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This one’s really kiddie Halloween time, but it does work. A bunch of old nuts and bolts placed into the wheel well behind the hubcap will make the mark think his/her car is falling apart. It’s worth some minor harassment, of course, and works outstandingly well with high-strung nonmechanical typed who absolutely panic at car noises.

You can get a little heavier than Halloween by removing a hubcap from your mark’s car wheel and loosening or removing the lug bolts. Sooner or not much later, the wheel will simply roll off the car.

Moving up the escalator of nastiness, you could probably fill your mark’s whole body with adrenaline if you placed a split shot sinker, of the type used by fishermen, on the accelerator cable of his/her vehicle. Willy Seamore, a top mechanic, suggests you extend the cable, then place the lead weight on the extended portion, which effectively blocks it from returning. This means the vehicle’s throttle will run wide open. It’s a nasty version of the jack-rabbit start.

From choking up to locking up is hardly a quantum experience. The new miracle glues are impregnable when squirted into car door keyholes. Nothing short of a locksmith can repair this low-risk attack. If you hit just before the mark’s family vacation, leave the car door locks alone and hit the trunk lock. With any luck, they’ll never notice until they’re miles from home.

A refinement of simply putting a super glue or epoxy into the car’s various locks is to take any old key that will vaguely locks is to take any old key that will vaguely fit into the lock cavity, insert it, then twist it rapidly back and forth until the key breaks off, stuck in the lock. Now is the time to squirt glue into the lock. The job is more permanent and more costly to repair.

If you tire of fooling with the locks, you can look elsewhere. Marshall Tanner, inventor of muffler bearings, says you can prop some large-headed nails against the tires of your mark’s car, especially if it’s parked so it will have to be backed up to get out of a parking stall in a lot. The car moves back and the wheels roll over the nails, puncturing tires.

If your mark’s married, you can have all sorts of sport with his ride. A male mark deserves that you slip sexy undergarments usually worn by a sexy lady under his car’s front seat or wedge them carefully into the back seat. You could tear them a bit. More than a hint of perfume or flavored douche will always hype suspicion. You can escalate this stunt somewhat if you buy male underwear–get the sexy style in white–and place some lipstick smears around the fly area. You can help the campaign along by having a very trusted lady friend call and ask nervously for the mark. The younger she sounds, the better. Have her call several times. Use your and the mark’s wife’s imagination.

If the mark is a woman, a pack of condoms carelessly hidden in the car is always a sure-grow plant. Several daint handkerchiefs of the type favored by milady and heavily impregnated with semen can also be stuffed in the car. As with the male, a series of appropriately timed telephone calls from a nervous male will add to the marital festivities between mark and spouse.

In less carnal surroundings, if you can get to the distributor cap, remove it and use graphite from a pencil to contact the rotor brushes. The charge will run along the graphite, causing the engine to misfire. This could cause the mark to dash into his local car butcher and get charged an outrageous price for an unnecessary tuneup.

A quick way to disable a car battery is to slip a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets or a teaspoonful of baking soda into each battery compartment. The antacid will kill the battery’s power before you can say “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz.”

Another camhead nasty is to take a pushpin and jab a few tiny holes through spark-plug wires. According to Lee H. Santana, a real straight shooter in the dirty-tricks department, the pin pricks cause a hellishly rumpety noise when the car is driven.

Don’t forget additives when working on a mark’s car. The nice thing about additives is that you don’t have to be odd or even to use them. Many experts, including some of Uncle Sam’s khaki-clad nephews, suggest light materials, such as crushed cork, as a great additive to the gasoline tanks of vehicles belonging to people or institutions you don’t like.

One former professional trickster said, “It isn’t to exotic, but a handful of old leaves in the gas tank will bind the damn engine up too.”

Sand is not recommended because of its weight, especially when wet. It would sink to the bottom of the tank and not much would be introduced into the engine, he explained. The idea is to get the additive to the bearing surfaces, where the coarse little buggers can kick and scratch up a mechanical breakdown. Silicone carbide, emery powder, and fine metal filings will work. During World War II, our OSS used a mixture of finely ground cork, resins, carborundums, and metal alloys to muck up an engine.

Another method that could possibly send a driver off to a service station would be to pour a gallon of shellac thinner into your targeted vehicle’s gasoline tank. The alcohol will gather up all the water in the fuel trap, and when this mixture goes through the fuel line it will cause the vehicle to snort, stammer, and act as if it has big carb troubles. By the time the driver gets the vehicle to a mechanic, the problem has usually departed out the exhaust pipe. Done enough times, this one can redline the frustration and credibility levels of both the driver and the mechanic.

If you want to use additives in your mark’s gasoline tank, yet are concerned about arousing suspicion in daylight or in an otherwise high-visibility area, simply adopt a cover prop.

“Put the harmful additive in a metal gasoline can like they sell in stores,” advises Joey MacJohns, a veteran trickster. “That way, any potential witnesses will never really pay attention to what’s happening; they’ll simply infer because you have a gas can that you’re putting gas in the car.”

And don’t forget oil additives. Styrene, a colorless, oily liquid, is an organic compound that is one of the two chemicals mixed together to make hardened fiberglass. Boat-supply stores and marinas have styrene available for patching fiberglass boats. It is also used in body shops and upholstery-repair places.

There are substitutes compounds that will do the same job as styrene, so read the label when purchasing the stuff to make sure you’re actually getting styrene. Styrene is the only sufficiently effective, commonly available material that can be put into a car’s crankcase to completely break down the oil and ruin the engine.

Styrene in the crankcase is far better that sugar in the gas tank because it can’t be seen after being introduced and because only a little does a thorough job. If it’s used at the rate of one per four quarts of oil, the treated vehicle will run about a hundred miles before the engine locks up tight.

This is a fairly high-risk stunt, but it could be fun if you don’t get nailed doing it, according to Bill Rally. If you find that your mark is going alone to a movie you have an hour or so to have some fun with his automobile. If you’re motivated enough to carry off this stunt, no one has to tell you how to start the mark’s car without a key. After you start it, drive to some very nice homes with pretty lawns. But stay fairly near the theater, so you can get back there in a hurry. Do donuts, dig out, and otherwise use the car to make a shambles of lawns, shrubbery, flower beds, etc. Run over lawn furniture, hit mailboxes, and try to frighten some old people by coming really close to them with the car.

This is a real hit-and-run mission. Do your dirty driving fast and get the car back to the theater parking area even faster. Park it and leave. If you’ve done enough damage, all sorts of police reports will be out on the car. The second or third question the police will ask the mark is whether he or she has any witnesses for the movie alibi.

That can be a real blast. But if you want another sort of pop, dig deeply into the potato bin for this one. My thanks here go to all those great truck farmers who say a potato jammed into a vehicle’s exhaust pipe is not explosive, but it will cause all sorts of nasty problems. In one case, the mark parked his car with the rear end towards his home. His tormentor jammed a fresh, hard spud tightly inot the car’s exhaust pipe. The mark started the car on a cold evening and waited a few moments for the engine to warm. Meanwhile, the hot gases, unable to escape, built up dangerously behind the potato….Woom!…KABLOOM!… With an explosive roar, the gases fired that big, hot, hard potato right into the metal siding of the mark’s home, just fifteen feet away from the exhaust pipe, which acted as a cannon barrel. The holing and denting of the siding cost $150 and a day to repair.

There are all sorts of other devices that make good muffler bombs. A firecracker may be shoved into the vehicle’s exhaust pipe, pushing it along with a stiff wire until the explosive device falls into the muffler. It takes only a few moments of driving with today’s hot exhaust gases to explode the firecracker. Even a fairly small firecracker will cause panic, escpecially if the driver is paranoid to start with. If you want to destroy the muffler and drive the mark’s panic into the fantasy of having his/her car really bombed, substitute an M80 or a shotgun shell for the prankish finger-sized firecracker.

If the violence and property destruction of this bothers you or causes you to grimace, consider this next happy face. Most mail-order and novelty stores sell very realistic rubber-faced masks, resembling everything from an ape man, through a drooling idiot, on down to a Ronald Reagan mask. Select one that looks especially gross–like an old man, or the idiot, or Richard Nixon. Position is so it looks realistic on the back of your head. This leaves your vision unobstructed. Head for the road in your car.

Just as another motorist overtakes your vehicle to pass you, lean out the window. The effect on the approaching motorist would be interesting to observe, as that other driver will see a drooling goon looking back, directly at him, with no apparent concern for the road ahead. I bet very few cars actually pass you with this stunt in operation.

Taking the license plate off a mark’s car can be a good shot, even you don’t want to steal the thing for other nefarious purposes. How many times do you look to see if the plate is on your car? A cop has only to look once. I bet it would be fun to hear the mark’s explanation of where his license plate has gone.

Don’t you get really happy when some defective excuse for a human suddenly pulls his/her vehicle out directly in front of yours or cuts you off? Marty Mullin has a solution in hand.

A delightful person, Mullin reveals, “I bought a top-quality pellet pistol, one of those compressed-air guns, which I keep in my car. You can use either the cartridge or the pump type–just to be sure you get one with enough power to penetrate metal. Get a supply of the .177-caliber pellets, too. Then, next time some dip pulls out in front of you, pull up behind the dip’s vehicle and get in his/her blind spot. With a truck or van that’s easy enough. Then you bring your pellet gun into action.

“Plunk a shot into the mark’s vehicle, the trunk for a car, or the back of a van or rig. If it’s a big truck you can get in quite a few shots, because the driver is not likely to hear them. A van or car will make a helluva TWHUNK when that pellet hits, so be cautious.

“There’s no discharge noise, because you’re not using a firearm. After your attack, back off and proceed your business as if nothing has happened. You probably have not taught the mark a lesson, but you feel better for what you just did–I guarantee that.”

I asked Mullin about the posibility of hitting a passenger who is riding in the back of the mark’s vehicle. He replied, “Then, that passenger also has every right to be furious with the dippy mark for pulling out in front of you.”

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