I think I realized pretty early on in life that laughter opens doors to friendship, love, and commonality amongst all people, better known as camaraderie. I am known amongst my friends as the “comic relief,” with a zest for self-deprecating humor and the occasional prank.
I have to admit that there have been times that I really pushed the envelope with the latter, especially in college. I was fortunate to have amassed a ton of wonderful friends by pledging a sorority, all of whom to this day, I call my sisters. I was also very blessed to have, in my arsenal of great friends, guys from fraternities we frequently hung out with. Ok, PARTIED with, but we did throw some community service in, here and there.
Two of these special guys, Larry and Walter, happened to live down the hall from me in my sophomore year. We were very close and unfortunately for them, not only did I have the combination to their door, I had a penchant for figuring out the ultimate prank.
Before I tell you some of these pranks, rest assured I now really am a grown-up, have my own house with no need to prank anyone as I did them – just in case anyone is worried about it. My kids may endure a prank once in a while, but nothing like what I did to Larry and Walter.
During any finals week in a college dorm, there is mandatory quiet. I knew this. I also knew of the RA (Resident Assistant) who would completely lose his mind if there were to be more than the sound of a mouse during this week. I enlisted one of my friends and we snuck into Larry and Walter’s room. And mind you, this was at a time of drinking cheap beer, which back in the ’80s meant Milwaukee’s Best, Genesee and Piels. Also, long before the 5 cents a can return to recycle. Had that been the case, Larry and Walter may have been millionaires back then.
We sneak into their room, and literally, they had four or five cases of empty beer cans, neatly put back in the boxes from which they came. My friend and I carefully (and quietly) arranged all of the beer cans into a pyramid of sorts right in front of their door. We made ourselves as small as we could to sneak out of the room without disturbing our art and walked down the hall unnoticed as we were in the guy’s wing.
Around 11 pm that night, they returned from the library (I am assuming lol) and I hear, all the way from my room on the other side of the floor, this loud crash followed by “BRAAAAMMMEERRR!” And I knew it was on. I pranked them, they pranked me. Surprisingly enough, I don’t remember what they did to me except after my famous “underwear treasure hunt,” where I removed all of their underwear (clean and dirty – good Lord what was I thinking?), and set up about four clue stations throughout the dorm for them to find their underwear, I found my loft mattress flipped over. THAT was a huge pain in the ass to flip over being that it was at least five feet off the ground. It took me and maybe three of my friends to flip it back over. And then I was back in business.
I proceeded to torture them further. I put shaving cream on their ceiling above their beds so that it would drip in the night onto their faces. But the best prank I pulled off was from borrowing alarm clocks from all of the girls on my floor. Now mind you, this was back in the day when we used wind-up alarm clocks. Today, my kids use their iPhones for alarms.
I was able to collect about ten alarm clocks. I snuck in their room and had them set to go off at least every hour throughout the night. I hid them all over and in some cases, had found small suitcases to lock them in. I hid those under their beds. The rest, I had hidden all over their room, in drawers and their closets. The next morning, at the crack-ass of dawn, as I say, someone was pounding on my door. I was tired but I smiled because I knew it was one of two people. I opened the door to find Larry, red-eyed and exhausted and he said, “You’re killing us Brames.”
After that, I think I lightened up on my pranks. I did feel bad. Just a little. What cracks me up about all of these pranks is that Larry’s mom, to this day, asks him to tell the story of the alarm clock prank every year over Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not there to hear it, but I smile knowing that the memory of my antics lives on, even though the jig was up over thirty years ago.
Surprisingly, Larry, Walter and I are all still good friends, even after all that I put them through back in college.
When you meet great people in your life, you need to hang onto them – especially if they have endured all of your pranks and still love you.