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Sunday, January 28, 2007

When We Say "Higher Education" We Do Not Mean Get High

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- Two former roommates who set a dormitory fire that killed three students at Seton Hall University were sentenced to five years in prison Friday after listening to the victims' relatives reject their apologies and call them murderers and cowards.

It seems these two intellectual giants decided that it would be a good "prank" to set a paper banner hanging in a lounge on fire. And then run away when the fire got out of control. But can you blame these two for NOT knowing that a fire can spread from a banner to other things? Was there a warning sticker saying not to set the banner on fire?

Or maybe when I lived in a dorm at University of Florida I was just doing the pranks all wrong. At the time I thought that a "prank" was taking nylon twine and tying the doorknobs on two doors on opposite sides of the hall together. You see, the doors opened inwards. So if you tied the doorknobs together tightly so there was little or no slack it was funny cause the doors could not be opened. A variation of this is to tie ALL the doors together in a zig-zag manner. If done right, nobody can open their door.

And then there was the "shaving creme in a bag" prank, where one would fill a paper bag with shaving creme, very gently stick the open end of the bag under a door, take a long running start and jump on the bag - shooting the shaving creme all over the place. Also works with accordion folders or anything else similar.

And if you really wanted to be geeky in a science kind of way, you could freeze a couple of cans of shaving creme (the more the better), cut open the cans (the creme is now a frozen can shaped block) and then throw it in someone's dorm room trash can. If the can was already mostly full of trash (they usually were) the creme would defrost and then expand. If the trash was already full enough, it would be funny cause the creme would foam out of the garbage and create a mess someone else had to clean up.

There was also the "room invasion where you would flip the dorm beds upside down" prank. And of course, there are these pranks.

ROOM CHANGE- This one involves gaining access to another person's room, and moving the entire contents of it to another location on campus. A lot of work, but worth it.

I SEE YOU- This is one that has been found to work at some dorms. With a little
effort, you can actually reverse the eye-hole on the doors to rooms. Stand back and
watch the show.

PAPER BALLS- Again you must first gain access to someone's room. Once in, fill up
the entire room with crumpled up paper balls. A LOT of work, requires a lot of people to pull off, kills a lot of tress - but so worth it.

Or, if you are super evil...

FUN WITH ICE TEA- This one might take several people to pull off. Take a large
plastic garbage can (usually several in each dorm), and fill it with water. Then add a liberal amount of ice tea mix. Take the can and lean it against someones door,
and knock. NOTE - this "prank" crosses the line! NOT COOL DUDE! However, the next prank is a classic that never looses its humor value IF done right!

BLOODY FINGER- This one works if your dorm has showers with troughs. Take a fake
severed finger and some red food coloring. Float them both down the trough, and scream. The earlier in the day, the better the result. Requires a good actor and a lot of cursing. If done right, this one is hard to top.

Anyway, the point is NONE of these plots involve fire. In my vast life experience I have come to learn that "fire" and "college dorms" do not mix well. Nothing good EVER comes from that.

Case and point. It was the end of the 1992 Summer B term at the University Of Florida. I had a dope fresh RARE single room in Weaver Hall, which during the Fall and Spring terms is (or was) the honors dorm but during the summer short terms they let us ruffians crash in the place.

Anyhow, being the end of the term some of us had already finished finals, and some had not. My finals were ALL on Monday and Tuesday, but my parents were not going to come get me till Friday. Anyway, with nothing to do (no finals!!), unlimited time, and access to beer someone smuggled in the dorm the people done with finals decided that it was OK to cut loose. So we were out playing pool and stuff till the student union closed and kicked us out. Then the group goes back to the dorm for more drinking.

But when we get to our floor everyone is all like "SHHHHH! I have finals tomorrow!" so we could not play hockey in the halls. There was nothing to do but sit in the lounge, play penny poker, watch TV, sneak off to drink beer, and smoke it if you had it.

But this was not good enough! OH NO! Someone went and got a deodorant spray can (Right Guard). Someone else got a lighter. Now when I saw the Right Guard can AND a lighter I figured it was time to bail. So I went back to my room because NOTHING GOOD ever comes from those two objects together at the same time in a college dorm.

Now this is the funny part - so I hope everyone is still with me here!

I get to my room, take off my shoes, turn out the lights, sit on the bed.....and the fire alarm starts to scream. Suddenly my room is a disco, cause the fire alarm strobe light is doing its thing.

OH SHIT! Those ass clowns did it! So I open my door. Sure enough, there is smoke in the halls. So I put my shoes back on and step into the hall.

What someone did (and I never knew exactly who it was - I went to my room before the crazy shit went down) was spray Right Guard on one of the doors, then set fire to it. One too many times. The door caught fire just a little, and when they put it out the smoke set off the alarm.

So I start to knock on doors, you know just in case the screaming alarm and strobe light show did not wake everyone up. Then I went down the stairs and exited the building.

Now picture this. Here I am fully clothed. WITH sneakers. Obviously I was not sleeping before the alarm went off. There were hotties with that blue shit on their face, chicks with curlers in their hair and a plastic shower cap thing, chicks with BOTH the blue shit and curlers, people wearing PJs, people without shoes, shirtless dudes, people who were clearly and beyond any doubt sleeping, and then there was me. Fully clothed, fully awake, aware of what was going on, and not even a little bit asleep.

Looking guilty as hell.

So anyway, the fire department shows up. And the cops. Everyone can see that the cops and FD are concentrating on the third floor. My floor. And here I was looking all awake and fully clothed and shit. Now I am feeling just a little bit like a hippie in a red neck bar. You know, about to get my ass kicked. EVERYONE knew I was one of "those third floor guys", that I was apparently not sleeping, that it was finals week and some of them had finals in the morning, that it was 2 AM, and I am wearing all my clothes which means I was not "busy".

One of the hottie chicks with the blue shit on her face hissed at me "what the fuck did you do asshole?" Such ugly language, from such a pretty face (under all that blue shit). I tried to explain that I did nothing, that I know nothing, and that I was in my room when the alarm went off. I said that when I saw certain items in the same place at the same time I removed myself from the situation.

Nobody believed me. People started to point.

Almost two hours later, the FD let people back in the dorm. But not the third floor. We were all sent to the lounge on the first floor. We were there for about a half hour before being allowed to go back. I gave my version of the story to the FD, without fingering anyone. See, I saw nothing. So who was involved? Beats me! I was not there. I ain't no snitch! I saw nothing.

Snitches are bitches. Plus, I really saw nothing! To this day, exactly who did what is unknown to me,

There was no damage to any University property.

I think they did eventually find out who did what. At least the people in the building did.

The hottie with the blue shit on her face never did apologize to me for her rude comment.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that college dorm pranks are fun, and a right of passage. They are as old as college dorms are, and steeped in ritual and tradition. You are either the one pulling off the pranks, or the one being pranked. Nobody is safe, not even the R.A.

But fire is off limits! "Prank" and "fire" never belong in the same sentence. Those guys should have probably received longer sentences. Someone was killed as a result of their "prank" and someone else was horribly burned. Some "prank" there jackasses!



Blogger Jay said...

Maybe we were just a bunch of unimaginative gits, but the most we usually did was to steal the 12th floor couch, and leave it in odd places.

Blogger Michael said...

Setting a fire and killing people is not a prank; it's a crime.

There was a guy in my dorm who put a $2000 sound system, and an $800 alarm system, in his Yugo. We would carry the car to random, far-distant parking spaces. Once, we wedged it between the pillers that held up the awning in front of the dorm entrance.

Penny locking the public bathrooms was always fun, too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Lazy Iguana. You're welcome back any time.

Blogger Badoozie said...

but what if a girl is attracted to hawt firemen, what about that, is it ok then? just a little teensy fire? huh?

ok. on another note, kevin Duckworth, "00", played for the Blazers in the early 90's, went to Seton hall. just thought i'd throw that in there so you know, that i know...something about basketball, but don't ask me anything about fooseball.

i'm making notes of some of these pranks, because I might try them on some of my friends, that i don't want to be friends with anymore

Blogger Senor Caiman said...


You're a Gator? I use to be in charge of the Pike firetruck. I do believe they've been kicked off campus for like the 10th time now.

I stayed away from college pranks for the most part, focused on the tri-delts, had a dream of marrying a woman with a lot of money.

I'm going to try some of your pranks though because I do like to experiment out in the garage.

Your bicycle stand was neat even though I got overwhelmed by your grass.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Jay - that is a valid prank! As long as you put the couch someplace funny.

Michael - when I was in Junior High a teacher had a Yugo. I was in "leadership" class to I had a laminated hall pass - so on more than one occasion I used the hall pass to get a bunch of guys to screw with the Yugo. It was great fun.

Badoozie - if the fireman is hot, you can just yank the fire alarm. Or go to the station daily to get you blood pressure checked. And show some skin. No need to set an actual fire!

Caiman - I was a Gator for a few semesters. I lived in Weaver and Graham Hall. I biked all over G-Ville Florida! I went bowling in the student union. Not the GLSU but the normal student union. I could never figure out exactly why the gays and lesbians needed their own student union - but whatever.

Everyone else - what the fuck? I just posted THE BEST EVER 100% true college student dorm story and nobody commented. You all suck.

Blogger Badoozie said...

they check your blood pressure? oh boy, because i really do have high blood pressure, i could so totally go there everyday. but he only volunteers' so how does that work. oh, but he is "on duty" one weekend a month, maybe i could take advantage of him then . i really need to have a few more house issues, to call him about. what if he thinks i'm a pest? what do i do then.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Badoozie - you mentioned your cooking skills. May I bodly suggest you go to the firehouse one weekend to get your blood pressure checked, then volunteer to cook a dinner for the guys? They will provide the food. All you will have to do is cook it.

Chicks that can cook automatically get 3 hot points. So a 7 that can cook is a 10. A 6 that can cook is a 9. And so on.

By the way, you must NOT let anyone know you got this info from me. Letting chicks in on man law is strictly forbidden.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

My pranks were a little more crass but a lot safer. Mooning from a window to the dorm across the way. Hanging a condom full of mayonnaise on someone's doorknob. High though I sometimes got, I was NEVER stupid enough to do something like set a banner inside a building on fire!
When I was in high school, a friend of mine took a piece of shrapnel to the corner of the eye when some clown thought it would be funny to put an m-80 in the trash can in the boy's bathroom. He's lucky he didn't lose the eye but did have a permanent scar in the corner.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

BTW, I don't suck, but I do blow for the right price! ;-)
Only 666,666,666 Quatloos, on special this week.
Actually, I'm just slow as hell.

Blogger Michael said...

Lazy Iguana:
Yugos were built to be screwed with.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Michael - they sure as hell were not built to run!

cheesemeister - my pranks were aimed at NOT causing damage to people or university property. None of them involved fire. A few of them DID involve large amounts of liquid laundry soap.


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