Saturday, December 13, 2008

Messing with Mischief

Pranks. Freshman year of college. The two are inseparable.

In fact, it seems institutions of higher education only seem to magnify the prank probability percentage by placing people (specifically guys) in residence halls together.

I spent my freshman year in O'Bannon Hall where, three weeks into the semester, a rash of pranks between O'Bannon and rival Bowdle Hall broke out.

Every night the guys would go to bed around 3 a.m. and sure enough, upon awaking, some sort of display of male affection (or aggression?) would be prepared to trip us up.

One morning all of the furniture from the cluster (televisions, chairs, tables, sofas, etc.) would be pressed up against doors, prevent escape.

On another day all of the furniture in the cluster had been completely flipped upside down (yes, including that heavy pool table).

Once, a strand of very fine fishing wire tied up the entire cluster, knotted to every door handle, chair and table in one enormous invisible web of trip line.

Eventually, an idea popped in my head.

What if I could one-up the pranksters? How could I top their nightly feats of mayhem?

I could pull a prank on those who pulled them in the first place by foiling their plans an hour after set up.

They'd wake up in the morning expecting angry mobs determined to get them back and instead notice that no one would say a thing about their prank.


And so it began.... Every night when guys from the other dorm would weave their magic around 4 a.m., I would wake up at 5 a.m., and scour every floor of each hall.

Furniture would again be right side up and in its proper place. Fishing wire would be tucked into trash cans and toilet paper would no longer be spewed across the carpet. People would be shocked not to be shocked.

Several days passed...

And then the pranks stopped.

I would wake up at 5 a.m. and find nothing. Not a thing out of the ordinary.

In retrospect I realized that by making the pranks appear as if they never occurred, none of the residents were the wiser and therefore stopped getting back at the other hall because...

Frankly, there was nothing to get back at them for now.

Which, well, put me out of a job.

I suppose it could be said that I saved Bowdle and O'Bannon Halls during the 2005-06 year from a fate of childish japery, night after night.

In that case, I'm the hero.

I guess the prank's still on them.

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