How to …

How to Annoy Your Roommates

Without getting Evicted

By: Mel Sundquist

Issue Date: 3-3-08
Section: Life

“Why can’t we all just get along?” is sometimes an impossible request. Especially when dealing with the stress of going to college, students sometimes simply must play the villain, just to get their negative feelings out in the open. And this is fine, as long as there are few or no consequences. We must learn to toe the line between relatively harmless pranks and punishable offenses. And who better to practice on than the people you live with?

1. Pick your target. Perhaps you shouldn’t cellophane the toilet seat of your physical science major roommate whose emphasis is in wrestling. Pick the roommate that is least competitive, but who will still make a fuss about it.

2. Leave no trail. Watch a few episodes of CSI, notice what the criminals did wrong that lead to their capture, and avoid these mistakes. Don’t let anyone see you in the middle of your prank, don’t return to the scene of the crime, and don’t admit your deed to anyone, as tempting as it may be to brag about it.

3. Find the ideal crime. Don’t pull pranks like the classic electric-razor-shavings-in-the-sheets bit, because a) it leaves too much evidence, b) the evidence may lead to reciprocation, and c) watching your roommate squirm and itch all night isn’t as enjoyable as, say, listening to said roommate freak out because every time he or she goes into the kitchen the refrigerator door is open.

4. Keep in mind that the best prank is one that could possibly, without an actual prankster behind it, happen in real life. The turn signal on your roommate’s car could possibly have reversed due to some electronic glitch. All of your roommate’s clothes might have fallen off of their respective hangers because of the wind or a small earthquake. Keep your pranks somewhat feasible, and don’t push them too hard. You don’t want to get into a full-out war with the people you live with.

5. Have a solid alibi. Make sure to save that essay on your computer at the exact time the prank would have been committed. Make yourself seen in your building’s gym right before or after the prank. If your roommates know that you’ve just been sitting around at home all day, they’re sure to guess who the culprit is.


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