“The Thunderstorm”

While the victim is unsuspecting or away, perpetrators will fill an empty, large trash bin full of water.  Then, when the victim leaves to use a public restroom and selects a stall, the perpetrators will dump the huge amount of water over the door of the stall, flicker the lights, and bang on the sides of the stall, simulating a thunderstorm.  Of course, the idea is to completely drench the victim while they are absolutely defenseless, with their pants down. This will put the victim in a completely uncomfortable position, at least until they can change their clothes. 


My source first learned of this practical joke when he found himself victimized.  Last year he lived in an on-campus dormitory, where between 20 and 30 male students live on a floor together and share a large, public-style bathroom.  Another student had heard of this prank and had been dying all semester to pull it off.

At the time, my source had changed into some comfortable clothes and was about to settle down and type out a report for one of his classes.  As time passed, he had to use the restroom.  Of course, the other student had filled a trash can with water earlier in the day and was waiting for this exact moment.  With the help of two other students, the perpetrator was able to dump the bin full of water onto my source.

“I was tired from writing the paper, and a bucket-full of water was what I least expected.  So, yes, I was completely shocked,” reported my source.  His first reaction was to cover up and get out of there as soon as he could.  Then he changed his clothes and set out to find the perpetrators. My source was not angry and realized that in the long run, this would be a funny story to tell, and this is why he decided to share this practical joke with me.

Many instances of practical jokes can be attributed to rites of passage.  The student who first had the idea had waited all year to feel comfortable enough around someone to make them the victim of this practical joke without them having hard feelings.  In this sense, my source had gone from friend to trusted-friend in the eyes of the perpetrator, and this prank was his rite of passage.