Friends repay joker with human cage prank
(5/22/06 - OLYMPIA, WA) -- A practical joker got a taste of revenge when friends turned part of his apartment into a human-sized hamster cage, complete with shredded newspaper bedding, a six-foot exercise wheel and a giant water bottle.
"It was a lot of work, but it was one of those cases where you do it because you have to," said Keith Jewell, a longtime friend and neighbor who engineered Monday's hamster-cage prank on Luke Trerice.
Trerice, 28, had it coming: In 2004, he enlisted others to help him encase another friend's apartment and most of his belongings in aluminum foil.
The victim of that prank, Chris Kirk, spent nearly two years cleaning up the meticulous coating of foil, which was wrapped around everything from his toilet and CD collection to the individual coins in his spare change.
A giant ball of foil still sits in the basement of Kirk's former apartment building.
The revenge plotting began immediately, and even though Kirk has since moved to Colombia, Jewell and others finished the job for him.
Trerice, who once said he would be insulted if there was no attempt at payback, also was waiting to see what his friends would come up with.
He even helped them out, making sure they knew it would be a month before he could move in to his Olympia apartment after graduating from dental school in Las Vegas.
"I knew that something was happening. They made no effort to hide it," Trerice told The Olympian newspaper.
Eight people put in more than 100 hours assembling the room, and supplies cost about $300.
Jewell, 26, a theater set designer and computer networker, came up with the concept and got a machinist's help in building the giant hamster wheel from metal pipes.
Jewell said he suffered some injuries when testing the ring. "If you spin upside down, you're not gripping the bars with your feet. So of course I went head first on the concrete," he said.
The group worked through the night before Trerice's arrival, shredding newspaper, blowing up a beach ball, installing the water bottle in a window and filling a metal feed bucket with Cheetos. There wasn't time to finish a few details, such as lining the walls with wire fencing.
Trerice has started cleaning up, but trips to the recycling bin still haven't made much of a dent in the two-foot pool of paper shreds on the floor.
The wheel, however, has proven popular and will become a permanent fixture in the room, Trerice said. After all, it took four people to bend it into an oval shape that would fit up the stairwell and through the door.
Trerice also said he's going to start saving now for his own revenge plans.
"They claim they did this on (Kirk's) behalf. If they think that's going to mitigate any of the revenge that's coming, well that's even funnier than the wheel," he said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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