For the Record 2/23 – Pranks: I wanna see 'em

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed pranks. I get some sort of sick bliss out of watching people unknowingly step into trouble orchestrated by me.

I don’t even mind it so much when others succeed in pranking me. It gives me a (perhaps false) feeling of belonging, which helps fill the insecure cracks of my personality.

I spent three years of my childhood living on the campus of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary as my father studied to become a master of divinity. One of my most vivid memories from this time revolves around tomfoolery.

I discovered a big bag of salt used for roads and driveways in my basement, so two friends and I decided it would make a great additive for a batch of lemonade.

After making two pitchers of regular lemonade, we dumped handfuls of salt in each. For the next hour, the three of us offered our brackish drink to various people we met. We lived for reactions, the more over-the-top the better. But by the end, we just wanted some real lemonade.

Later, we tried a similar shenanigan by breaking off pieces of bricks in water till the liquid turned reddish. We heated up the concoction and tried to pass it off as tomato soup. No one was fooled, as our victims had become wiser and the drink more closely resembled rust water than a perfect compliment to grilled cheese.

Ah, good times. It’s hijinks like these that I miss.

So, Goshen College, riddle me this: What happened to all the practical jokes? Maybe I don’t get out enough, but when was the last time anyone publicly flung someone else into an awkward social situation? Or the Schrock Plaza fountain?

As college students we’re at the physical peak of our lives. Such prowess shouldn’t be used solely for intercollegiate and intramural sports. In addition to a timely fitness, college is the perfect time to prank friends because, ideally, Goshen is molding us into critical thinkers. Surely our intellect can be used in more jovial ways than cranking out history theses and science reports.

Take, for instance, the classic pie-in-the-face stunt. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind it if I was the victim.

If performed on me, I’d probably laugh it off, maybe even going as far as to cordially shake your hand. For not only would it mean that you actually read this column, but you also still live life with a reckless childhood abandon, something that is often missing from our society.

Also … pie is delicious.

Written by Matthew Amstutz

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