The informant is my 20-year-old friend from Washington, D.C. He heard this campus legend about our Quaker high school from upperclassmen students when he was a freshman.
“So in high school, there was this legend–I don’t know if it’s a legend, because everyone says it’s true, but no one knows who it was and it happened in one of the graduating classes before we got to high school. I don’t know. Anyways, whenever we had Meeting for Worship, which is basically the whole school once a week goes to this big room and sits in silence for a class period to reflect, or think, or whatever…anyways, whenever we had meeting, there was this guy who would go and poop on one of the desks in the classrooms. And this happened for, like, WEEKS on end. And everyone was going crazy trying to figure out who this person was and how to catch them. And then, so, one week, when everyone was in the Meeting room, they had the entire upper school on lockdown. And they were making sure to see who was leaving Meeting to go to the bathroom or whatever, and they made sure no one was entering the upper school and no one was in the hallways. Anyways, so there’s no incident, and they all go back to class. And everyone thinks the thing is over. But then, the middle schoolers get out of their meeting for worship, and when they go back to class, someone had come and pooped on one of the middle-school desks. And they never figured out who this person was.”
Campus legends have always been particularly interesting to me, and this one is especially compelling because it is so specific to the age group of high schoolers. Legends stipulate by their definition that there must be an element of doubt as to whether or not the story is true, and such doubt about this story could only exist in this particular age group. High schoolers are at probably one of the only ages where a story about someone going around pooping on desks could be true, because this would not be a plausible story in the adult world, nor could it realistically happen in younger age groups, because not only of the planning required but also because their rebellions against authority are almost always more tame than those of older children. Though this is clearly example of the counter-hegemonic bend of most children’s and young adults’ lore, this particular legend could be interpreted as counter-hegemonic in more ways than one–it could be pure strategy to use the Meeting for Worship period to poop on desks, but it also could be a rebellion against the he spirit of Meeting for Worship, which is something religious and of high importance in Quakerism.