A Folklore Approach to Pranks
Amanda Lloyd |
Table of Contents | Table of Contents | 1 | Introduction | 2 | Two Types of People | 2 | Where’s the Line? | 3 | Is Seeing Believing? | 4 | How Old is too Old? | 4 | Friend or Foe? | 5 | Romance and Pranks | 5 | Story Telling Aspects | 6 | Conclusion | 7 | Autobiography | 9 |
Introduction: Whether it’s hiding behind the corner to scare your roommate, or planting a garden in a friend’s family room, pretty much every one has pulled a prank in their lives. For this project I listened to people’s experience with pulling pranks in college, or being pranked, and found similarities and connections that develop through certain groups of people or in all of society. Through Personal Experience Narratives and Interviews with individuals, there are many patterns that occur when it comes to pranking; There’s a pattern in the pranks being pulled, the unspoken societal rules, the expectations, and the implications when it comes to age, romance, and friendship.
Two Types of People When it comes to the type of pranks that people pull in college there tends to be two types of groups of pranks. There is one side that are pranks people pull on their roommates or family that tend to be rather small and on the other side there are the larger more elaborate pranks which sometimes lead into a “Prank war” between two groups of people. The group of people that pull smaller to no pranks, have consistently been that way in their lives, they tend to have a habit of just pranks not being something that they do too often. While the other group tends to have a habit of thinking with a more prank inclined mind, where they pull elaborate pranks, and are consistently pranking a lot of people. The first group primarily pulls spontaneous pranks, like scaring their roommates if the opportunity presents itself, like you’re both home at the same time, and all the lights are off and they aren’t aware that you are home. The second group will pull spontaneous pranks, but also take the time to plan out other pranks. For example, in an interview Allison Jeppson spoke of a time when they planned, and then pulled, a prank where they gathered their old clothes up and then went and dressed up all the statues on campus. So having these two groups established groups of people mean that their defnintions of what makes a good prank will be a little different, and that means establishing a set of rules.
Where is the Line? After interviewing over a dozen people, it was obvious that there is an established set of societal rules when it comes to pranking. How far is too far when it comes to pulling pranks? However, the rules change from people to people. For most people the obvious line comes with property damage, if someone irreparably damages your vehicle or property in anyway, all the people interviewed expect some sort of payment. What the payment that is required varies on the person. For some it required that the person replace the broken item regardless of what it is. For others it depends on the value of the thing that has been damaged. For a very few amount of people they said that they wouldn’t require payment, just help when it comes to fixing the item, and even if it couldn’t be fixed they probably wouldn’t care. Something interesting that came up, was in a few interviews, and these were boys only, they felt that property damage was almost acceptable; as Peter Adamovich put it, “Sometimes property damage can sell the prank.” They still required that you replace what was broken, but they felt that it wasn’t a big deal for it to happen during the actual prank. Something else that came up when dealing with how far the line is besides property damage, was the idea of emotional damage or invading people’s privacy. Interestingly enough only women brought up invading other’s personal privacy and only men brought up the idea of emotional or hurting someone’s