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29 Jun, 2009 07:55

Swearing: music to prank-callers’ ears

Prank callers are becoming a growing nuisance in modern society, and now the Internet is providing an outlet for pranksters to share recordings and to expose their victims to online communities.

After years of pranking, some students still can’t get enough. People who just hang up the phone or say “wrong number” don’t interest them. Rather, it’s those who respond with colorful obscenities.

The pranksters share their “victims’” phone numbers on the internet, as well as the records of the phone calls and their prank videos. The amount of downloads encourages them even more. In fact it’s the internet that fuels the community.

Horror artist Gogen Solntsev admits he’s a perfect target for the pranksters. You can find dozens of records on the internet with them blasting him.

“They’re looking for people who don’t deal well with stress, who can curse well, and I’m obviously one of them,” Solntsev admits.

In the West, the prank has long been a comedy genre. There are radio stations dedicated to pranks, but in Russia those who observe pranksters’ communities say it’s a lot dirtier.

Psychologists say it all looks like moral sadism when teenagers try to stand out at the expense of those they tease.

“There is some masochism on the victim’s part as well. Some enjoy the attention and even swearing in a creative way,” journalist and prank researcher Mikhail Alekseevsky says.

Late amends

Dozens of pranksters had been getting on pensioner Zinaida Davydova’s nerves for five years, even after she changed her phone number – all because she never hesitated to shower them with vulgarities.

Pranksters often straddle the line between hooliganism and creativity, but almost all of them for some strange reason think their victims are also getting some pleasure out of it.

“She’s obviously a little insane. It was sometimes enough to say hello and introduce yourself by the name of her worst enemy Sergey, and we could hear some of the best swearing we’ve ever heard. Yeah, we did it for fun,” one of the pranksters explained on the condition of anonymity.

“Ohh, it was terrible. They called me everyday. They followed me in the streets. I called the police hundreds of times, but they never bothered,” Davydova recalls.

They have since apologized and Zinaida Davydova forgave them.