The Pranksters Guide to Practical Jokes

Being the beginning of the year, many new students will be making themselves familiar with dorm life and the people who make up their dorm, and having a helluvva lot of fun along the way (we hope!). Dorm life is usually great fun, with continual socialising and much furious study of old and new work-avoidance-techniques. An inevitable part of dorm life is practical joking, which can vary from the harmless and easy to execute, to those which require military precision and co-operation from many people. To aid would-be practical jokers, we offer the following pranks to start with.

It should go without saying that common sense should be used when carrying out any practical joke, but do not let common sense actually stop you from practical joking. Malicious jokes should be avoided because they usually aren't funny, and if you are lazy, any joke that requires cleaning up afterwards should be avoided.

As everyone knows, residents of the Diggings and MTG must attempt to cook and feed themselves (often a practical joke in itself). It is not advisable to prey on this fact because food and cooking equipment are necessary for living in this residence.

Of course, all those don'ts still leave plenty of things to do...

  1. Liberal distribution of cold water over shower cubicle door
    During your time at Uni, this will happen to just about everyone.

    Equipment required: A container of some wet substance (water for most harmlessness, something sticky eg. cold coffee, for those really annoying people). The container can be anything that holds liquid (eg. coffee cup, cooking dish, water balloon, condom)
    Set Up: The victim must be taking a shower (or bath)
    Execution: The optimum time to do this is just as the victim turns off the water, and before they have time to reach for their towel. Delaying it will probably soak their towel as well, which may get the victim more irate than desired.
    Other notes: If you find yourself the victim of this prank, ensure that you give the prankster some sort of reaction. This joke has been known to get out of control when a victim tried ignoring it, in the hope that they would be left alone. This theory failed miserably as the prankster used larger containers and stickier substances, and eventually removed most of the victims clothes from the cubicle door as well. A prankster lives for the reaction, and will not stop until they get it.

  2. Internal telephone pranks
    Whilst it is not advisable to make prank calls (eg. call a dorm and ask to speak to the person in a non-existent room), there is a simple joke that you can try on some unsuspecting soul who rings your dorm. You may have to take care with this one if the phone system changes so that external calls can be made to dorm phones.

    Equipment required: One internal telephone
    Set up: The phone must require answering
    Execution: Pick up the phone and immediately ask for the person you wish to talk to (eg. Andrew)
    Other notes: You will get a varied reaction to this joke. Some will just say "huh?" or give you an earful of abuse. This joke is funniest when the person calling says "sure, I'll just get them" and then disappears (don't snigger, it does happen). This joke can fall flat if the person you ask for is the person who has made the call, which has been known to happen.

  3. Removal of towels and/or clothes from shower door

    Equipment required: NIL
    Set up: Victim must be taking a shower
    Execution: Do this at any time that the shower is running. What you do with the towel/clothes depends on how much the victim should suffer. You know this joke has succeeded when the victim resorts to taking down the shower curtain to wrap themselves in.
    Effectiveness: depends on sadistic nature of prankster

  4. Soaking of towel (variation of prank 3 above)

    Equipment required: NIL
    Set up: Victim must be taking a shower and must drape towel over top of cubicle door
    Execution: Remove the towel from the door and place it in a handbasin. Turn on the taps and turn the towel over regularly, to ensure it becomes completely wet. Replace the towel when soaked.
    Other notes: Care must be taken that the victim does not have a spare towel in their room. If they do, the joke becomes less annoying and less effective, so it would be advisable to soak other towels that they also may have.

  5. Locking a resident in their room
    There are a number of variations of this joke. One version can be performed in just about any residence, and another simpler version is peculiar to Allen House.

    a) Any residence:
    Equipment required: 1 broom or similar object, and some rope
    Set up: The victim muct be in their room, preferably with the door closed.
    Execution: Tie the broom to the door handle across the doorway so that the door cannot be opened. If you so desire, you may tie the broom to two adjacent doors in this way to annoy two people at once.
    Other notes: If the broom does not stay up, try using a chair to support it.

    b) Allen House:
    Equipment required: A one piece plastic chair from a common room
    Set up: The victim must be in their room, preferably with the door closed.
    Execution: Place the back of the chair under the door handle, and push the bottom of the chair against the door, jamming the door handle up.
    Other notes: One thing must be avoided in this joke: the dorm goody-goody, who is sure to consider the joke childish and will kindly remove the chair for the victim. If this happens, make the goody-goody the next victim of your pranks. Also, it is often best to have someone sit on the chair (give them a copy of Interp to read) so that the victim cannot push the chair away with a ruler or some other similar object. If the victim knows how, they can get out very easily. Most new students do not know how (tee hee) and a number of people have been seen climbing out their window.

  6. Removal of window curtain (only possible in some residences)
    Equipment required: NIL
    Set up: The victim must be in the shower and must be trusting enough to return to their rooms wrapped in nought but a towel.
    Execution: Whilst the victim showers, take down the window curtain in their room. Upon return to their room they will close the door to get dried and dressed, and then discover that it may be a mistake to do so.
    Other notes: It is not necessary to remove the curtain from the room completely. Taking it down merely prevents the room from being private, and it may be more amusing/interesting to watch someone attempting to replace the curtain whilst dressed in a towel. It is entirely up to you whether you stick around to see what happens.

  7. Transferral of personal property from room

    Equipment required: many people to help you
    Set up: A complete absence of the resident/s of the room/s
    Execution: Remove some or all of the victims possessions from their room. This can vary from the simple removal of certain clothing (ie. underwear) or removal of the bed mattress and other main items or even to the extent that the entire room is emptied and placed elsewhere. If you intend on playing this joke on more than one person, it is best to swap the contents of the rooms. This will take some time to complete, hence the need for assistants. Be sure that the assistants do not disappear when it comes time to replace everything the way it was.
    Other notes: This is a joke for the serious practical joker, who has tired of throwing buckets of water around and really wants to use his talents for something special.

  8. Transferral of room keys

    Equipment required: NIL
    Set up: Dormies must have left their keys lying around
    Execution: Remove the room keys from the keyrings and swap them. Sit back and watch the confusion as dormies wonder why they canít get their rooms unlocked.

  9. Transferral of room signs

    Equipment required: NIL
    Set up: A person of habit or great stupidity (or both!) who lives in a room where their door is directly beside the next.
    Execution: Remove that notice they have on their door that reminds them that it is their room and swap it with the one on the door next to it. Watch as they head towards their door sign instead of their room.
    Other notes: Anyone who falls victim to this joke should be given a "fuck chop" on the dorm "Sleaze and Spew" chart.

  10. Removal of hinge pins from room door

    Equipment required: one door (attached to door frame)
    Set up: The resident of the room should be absent
    Execution: Remove the hinge pins from the door hinge and stand the door in the doorway, as if was still attached. Watch as the victim returns and almost suffers cardiac arrest as their door topples into their room.
    Other notes: This is a tricky joke, that could be hampered by any difficult to remove hinge pins. Care should be taken that nothing will be damaged when the door topples.

  11. Obstruction of room doorway

    Equipment required: one bedsheet and thumbtacks OR a newspaper and sticky tape
    Set up: The victim must be in their room sleeping.
    Execution: Pin the sheet across the doorway with the thumbtacks OR tape the newspaper across the door to create a wall of newsprint.
    Other notes: This is best done to people who donít quite wake up until they get in the shower, or even later than that, as they will stumble from their room without thinking about what their eyes (presuming that they are open) are showing them.

  12. Distribution of powdery stuff under room door

    Equipment required: A powdery substance (eg. talcum powder, flour) and a piece of paper or paper bag
    Set up: A room with a closed door
    Execution: Place the powdery substance upon the sheet of paper or inside the paper bag. Slide the piece of paper under the door and blow (a hair dryer may be used) OR slide the top of the bag under the door and pump the substance into the room.
    Other notes: This can be messy, especially if you use flour. Be prepared for the possibility that you may be asked to clean it up.

© David Gilliver 1994

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