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The Look Away Gag

Look away gag

by Smidge Boyter on October 5, 2010

They say cats are so curious it sometimes kills them, well good because they deserve it. I would say that humans are almost as curious as felines by our very nature. Everyone likes to be in the know and be aware of what is going on around them, even when it may not concern them. This is especially true when it comes to watching other people. This can be seen wherever there is an accident on the highway. All of the sudden, traffic slows to a crawl as fellow drivers turn into rubbernecks looking at the accident, which doesn’t affect their lane of traffic. People just have to look, even though the accident doesn’t affect their lanes of traffic and they have no relation to those involved in the collision.

If you have a desire to mock or fool people, you can use this curiosity and human weakness to your advantage. When in large classrooms, with windows and many students, I like to intensely look out one of the windows as if I am completely engaged by something occurring outside. I will rotate my body toward the window and contort my face into a surprised look to get other peoples’ attention. As soon as they see I am completely engaged in something outside, their curiosity takes hold and they instinctively turn their heads to see what I am looking at. When they start to look outside, I return to a normal seated position, concentrate on my notepad and act as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Expecting to see something exciting but seeing nothing, they will always look at me and be confused. At times, you can get several people at once.

This gag works great at wedding receptions, prior to the arrival of the bride and groom, especially if you can get a group of your friends or family to pull the prank on other tables. As tables start to fill up and the newlyweds are expected to arrive at any moment, you can feel the anticipation grow. Stand up and start pointing at the door and you will see many people at tables around you go into a frenzy because they think the honored couple have arrived. To fool even more people with this joke, you can start clapping and looking at the direction of the entrance.

I also use this prank when my friends and I are out at a bar watching a sporting event. You are almost guaranteed one or more of your party will not have a great seat or view of the television. They will be either turned opposite from the T.V. or be watching another screen. When you notice a friend is not looking at the T.V. or is preoccupied with shoveling food into their greedy mouth, point at the screen and make a sound and a face that expresses elation with something occurring during the game. I pulled this joke several times over the course of an evening, during a boxing match. “Oh, he just went down!” I would shout and all of my friends would look at the T.V. expecting to see an impressive knockout only to realize a commercial was on.

Another great form of this trick can be employed if you happen to see a friend or an acquaintance while out driving your car. Pull up next to their vehicle, roll your window down and get their attention. Once they notice you, make a gesture for them to roll their window down as if you want to talk to them. As soon as they start to roll their window down, roll your window up, look away and then drive off. This worked better when you had to roll windows up and down by hand because there was a much greater effort being made for the victim to get their window down. This was especially true if you pulled up opposite the driver side and they had to lean over and crank the passenger window down by hand. Ah, the good ole gag days.

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