As practical jokes go, attaching clothes pegs onto peoples’ clothes without them knowing sounds a rather simple and juvenile activity. However, it is a past time which can provide much amusement and entertainment whilst being far more complicated than one may first think.

The basic idea is that one takes a common clothes peg (the type used for attaching clothes to clothes-lines in order to let them dry). Then, whilst someone is unaware, attach one or several of them to the back of the clothes they’re wearing, or anywhere they will be unable to see them. Thus, the unfortunate victim will wander around, oblivious to their humiliation until either they “feel” the peg (usually by sitting or leaning on it) or, as is more likely, somebody informs them about it and thus spoiling the fun of the protagonist. However, I must point out that it is bad etiquette to peg those who are undeserving of the humiliation. One must choose your victims carefully and be aware of that hurting peoples feelings should not be the aim (unless you think they deserve it).

It is an art in that one must choose one’s weapon carefully and it can take great practise to be able to do it well. Firstly, one must make a choice between plastic pegs or wooden pegs (clothespins incidentally are useless for this activity). Plastic ones are generally cheaper and less well made, but often have the advantage of being in bright colours, thereby adding to the fun. It stands to reason that a bright orange peg on the back of a black T-shirt is going to stand out well. Wooden pegs are usually better quality and the pinching area of the peg is generally flatter and has a greater service area than the plastic variety. This can reduce the chances of the victim feeling the peg being attached. Another thing the budding pegger must watch for is the noise of the metal spring on the peg. I have learnt the hard way that it doesn’t matter how soft your touch is; if the spring is a squeaker then the victim will hear and your cover will be blown.

Further considerations are the placement of the pegs. Folds are your friends. For example, someone wearing a T-shirt will immediately feel the application of the peg, unless you find a suitable fold with enough slackness to disguise the pinch. Hooded-tops are a good target. I have had incidences where I have been able to apply several pegs all in a row along a hood. The best effects are often the hardest to pull off however. Several pegs attached to the back of a shirt collar always give a striking effect, as does a peg attached to a baseball cap put on backwards. These are difficult though, because the victim will feel any movement of the surface and a steady and patient hand is essential. The feeling of elation after a successful pegging mission combined with the euphoria of seeing someone walking down the street with a load of multicoloured pegs hanging from them cannot be expressed.

My current record for most pegs attached to a single person at one time stands at around 10, which I believe to be quite a modest record. Anyone in a position of power or with an arrogant attitude can immediately be undermined with the application of a peg. The United Nations would be a better place if pegging became common-place there. An interesting side product of repeated pegging can be that once someone becomes aware of the practice, and paranoid about the possibility of being pegged, they will regularly rub their backs against walls and corners in the hope of feeling or dislodging any pegs. As a result, one can feint a pegging just in order to see someone go through this procedure. Often watching this is more amusing than actually pegging them.

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