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When Practical Jokes Turn Bad November 30, 2011

Posted by wintersetruss in Crime, Law, Man Laws, Sidebar Flag Bullshit.

Have you ever played a great prank on a friend or coworker, only to have the prank turn a little uncomfortable between the setup and the payoff?  That’s where I’m at today.

In case you didn’t know, I work at a farm implement dealership in the parts department.  Back in mid-October, the parts department noticed that the sales department kept leaving the keys in a “gator” utility vehicle overnight.  They kept leaving it right outside the front door, so it wasn’t like it was back away from everything where it would probably never be noticed.  We kept telling them that was a bad idea, but they kept doing it day after day.  Finally, on the last Sunday in October, I was out at the dealership pulling some parts for one of our mechanics when I decided to make a statement.

I hopped in the UV, started it up, and drove it to the furthest point on the lot away from it’s normal location, where I hid it behind some combines in a shed.  I put the keys for the vehicle under the counter at my workstation, and then called a coworker AND a member of the corporate parts team to let them in on the gag (just so I couldn’t be accused of trying to steal the damn thing….I may be dumb, but I ain’t stupid).  They both got a good laugh out of the joke, and we thought about starting up a pool as to when the sales department would notice the missing vehicle and start a panicked search for it.

Skip to a whole month later, and the gator is still gathering dust down in the shed where I hid it.  There’s ZERO indication that anyone knows it’s gone, and that worries me more than if the sales department had blown up over its absence.

So I need some input from you, my fake-internet friends, on how to proceed from here.  Do I bring it back & put it exactly where I found it (with the keys in the ignition and everything)?   Or do I double down and try to see if they notice a tractor or combine going missing?  There’s a big ol’ 4WD Cat Challenger with front & rear dualies sitting across the road in our “used” lot that sticks out like a big yellow sore thumb in that sea of green.  I’m thinking that the Cat might be a suitable candidate for escalation, but I don’t think “going there” is a good idea for multiple reasons:  Mostly because there’s no good place on-site to hide it so I’d have to take it off-site to make the gag work, and that’s awfully damn close to THEFT for me to be comfortable.

We don’t really have a theft problem here, even though our security is minimal.  The funny thing is, the last implement we had stolen off the lot was an old broke-ass disc that had been sitting in the fencerow on the backside of the lot for around 7 or 8 years.  About 2 years ago, someone jumped the fence, started up a tractor (which had been left sitting with the key in the ignition) and used the tractor to hook up to the disk and haul it out to where the crook’s truck could hook up to the ill gotten goods.  They cut a hole on the lot fence to do that, and they damn near got caught when one of our employees who was out tornadospotting with the local VFD at 2am saw them pulling away from the lot with their new broken implement.  The cops started looking for them within 10 minutes of the theft, but they managed to get away with their worthless broken piece of crap.  How dumb was it to steal the disk?  Well, if they were looking to use it as designed, they would have to invest about twice what they could pay to get a good used one at a farm sale just in parts, not to mention the time it would take to hang the parts.  And scrap metal?  There are a lot easier targets than stealing a whole disk if you’re just after scrap.

The funniest part of the story is that the crook found a $100,000 tractor with the keys left in the ignition, and chose to steal a broken disk that was worth maybe $600 tops to a scrap metal dealer instead.  This crook was either brilliant or incredibly stupid.  I guess we’ll never know, since the crime remains unsolved.


1. joe buzz - November 30, 2011

um, If you describe the gator to me and provide the number I will call the sales department and tell them that I am in immediate need of one and will be by in an hour with cash$. If you think that will make them look for it….

2. lauraw - November 30, 2011

Maybe they know about your practical joke and are just letting you twist for a while until it’s not funny anymore, thus making the joke on you.
That’s what I would do.

3. Russ from Winterset - November 30, 2011

I thought of that, but given the choice between them being as cold blooded as Humpy the Terrible, and them being clueless…………..

Well, you know.

4. lauraw - November 30, 2011

Heh, well in any case, I would have fessed up and returned it by now.

5. wiserbud - November 30, 2011

speaking from a sales perspective, maybe they think it got sold and have forgotten all about it.

I would just park it back in the same spot and answer any questions about where it’s been with a simple “whut?”

6. lauraw - November 30, 2011

Just went to the John Deere site to look at those UVs.

I have no idea what the Hell I’d do with one but I want one.

Looks like so much fun.

7. skinbad - November 30, 2011

Hmmm. Maybe move it into view, but still at the far end of the lot. Then bring it 10 feet closer every night and see if/when it gets noticed. When it does, you could give a vision test score to the sales guys.

8. Retired Geezer - November 30, 2011

How dumb was it to steal the disk? Well, if they were looking to use it as designed, they would have to invest about twice what they could pay to get a good used one at a farm sale

Rejoice, the Disk has been located!


9. Retired Geezer - November 30, 2011

Wow, that post was written exactly 1 year ago to the day.

*caresses the warm hood of the Time Masheen*

10. JoeInMD - November 30, 2011

Return it with souvenirs from a mock world/national tour?

(I wouldn’t advise taking anything off site. That’s just asking for trouble.)

11. April - November 30, 2011

I’m guessing they understood, suddenly and sickeningly, that you were right–they left the keys in and it was stolen. They are pretending not to notice, as drawing attention to it would get them in trouble.

12. Russ from Winterset - November 30, 2011

The problem with that is that the guys who left the keys in the machine are not the same people who should be responsible for “inventory control”. So the proper people would have no motivation to sweep it under the rug.

Honestly, I’m thinking that they just haven’t noticed yet. I realize that a store that does approximately $35-40 million in sales isn’t going to go bankrupt because they misplaced a $10-15 thousand machine, but if you misplace 10 or 20 of those machines? Uh oh.

13. The Lovely Janis - November 30, 2011

#6 Lauraw —
A certian 3 1/2 year old would love one too. They acutally had one in the show room over the summer and when we would go out Moses was all over it. They are pretty cool!!!

14. Spad13 - November 30, 2011

Russ I think you should put it back in place but keep the keys.

15. Lipstick - November 30, 2011

Or you could put it back in place but park it facing the opposite way.

16. ChrisP - November 30, 2011

Another vote for Lipsticks’ idea.
They will never notice that it is back, let alone that it is backwards…

17. Retired Geezer - November 30, 2011

Or you could put it back in place but park it facing the opposite way.

After you paint it Yamaha colors.

Did I ever tell y’all about the time I sent my 10 year old granddaughter back home on the airplane after dying her blond hair black and dressing her up like a little Mexican girl going to her first communion?

They didn’t recognize her when she got off the plane.

Yeah, I have photos.

18. Pupster - December 1, 2011

Heh. That’s pretty funny Geez.

19. Russ from Winterset - December 1, 2011

Spad had a good idea, but I’m going to spill a little secret about utility vehicles here:

The keys for utility vehicles like Gators & Mules? Not individually cut. They ALL use the same key. Not in the sense that a Yamaha 4-wheeler key will start a Deere Gator, but within models they typically standardize the keys.

20. skinbad - December 1, 2011

You could take it to some property owned by one of the sales guys and cover it with brush. Just think of the laughs.

21. daveintexas - December 1, 2011

set it on fire

22. Gromulin - December 1, 2011

Got anything that would lift it onto the roof with some fake reindeer?

23. Michael - December 2, 2011

Put a few strings of jalapeno lights on it. Maybe that will get their attention.

24. lauraw - December 2, 2011

I vote for suggestions 23, 22, and 21, executed in that order.

25. Russ from Winterset - December 2, 2011


The gator is “no longer my problem” as of yesterday. Our service manager was up at the counter complaining about having to be down cleaning out the combine shed to try and get more of those beasts under a roof before snow flies, so I walked over and handed him the key to the gator. He got a hell of a laugh out of my explanation for why it was sitting in his way, and then he came back later yesterday afternoon and told me “here’s the key back, someone else moved it”. I’m not sure where it went, or who took it…..all I know is that it’s no longer my problem.

26. Michael - December 2, 2011

Man, a gator is a fun little machine to drive to the Tom Thumb grocery store.

27. San Diego Plumbing - December 2, 2011

Oh geez!

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