This past week I spent 5 days of my Spring Break at a Benedictine monastery. While there, I asked one of the monks if there were any really memorable pranks that had been pulled.

He said that years back there was an older monk, probably in his 70s, that would always kiss his fingers, and then touch the feet of a crucifix that was on the way out of the church. One of the other monks, over quite a long time, gradually raised the crucifix by about 1/4 of an inch every week. The first monk started having to reach higher and higher to touch the crucifix, and finally, became unable to do so. He then walked into a room where the monks were gathering and said in a thin voice "I'm shrinking".

I think this is a great prank for several reasons:

  1. No one was really hurt by the prank
  2. The prank required tremendous patience. I estimate it would have been nearly a year from start to finish. Granted, a monk has an advantage here, but it's still impressive
  3. All the other monks knew about the prank
  4. It was done by a monk! Just from the little time I spent there, monks definitely have a sense of humor