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From: Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback, page 126 by George Plimpton
When I was at Detroit, the pranks were on a lesser scale. The most elaborate practical-joke apparatus belonged to Friday Macklem. He kept it in his equipment room.
It was a wire enclosure with a wooden box at one end which had a round entrance, like a woodpecker's hole, and Friday called it his "mongoose box."
He'd tell you that there was a mongoose in there, back in his house, and sometimes at the round entrance just his nose would apear, because he was shy.
Friday would tell you all this, tapping at the cage to get the mongoose to show himself, and when you got right down, face right up to the wire mesh, trying to peer in the round hole to see the mongose's nose, Friday would press a spring, the top of the box would fly off, and a pelt of fur would leap up, unleashed by some sort of catapult, extrordinarily lifelike.
The victim would beat around the room for a while, starting and leaping, until he could see he had been duped by a weighted piece of mangy foxtail.
Friday worked the thing very satisfactorily on me, a group of players standing around and watching, trying to keep their faces solemn as I got my face up close to the enclosure.
Friday had made the whole contraption himself and he had a good time with it, even maing money with it, renting it to the trainer of the Detroit Tigers baseball organization.
It gave him great pleasure to recall the reactions of some of his victims. Joe Schmidt had been his prize.
Somehow the fake mongose had sprung up and attached itself to Schmidt, caught on him spmehow, as if it had sunk its teeth into his suit, and Schmidt spun around, whacking at the pelt, and yelling.
"For a big man," Friday said, "he had great moves in here that day."
Roger Brown had been another fine victim. He had crashed around after the mongose sailed at him, and he swept the equipment off the length of a work bench.
Jokes of this sort were always highly dangerous, since a sizable victim, which all the Lions were, poperly terrorized, could decimate a room, particularly a dormitory cubicle, simply by thrashing around.
From: Communications From Elsewhere
<QJ> TELL THEM ABOUT THE MARMOT IN A BOX
<alex-> I’d just be telling you and cos, and I’m sure cos doesn’t care
<QJ> I never tire of hearing of your dads hijinks south of the border, alex
<QJ> vicarious living
<cos> alex: wait, how do I know whether I care or not, if I haven’t heard about it?
<QJ> it’s the funniest story ever
<alex-> it’s not the funniest
<alex-> but fine
<alex-> my dad has this gizmo that he takes to mexico with him
<alex-> he doesn’t use it in america or on americans because they’d get really mad at him and probably throw drinks in his face
<alex-> but it’s a big hit south of the border
<QJ> I just picture your dad walking into the bar from Desperado or something
<alex-> it’s a box, about 18″x12″x4″
<alex-> hay and dogfood rolling around, basically your standar animal box
<alex-> and over about 6/8ths of it, it’s an open box with chickenwire over it
<QJ> 6/8ths.. also known as.. 3/4′ths!
<alex-> maybe 7/8ths
<alex-> more than 3/4ths
<alex-> anyway, the other section is closed off, with a hole in it and a fake tail sticking out
<alex-> well he launches into a story about ‘his mascot’ the mongoose
<alex-> and right in the middle, he flips a little switch, and **SPROING** out pops a mink skin!
<cos> out of the box?
<alex-> at this point, whomever is listening to the story just about falls down dead with fright
<Cabel> And then he takes their wallet
<alex-> and then they think it’s hilarious, and get all their friends to have the shit scared out of them, as well
From: Shotgun World - Posted by huntswithdogs
Another of our techs, had this wood & wire cage with big warning signs all over it. DANGER! BITING ANIMALS! DO NOT TOUCH!
When a newer person came to work, we'd give them awhile to get used to us, then start talking about the "MONGOOSE".
Talk about how bada$$ they were because they could hunt and kill king cobras and other poisonous snakes. How sharp their teeth were (it helped that the tech had been working on cars all his life and his hands were pretty banged up from under car hoods) and point out the scars on his hands, telling all kinds of outlandish stuff. How bad attituded they were and how much trouble the tech had had trying to catch it after it got out the last time.
When the big day came, the tech would come walking up through the lot really slow, wearing welders gloves, toting this big ole box with all the warning signs and whispering for all within hearing to be quiet so "it" wouldn't wake up just yet.
After sitting the box down, he'd get which ever victim to come around to the front of the box. You had to get the box low enough so the victim would have to squat, slightly.
All you could see, thru the wire, was a brown tail hanging out of a hole in the back of the box. All the while,
us helpers were still talking about how mean this thing was and asking the tech when it last ate, etc.
When the victim assumed the position, the tech would offer to tap on the back of the box to "wake up" the Mongoose. He'd hit a little lever on the back, releasing about half of the top (it was spring loaded), which flew forward and smacked down on the front half. The "Mongoose"was attached to this by a string.
Sometimes the"mongoose" would land on the victim, then things got REAL interesting.
We had this one new tech that was a big ole biker boy. Acted like he ate razor blades for breakfast or something and would fight anybody, anytime.
The mongoose hit him right in the face! He'd squealed like a little girl, turned and ran down between some cars in the lot and broke off 3 side mirrors in the process.
One gal, who worked in the office, was wearing a wool sweater and skirt when she got to meet it. The mongoose stuck to the front of her sweater. She stood there all wide eyed and shook while making this low moaning noise.
When she recovered, somewhat, she started cussing a blue streak! That's when we realized she'd peed herself. I think this was the last time the mongoose got to come to work... HWD
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