I'll take one of each Mr. Bartender Man

August 16, 2011


A campus dorm classic, the ransack is a practical joke that ranges from relatively harmless to absolutely devastating. Ransacks have a tendency to start off minor, like putting the wrong things in the salt shaker or sugar container.

Marco Polo weighed 98 pounds at death. 

This harmless bit of fun will naturally prompt a response. But, you don't want to get even, you want to teach them a lesson for messing with you.

That fucking mosquito has been bugging me for days. Gotcha bitch!

So invariably you will set out to avenge your honour and the $0.37 you lost. You'll start to think about some things you could do that will get your point across while still being all in good fun. Certain examples in this initial retaliatory phase include putting oil or peanut butter on door handles or using toothbrushes for toilet cleaning. Importing leaves, branches, bird nests and pond water to an indoor bedroom or living room is strongly encouraged.

Ignorance IS bliss.

There are a few problems with this first retaliation. The first is that some retaliations are so subtle that although you got your pound of flesh, the recipient may not have even known. Does that blonde taste the shit particles on her toothbrush? Maybe, maybe not. Plus, little things like peanut butter on a handle or opening a door to walk into a cling wrap sheet covered in Vasoline are only funny if you can watch it happen in real time- by the way, what the fuck is fake time? The second, more pressing concern is that by now both parties to the tiff will have realized the endless possibilities for fun that this could entail. Since neither side wants to be seen as backing down, and because the increasing brazenness will require some liquid courage, you're well on your way to a semester, year, or undergraduate-degree-long battle of wits, guts, and stupidity.

I know it was you who hid gay porn under my mattress knowing my parents were helping me move that weekend.

This brings us to three levels of ransack escalation, culminating in expulsion from the dorm, criminal charges, life-long grudges, and some of the straight-up funniest shit you'll ever see. The categories can be helpfully classified as That Little Shit, Alright, if That's How He Wants To Play It. and, Oh Fuck No He Did Not/Nuclear. I have personally inflicted, suffered, or  observed most of the following. Incidentally, the third stage is sort of like the urban legend that med students give themselves an IV drip to avoid a hangover: Everyone has heard of it happening but nobody has seen it.

1. That Little Shit!

It's still pretty friendly at this point. Almost everyone who observes the damage or hears the stories will still think it's funny and not out of line. We're talking throwing their clothes all over the room, rolling deoderant all over their posters, placing chunks of tuna fish behind/in their vents, putting crushed garlic in the fingers of their hockey gloves, toilet papering their car, putting a sausage under their car seat, or letting the air out of their bike tires.

It says new car smell, but I'll be damned if I don't detect a hint of honey garlic.

*IMPORTANT NOTE. A popular variation on ransacking a bedroom involves meticulously placing everything in the room either backwards or upside down. I've never understood this approach: it's just as much work for the ransacker as the ransackee. Sort of defeats the whole purpose, no?

Alright, If That's How He Wants to Play It

Think of this stage like college sports, not everyone will be a pro, but you've started to weed out the less serious participants. The faint of heart will already start to drop out at this stage. All of a sudden, you'll start to hear pussies talking about 'going too far' and a 'line' that was crossed. Ignore these ignoramuses. This stage is the first to feature non-trivial property damage. It also offers the truly sick twisted minds to begin to get creative with their skills. Physical injuries are not uncommon, although they remain minor and should not require medical attention as long as your blood alcohol content doesn't dip dangerously low.

This stage will feature hiding dead mice in spaghetti sauce, emptying Yankee Stadium-sized ketchup dispensers in common rooms, placing a bag of pucks at the top of a door, tying a passed-out dude's shoelaces together, and any variation on getting someone to eat Ex-lax.

This stage also features leaners, the practice of filling a bucket or garbage pale with water - or stale keg beer or piss, depending on your relative sadism- leaning it against a door, knocking, walking away, and having the pale's contents empty into the room when the unsuspecting dupe opens the door.

Why are my feet wet?

Oh No He Fucking Didn't/Nuclear

This stage really separates the men from the boys, sane from deranged, competitive from blood-thirsty. We're talking some crazy shit here. These are pranks like typing up personalized fake STD warnings on state health department letter-head, sleeping with an enemy's family member, propping their fridge door open, pissing in their ice tray, jizzing in their shampoo, putting their pillows in the shower then the freezer, hiding drugs on them knowing they'll be flying internationally, putting fiber glass in with their delicates in the dryer (disintegrates and gets really itchy), poking holes in their condoms, ordering a cholera-infested handkerchief or attempting murder. Be absolutely prepared to fist-fight or worse if you go these extremes. Be prepared also for legal consequences and loss of friends.

*Not advised for anyone to go to stage three.

Remember, like a Mexican cartel turf war, these things have a tendency to escalate quickly. Keep some perspective, ransack in moderation, avoid grievous personal injury or grand theft or property damage, drink up, and enjoy.


Got a great ransack story? Let's hear about it. 

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