "Spammers." They have cleverly used a cartoonish version of a font resembling the letterforms found on the canned meat of the same name. And when I say cleverly, I mean "clumsily" or "ham-handedly." The illustrations surrounding it are no less bastardized. Clumsy, amateurish, insulting to illustrators. The text on the next page is good, though I might have chosen another font in which to render it. A little "1999" for my taste. And the childish illustrations are there again. Like other reviewers, I am really left wanting more having read just this single page. The suspense is killing me. Dolf De Roos, "the New-Zealand born entrepreneur who had been spamming me (author) ... was sleeping soundly in his hotel room ..." is awakened by a ringing phone. He answers the phone in the very last sentence. "Hello?" Is it God? A tragic accident? Publisher's Clearinghouse? A telemarketer? Wrong number? The ending of this one page was not unlike the final scene of a French films, and I have already spent far too much time speculating. - Dave Selden http://www.descendingashtray.com/
Page 63-64 Pages 63 and 64. Having been turned on to John through your site, I eagerly awaited the receipt of my page. Page 63 starts with a phone call to who I guess to be a spammer who's been sending emails to John about real estate possibilities. It continues on page 64 as John google's the spammer's name to find that he's not the only one who's irritated by the spammer's get-rich-quick scheme. I'll have to buy the book the continue the story. Looks entertaining!
Page 69-70 69-70 Sir John Hargrave's constant abuse of Internet-based Marketing Specialists is degrading and wrong. These pages discussed Hargrave's despicable fraud of legitimate online retailers offering legitimate medical products for sale. His questioning of medical advice offered by Dr. Alex Broers and ridiculing of the famous medical journal S95forCheapMeds.com is an affront to the Medical Profession. Everyone has to pay the rent somehow. Online retailers and advertisers do this by offering targeted marketing for products people need and offering them for a fair price. Mr. Hargrave is selling insulting books using the very marketing he has come out against (has anyone else here recieved a "PR@NK TH3 M0NK3Y" email message?). I hope that Mr. Hargrave sleeps well at night.
Page 71-72 pp 71-72 The middle of the Vi@gra prank- Hargrave's narration of this little shenanigan is not only amusing, but informative as well. ("A little known fact is that EVERY Viagra site offers the lowest prices on Viagra.") As it turns out, one must prove that they need Viagra in order to receive the pills from an online pharmacy. Hargrave goes to great lengths to make his online app as absurd as possible. He allegedly received ass surgery seveal years ago, is allergic to Linkin Park, and once masturbated into a grapefruit. An additional treat on pg 71 is a picture of Dr. Alex Broers, who has personally tested the product. Sporting that gelled hair and cleft chin, how can we doubt him?
Page 73-74 From pages 73-74 of Prank the Monkey by John Hargrave: JH: Would you deny medication to a dying child? "AM: I don't... "JH: Well, my penis is like a dying child." I read zug.com sometimes, and usually get a laugh from it. It's more Hargrave's use of words that makes me snicker (I'm sorry, but I think the quote above is pretty funny) than his "pranks" themselves. There are some good bona fide pranks on zug--the Chinese tattoo and the visa signing are my favorites--but on the whole there are a lot of transcriptions from phone calls that, despite their immature joie de vivre, I would't call inventive, or even pranks. In pages 73-74 Hargrave calles an operator for a shady internet pharmacy from whom he tried unsuccessfully to buy Viagra. I wish that he had instead directed his "prank" at the people making the decision to sell Viagra over the internet. However, if you want to feel like you're 14 years old, you've got a good catalyst in pages 73-74.
Page 77-78 77 & 78 I received pages 77 & 78. From the context, it appears that the author has taken a dose of viagra before heading to church, much to his own discomfort and his wife's amusement. I haven't exactly figured out what the purpose of this prank is, but I'm sure the lead-in or the material to follow will make this particular segment more amusing.
Page 81-82 Pages 81 & 82 This page starts a new section called "Hot Rod", and is about penis enlargement. The author got an email about increasing his "DICCKY" and set off to "take the penis pills and report what happened." The rest of the two pages is about his research before he purchased the pills. Each paragraph contains information that he found and hilarious things that could be done as a result of the enhancement. (e.g. cleaning leaves out of the gutters in spring) The last paragraph is cut short as he's trying to find a real guarantee of success.
Page 83-84 pg. 83-84 The prank part of the "I Wish I Had Oscar Meyer's Wiener" section must have been in someone else's jurisdiction. Nonetheless, I was thoroughly entertained by Hargrave's wit and dry humor. I never thought that this particular subject matter could capture my attention, but for two minutes on a Friday evening, I lost interest in Twilight Princess and immersed myself in the debate of cloth vs. Craftsman tape measures (the latter proving to be quite dangerous when used improperly). -Erin Friedman, Apex, NC
Page 85-86 Pages 85-86: Page 85 (Hot Rod) begins partway through a story about the author measuring his... uh... male organ of copulation. He was proud to have compared favorably to Michalangelo's David, which is pictured on the page (David, not the author's). The page next discusses the arrival, via mail, of his... uh... male organ of copulation enhancement pills. Page 86 (Spammers) begins with the lovely text; "Horny Goat Weed", apparently one of the ingredients in the pills the author was planning to take for 60 days. The page is adorned with a splendid illustration of a goat's... uh... male organ of copulation. The text on the page continues with some wonderful tips on expansion exercises. I must say, that I was a bit shocked when I first read these pages, but upon further review, they're beginning to grow on me.
Page 87-88 Pages 87 - 88 After the initial excitement of realizing I was one of the chosen few to actually receive a page from the next selection from Oprah's Crackhead Book Club, I sat down to digest what was offered. At first the page was a little dry, a little vino helped to wash it down and after working through a few more bites, I realized the potential benefits of soy based ink ingestion. Namely the ability to use typeset toilet paper and leave love notes to my wife. Then it dawned on me that this was not food review but a book review, so I high tailed it over to my local book mega mart to purchase a new copy of "Prank The Monkey". After an hour of perusing the "photography" section of the store for black and white images of “artistically” nude little people with farm animals doing their taxes I was ready for the true review. Evidently the author was so inclined by one of those lovely e-mails promising the virility only described in 101 Arabian nights, he ordered some "male enhancement" pills whose results assuredly had not been verified by the Food and Drug Administration. The pages describes in some detail (almost too much) his experiences from start to the beginning of Week 4, including an ever handy chart to describe the length and girth of his, uhm..., his "L'il Brando" (Have to read the book to get the joke). Soon the phrase "... like a chunk of deli salami." is used and the reader is invariably led to vomit the comments of his stomach like some neat Ronco product, perhaps the Basso-matic. Writing style is very fun and I can't wait to read the rest of the book to understand what would convince a man to put himself up to such a risky experience.
Page 89-90 89 and 90 These pages a lot about penises. It becomes apparent that it is the goal of the author to make his penis (I can only assume the author is male) larger. Being unable to identify with this mindset, it is a little disorienting. However, describing the male organ as a "soft, heavy pair of nunchucks (sic)" is wonderfully descriptive, and demonstrates an intimacy with the English language that is only confirmed with the later description of a shrunken penis as "An earthworm wearing a ski hat". Happily, in just two sections we learn that he has been trying various remedies for at least 7 weeks, and he finally has an increase in size! But at what cost? And what pill was he taking? Now I HAVE to buy the book.
Page 91-92 91 92 These pages contain no pranks. They contain some penis humor--but penis humor is easy. I was disappointed by these pages. If I hadn't peeked at reviews of other pages, I might have thought that this book was entirely prankless. These pages are not without merit. They concern the author's experiments with some penile enlargement pills. He presents a time series of length and width (presumably circumference) measurements as a bar graph, each bar a penis. The left side of the graph is horizontal, but at about the halfway mark, the graph skews slightly. The skew angle very subtle. It doesn't alarm you but it makes you want to ask your doctor, "Does this look normal?" These two pages of penis jokes seem like "filler." If all I had to go on was these pages, I would guess that the author hasn't played many pranks in his time. Or perhaps that his greatest prank was to fool me into reading two pages of easy jokes. Look, I once spent a couple of hours tattling on an internet domain vulture. Some online pharmacy took over the domain unity2000.org. Originally, that web site was a place organizing to protest some political convention. The vulture transformed it into a place selling viagra. The site ranked well on web search engines because there were links to it from legit web sites. When I noticed this, I took some of my time to contact webmasters of these political sites to tell them to update their links. I did this, not out of a love of the internet, not out of a hatred of linkspammers--though those are fine sentiments. I did this because it was a great opportunity to make easy penis jokes. "You linked to this protest site saying that we must all stand firm together. But now it sells Viagra. That's probably not the kind of 'firm' you hand in mind." E-mail after e-mail, those jokes flowed easily. I don't need to read someone else's penis jokes. I think the time I spent reading these two pages would have been better spent baiting spammers. -Larry H., San Francisco CA
Page 93-94 Pages 93 and 94. The first things this reviewer notes are the (chapter? section?) title on page 93 ("CHICK JUICE"), and the doodle of some kind of Spanish insect saying "Carumba!" This reviewer is already very drawn in. Reading the actual text of the pages does not disappoint. The author is writing about aphrodisiacs, and in a humorous style not un-reminiscent of a twenty-something Dave Barry, describes his experiment to test which -- if any! -- are effective. Sadly, page 94 ends with his first (and perhaps only -- page 95 and 96 would be helpful here) experiment appearing to be a colossal failure, with no extra women wooed after trying out the first aphrodisiac. (By the way, The First Aphrodisiac would be a great name for a rock band.) All told, these two pages were instantly captivating and most certainly left me wanting more. More pages, for one thing. More resolution to the Chick Juice experimentation, for another. I can't honestly recommend the entire book just yet, although I have ordered it from Amazon. As of this writing, however, I can -- and do! -- heartily endorse pages 93 and 94 of THE ZUG BOOK OF PRANKS.

(Review of pages 93/94 above by Lex Friedman.) 

Page 101-102 Pages 101 and 102 Page 101 contains the end of what I can only assume is a conversation with a customer service representitive for a drug company of some sort. The caller, who I am assuming is also the author, is first trying to get the recipe for the product, an aphrodisiac, and then asking about the potental side-effects. I don't want to give it all away, but it doesn't end well for Sir John. Page 102 begins with the purchase of another aphrodisiac called Spanish Fly. Spanish Fly seems to be aimed towards use by women and also provides a potential risk of death if used incorrectly. Sir John weighed the risks and decided to go ahead and try to give it to his wife anyway. That's where my page ends. I sure do hope that Dame Hargrave, survived the ordeal. Overall, even from just the two pages I've read, it is obvious that this book is a work of pure literary genius. The words have been put together using proper punctuation and grammar, making them very easy to read and understand. This page is jammed packed with the kind of humor and wit that would make for an excellent page-turner, if I had a page to turn. I can only hope that the pages leading up to and following mine are as equally as articulate in their use of the language. Well done, Sir John Hargrave, well done.
Page 109-110 Pages 109-110 appear tastefully printed on opposite sides of a 5 and 1/4" by 8" piece of paper. Unfortunately, the liberal use of italics distracts from the otherwise charming "Times New Roman"-style font. Particularly sad is the inclusion of at least 14 gawdy cursive-looking lowercase "s" characters. The content, however, contains both a brilliant comparison of a supermarket ad to a vagina and a miniature illustration that's probably illegal under the US Patriot Act. You'll also be happy to know that there's no annoying test or discussion questions at the end.
Page 113-114 p. 113-114 Before I could realize what the prank was about, having come in halfway through the anecdote, I was struck by the plethora of description. This is evident not only in the narration, but also in the dialog. I laughed my way to the reiteration of the plot, "getting back at the junk mailers," which is when I noticed the chapter heading at the top 'Going Postal.' Page 114 begins, "My lead-filled revengelope weighed 1 pound 14 ounces..." I assume that postage is paid on delivery which is how this is 'taking it to the man.' Lastly, my section ends with 'Experiment 3: Solid Bar of Lead.' Here, there is a great cultural reference to the game of Clue (the lead pipe weapon choice) to accompany a scientific analysis of metal density. Though I enjoyed the entire two pages, my favorite part is leading into page 115. "[T]he lead gradually seeps into your blood-stream, and makes you forget your name and birthday, but at least that bastard [Colonel] Mustard is dead. That fucker raped my giraffe." Overall, these pages were well-written, entertaining, and appropriately supplemented with visuals. Do pick up the full copy for yourself.
Page 115-116 Page 115 - 116: I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I spent several minutes first reviewing pages 116 - 115, but eventually I found that the writing made more sense when read in chronological order. These pages seem to describe the latter half of a prank in which the prankster (is this Mr. Sir John Hargrave himself?) sends a check for $3.333333333 to Senator Reid's campaign. Mr. Reid promises to triple all donations, in a rather recursive fashion. To make sure he gets his money's worth for the donation Mr. Sir John Hargrave includes a 5.2 pound lead bar in the prepaid envelope. I say "seem to describe", because the first half of the prank was inconveniently located on page 114, which I did not receive. To this point, my review has been more of a synopsis. By way of review, I found Mr. Hargrave's prank to be relatively uninspired. A good prank should elicit copycat pranks, and I feel no inclination to repeat Mr. Hargrave's actions. In the spirit of a collaborative review, I think it only right that I inform the reviewer of page 117 of the first of the "Paper Pooper" prank. So to this anonymous reviewer, the Paper Pooper prank involves going to the post office and requesting form 1500 "Application for Listing and/or Prohibitory Order". Unfortunately I'm not sure how the prank concludes, because I do not have page 117 to review here. -- Sam The Reviewer
Page 117-118 Pages 117 and 118 I opened the letter to find that Rob Cockerham, much like me, was inept at making tri-folds. These two pages are mostly a build up to a postal prank, wherein there is a special form the Post Office uses (1500, by the way) for the purpouse of stopping solicitation of pornographic material by mail, to protect minors and such. age 117 actually includes a picture of the form, filled out. Page 118 cuts of mid-joke, however. Enough of the joke had gotten through, however, and I think "The word Condiminium" explains the entire joke, and I had a hearty laugh. I cannot wait to read the entire book. -Kyle Magocs
Page 123-124 pp. 123-124 Covers 'When You Wish Upon a Star' where he mails celebrities bogus letters pretending to be a child with a terminal disease. I thought it was quite funny, and the drawing of Oprah Winfrey actually looks like it was done by a 12 year old. Reading those two pages made me want to read more...or at least if he got any responses.
Page 127-128 Page 127 and 128 is apparently part of "The celebrity Sincerity Test" chapter. It is the end of the "final list, the big celebrity ten, the [celebrities] whose sincerity would be put to the test", which points out hilarious double-standards and media-whoring done by celebrities and the charities, groups, and organizations they support. Best part? Listing a trendy cause and the celebrities who flock to it. Worst part? I didn't get to read the rest of the list. -Greg Long, Beloit, WI
Page 129-130 Page 129-130 Just the fact of sending me these specific pages was prob a great prank in and of itself as you will see. These pages are concerning a Celebrity Sincerity Test prank. The content is great. It describes sending a letter to various celebrity's saying you are a huge fan of and even though your pancreas was giving out you were trying to raise money for by drawing pictures of and selling them to doctors and nurses. Then there is a detailed section on how the response will be ranked from not responding at all as the lowest a celebrity would go up to a personal phone call. Now the great prank part. These pages reference a chart of celebrities on page 128 (the previous page I do not have) and then concludes with "think about which celebrity you find more admirable and trustworthy. Hold that celebrity in your mind, then turn the page." Any chance you could send me the next page? :) Marc Miller Cedar Rapids, IA
Please continue reading page three of the divided review project, Prank the Monkey.

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February 18, 2007.

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