When Evan talks about the various dorm hijinks, it reminds me of similar things I did when I was living in a dorm.  Some our more interesting ones revolved around creative uses of shaving cream. 

My roommate discovered that he could pop the top off his can of Barbasol and replace it with the spray tip from his can of deodorant.  When pressed, the top would squirt a thin stream of shaving cream about six feet which was perfect for shooting a nice aimed beam at a nemesis when the nemesis opened his door a crack.  Plus it had the advantage of not wasting a lot; you could play this game for hours and not run out of ammo. As such things do, they escalate into wars and the stories get told later on.  Like here for example.

Or like when I told the story to another roommate when I was in a summer research program in Arlington Texas.  I was rooming with a guy from Oral Roberts University and of all the places I could think of, ORU was the last place I expected to hear of serious pranking but he told me of the shaving cream trick on steroids:  the Photon Bomb.  Apparently, they would take one of those can openers that punched a triangular hole and use it on the bottom of the can.  If you did it right, the entire can would empty itself in about two seconds and cover your target with shaving cream. It was used like a flame thrower: you somehow coaxed open the door and aimed it in the general direction.

I was enthralled; I wanted to try it immediately.  I had learned through experience that most such stories are urban legends.  When you pressed a storyteller about facts or wanted to try something, you often found out that your informant was just blowing smoke or that when you tried something like making flour explode, it would not work for various reasons.  This guy however knew what he was talking about.  I went straight away and got a can of Barbasol.  But who to prank?

We were all geeks that were there for only 11 weeks and the relationships were rather formal.  Still, we knew this girl down the hall well enough to prank.  I was the straight man and went down to ask her if she wanted to go get some ice cream with us.  Something about me must have been not so sincere because she was suspicious from the start.  We started out across the parking lot when he jumped out from between two cars with his can aimed.

It turns out she was stronger than we thought.  She grabbed his arm in a grip of surprising strength and managed to twist his arm around and get most of the blast on him.  She got a little on her side but he got most of it plus he got his arm wrenched pretty good.  Boy she was mad! It took a lot of sweet talking to talk her down from being mad at us and even then she guilted us pretty hard.  But it was worth it and that’s what kept her a little mad at us; she knew that deep down we were not sorry. She knew that we needed a prankee and that she had been it and that we were very happy to have had a chance to try it on somebody.  We were unrepentant at heart. 

I suppose this is going on my permanent record.  It reminds me of a cartoon I saw in the paper where a guy is standing at the pearly gates and an angel with a clipboard is saying “Well, you lived a pretty good life but we need to discuss a couple of things from seventh grade…”