NPF: PRANKING BAD

In 1953, the rivalry between Harvard's two student newspapers was spiced up when Crimson partisans stole a statue that sat atop the Lampoon's office. Not content with Level One mischief, the Crimsonites contacted the Soviet embassy and offered them the statue as a peace offering between nations. The USSR accepted (and was probably somewhat confused). In a brilliant response, Lampoon staffers contacted Senator Joseph McCarthy and demanded that he launch a full investigation of the Crimson for its Communist sympathies and dealings with the enemy. Sadly, McCarthy crashed and burned before he could inadvertently help the students close the Prank Circle of Life.

In 1896, Auburn students prepared for the arrival of the arch-rival Georgia Tech football team (I guess Auburn vs. Alabama was not yet a thing in the 19th Century) by covering several miles of railroad tracks into the campus with lubricants. When Tech's train came rolling into town, it helplessly slid several miles out of town in the opposite direction. Legend has it – although this part may be apocryphal – that the Yellowjackets had to walk back to town in the heat and, exhausted, lost 45-0.

In 1961, Caltech nerds sabotaged the preparations for the Rose Bowl. When fans in the stadium held up cards that were supposed to spell "Washington" (whose Huskies were competing in the game) the TV audience saw "Caltech", which has no football team let alone one that would play in the Rose Bowl.

This week I overheard a group of undergraduates talking about pranking our arch-rival, coincidentally also Georgia Tech, before this year's football clash. One proposal involved swiping the beloved Ramblin' Wreck (a golden 1930 Ford Model A, the school's unofficial mascot) and parading it down the Interstate to our stadium. Ultimately they concluded, and I had to agree, that they'd probably all end up in jail, buried under a hundred charges for trespassing, theft, damage to public property, and so on.

I don't want to get all Andy Rooney "Ya Can't Do Anything Without Someone Suing You Anymore" on you, but I do think it's somewhat sad that college students are no longer encouraged to express their creativity like this anymore. Instead they grew up in a post-Reagan America in which the threat of every incident being blown wildly out of proportion by law enforcement ("Tough on crime! Grr!") is greater than their sense of fun. I mean, can you imagine the Auburn-Tech prank today? Good lord, those Auburn kids would have Homeland Security and a dozen SWAT teams all over them for sabotaging the nation's transportation infrastructure. When we do see "pranks" today they look like malicious acts – like the idiot Alabama football fan who poisoned and killed Auburn's 150 year old oak trees – as often as they look like fun.

So please, restore my faith in humanity and convince me that all is not lost. Use the comment section to recount great pranks from recent years – whether or not you were involved – as well as any clever hijinks you may have observed or engaged in during your college years. I need to believe that the beautiful art of being a clever bastard while doing no real harm is not yet dead.

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56 Responses to “NPF: PRANKING BAD”

  1. RT Butte Says:

    http://hacks.mit.edu/

    MIT maintains a database of pranks that their students play on each other, Harvard, and really anyone at all. They're not all great, but there are some amazing pranks in there.

  2. Middle Seaman Says:

    The best story I heard was when I stayed at Cambridge, England one summer. The engineering students there have a long tradition of pranks. One day these student have one night landed a car on the top one of the many steeples that are all over. Due the difficulty of bring the car down, scaffolds were erected to reach the car. As the scaffolds were about to the reach the top of the steeple with the car nailed at its top, the students have used the night to move the car to another steeple.

    No prosecution and no one know how the prank was performed.

  3. Brian Says:

    When I was an undergraduate at the U. of Chicago in the 1980s, a couple people in Chamberlain House, where I lived my first year, discovered that the dining hall door had been left unlocked when the staff left. (Chamberlain is in Burton-Judson Courts, which is divided into several different houses.)

    The next morning, students walked in for breakfast only to find that Chamberlain's table was the only one with chairs.

    During the night, the chairs had been carried and carefully stacked in an adjacent common room. Nothing was damaged, though obviously the students from other houses were inconvenienced that morning.

  4. buckyblue Says:

    In my high school, it's even worse. Yell FUCK in a hallway,and get a disorderly. Any type of physical aggression will result in getting cuffed up and taken down to the popo station. A few years ago several of our NHS kids who played sports went and TPed the rival quarterbacks house. Three game suspension and couldn't go to the home coming dance. Seriously. But, do anything academically wrong like cheating or having Google write your paper and the consequences are so non-existent I don't see why more kids don't do it. Or maybe they are and I'm just not catching them.

  5. HoosierPoli Says:

    All the vicious, antisocial hazing and pranking that was celebrated in society would not be tolerated today and for good reason; it's dangerous and stupid. The only people who get any pleasure out of those sorts of things, then or now, are drunken trust fund bros. And don't forget, these "classic" pranks were carried out by white assholes of ridiculous privilege, who could pretty much kill a person and get away with it. If a couple of Filipino immigrants took a mind to lube up the railroad tracks, they'd be lynched.

  6. Lord Corwin Says:

    I see the left wing's sense oh humor is in full swing, as usual.

  7. HCE Says:

    I went to high school in the mid-90s and every day our school of some 1500 students were treated to announcements via a closed circuit TV feed. During the last period of every day, students in study hall were rounded up to tape a listless reading of the news and lunch menu. The program then aired the next day at the beginning of third period. It was torture to watch.

    The night before the last broadcast of my freshman year, several seniors convinced one of the student editors to pass them the tape before leaving for the night. They went home and jerry-rigged a crude video editing system (which I was later told was nothing more than two VHS players wired together) to alter the final cut of the announcements. The next morning they brought the tape back to the AV lab before school started.

    The final announcements of the year included an ungodly amount of housecleaning that concluded with information about an apprenticeship program for upcoming graduates. "Seniors," the announcer began, "are looking for something fun to do this summer?"

    Just then the video made a hard and sloppy cut and transitioned into an extended scene of hardcore pornography, complete with throbbing techno soundtrack, and a scroll on the bottom of the screen that read, "Had a great four years. Fuck You! Class of '94." The tape must have run for about 12 seconds before the poor AV coordinator hit the kill switch.

    There had never been a "senior prank" tradition at the school. This was simply a rogue operation conducted by a handful of students who, never known for their sense of school spirit, had taken it upon themselves to speak for the rest of their peers.

    The social structure of the school was just as fractious and hierarchical as any other and divided along the typical teenage lines of self-identification — class, race, taste in music, preference in drugs, etc. — but for one glorious moment, every last student in that school was united in howling laughter that made the walls of the building shake.

  8. xynzee Says:

    I remember my dad telling me about this one. Truly from a by-gone era when people had a sense of humour.

    http://www.uss-bennington.org/stz-hoax-usnview57.html

    I think an international incident certainly tops the ranks.

  9. Da Moose Says:

    We pranked our college at Beloit constantly (i.e. driving the security guards golf carts into the Rock River, breaking into the telco room and rearranging everyone's phone lines, cutting down the bushes in front of Middle College, etc) The admin was not pleased. In fact, just before graduation, another gang of hooligans stole all the flags from the World Affairs Center. When they discovered who it was they prevented the guys from graduating even though they returned the flags. Boomers have no sense of humour. Going back to Beloit and Madison this weekend for alumni weekend….

  10. Spiffy McBang Says:

    I think your concerns on this topic are a little overblown. No, you can't get away with as much now, which sucks at the margins, but in the case of what your school's students thought of… it is car theft. Arguing that it's ok because it's a college prank is a lot different than arguing on behalf of statue-swipers; no one's going to look twice at that statue except as part of the college rivalry. I don't know if the lubed train tracks constituted a potentially major hazard; if they did, it would be hard to argue against a fairly stiff punishment, even if no one got hurt.

    Stunts like the Caltech thing and Seaman's steeple car are genius. While I suppose we could all think up scenarios where those pranksters are punished for their cleverness, in general people who do stuff like that still don't get in trouble for it, as far as I'm aware. If I'm wrong, or if that were to change, it would be a sad thing.

  11. mangrilla Says:

    I think it depends. A good prank is something like the story about those two brothers sending a pair of pants back and forth to each other in increasingly difficult-to-open containers. But the problem with a lot of the type of things that you're talking about here, Ed, is that some poor schmo who is just doing his job has to clean up the mess. For every Georgia Tech train prank, there's railroad workers cleaning the tracks, an engineer who's late getting, and just endless amounts of people who end up paying some price in order to "restore your faith in humanity." In this regard, I think Hoosierpoli has it right: in order to restore your faith in humanity we're going to bring up a bunch of examples of privileged selfish dicks not caring about the consequences of their self-centered dickish behavior.
    But I think pranks where folks don't get screwed (a la the Cal Tech example) still exist, but just take different forms. The Mets getting rick-rolled was a pretty good one. And then there's things like flashmobs as well now.

  12. Hazy Davy Says:

    My alma mater continues to pull of pranks like those you describe, to this day:

    - The Cannon: http://people.bu.edu/fmri/somers/cannon.html
    - Victoria's Secret: http://cmcforum.com/life/10152009-harvey-mudd-1-victorias-secret-0
    - Moving a dorm: "During the construction of Case Dorm some students decided as a prank to move all of the survey stakes exactly six inches in one direction.[22] They did such a precise job that the construction crew didn't notice until after they had laid the foundation (and after the prank team informed someone on the project about the shifted stakes), but California earthquake law forced them to re-survey the site and bring in engineering consultation.
    …and many more
    (I remember stories about, or participating in, filling the caltech cannon with spaghetti, adding parentheses to a highway exit sign to suggest that Caltech is a school for artists, hanging signs from Caltech's library welcoming their incoming freshman to "the perfect second choice", putting a kid's car into his dorm room, etc.)

    I think what you meant to say was that kids at your school are pikers.

  13. arthur Says:

    I was at the Harvard-Yale football game in 1983(?), where MIT students broke into Harvard Stadium the previous night, dug up enough of the football field to plant a remote controlled inflatable balloon under the surface at the 50 year line, and covered their thracks sufficiently that nobody noticed. The balloon popped out of the ground in the second quarter, expanded ot about 30 feet or so in a few seconds, and popped dramatically. It held up the game by a few minutes and a good time was had by all. Definitely would attrach DHS if it happened today.

  14. Ike Says:

    My freshman year in college I lived in the dorms, and a common bathroom was shared by the whole hallway. My roommate liked to be clean, often showering twice in a day, with all the attendent hair-gelling, powdering, and whatever. I had a laser printer, still pretty rare then, and made up a very official-looking notice from a fictitious University Housing Maintenance department: Bathrooms would be closed next week for the installation of coin-operated showers, of course at “scalding” rates. Everyone else chuckled at the joke, my roomie however, more tool than sharp, freaked out and went running off to complain to the R.A.

    Another hall-mate usually went home for the weekend, and was ever so careful about the security of his stuff. Paranoid, we thought. So we surreptitiously loosened the backing screw on the security peephole on his door. Then for several hours while he was gone, we took turns stuffing packing peanuts one by one through this tiny hole. Rubber cemented the optic back in place, and waited! He was quite perplexed to return to campus, open his securly locked door, and find several cubic feet of packing peanuts billowing around.

    Key to a prank, large or small, is tailoring it to the victim.

  15. Kulkuri Says:

    Whatever happened to panty raids?

  16. rob Says:

    we had a similar "closed circuit porno" prank happen at the high school where i teach.

    at the high school i attended in san diego, we had one of the best auto programs of any high school in the nation. toyota graciously donated 4 brand new cars for the kids to work on throughout the year. as a senior prank my sophomore year, the auto tech kids dissassembled an entire toyota corrolla and reassembled it on the roof of the gym. no idea how they got access up there.

  17. roboteating Says:

    Some of the gearheads at my high school kidnapped a teacher's Volkswagon Beetle, disassembled it, and then reassembled it in the shower room of the girls' locker room.
    We did lots of shitty stuff to Freshman on our baseball team too, but that was straight up hazing, not pranking. I regret that stuff.

  18. roboteating Says:

    My high school owes Rob's high school a Coke.

  19. Jude Says:

    I went to a state-run magnet school from 1990-1992. It was on a college campus, which meant that there was a short, puffed-up rent-a-cop in charge of security. He even had the title of "chief." He was fond of driving around in a little golf cart and looking for people making out in dark areas. A real prick, you know?

    Well, one night, some enterprising young men stripped his golf cart and left it on cinder blocks right outside the rent-a-cop shack. Didn't damage or destroy anything (left the wheels and other parts in a neat pile right beside the cart), but showed him to be as effective as Jell-O bullets. He was really, really pissed.

    He came to our dorm and gathered all 100 or so of us in the lobby, and said the following: "I'm giving the guilty parties this one chance to turn themselves in. We know who did this, but we're giving you a chance to admit it and not face such a harsh punishment."

    Really. Does that bullshit line ever work on anyone? He came across looking even dumber and more impotent after that.

    I wonder who could have done such a thing to his golf cart.

  20. jgalt Says:

    Caltech had a football team, and their home field was the Rose Bowl. They've played more games in the Rose Bowl than any other team in college football (UCLA may have since surpassed them).

    In 1983, Caltech pranked the Hollywood sign, changing it to spell CALTECH. The Hollyweirders tried to press charges for trespassing. Maybe it's the fact that it was Hollywood's centennial.

  21. Lee Says:

    I don't know if it's a failure of imagination, or lack of creativity but the majority of pranks today seem to cross into maliciousness; of course, there appears to be a definite overeaction by the authorities involved as has been mentioned.

    My college's football stadium had theater style seating back in the Seventies; a color difference between the bottom of the seat and the back rest allowed people to spell words depending on how you arranged the seats up or down. Having a large, self-important Greek population, it was tradition for one fraternity or another to arrange the seats before football games to cheer or jeer, Go Tech, Boo Aggies, etc.

    My crowd would drink beer and smoke watching them, then wait until just before daylight to go in and offer our own comment, Luck Fubbock was one of my favorites

  22. DB Main Says:

    The 1984 Rose Bowl was played between UCLA and Illinois. Caltech students hacked into the score board, manipulating the score to read "Caltech 38, MIT 9".

    The students were given class credit for the prank in a course called "Experimental Projects in Electrical Circuits"

  23. Amused Says:

    One morning shortly before Halloween (how appropriate!) about 10 years ago, students and faculty at Cornell University woke up to find that a gigantic pumpkin had been placed on top of Clock Tower by the Main Quad. The University investigated, out of curiosity rather than a desire to punish the prankster(s), and was unable to find who did it, or how. Already at that time, access to the Tower was by electronic key, and there was no record of anyone entering it after the Chime Master closed up early the previous evening. So the most likely explanation is that someone actually scaled the 170-foot tower in the middle of the night, carrying a 60-pound pumpkin, impaled it on the spire at the top and then rappelled back down.

  24. cackalacka Says:

    I can't help but note that you don't mention your university (sic) in your 'about' section.

    Deducing that you may be affiliated with the U.Ga (sic) that's probably a great idea.

  25. JMLA Says:

    My brother stole some of our high school letter head, printed up a letter about how since his graduating class had displayed such exemplary behavior over the last four years, they would allow alcohol to be served at the graduation banquet. This letter was then disseminated to every senior. Pretty harmless, but pretty hilarious.

  26. Quixy Says:

    Some drunk kids broke a glass door here last week.

  27. James Robson Says:

    @Middle Seaman

    I attend Cambridge, England; that sounds like a fusion of two separate stories I heard about a) a car being dismantled, taking through windows and put on the roof of the Senate House and b) a traffic cone being put on one spire of King's Chapel and then moved the next night after the scaffolding to take it down had gone halfways up.

  28. xynzee Says:

    @jgalt: '83 Hollywood sign? Sounds like even CalTech was starting to run out of steam for creativity then, as they replicated that one again in '90 or '91.

    Probably the best one that I was involved with in Uni. was something out of Meatballs (the original) Coming home one night I found a couple trying to shift her roommate out of their room. They had her sheets and blankets and were pretty much dragging her down the hall. This chick was one *very* sound sleeper.

    As there was a spare bed in my room so we lugged her into my room, and they went and did their horizontal shuffle. Around 4am she woke me up with, Where am I? Who are you? How did I get here? I played dumb with, the how the Hell did you get in my room schtick! I let up when she nearly freaked out, and told her how her roomie had played the prank on her and why. She settled, and went back to the other bed, it was one of the better pranks that year for that hall.

  29. Landru Says:

    I'm psychotically convinced that no one from Cornell could've managed the pumpkin prank. Sounds like the finest traditions of Rensselaer technowizardry to me.

  30. HCE Says:

    "The plan was hatched by the [Naval Academy] class of 1991 and passed along to the next year's seniors. A group of 17 midshipmen spent the better part of fall semester refining the mission. They made several reconnaissance missions to [West Point], posing as tourists to map out the area, snapping photos and shooting video. One of the mids was an electrical engineering major, and he visited West Point to study the alarm systems.

    Stealing mules isn't easy. Unlike the Navy's goats, the Army's mules are housed on school grounds in a veterinary compound with guards stationed at the gate and the barn. An initial raid attempt failed when the midshipmen showed up the day after Thanksgiving and found that feeding times had been changed. The group resigned itself that another class would have to execute the plan. But as Army-Navy week approached, the excitement got the best of them, and they just had to give it another shot.

    [...]

    The midshipmen dressed as soldiers and military police, entering school grounds in cars bearing New York plates and bumper stickers that read "Beat Navy!" They distracted a staff sergeant, told him they were delivering feed for the mules and quickly subdued the remaining guards. Using molasses-sweetened feed to gain the mules' trust, the mascots were easily loaded into a horse trailer. As the raiders left, one of the imprisoned guards broke free, and word quickly spread that thieves were fleeing with mules in tow.

    There was a brief high-speed chase at the gate, but guards relented after securing the midshipmen's tag numbers. Helicopters began searching from above, and state police were alerted on the ground. Authorities were stationed at toll booths along the New Jersey Turnpike, and others waited at the Naval Academy's gates. But the midshipmen broke into two camps, and those with the mules took a secret path back to Maryland, heading north to Albany, N.Y., before turning south and cutting through Pennsylvania.

    After a snack break at nearby farm, night had fallen by the time the mules reached the Naval Academy. Inside the gates, the pep rally was about to begin, but outside, federal marshals and Defense Department police sprang from the darkness and temporarily foiled the heist. Quickly, word reached Lt. Angela Smith, the command duty officer, who informed the agents that they were on Navy property and she was in charge. She ordered the mules be escorted immediately to the pep rally."

    - http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2007-11-30/sports/0711300150_1_mules-military-academy-naval-academy

  31. Scotius Says:

    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/tuck.html
    My all time favorite hoax was the "Chinatown Caper" by legendary Democratic operative Dick Tuck. When Richard Nixon was campaigning for Governor in Los Angeles in 1962, Dick Tuck had signs made that said "Welcome Nixon" in English and "What About the Hughes Loan" in Chinese, referring to a controversial loan that Howard Hughes had made to Nixon's brother. Nixon didn't realize that until he was halfway into his campaign speech. Supposedly one of the reasons Nixon hired Donald Segretti was to counter Tuck's "dirty tricks".

  32. Radical Scientist Says:

    I thought all good college pranks involve fitting various domed University buildings with proportionately sized nipples.

  33. Arjun Says:

    A small correction to the Caltech Rose Bowl prank story: while Caltech does not currently have a football team, they certainly did in 1961. In fact, home games were typically played in the Rose Bowl.

  34. jeneria Says:

    These are pretty tame, but when I was an undergraduate at the University of Montana, one Halloween someone scaled the main hall and impaled giant pumpkins on the spires of the building. Also while at UM someone painted the M on Mount Sentinel with cow spots.

  35. Southern Beale Says:

    I dunno, the only pranks I can think of involved horrible animal abuse. Like the dead bear cub draped in Obama signs.

    I'm not nostalgic for this shit. I don't think there's anything charming about drunk college kids acting like assholes. Grow the fuck up.

    Maybe it's just me.

    Also, offa my lawn.

  36. Ike Says:

    Speaking of stupid drunk college kids, the frat kids did make a 12 foot high cock and balls out of snow once, complete with branches as pubes. It was visibly erect half a mile across campus, and maintenance had to run into it with a tractor to knock it down. It was an impressive mass of snow. People were posing for portraits with it.

  37. pjcamp Says:

    When I was an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, some students heisted a steam whistle that was used to signal class changes and held it hostage in exchange for the sacrificial offering of a calculus prof.

    Also, the basketball stadium, which had a quite suggestive architecture before they built all that brick crap around it, pretty much perpetually had the nipple painted pink.

    And, of course, George P. Burdell lives on LinkedIn and Facebook. You really need to have mentioned Mr. Burdell, the greatest prank in college history. He began life when the admissions office at Georgia Tech accidentally sent two application forms to Ed Smith, who decided to fill out both, one in his own name and one in the name of his high school principal, George P. Butler. At the last minute, he chickened out and changed the last name to Burdell. Both Ed and George were admitted. Over the next four years, a team of students submitted every assignment and took every test for every class and, in the end, managed to earn a degree in Ceramic Engineering (and later a Master's) for ol' George. He's been a perpetual feature of campus pranks ever since. When the college switched to computer registrations for classes in 1969, they bragged about how bulletproof the system was, and especially about how they had engineered it to prevent random Burdell registrations, only to wake up on the first day of fall semester to find George P. registered for every section of every class on campus, manfully taking over 3000 credit hours. George also flew 12 missions over Europe with the 8th Air Force in World War II, his career ending only when another Tech grad became commander of his squadron. He was on Mad Magazine's board of directors from 1969 to 1981 and was the leading candidate for Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 2001 until the magazine got wise and deleted his entry. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000, and currently serves as a production assistant on the South Park web site.

    Any bunch of Alabammy rednecks can rub lard on railroad tracks. Only a Tech student could pull off shit like this.

  38. Woopie Grad Says:

    At W.P.I. (

  39. Hawes Says:

    I work in a boarding school. A few years ago, some students went up to our rival school, walked into admissions and started giving "tours" to perspective students while video taping it. It was pretty damned funny.

    Last year, they went into the faculty room where we have pictures of all the faculty and emeritus faculty who have died. They made replica pictures of themselves in the same poses and replaced all the photos with their copies. The faculty had to "ransom" the pictures by doing various funny/embarrassing tasks. I had to dress in a George Dubya mask for a day. Horrific.

    Another year, they took an old junker car, put a powerful stereo system in the middle of it, welded the doors shut, placed it in the middle of the rival school's campus and turned it on at 4:30 morning.

  40. Sarah Says:

    A guy I know only through Facebook (we're both Phi Theta Kappans) once blew up a whole lot of balloons and put them in his co-worker's office, so that the co-worker came in the next morning and found his entire office filled floor to ceiling with balloons.

  41. Jim Says:

    A bunch of us (from Holy Cross) spray-painted the BC Eagle statue in royal purple (our school color) in the mid-80's….the rivalry was ended soon there after…sadly not because of our prank.

  42. Mudder Says:

    Pleased to see the story of the CalTech cannon above. Hate to give them credit, but Google CalTech Ditch Day for some great pranks.

    In my four years at Mudd (early 70s), the following occurred:

    Student leaves for a weekend. Comes back to find all his furniture on the dorm roof (flat), in the exact same layout as it was in the room. Door taken off hinges, moved to the roof, and propped up in the correct location.

    Student leaves for the weekend. His room is filled floor to ceiling with wadded up newspaper. He fights his way through, opens a window, and tosses it all out into the courtyard.

    (My favorite) Student leaves for the weekend (see a pattern here?). Dorm room floor is covered with paper cups, filled to the top with water. Perpetrators started at the back, worked out to the front door. Stapled the cups together, then taped a drinking straw to the door. Victim opened the door, took one look then went off to Scripps to crash with his girlfriend while the cups disintegrated and the water evaporated. Thanks to the architect for concrete floors!

  43. Nate Says:

    I don't really blame the right for this. For every Reaganite "Won't somebody please think of the children," there's a liberal "your prank is hurting little Jimmy's feelings."

    I blame Ronald Reagan, Pat Robertson AND Tipper Gore.

  44. tesslibrarian Says:

    When I was a sophomore at UGA (1990), I lived with a Georgette–they are the dancing team part of the marching band. At the Auburn game, at Auburn, after finishing up their routine where they spell out "GEORGIA" on the field, the band all dropped shakers (the plastic pom-poms) out of their back pockets and onto the field. It delayed getting Auburn's band out to perform, and whatever halftime award presentation type of thing they had planned and from what I heard, Auburn officials were furious, as were the Georgia officials.

    I think the band had to write apology letters to the Auburn band or something? It's fuzzy now, and I can't find video or anything else about it now–the UGA newspaper didn't publish all the following week (on the quarter system, we were out for a week at Thanksgiving), and there seemed to be a general sense that giving it any attention would encourage such behavior at other schools. I do recall my roommate, who hadn't travelled for that game, saying that she didn't appreciate being punished for the actions of the band. But I still think it was pretty funny.

  45. Jane Says:

    Some engineering students "liberated" road maintenance uniforms and, suitably kitted out, started to dig a hole in one of the busiest crossings in central Stockholm (Sveavägen/Odengatan). When the hole had grown to a respectable size, one of them called up the real road maintenance dispatchers and complained that their break was long overdue and where the %&/%#!! were the next gang who were supposed to spell them?

    In short order, a group of real road maintenance crew arrived and continued digging the hole. (They were told there was a big gas leak, which was very important and very dangerous) The pranksters then left (for their "break") and called the police, saying that some Royal School of Technology students were playing a prank and digging a huge hole in that busy crossing. The police arrived, saw the hole, and started expostulating with the gang digging the hole. The gang said they were definitely NOT some namby pamby students and the hole was IMPORTANT and got into fist fights with the police.

    :)

  46. Bill Says:

    Anyone know how to to contact Ed, the blogger of Gin and Tacos? I would like to email him a question.

  47. Turkler Says:

    Bill: shine the Bat-Signal

  48. E Says:

    Back in HS, there was a main street that led about 2 miles to where four High Schools, one Jr. HS and two Elementary schools as well as a major government lab were all located. 80% of the people who had to go to any of them each day had to funnel down this street each morning to get there. Lucky for us, there was a lovely statue of two kids leapfrogging one another positioned on one of the major corners of this boulevard.

    Now, this statue was not merely two kids leapfrogging, no. It was like someone had frozen in bronze some weird child porn moment. "Leapfrogging" can hardly describe it. The male child, behind the female – who is completely bent over – has his hands on her hips and has only "jumped" enough in this moment to be perfectly positioned about six inches above her rear end. Cute? No. Weird? Very. Bad taste? Quite possibly. Bad idea? No doubt in my mind.

    By now, I'm sure some of you have figured out where this is going. We went out and with the help of one of our (then 18 year old) older brothers, procured the largest, veiniest, ball-iest dildo we could find, and at about 4 am before a Monday school day, snuck out and cemented that sucker on there in a covert operation that would have made seal team six proud. By 6 am the multitudes were driving past the statue that now fully realized the creepiness that everyone imagined anyway. It took them about til noon to get it down.

    About a year or so later we did it again (it was just too good not to) and they finally moved the creepy statue elsewhere.

  49. KellyD Says:

    Years ago, engineering students at Rice University managed to turn the giant, one-ton statue of William Marsh Rice around to face the opposite direction–in the middle of campus and without a crane. Rice had to hire one of the premier engineering firms in Houston to figure out how to fix it.

    http://www.media.rice.edu/media/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=10823

  50. adamr Says:

    There was the WEEK of pranks while I was in high school that amounted to locker clean outs amidst masses of people.

    The main two halls in my high school intersected each other, and lockers were on all four sides. Unbeknownst to administrators, Seniors had been storing items in their lockers all year long at this intersection.

    Seconds before the bell to change periods rang, they emptied one of the lockers that was FULL of empty cans of chew. It was like a million hockey pucks being kicked up and down the halls.

    The following day an adjacent locker was emptied in the same fashion, this time full of empty soda cans.

    Finally on the third day the administrators got wise and searched lockers at the intersection… only to find the next three days worth of pranks: a locker full of super balls, a locker full of ping pong balls, and a locker full of plastic lunch trays stolen from the cafeteria.

    The Seniors must have felt cheated out of their prank, so they stepped it up right before the end of the week with the old “cow on the third floor, can’t walk down stairs” prank. They forgot that the school had an elevator though, but I still imagine corralling a cow into an elevator to be a harrowing situation as well.

  51. Jado Says:

    I worked at a firm with some guys who were best friends, and inveterate pranksters. one guy had to buy a new car because the other guys would remove the removable doors from his Jeep Cherokee…in winter. He got sick of driving home in 20 degree weather with no doors.

    But the best was the photo pranks. Scotch tape really does turn almost completely invisible on pharmacy-printed photos, and these guys had (respectively) a photos of the one guy's wife, and a photo of the one guys small children in the tub (from the waist up – no police action necessary, thank you).

    Well, the one guy's wife had a mole on her lip like Cindy Crawford. And she was plenty hot like Cindy Crawford as well. One day the guy is looking at his wife's picture, and he realizes…she has TWO moles, one on each side of her mouth. The best friend had applied a small piece of Scotch tape and drawn a duplicate mole. The one guy was apoplectic, and the best friend was doubled over in laughter.

    Things evened out when the best friend discovered what his children were sporting on the photo of them in the tub…

    Nipple rings.

    Scotch tape is really good for photos.

  52. David Says:

    I know this is an old post, but I've just learned of this blog, and I feel compelled to share my own couple of pranks. Thankfully, the statute of limitations is long past on these…

    My first girlfriend in high school went to a fire-and-brimstone Pentacostal church (why a teenage boy would subject himself to such a thing is a mystery, since all any teenage boy wants is to See Some Boobies, and that was Not the Right Venue). This place had money coming out its ears, but was always begging for more. They took a "missionary" trip to the Bahamas, and that pretty much said it all for me. All in all, I did not have tremendous respect for the place. So, one night my friends and I were driving down the highway that passed by this church, and we saw a sign… and we felt a calling…

    http://arscerebri.com/pranks/pastor.jpg

    The second time, we couldn't come up with anything that made logical sense given the available letters, so we just went with vulgar. It was still entertaining:

    http://arscerebri.com/pranks/nuns.jpg

    The second time, I forgot my camera, and had to run home to get it. When we came back, there was a police officer in the parking lot. My friends were in a panic, asking me to please just drive away, but I drove right up to the police car, got out, and asked if we could take a picture of the funny sign we had seen from the highway. "Well, I don't think it's very funny," he said, "but fine, go ahead."

    A couple months later, one of our fellow students tried to emulate the prank and ended up with quite a bit of community service. Oops!!

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