Friday, April 07, 2006

School Pranks...

Apparently CalTech, Harvey Mudd and MIT colleges have a thing for cannons. In 1986, Harvey Mudd (Claremont, Ca) students heisted the CalTech (Pasadena, Ca.) cannon and made a bit of history. Harvey Mudd/CalTech Cannon Story Here

Now it seems MIT has gotten into the fun and games. MIT/CalTech Cannon Story Here

Which reminds me of a couple of pranks pulled in 1982 and 1983 by the respective graduating classes at Upland High School (Upland, Ca.), my Alma Mater.

In 1982, we showed up to school one balmy may morning to find a new transfer student from Ontario, Ca. His name was Bob and he was a big boy. WAS Bob's Big Boy. You may recall the restaraunt chain that had a Big Boy holding a plate with a Big Boy Burger on it. Well...the seniors of 1982 "borrowed" Bob from the Ontario Big Boy shop and parked him on top of the Admin Building. Great prank! He stayed there for a day or two then quietly made his way back to Ontario.

Not to be outdone, my buddies and I, from the class of 1983, decided to have a little fun as well. My buddies had found the hulk of an old VW Beetle. It had been spray-painted multiple colors and a giant band aid had been placed over one of the dents. We loaded it on the back of my soon-to-be brother-in-law's pickup and drove around town showing it off to some of our friends. Soon we had a about 15 guys with this Bug wondering what to do with it.

Earlier in the school year, a tree had blown down in the Quad. All that was left was a stump about 2-3 feet above the ground. The light bulb went off. It took ten guys to hoist the bug off the truck (I was one of them) and lug it across campus on a Wednesday night. Now the school hosted Bingo on Wednesday nights, a fact we'd forgotten about. We dropped the Bug, with a loud bang, on the stump and my friend Larry jumped up and down on the bumper to wedge it in for good measure. About that time, one of the janitors heard us and gave chase.

Our plane, if caught was to split up and make our way to our individual homes. We were dumb. We all ran for our cars and trucks and beat feet. Curt dropped us all off at our homes around 10 p.m. Everyone except Dan. Dan got caught. To make matters worse, Dan had a bench warrant out on him for failure to appear. (He tried to fight a traffic ticket, got the cop to the courthouse, then forgot what day it was and blew it off!) Cops got called, Dan got rousted, not looking good. Dan spilled his guts, amid tears, and several of my friends (not me) got a phone call from the police.

"Mr. Hanks...Mr. Curt Hanks? This is the Upland Police Department...yes I know it's almost midnight but some of your friends need help removing a car from the High School campus...yes...we'll see you in a few minutes."

Ten guys had lugged that Bug, now five guys had to unlug it. Back on the truck it went. When asked what they should do with it, Upland P.D. said they didn't care as long as it wasn't within the city limits. For years, if you went up Mountain Avenue, passed 24th. Street, and off to the west to the dam. If you looked over the edge you could see a brightly colored VW Bug resting at the bottom of the drop-off.

Needless to say, the Admin was not amused. We Seniors were called, one by one into the Asst. Vice Principal's office. Mr. Ritter gave us our choice. Pull weeds in the Quad. Clean up at the Senior Breakfast. Or skip Commencement.

I wanted to skip Commencement as did my buddies to make a point. Our parents thought otherwise. We cleaned up after the Senior Breakfast. When people asked why we were doing it, we told them. Many laughed and said, "Great Prank". Others shook their heads. Some nodded their heads and said, "Cool man".

I wonder where that car is today?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that evening. Seems the janitors chased us, and all of you, ran back to the trucks...unlike me, who split off from you guys and ended up stranded, at some apartment complex next to the school. I had to walk 1 AM or whne ever it was. good times Eric

This is Dean, one of the buddies.

I remember that call, Curt called and told me we had to move the car. And yeah, I only walked in commencement because my parents wanted me to. Hope all is well