Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Perhaps this sort of thing constitutes an act of rebellion at the University of Chicago. I have to admit, though, that I've witnessed far superior college pranks. In my first year as an undergraduate, I remember having breakfast in the campus cafeteria one Sunday morning. It was a lovely building with high ceilings and large skylights; on one of these panes, a group of people (presumably students) had pasted a mural-sized message made out of crepe paper. It was a peace sign, followed by the words POOPY TITTIES. The message cast a shadow of its own likeness across the cafeteria floor, drawing the attention of everyone who entered to the desecrated skylight. It was a good thing the administration had that crepe paper removed the next day—if they hadn't, nobody could have eaten in the cafeteria without cracking up.
I wouldn't call myself a connoisseur of pranks, but I consider that the best I've ever seen. It displayed real creative effort, left no lasting damage, and its message was too absurd to offend anyone. (I liked to think the poor custodians forced to peel POOPY TITTIES off the roof did so with grins on their faces.) I'm reminded of it almost every time I discover a criminal scrap of paper towel in the basement men's room of Ida Noyes Hall. As nice as it is to find a pleasant memory waiting for you in an ordinary spot, I usually leave the men's room with a pang of disappointment. I'd expect more inspired gags at such an illustrious university.