By David Villano
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Lou Panick dreams of YouTube stardom. The only thing holding this wannabe prankster back is that he can't come up with a single idea beyond harassment. Most of his uploads revolve around assaulting pedestrians or making offensive comments about women on Miami Beach. It's all typical juvenile fare that no one would find funny, except maybe middle school boys who are too young to have ever seen an episode of Jackass.
In September, though, Panick seemed to realize boob jokes weren't getting him fame. He upped the ante with "Crazy Throwing Up Blood Prank," the premise of which is pretty self-explanatory. Panick elicits the concern of various onlookers by feigning violent illness, and when others try to run away from his mess, he chases them down the street.
He even tried to contact Y100 on October 2 to see if the station liked his guerrilla-style humor. It's unclear what he thought the radio station might do with the video he offered, but perhaps Panick was seeking employment as a shock jock. Regardless of intent, he sent the station this message on Facebook: "I made this insanely funny and highly shocking prank video in which people freak out. I would like to see if it was possible for it to get publicity. I'm only asking Y100 to take a look at it and deem if it is viral material."
When he received no response, it was time to pull out the big guns. Airsoft guns. With the orange tips removed, so they look perfectly real. In a "live prank" video that went up around Halloween, Panick donned the mask of Michael Myers, from the Halloween movie franchise. He proceeded to run around Miami at night with the ersatz weapon, making Miamians think they were about to be shot by a mentally unhinged person.
Two messages from Riptide to Panick: One, Michael Myers never once used a gun, you ass. Two, it is never, ever, OK to pretend you're a mass shooter. Finally, how did someone not shoot you? We live in Florida. It's a wonder you're alive.
There's a fine line between provocative humor and plain stupidity. You do not seem even vaguely aware that this point of demarcation — or the concept of good taste — exists.