After digging my toes in the summer sand (why do you immediately jump to butt-crack sand?), I read the breezy “History of the Prank.” I was particularly taken with the classic, what we now know as, the “pull my finger” hijinks; whereby an unwitting participant is asked to give a tug on a finger resulting in the seeming cause-and-effect of the “pull” having as its consequence the release of a gust of loud bowel wind (oboe-like, at best, see below). The prep-work of the pullee is oft-overlooked, as they must sense the presence of an imminent colonic gaseous pocket, hold it at the bay, and then time the release with the digital pulling. Cries of “Do it again!” are oft-met with disappointment as this seeming act of spontaneous sphincteral control cannot be recreated on demand without the very real risk of pant-shitting thus turning an act of high-level prankery into one of sheer revulsion and disgust. Nonetheless, pull my finger, has a storied history that is gripping. The great Italian conductor, Arturo Toscanini, is credited with being the first to link the pulling of an object to the foul-smelling release of his bowel gas. In Toscanini’s initial forays into the pull prank, he often gave the unwitting puller (usually his first violinist, oddly) various options, including, but not limited to, his baton, more than one finger, and on one documented occasion his rather unsightly phallus. Due to his unusual dietary proclivities, Toscanini was known to emit a severely foul form of flàtulençe that on more than one occasion had reached all the way to the percussion section of the orchestra resulting in a prolonged delay of the evening’s performance. The use of this form of prankery, he claimed, relaxed the instrumentalists as well as the first few rows of the audience, all dependent on his “aim” and the wind currents of the various houses of music. Bravo!