Big Q: Were you a prankster in college?

By Linda Sladkey

CHICAGO, IL (June 16, 2016) — When I was attending North Park College, I tended to hear about student stunts and mischief more than I actually participated in them. It was back in the day when newly engaged men could be “tarred and feathered” with everything from Kool-Aid to dead fish. And streaking was still a popular form of self-expression. One student ran all the way to the el station in the buff. There were legends of pranks from an earlier time—such as a certain professor’s car being “transported” inside the library.

College years are ripe for practical jokes, and in honor of North Park University’s 125th anniversary, the Companion would like to hear your stories. Were you a prankster in college? Or did you fall victim to a prank or practical joke? We want to hear all about it.


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  • It is a toss up between playing the latrina accord(a toilet seat with strings stretched across the seat) for homecoming. Stan Holme and Leroy Johnson were part of the band.
    The best prank , of course was putting the greased pig in the girls dorm. My job was to decoy Maggie Peterson, the dorm mother. After she realized the pig had been let loose on second floor; she asked me to go up and help the girls. When I got there the pig was at one end and the girls the other. I just gave the pig a kick and he headed for the girls. They met in the middle a few times. This greased the walls pretty good. Finally the police had to be called to catch the pig. The next day Dean Erickson had us all in his office to receive our punishment. He said it cost $50 to clean up the mess; but it was such good trick he would pay half and we split the rest. By the way; we almost got in Life magazine as I smuggled pix to them against the wishes of prexy Nelson. Now the secret is off my chest.

  • My freshman year we somehow discovered that the drawers in our dressers would slide in and out both face up and face down. When someone was out of their room, we’d take the drawers out of their dresser, flip the dresser over, slide the drawers in and then flip the dresser upright again. The next time the unsuspecting person opened a drawer, everything fell out the bottom and onto the floor.

  • We had a floor full of pranksters in Anderson Hall. Late one night, someone entered a bathroom stall, placed two empty soda bottles into a pair of distinctive looking socks, slipped them into shoes and pulled the legs of jeans over them, with the top of the jeans placed resting on the toilet seat. Then they locked the stall and slid out under the door. It looked to anyone entering the bathroom that someone was already sitting on the toilet. Over an extended period of time, seeing the same legs, in the same position….well, people began to get worried. That was the original prank. The legs were given the name “Beulah” and she was moved all over campus in the next couple of weeks. She turned up on every floor in Anderson, once peeking out of the shower as if someone had collapsed inside. She also spent quite a bit of time in the men’s restroom on the 6th floor of Carlson Tower. In spite of the fact that she was occupying the ONLY bathroom stall there it was still close to 4 in the afternoon before someone checked up on her.

  • As a freshman at Iowa State I was on the both the receiving and giving end of what they called a “2 man life.” Two guys would like on the floor on their backs. One guy would stand between then, grab their pants at the waist and try to lift them up. As he got his hold he would make sure to slide his fingers inside one man’s underwear. While the pants were pulled up the guys on the floor someone else would bring out the menthol shaving cream and spray it inside the guys underwear. A bit uncomfortable.

    We also papered someone into their dorm room. With the door closed you took newspaper and stretched it across the door from jamb to jamb, taping it to each side. The cavity between the paper and jamb was filled with crunched up newspaper. When completed the door was completed covered.

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