A remembrance of pranks past
As it is April 1st, I find my mind wandering to those acts of silliness and surprise affectionately known as pranks. They are a time-honored tradition of summer camp, though adapted differently from place to place. One camp where I worked set aside an entire week dedicated to them. So we would wait patiently for Prank Week to be called and then set off on the plans we had been working on for weeks, only to have it called off two or three days in because someone, in their haste and enthusiasm, would have taken it too far. In general, they had violated one of the following rules-
– Pranks should not make any extra work for anyone else. So when my unit, under my encouragement, decided to move the entire dining hall, tables and all, to the Games field about half a mile down the road to serve breakfast, we also had to move it all back. Understanding that you will have to undo everything you do tends to limit your impish ambitions.
– What you do should never include anyone else’s personal property. Okay, this rule gets broken a lot, like when my friends decided to fill my bed with photocopies of certain parts of their bodies. So maybe it would be better as this- Pranks should never damage other people’s property. So filling my bed with somewhat indecent photos, fine as there was no damage (other than psychological) but when another group pranked a washhouse, leading to a lot of ruined toilet paper, wasted shaving cream, and toiletries that had seen better days, not cool.
– Make sure that everyone is a willing participant. Okay, so obviously, I was not consulted before my bed was filled with photocopies; just as my boss was not consulted before we covered her car in about 8 layers of Saran Wrap but we were both known to be good sports and pranksters in our own right.
There are more guidelines, of course, but I’ve found in my years of running up things other than flags up the flagpole and relocating the dining hall that if you stick to these three, you are generally okay. So until the summer, stay vigilant and I wish you good pranking this April Fool’s Day!