Of course Nick and the others loved the fire hat prank where one of them would have a kind of paper dunce hat and somebody would set fire to the top and then he would go low in front of the studio window while someone was on the air.
It would startle one in the middle of a sentence heard across Europe and more than once it worked...breaking the reader up and resulting in a “ruler “slap for all in the Colonel’s office!
Then coming back to the suburb Frankfurt-Hochst on the train late at night...one guy would move from car to car yelling out the wrong name of a next stop! No doubt a passenger or two or more might be “three sheets to the wind” and actually get off at the wrong stop.
I never had nerve to do this...but we had several guys at AFN who had no problem!
But the prank I WAS involved in was hysterical.
Our “sign on" announcer named Ron Cavalier...a really strait laced type would be climbing out of bed in his room in the castle tower where we all slept just before five and barely make it into the studio to get the network going. He had to walk down the sidewalk which crossed the moat on a small bridge and that’s were we did our nasty deed!
Each night someone would go to the nearby bar and buy a case of Henningerbrau beer and about a half dozen of us would sit on top of the castle wall overlooking the Mainz River....drinking thru the night almost until sunrise...talking about home, girls, whatever.
This night it had snowed...alot. So we thought it would be fun to move the snow...alot of it... over to block the only pathway for Ron to scramble to his duty. We worked hard for a couple of hours and then as five am neared we hid as best we could to see Ron’s reaction.
A few minutes before five he came rushing out and ran right into the snowbank! It couldn’t have been funnier. He started digging with his hands furiously into the snow cursing all the time until we finally relented and a couple of us emerged laughing and helped him move enough snow to cross the bridge. Did he make it on time...don’t know to this day. But it’s a memory I’ll cherish forever. Thanks, Ron wherever you are.