Air Horn Under The Chair Prank

Chris Prater SlappedToday is my boss’s birthday and I happen to have an amazing boss.  He gives me freedom to manage my projects at my own pace, encouragement and assistance when I need it, and is a valuable resource I can rely on whenever I need him.  He and my coworkers are why I love my job.  However, today is his birthday…which means its time to prank him!  So niceties aside, I got Chris good this morning with a classic prank.  Never in my life have I been a punctual person so I decided part 1 of my birthday gift to him would be showing up for work today an hour early.  It gave him quite the surprise…just not as big a surprise as the air horn I had taped to the bottom of his desk chair the night before.  Here’s the prank:


Finding a small air horn in Kansas was harder than I thought!  I kept finding the big ones at the hardware store but a big one wouldn’t fit under his chair and it would be very visible.  Finally I found exactly the one I was looking for at Gander Mountain, the Orion Mini Safety Signal Horn.  It was small, under $10, and most importantly: triggered from pressing the top (not the side).



Rigging the air horn to the chair requires some patience and duct tape.  In my case I used electrical tape to match the black base of the chair.  Be sure to understand the physics of the chair and ensure that the air horn button and chair will make contact once pressure is added by sitting down.

Air horn taped to bottom of chair and rigged to go off when seated.
Air horn taped to bottom of chair and rigged to go off when seated.


Add a Happy Birthday note so your unsuspecting victim knows where to send their ER bill for their heart attack.  I went with the classic “HOPE YOUR BIRTHDAY IS A BLAST!” note inside.  If you don’t want to be caught, leaving a note would not be recommended…though you could leave a forged note signed by a coworker.  Personally, I’d blame my coworker Dee.

I took full credit for this one. Happy Birthday Chris!
I took full credit for this one. Happy Birthday Chris!


Be sure the cleaning help or other coworkers do not interfere with the prank.  In my case I needed Chris’s chair to remain in the same spot because if it swiveled too much the air horn could scoot too far down and no longer work.  A quick note to the cleaning help detailing my needs alleviated my worries.

Now you have an accomplice as well.
Now you have an accomplice as well.
Make sure the evidence is destroyed.
Make sure the note is easy to find and then destroyed.


Document, document, document.  While I had hoped to get a camera in place to record Chris’s reaction this morning…he came in early!  On his birthday!  So all I have is the video test the night before and Chris’s reaction interview after (in which he is a very good sport).  So…enjoy!

The Night Before:


Chris’s Reaction:


Remember, the rules of pranking are:

  1. Is the person I’m pranking going to find this funny?
  2. If the person I’m pranking won’t find it funny…can I still get away with it?
  3. Be prepared to accept any consequences foreseen and unforeseen.
  4. Video and camera documentation is the best.
  5. Watch your back for the inevitable future.

Special thanks to Chris Prater, David Smith, Dee Lanzrath, Williams Ace Hardware, Gander Mountain in Wichita, the office cleaning services, American Armed Forces stationed worldwide, Bud Light, the internet, Skittles, and of course my loving family…without whom (and free time) I would never act out such childish pranks.

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