Sheldon Shenanigans: The Jello Fiends

Once again, the prank war between myself and my elusive neighbor, Arnold, is back in full swing. After my last failed attempt, I found myself -1 on our prank war tally and determined to even out our ledger. As a result, I offer my readers yet another legend of Sheldon Court’s notorious 4th Floor: our legendary Jello fiends.

And by legendary, I mean not at all legendary.
And by Jello fiends, I mean The Batman and myself.

Our Weapon of Choice

Last weekend, I bought several boxes of Jello from a local 7-Eleven store to make my boyfriend a cardboard dog for Valentines’ Day. Consequently, I also became the owner of 16 pounds of Jello brand gelatin for which I had no use. The Batman–being the wise prankster that he is–suggested that we use the Jello to get back at Arnold who was currently absent from the hall. So off we went into the night, looking for the perfect tools and inspiration to plot our Jello-based revenge.

Perfect.

After some brainstorming, After amassing together several pots, a makeshift ladle, and a large plastic box that could fit inside of our floor’s refrigerator, we finally decided to bury Arnold’s favorite converse sneakers inside the 16 pounds of different colored Jello. It would take several hours and careful planning to make sure the Jello froze over the wrapped sneakers in perfect layers, but it would be a riot to watch Arnold eat through the Jello to retrieve his favorite sneakers. We collected several pots from our floormates and made a makeshift ladle from sticks, a spoon, and some tape in order to properly cook the Jello. Then, The Batman emptied out a large plastic box he had lying in his room for us to pour the Jello liquid into. We took Arnold’s sneakers, wrapped them up in several Ziploc bags, and set them at the bottom of the plastic container inside our refrigerator. Finally, we got to work and spent the next several hours making Jello.

At several moments throughout the night we feared we would be unable to complete the prank. For example, after the 2nd or 3rd layer of Jello, we noticed that the different colors had begun to mix with one another. We thought that by giving each layer a set time to cool in the refrigerator before pouring the next layer we would be able to avoid this mixing and create a layered, rainbow effect. Unfortunately,  something was wrong with our timing and/or how we poured the mixture into the container so the different Jello mixtures began to pool into a purplish-black mess. At first, we were a bit disappointed, but then The Batman pointed out that the black Jello may work in our favor by making the process of eating through the Jello even worse for Arnold. So we continued on….until our next setback.

The sneakers wouldn’t stay underneath the Jello.

When we had put the sneakers into the Ziploc bags, we accidentally left some air inside of them which in turn lifted the sneakers above each new layer of liquid Jello we poured into the container. In addition, the width of the container prevented the Jello from reaching a height that would completely cover the entire pair of sneakers. Noticing this problem, The Batman and I quickly substituted the converse shoes for Arnold’s dorm room keys, which were heavy and small enough to sink straight to the bottom of the mixture. It wasn’t the best substitution, but it was close enough to keep the prank alive.

Our Final Product

At about 3am or 4am, we finally finished the Jello and admired our handiwork. I wrote a note to Arnold with instructions for where he could find his dorm room keys and his converse sneakers, which I have kept in my room to this day awaiting an appropriate gift exchange of the shoes’ weight in Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups from Arnold. The Batman went to bed, and I went on to create a cardboard puppy for Spencer out of the remaining empty Jello boxes.

A few days later, I opened up the refrigerator to find the Jello still sitting on its bottom shelf but with a large whole in its center where we had buried Arnold’s keys. It brought a wide smile to my face.

Current Prank Ledger Reads: “Rose:1 and Arnold:0.”

Playing in a Winter Wonderland

Today, Mikey and I decided to go the Arts Quad to watch the pretty, white snow fall….

Photo Credit to Matt Munsey

…as we threw at some other students’ heads.

Yes, today Mikey and I participated in a planned snowball fight at Cornell’s Arts Quad. It was a wonderful event filled with laughter and harmless snow pelting. Our friend, The Batman, put together the event over Facebook and managed to attract a sizable group of people to reenact The Cornell Snowball Fight of 2011.

Officers Monitor Cornell’s Snowball Fight

To protect innocent pedestrians and the fragile windows of Olin Library, some police were nearby watching the fight unfold. However, despite their uniforms, they were enjoying the game as well. Although I didn’t witness any of the officers personally throw a snowball, I did overhear one of the officers say to his partner: “Ouch. Did you see that one? Right in the face…”

It was good to see our local police enjoying themselves alongside the students, especially since they were standing for a very long time in the cold for our own enjoyment. One officer was so nice as to take a picture with Mikey and me right before the fight ensued.

A Fellow Student and Friend Prepares Mikey for the Fight

The students were similarly excited to be a part of the action. Despite concerns that the timing of the fight (1:30pm) would deter students from attending because of class conflicts, numerous students arrived anmany of them stayed throughout the entire event. Some came with friends while others were surprised to find that many of their classmates had also decided to come coincidentally. The moments before the fight were filled of laughter and conversation, as students joked about forming alliances and sneaking up onto the roof of the Libe Cafe. Mikey and I managed to find several of our own friends on the battlefield, most of whom were willing to pose for pictures and give us tips on how to make the perfect snowball out of soft snow.

A Friend Helps Mikey with His First Snowball

Other students came later, joining in on the battle in a spur-of-the-moment decision once they realized what was happening. The majority of students waited together patiently, pacing the snow as they waited for the moment of truth. Others were more strategic and gathered up snow into piles of ready-to-go snowball ammo. Needless to say, it was obvious which students were attacked and which were the attackers when the battle finally began. Luckily, Mikey and I were well trained by our fellow students.

Another Student Poses with Mikey, Prepared for Battle 

Finally, at exactly 1:30pm, the clock tower rang.

Snowballs flew into the air and students targeted one another as fair game. It was so much fun that I sincerely wished I could have stayed there longer. Mikey’s fur was completely soaked by the time we walked back home, and my red coat was similarly covered in melting flecks of snow which had been hurdled at me from twenty different directions. In the end, we walked away with wet clothes, large smiles, and a video that is currently spreading across Facebook: Cornell’s Daily Sun Covers Cornell’s 2013 Snowball Fight.

Small events like snowball fights can be a lot of fun but, when an entire community gets together to put aside their stress and share time with one another, you know you’ve experienced something great. Thank you to all of the participants in this year’s Snowball Fight on the Arts Quad! Hopefully we can make this event an annual tradition.

Playing in a Winter Wonderland

 

 

Sheldon Shenanigans: The Disappearing Lounge

Let me introduce you to the fourth floor of Sheldon Court.

Notorious for its silence and empty fridge, Sheldon’s fourth floor is most certainly not the center of Collegetown’s night life. If you don’t already know, Sheldon Court is an upperclassmen dorm located directly across from Collegetown’s famous CTB (College Town Bagels) and the entrance of Cornell University. On any given Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, you could easily spot a handful of college students stumbling around Sheldon Court’s entrance waiting for friends before starting their search for a good party. However, inside of Sheldon Court, the social environment is very different.

In defense of the notorious fourth floor, I want to point out that silence in not necessarily a precursor for boredom. We, the residents of the fourth floor, engage in the same amount of dorm floor shenanigans as any other floor or dorm on campus. We’re just more…quiet about it.

Now let me introduce you to two of our floor’s most common sources of harmless pranks and mysterious shenanigans: The Batman and Arnold.

These two residents are not actually named “The Batman” and “Arnold.” Their nicknames began to stick as it became more and more difficult to talk about their adventures without simultaneously getting them into trouble. These two undergraduate students are also one another’s roommates—a decision by Cornell’s housing office that I will never fully understand. They’re both very interesting and fun people to talk to; however, they also have the tendency to give our RA (residential adviser) and myself miniature heart attacks from time to time.

Arnold and I have been engaged in a prank war for some time now. Although it started with minor annoyances (i.e. pushing all the elevator floor buttons whenever the other was trying to go downstairs), we gradually reached a point where something larger needed to occur. The Batman, seeing this point as an opportunity, eagerly joined in to help me get back at Arnold. Hence, we begin the story of….

The Disappearing Lounge Furniture

A few nights ago, Cornell University found itself in an electrical black-out. It only lasted 20 minutes, but it was just enough time for all of the fourth floor residents to exit their rooms and engage in a conversation that would last until early the next morning. Arnold and The Batman also left their rooms and, right before Arnold decided to leave Sheldon Court for some unknown errand, he decided that the best way to exit the lounge would be to pull my chair from underneath me and make me to fall heavily onto the floor as he walked over to the elevator.

That was when the dominoes began to fall.

I wanted to get back at Arnold to balance out our prank ledger, and The Batman happened to have a key to Arnold’s room. A few other residents of the fourth floor decided to join in on our brainstorming session, and finally we all decided that the best way to get back at Arnold would be to crowd his room with chairs. So we took a few chairs from the floor lounge and stacked them in a pile on his bed. But it didn’t look drastic enough. So The Batman grabbed a few more chairs. Then some residents decided that the sofa should go in there as well.

Then the table.

And our other table.

And our wet floor sign.

In short, it didn’t take very long before all of our floor’s lounge and kitchen furniture was settled cozily inside of Arnold’s room. How no one—let alone our RA—came to realize what we were doing as we traveled down the hall with sofas on our backs is beyond my comprehension. However, as we stood staring into the confines of Arnold’s room, I have to admit that we felt proud of our accomplishment.

The image of communal pride

We decided that we would leave the furniture in Arnold’s room until Arnold came to see it. Then The Batman would knock on our doors and we would all come to both witness Arnold’s shock and to help The Batman replace the furniture. The lounge would be returned to its original condition, all before any of the maintenance staff could come in the morning and be any the wiser of our plot. There was, however, one key issue with our plan….

Arnold never came home.

He stayed overnight at his girlfriend’s place. No Arnold meant no knocking. No knocking meant no group return of the furniture. No furniture meant the maintenance staff came in at 8am and saw nothing but a bare floor and panicked. And, as to be expected, a panicked maintenance staff meant that our RA was quickly knocking on our doors at 8:30am to ask if any of us knew where the furniture was.

With quick looks and steady nods, our floor-mates all managed to plausibly deny that they had anything to do with the furniture. When it came to The Batman and I, however, our RA was a bit more suspicious. Careful with his words, The Batman promised over email that the furniture would be returned by the late afternoon. The exchange, in itself, was a treasure. Only The Batman could be so diplomatic as to be able to both diffuse tensions and avoid any culpability whatsoever.

So our entire floor once again came together to remove the furniture from Arnold’s room. Arnold, who had missed the entire extravaganza, came to laugh at our failed prank. I reminded him, however, that our failure only meant that I still owed Arnold a prank to balance out our ledger. Although Arnold didn’t seem too frightened by my threat, he did immediately turn to The Batman to try and work out a truce. Arnold thinks he has succeeded, but I doubt that The Batman will change his pranking ways anytime soon.

The purpose of this story was not only to introduce you to The Batman and Arnold, but to show you the interesting culture of Sheldon’s fourth floor. To anyone who had walked by later that afternoon, they would have thought that the floor was a boring place. However, had they only been there but a few hours before, they would have seen one our floor’s greatest landmarks: our disappearing lounge.

Our silently disappearing lounge.