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Funny College Pranks

We've got your new mattress...

By Scott Estes

In College, I had the fortune of residing in a coed dormitory. In my recollection, dorm life was more like "Animal House" than the movie. Everybody complained about the furniture and the carpet and the mattresses. We were students, and we complained about everything.

Several girls in an honors dorm up the hill from us, had been giving us a hard time, and we thought of a way to get even with them. We knew where they lived, but did not know their names and we knew how to get a group of princesses hooked into a prank.

Two weeks before Mattress day, we started calling every name in the directory for their dormitory. Five of us went at it until 11pm. We don't know how many names we called, but we got well into the end of the directory. The conversation went like this; "We are taking orders for new mattresses for dormitory residents. Would you like a soft, medium, or firm mattress. OK, that's one medium mattress. Thank you, your mattress will be available in about 4 weeks." On Mattress day, the eve of Midterms for most of us, we began calling the list again. "Hi, this is student services, and we have received the first load of mattresses. We will not be getting all of the mattresses we ordered until this summer, but your mattress is here now, and you can pick it up at the Student Center, we close at 9pm. Please bring your old mattress and we will exchange it for a new one. There are some really nice mattresses that were shipped in error. The first one's here will get first choice." After about 20 minutes and 50 phone calls, we could see a trickle of students with mattresses over their heads walking to the Student Center. Girls with their boy friends carrying the mattress for them, guys carrying their own, and some dragging their mattresses behind them. These mattresses were dogged out, and really needed to be replaced. Almost everyone bought into the idea that they were finally going to get a new mattress. Some of these kids were even running. Soon there were people knocking on our door telling us about the new mattress deal. I was having a really hard time keeping a straight face, but kept on calling others. We knew that we had about 30 minutes before the first mattress draggers figured out something was up and came back with their mattress, telling everybody in their path that the deal was a bad joke. We were steady at it, calling as quickly as we could, and then the rain started.

Our prank started looking pretty cruel. The amazing thing was that the kids all kept going to the Student Union. No one turned back, until they found out the real story. Many refused to believe and called campus facilities to complain. That weekend, almost every fence in the area was covered with damp mattresses drying in the sun. I don't know if there is cause and effect here, but two months later my Dorm got new mattresses. No, there was no choice of firmness.

Years later, I was at a party with engineers from work and we began telling prank stories. While I told my story, one of my peers started laughing and shaking his head. He said that prank must have been pretty popular, cause he got stuck in the rain with a mattress at the University of Florida. From that day, I made sure that I never mentioned or wore anything that mentioned Gator football around him.


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