An exhaustive and completely pointless college prank of old

Charles Owens

I don’t know if this is still a popular prank among college students or not. I hope it isn’t.

But back in the day it was, and I really have no idea why. That is because this prank is somewhat stupid.

During my freshmen year at college, my roommate — an old friend from high school in McDowell County — thought it would be funny to move all of my furniture out of our dorm room.

Bed, closet, dresser, television — everything. He recruited one of his friends, who would later go on to become one of my friends, to do the dirty deed one weekend when I was not on campus.

So yes, they actually lifted and carried all of the heavy furniture out of the dorm room and into a nearby foyer that was later transformed into a fraternity room.

Who in their right mind would do all of that heavy lifting just for a prank?

Sure we were all a lot younger and healthier back then, but carrying and lifting heavy furniture is never easy — regardless of whether you are young, old or somewhere in between.

Yet these two guys — apparently all by themselves — carried everything out of the dorm room just for a bad joke. (I won’t use names here, even though we both met up a few weeks ago, and had a good laugh now so many years later about this particular story.)

When I returned to the campus that Sunday night after spending the weekend with Mom and my family in McDowell County, I wasn’t laughing.

I didn’t see the humor in this particular prank.

Worse yet. Mom came up with me that particular night as we carried food and supplies up to the dorm room. And Mom definitely wasn’t amused.

My old friend from high school — realizing that we were not amused by his prank — quickly shifted the blame to his friend from Wyoming County, the guy who lived on the floor below us.

So, of course, when I saw the other guy a few days later, I got angry and demanded an answer as to why he schemed to remove all of my furniture from our dorm room. A fight almost ensued. However, things worked out OK, and we ended up becoming good friends.

A few weeks later, it was time to repay the prankster.

Yes, we actually moved all of my roommate’s furniture out of the same dorm room on a weekend when he went home.

Just like any other move, it involved a lot of heavy lifting, carrying and walking.

But we were young and a bit foolish, and didn’t give a whole lot of thought to the fact that this particular prank was not only time consuming, but also tiresome.

Well guess what? My roommate — once he became the victim of his own prank — also didn’t think it was funny.

Once the joke had run its course, it was time to get to work again. Yep. We had to carry everything back into the dorm room — bed, closet, dresser, TV, etc. All three of us got plenty of exercise on that particular weekend.

And thankfully, we never pulled this silly prank again on each other. From that point on, all of our furniture and belongings were safe. 

I hope this still isn’t a common prank among college students. I really do.

Maybe it was just something that kids from McDowell and Wyoming counties do?

I don’t know. 

It really isn’t funny. And there is no real point to it. But we were young. And I guess a little stupid.

Aren’t all college kids — once they get their first real taste of freedom from home — a little crazy during those first couple of months on campus? But eventually, well at least most college kids, will settle in and focus on their studies.

Of course, you still have to find time for midnight biscuit runs at Hardee’s, the obligatory all-nighters on the evening before the big test and, of course, those late night card games that stretched into the early morning hours.

Yes. Those were the college years. 

They were crazy times. Now, I can only look back, and shake my head at it all.

Charles Owens is the Daily Telegraph’s assistant managing editor. Contact him at cowens@bdtonline. Follow him @BDTOwens.




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