During costume preparations for the Epic Superhero Battle, a few of our group saw some Coroner and Crime Scene t-shirts at a local store. And we said to ourselves, “Selves? If we can’t come up with a prank for this, we aren’t worthy of the name ‘pranksters’.” So we cogitated on the idea for a while until inspiration struck.
In October, we put the finishing touches on the idea and a small group of us headed out to give it a go. Armed with a weighted and stuffed prop body bag, we donned our Coroner shirts and rode the Phoenix Metro Light Rail into the downtown area. As we explained it to a few innocent bystanders, our coroner-mobile had broken down and with budgets being tight… public transportation, to the rescue! And while we were out, we thought we’d make a quick stop for coffee. What could be considered unusual about that? We also had two “plain clothes” accomplices along to covertly film.
The reactions were immediate; a few people shifted seats to get a better look or to move further away, others engaged us in conversation, growing ever-more uncomfortable as we described our need to transport our sans-vehicle cargo before the heat caused some issues (for those of you in other parts of the world, yes it is often still hot in AZ at the end of October), most just stared and took out their phones to snap pictures and presumably to text their friends and family. A couple of guys alternately offered up their thoughts on whether or not we really had brought a body on board the train but when one of our party pulled out a pair of latex gloves — for only genuine County Coroners have access to latex gloves, it seems — that sealed the deal for one of them. “Oh man, you just gave it away,” he said, “why would you need gloves unless you really had a body in there?” Why, indeed?
Eventually, we reached our intended stop and carried the body bag across the street to the coffee shop, much to the chagrin, amazement and befuddlement of the patrons seated outside. We had not pre-arranged anything with the shop, but the workers didn’t give us much reaction. Guess they’ve seen their fair share of strangeness at a downtown coffee shop. Go figure. A few phones came out from the other patrons, but only one guy worked up the nerve to ask us if there was really a body in there. “We can’t discuss the details of an ongoing case,” we replied to him, to which he nodded and said, “I understand. See… it was my wife that wanted to know”. Bam, another believer! We enjoyed our coffee and then got ready to leave, yielding one of the best lines of the day: “No, we did not just spring a leak.”
The ride back to our vehicles was pretty uneventful; very little reaction from the sparsely populated train car. But the ride out was the clincher, as were the stunned “OMGWhatTheHellWasThat?!?” reactions from the patrons in the shop AFTER we left. That’s good enough for us. And we think this one has legs enough to let us do this in a few different venues. Maybe the mall? Will hilarity ensue?
Yeah, it’s in the bag!