As promised months ago, since today is April Fool's Day, I'd recount a prank I pulled on a fellow dorm mate in college.
It was the second semester of my freshman year. Two new guys had just moved into the empty room down the hall from where I roomed. Apparently, they were already good friends from high school and they requested that they room together. As most of us know now, there are two things that can ruin a good friendship- the first is living together and not then getting along. The second is when one gets a new girlfriend. At this period in their lives, Jason and Craig had to suddenly contend with both.
Jason was dating a girl named Reenie and his finally living away from his parent's house was a dream come true in the fact that he could have sex with her without fear of his parents walking in on them. Imagine his chagrin when Reenie got extremely mad and embarrassed when Craig walked in on them while she was half naked. After she stormed out of his room, Jason and Craig went into a loud screaming match in the hallway.
Jason basically argued that Craig should have to knock on the door before unlocking and entering the room. Craig rebuffed that he shouldn't have to knock on his own door and he should be able to come and go as he pleases. Their loud spat started to draw a crowd, including my attention as well. As I listened to them debate and observed Jason's face turn red I felt a twinge in the of my brain. It was telling me to do something awful as I was presented with the best set up.
Having briefly met Jason a week ago (we had walked to the local comic book shop together), I approached them and made a suggestion.
"Listen, you're both going all about this all wrong..." I sagely presented my advice, "You're both right, of course, Jason deserves privacy and Craig shouldn't have to knock on his own door every time he wants to get in. What you guys need is some sort of signal. I don't know....put something on the door knob...like...a rubber band!!"
I walked into their room and grabbed a rubber band from Craig's desk and placed it around the door knob.
"Look! See, now once Craig goes to unlock the door, he'll see the rubber band and then know to either knock if he really has to come in or go away and come back in half hour. All you have to do, Jason, is once you and Reenie go into the room to fool around is put the rubber band on the knob."
Both of them started to calm down and then immediately agreed it was a good compromise. Now, while my deed was seemingly altruistic I was actually setting Jason up. As I mentioned before, my dad was a rubber band salesman and I had in my possession a 4 foot rubber band. It was 4 feet long and about 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. I believe my father sold them to be used to help seal barrel slats together during their creation but I'm not certain. I can tell you we sell something similar in my business for a completely different use. Their presence in my warehouse still reminds me of my devious prank to this day.
The next day I waited for Jason to take Reenie into his room. I left my door open so I could spot them walking past. Sure enough, at the same time as the day before, they walked hand in hand down the hall and then into Jason's room. Several minutes later I saw Jason (with his shirt off) peek his head out of the room and place the rubber band on the knob. I scurried down the hallway with my enormous rubber and pulled the old switcheroo.
Soon, (because of my telling everyone) a crowd of guys stood outside snickering and waiting to see what the reaction would be. Luckily, Craig was among the witnesses as he was visiting someone in another room. About 10 minutes later, Reenie emerged from the room (to go to the bathroom?) and saw the rubber band hitting the floor and going down the hall about 2 feet. She gave a perplexed look as guys from every room started to erupt with laughter. Realizing that she was now the center of attention for just having had sex, poor Reenie turned bright red, screamed at Jason that she was never coming back to his room and ran down the hall back towards the elevator. Jason came running out after her and was yelling what was the problem and then his peripheral vision caught the large rubber band.
His ire went immediately towards Craig, thinking that he had switched the bands out. Craig tried to send me up the river right away but I had already hid in my room with my door shut. I did have to fess up, however, in order to get my rubber band back. Jason did eventually become a friend of mine, as did Craig.
I try little pranks here and there, but none with such success as that rubber band provided for me. It was a flash of genius that hopefully someday will return.