Bored teenagers are a bad thing.
Bored, brainiac teenagers are worse.
Bored, slightly pissed off, brainiac teenagers can be truly dangerous.
Back in the summer of '86, I was a rising high school senior and I was being recruited by a ton of colleges including the Air Force Academy. That summer, I went to a summer science seminar for a week at the Air Force Academy. It was a blast. We got to hang out with other really smart kids. We participated in incredibly cool seminars ranging from a sort of computerized Risk game to helping with the scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin. We also acted like all teens did and had desk chair races in the hallways of the dorms and had a kick ass toga party one night.
Most of the Academy cadets who were working with us during the summer seminar were really cool. They were fun, helpful, and all around good representatives of the Academy. There was one cadet though that was a total ass clown. He was snotty to the guys and he ignored all the girls except the one he wanted to hook up with. He acted like an entitled asshole, not a military gentleman.
They had a bunch of activities planned for us including a field trip to Pike's Peak. But, on the day of the field trip, the schedule changed last minute and a handful of us missed the announcement that moved up the field trip time by an hour. Sadly, missing the announcement meant we missed the bus so we were left with more than a couple of hours to kill and very few of the cadets were left to supervise us. We started thinking.
My friend Matthew and I decided we needed to pull a prank. We really, really needed to pull a prank on the ass clown cadet and, we used information we got from him to pull the prank. During the toga party the night before, he was in his room with the girl he hooked up with...something that would have gotten him in a huge amount of trouble if he'd gotten caught. A huge group of us tried to make sure he got caught in there with her by locking his door from the outside. Sadly, we didn't know about one feature of the Academy dorm rooms that foiled our plan...the huge wall to wall windows. Well, we knew about the windows but we didn't realize that you could slide your window open, reach to the next room's window, and slide it open. Then, all it took was a swing across about 6 to 8 inches of space and you've escaped the locked room and avoided being busted.
Now, it dawned on Matthew and I that this process could be reversed and used to get into a locked room. So, we went to ass clown's hallway and tested doors until we found one that was unlocked. We then went from window to window, going through 5 rooms, until we got to ass clown's room. Did I mention that we were more that 3 stories above the ground and that we stopped to take pictures of each other hanging out the windows?
Once we were in ass clown's room, we started looking for something we could take and hide...something that would be big enough to be immediately noticeable but not something personal. Taking something personal just felt wrong and, we knew ass clown would panic if whatever was missing was Academy property...hehehe. We decided to take his mattress. Once we decided that, one of us took the mattress out the door and the other relocked the door and went back through the windows, closing them all behind and covering our tracks. I think I was the one in charge of the mattress and Matthew took the window duty but it was over 25 years ago so I can't swear who did which job. Once the mattress was out of ass clown's room and the window path was covered, we went looking for another unlocked door. The owner of the open room was the lucky recipient of a mattress in their closet...out of sight, out of mind.
Then, we sat back and waited.I don't think the Pike's Peak group had been back for even 15 minutes before chaos ensued. Ass clown discovered the missing mattress and, as predicted, he panicked. It took over an hour for him to find the mattress and, since we weren't the only ones laughing, no one ever knew who were the masterminds behind the Great Mattress Caper of '86...until now.
I think the lesson from my time out at the Academy was don't piss off a smart kid. They will get you back in the most unexpected way.
Anyone have any stories from your high school years that you want to share?