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April Fools' Day: College Style

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Mar. 30, 2015
Photo Credit: K1ng, Karen Rustad, and TJCoffey

Like any good American boy, I’ve found my share of mischief. And, thanks to an older sister who was always a little too big for her britches, I had an object for my pranks. One of my earliest devious memories is when I decided her toothbrush could use a wee bit of hand soap. Let’s just say it had the desired effect.

But it also had an unfortunate result as well: when she realized what I had done, she tattled on me, and my punishment was a taste of my own soapy, gag-me medicine. This seemed to be the recurring fate of my childhood pranks, those of the April Fools variety and otherwise: I ended up having to clean up after them, and the better the prank, the more responsibility I had as a result. Lesson learned: when your sister is a tattle-tale, pranks aren’t nearly as fun as they would be if, say, you didn’t have any parents hovering over your head all the time.

Which, of course, brings us to that glorious, parent-free time we like to call, “college.”

Not only can you play amazing pranks on people without fear of being grounded, you have the added bonus of having all your best buddies living in close quarters, or, as I like to call, “easy access”. Not to mention the opportunity for full-on prank wars.

During my freshmen and sophomore years I lived on the third floor of the dorm, and we had a particular rivalry with the fourth floor. So the one time fourth floor was gone we took all their mattresses out of their rooms and stacked them in front of the elevator.

For those of you taking notes at home, that’s the perfect prank: simple, easy, effective.

The fourth floor, however, would not be outdone. So the next time we were gone they came down and switched every room on our floor with the room on the opposite side of the hallway. So anything they could move from one room to the other, they did, including full wardrobes.

We couldn’t simply accept defeat, and we’re college guys, so we were too lazy to move everything back.  So we all spent the following day wearing other peoples’ clothes. It gave new meaning to the idea of walking in another man’s shoes. It also introduced us to the concept of walking in another man’s underwear.

But we also weren’t going to let them get away with it. So that’s when we decided to take and hide all of their shower curtains. Of course, there were a few timid folk who took their showers on other floors for the next few days to take advantage of a private shower. But plenty continued showering as if nothing had changed.

So what’s the next logical retaliation after having your shower curtains stolen from you? You guessed it, fourth floor uninstalled and took all of the walls from our bathroom stalls. You might also have guessed that many of us continued using the accompanying toilets, walls or no walls, like nothing had changed. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like communal toilets, for better or for worse.

That, to me, is the best part about a good college prank: the communal part, that is. Nothing quite brings guys together like a good prank, even the guys you’re pranking—if done well, that is. To this day, even though so many of us have gone our separate ways, we can reminisce and re-live those times like they were just yesterday.

I would even go so far as to say you shouldn’t leave college without playing a really good prank with your buddies.  And what better time than April Fools?