The ideal prank is unexpected, funny, and ultimately harmless. Few pranks fit this bill—even classics like toilet-papering your nemesis’ house and calling your neighbor to ask if the refrigerator is running come at a human cost. (The former requires hours of annoying cleanup; the latter your neighbor will just find plain annoying.)
Yes, a prank that makes everyone feel good, that lets the victim in on the joke while still giving the prankster the upper hand, is a rare thing indeed. Which is why Goat Attack feels like a revelation. Goat Attack will make your life, and your friends’ lives, just a little bit brighter.
The premise of Goat Attack—the result of “a couple six packs, a pepperoni pizza, a super late night, and a couple mad wives/girlfriends,” according to the founders—is that, for a mere 79 cents, an unrecognized number will send a barrage of six text messages to your friend that purport to be from goats. (For $1.19, you get to send 14 texts instead of six.) The texts pair photos of goats with choice bits of all-caps wordplay like “SHIT JUST GOAT SERIOUS” and “STAND BACK I GOAT THIS.” Can’t you just imagine your friends’, colleagues’, and relatives’ delight at receiving such whimsically absurd messages? I sure could, which is why I decided to Goat Attack my boss, Dan Kois, last week.
The Goat Attack website is fairly simple to use: You enter the phone number to which you wish to send the goat messages, your name (which can very much be a fake name—I put “Goats Yelling Like Humans” in the name field to keep things thematically cohesive), and your PayPal or credit card information. Within a few minutes of your hitting “Place Order,” your victim will receive a fusillade of goat communiqués.
Inexplicably, Dan did not love being Goat Attacked as much as I had anticipated. When I asked him how it made him feel, he replied, “BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.” Pressed for a more nuanced critique, he said that the goat messages had arrived all at once, whereas it would be more fun if they arrived one by one, at random times, over the course of a day. I agree that a slow-burn approach would improve Goat Attack, and I also wish that Goat Attack didn’t end each blitz with a message saying “Get [name entered by prankster] back: goatattack.com.” It would be much better if the source remained a mystery until he or she wished to reveal their cunning prankster instincts.
In spite of its imperfections, I heartily recommend Goat Attack. Letting your loved ones know that you’re thinking of them by way of an unexpected laugh is worth far more than 79 cents. But—full disclosure—I was predisposed to like Goat Attack. After all, I’m a Capricorn.