Prank/Tradition – Phoenix, Arizona

“So every year at Brophy seniors sell tickets to freshman for the pool party on top of the gym. The party usually is at the end of the year or something. If a freshman says “Let me see a picture or something” the seniors show them a picture that from the air looks like there is a pool but its really the ventilation on the roof or something. So for years now there’s been a “pool on the gym roof.” Tickets would be like $5-10 depending on who you bought them from. If you were a freshman and got tickets to the pool party, you were the shit until you found out it was a hoax and then you were gay. I got tickets when I was a freshman, but I never sold them to freshman when I was a senior.”

Brophy College Preparatory High School in Phoenix, Arizona is an all boys Jesuit high school. Directly adjacent to Brophy is Xavier College Preparatory High School, an all girls Catholic school (the white buildings closest to the baseball field). Therefore a pool party was guaranteed to be teeming with lots of the Xavier girls, which according to Parker was a big deal for the freshman guys who were isolated from the girls in their all boys school. As a freshman at Xavier at the same time as Parker, I heard about the pool party too but was told that girls didn’t need to buy tickets because we got in for free.

The pool party hoax has been around every year for a very long time. No one is really sure of who started it, my older brothers who went to Brophy in the 90s also fell victim to this prank when they were freshman. Parker guessed that the prank started soon after the gym was remodeled, in the 80s. The picture for proof didn’t exist when my brothers went to school at Brophy but Parker thinks that the picture existed for about 4 years before he came to Brophy.

The prank is definitely considered a rite of initiation at Brophy. The freshman guys are usually the only ones who fall victim to the pranks that are carried out by seniors only. Selling the tickets is also a form of initiation for the seniors. Ever since a freshman finds out about that he has been conned he waits until he is a senior to get his retaliation, and usually, his money back. The tickets are only sold for the first week or two of school usually because the secret gets out quickly that there really is no pool on the roof.

The pool on the roof prank disclaims responsibility of the seniors because it is tradition that the faculty and older students already know about and do not try to stop. It is an accepted rite of passage at the high school. The lore of Brophy is quickly learned by the freshman folk the hard way however, with the prank also acts as a method to unify the class, usually against the seniors, but unity none the less is a crucial aspect to building friendships.