We’re in the dog days of the Fall 2012 semester. At this point, we’re all thinking of ways to make life just a little more bearable. Doodling and classroom bingo can only keep us sane for so long.
This got me thinking of how other people handle their mental fatigue. I realized I couldn’t be the only person in class right now struggling to keep a handle on their own brain. Then I wondered how they overcame this dilemma. At that moment, the light bulb went off over my head: pranks.
I sat in class thinking about the best pranks I’d ever seen. My old roommate and I used to tape the handle down on the kitchen spray-hose so that whenever someone turned the facet on, they got soaked. I used to have neighbors that put clear tape across another roommates entire door frame during the night. When the person woke up the next morning and walked out in a sleepy trance, they were greeted with an invisible wall.
Then I started imagining what’s been done on a larger scale. What are the most documented college pranks of all time?
After a great deal of research, I give you the five greatest college pranks of all time:
The Daily Californian Aftermath
Cal versus Stanford is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. We’ve all seen 1982’s; “The Play” where Cal laterals the ball over and over with four seconds left to play. The result is a Cal player barreling through the Stanford marching band and into the end zone for a touchdown. The future-historic play spawned the idea for one of the greatest college pranks of all time. Four days after the game, Stanford published a fake four-page Daily Californian that explained how the NCAA had overturned the Bears last-second kick return. Cal fans were devastated after reading the news. Unfortunately, they were even more devastated that they had been fooled by one of the greatest college pranks of all time.
The Carleton College R2D2 Observatory
In 2010, anonymous students at the Minnesota college decided to liven up their 123-year-old observatory. To do so, they dressed it up in a full Star Wars R2D2 costume complete with sound effects. As is common with observatories, the top of the building swivels. This creates the same movements as R2D2 in the movie. It also creates a top-five ranking in the best college pranks ever.
The Greasy Tracks of Auburn
The prank Auburn played on Georgia Tech is an oldie, but a goodie. On the way to an 1896 football match between the two rivals, some Auburn students saw fit to make Georgia Tech’s trip a little more arduous. The students greased the train tracks at the Auburn station. What ensued was Georgia Tech’s train sliding 10 miles past the station. Needless to say, the Georgia Tech players were a little tired from their journey and wound up losing to their prankster rivals.
The Veterans of Future Wars
You know you have a good prank when you piss off government officials. That’s what members of Princeton did in 1936 with the birth of the Veterans of Future Wars organization. In response to Congress advancing benefits to War World I veterans, members of the Princetonian founded the group with the goal of putting forth a similar concept. Under the concept, anyone between the ages of 18-36 would be granted $1,000 in 1965. Since the Princeton students assumed the US would enter another war at some point in the near future, they though the bonuses should be advanced from 1965 to the present 1936. Not a bad guess considering America’s entrance into World War II in 1939. What’s amazing is that the movement attracted more than 50,000 students in different college chapters across the nation. This caused Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to engage in a name-calling match and perpetuate one of the largest documented college pranks in American history.
The Victoria’s Secret
If you’re oblivious enough to give out your phone number to a stranger you met online, do you deserve to be pranked? Cal students thought so when they set up USC basketball player Gabe Pruitt. The prank started when Pruitt met a so-called UCLA student named “Victoria” on Facebook. The two exchanged messages over AOL Instant Messenger. Pruitt gave his number to the mystery woman and planned on meeting her after a USC versus Cal basketball game on March 4, 2006. The problem was she never existed. When it came time to play, Cal students berated Pruitt from the stands with chants of “VIC-TOR-IA, VIC-TOR-IA.” The ruthless pranksters even chanted his cell phone number during free throws. Cal won the game 71-60 and left Pruitt with a 3-13 shooting night and a bruised ego.