Hello Lock Pickers.
If you load a package with glitter and fart spray, and set it to go off when opened, you have all the ingredients for not only a funny YouTube prank, but a small amount of revenge for those low-life types who steal deliveries from other people's front doors.
That's exactly what Mark Rober did, a YouTuber with nearly 6 million subscribers, in an attempt to shower the thieves in glitter and fart spray.
Mark Rober with his 'Glitter Bomb'
However, when I watched the video, even though Rober is an former NASA engineer, it all seemed to go a little bit too smooth, it was almost too perfect.
This is not to take anything away from Rober's creation. He installed a few old smartphones, allowing him to grab video from a variety of angles, an explosion of glitter to coat the thief in some ironic sparkle, and some fart spray, which as everyone knows smells nothing like farts, but very much like fart spray - a noxious nasal invader that frequently bought me to the edge of puke on many school trip where it seemed everyone stocked up on as much of the vile stuff their pocket money could buy, only to discharge the lot in the coach home.
Fart Spray - doesn't smell like farts, it's much worse.
The video is entertaining without doubt. Having been the victim of having parcels stolen from my doorstep I was not only entertained to see the thieves covered in glitter and fart spray, but also to see them disappointed that the product of their selfish endeavors was nothing more than a prank on them; a waste of their lazy, dishonest time. And once they saw the telephones, the knowledge they would be exposed to a channel of nearly 6 million subscribers, their anonymity was for sure compromised.
However, since the video was released all it appears was not all it seemed. Mark asked some friends for their help - he wanted people happy to plant the device on their doorsteps. But they decided to help a little bit more than that, and not only planted the device, they also 'stole' it, so in fact, many of the reactions to the glitter and fart bomb exploding (there were several reactions in the video) turned out to be friends of friends.
Isn't it a funny old world in which we live? In an attempt to prank some dishonest people, some other dishonest people got involved and we ended up with something essentially fake.
In fairness to Mark Rober, he re-edited the video and removed the 'fakes', making it clear he had no knowledge his friends had hired stooges to act as the thieves. And yet, having watched the re-edit video I was left asking myself, "does it matter?" Whether they were real or not - that I was convinced provided me with the entertainment I was looking for.
What is real and what is fake, what is original and what is a copy - these ideas have been part of philosophical discourse since thought began, and occur frequently in our everyday lives. I am reminded of a sign I once saw on a beach in Thailand above a market stall selling watches: "Genuine Fakes" it proclaimed, with no sense of sarcasm or irony that I could see.
Have you got any fake fakes? I want the real thing.
I once watched a documentary on the BBC about a man who wanted his left leg removed, having seen an American man who took a shotgun to his leg so he could have it removed. These people - for whatever reasons, 'Body integrity dysphoria' it's called - want to be amputees, and after the NHS refused to remove his leg they came to a compromise, they gave him a fake artificial leg. That is, a big plastic binding in which he wrapped his real leg to give the appearance it was a fake leg. A genuine fake though, it was not.
I decided to write this blog last week, and by coincidence just yesterday I had a customer accuse me of sending him 'fake picks'. In nearly two decades in this game I have never been accused of supplying 'fake picks', genuine fakes or otherwise, and, rather than pointlessly argue with someone I told him to send them back and I'd refund him. It did get me thinking though, I remember seeing YouTube lock picking legend Bosnian Bill picking a fake Yale padlock, and there's many a fake branded lock out there from unscrupulous people trying to cash in on the reputation of brands. Perhaps a set of 'fake lock picks'would be perfect for picking such a lock?
Bosnian Bill's fake Yale padlock. 'Top Security Lock' is a give-away.
During the summer holidays when I was 16 I got a job in Pizza Hut. On my first day, when the restaurant had closed, I was asked by the manager to water all the plants in the restaurant. Wanting to make a good impression, I quickly filled a bucket with water and went around pouring a little into the pebbly base of all the plants I could see. After I'd done about 5 plants I noticed the rest of the staff watching, smiling, and it turns out this was a regular prank for new staff since all the plants were fake. Years later, I heard Comedian Mitch Hedberg quip, "My fake plants died because I forgot to pretend to water them"
The real Mitch Hedberg.
In some attempt to tie this all up, from glitter bombs and fake reactions, artificial fake legs, and genuine fake watches, I'm going to use Mitch Hedberg again. He once said this...
"I got to act with Peter Frampton in a movie. We had to smoke pot for a scene, but it was fake pot. Do not buy pot on a movie set. But I got to smoke fake pot with Peter Frampton, that's a cool story. It's as cool as smoking real pot with a guy who looks like Peter Frampton. I've done that way more."
Now go picks some locks, it's all less confusing.
Here's Mark Rober's 'Glitter Bomb' video: