I'll admit from the start that this was all my fault. I'm the one who started it but... Tracy just happened to be in the right place at the right time and I couldn't resist my evil impulse. The story is part of a series and at the end of “The Ice Is Broken” you will notice that my club volunteered to answer phones for the World Tomorrow telecast. Tracy enthusiastically volunteered to go with us. That's probably the point where the writing was already on the wall.
At that point in my college career, I was working on those phones to help pay my way. I was very familiar with how the system worked. Keep in mind this was more than thirty years ago. That old system didn't work like call centres do today. All calls came to line one, if that was busy it went to line two and so on down the whole line. The poor representative on line one got worked to death while the person on line fifty got maybe two to four calls per hour. Each phone would actually physically ring and the representative had to pick up the receiver to answer. Each actual phone for some reason could access two different lines, the one for that particular cubicle and the line for next phone in the sequence. This is important to the story.
Volunteer night came and we were seated at our phones. Tracy had never done this before and was parked at the phone right after mine. She was a bundle of nerves. We were down around line fifteen. Her line was available on my phone. What do you think was going through my evil mind. Yes, I absolutely had to give her a prank call. I couldn't make her phone ring but I could make the call waiting light flash and since no one trusts technology to behave, she assumed she had a legitimate call. Especially since she'd just taken a few. I just waited until the action had simmered down to the first few lines in the queue. When she found out it was me she tried to scale the cubicle wall to get at me and that was before she found out everybody in our section knew what was going on. She promised revenge.
Now I was kind of stupid on that count because the following day would be open house where everyone would get a chance to tour all the other dorms on campus. Tracy also had a bit of a reputation in that department. The return prank would not be long in coming. Rather than just wait and take my medicine, I teamed up with another mutual friend, Stephen Doucet and we decided to go for a preemptive strike.
The plan was simple. Visit Tracy's dorm and kidnap one of her stuffed animals (you would not believe how many college girls have massive collections of those). Things got complicated as soon as the two of us arrived. These girls were smart and had made security arrangements and they clearly didn't trust either of us. They escorted us through.
We weren't that easily deterred though. After our first tour, we had a quick pow wow and then enlisted the help of another good friend of mine, Paul Hadley. Stephen and I are both tall and this time around we stood to block our escorts view while Paul made the grab. Like clockwork. Time to go to my dorm to guard my stuff.
Tracy arrived as expected with an evil glint in her eye and under my watching but helpless gaze, pulled all my bedding of my bunk and threw it off the second floor fire exit. We had a smirking stand off there until I decided to let her get past me and escape. Then I had to go retrieve my stuff and re-make my bed. I thought I got of pretty easy considering her reputation.
She got our first ransom note next day. She questioned every guy who came to the student centre to eat breakfast the following morning. The moment was priceless and it was so hard not to give myself away.
At that point in the school year, the work load hit and the whole prank got too time consuming. Stephen and I had to come up with a graceful way to exit this. I don't remember if it was his idea or mine but she suspected another guy in our dorm named Greg Wagner and we framed him.
Our dorm had no cooking facilities but we did have a fridge we could stock with our personal snacks. The way to identify stuff was to stick one of the provided stickers on it and write your initials there. We put her cute stuffed skunk that she slept with every night until this whole thing started in a bag with a GW sticker on it. Let it get good and cold and then just brought it to her door and said, “Look what we found in the refrigerator”. We not sure how he talked his way out of being the victim of some horrible revenge.
She kind of had it in for a few of the guys in our dorm, so there was one final round. These guys will remain nameless because the first one had a big crush on petite little Tracy. He had a date with her and was trying to get on her good side. When no one was looking he filched a pile of shirts and socks belonging to one of my Canadian friends and brought them to Tracy who sewed the sleeves shut and had some other fun with her sewing machine. This friend told me about it.
I asked him, “You want to make this prank backfire on her?”
He of course was all ears.
“When you get to class tomorrow, act like you have no idea what she's talking about. When I come in I'll act like some one has been giving me a hard time.”
We played our parts perfectly. She couldn't believe he hadn't discovered her handiwork (she signed it sort of). I told her our resident assistant had been on the warpath for some unknown reason. She was intimidated by him and thought she put two and two together. She assumed dorm mate number one had double crossed her. After all look who else was in his dorm. She panicked. Our next move was to talk to the resident assistant and get him to bring the clothes back and angrily demand she fix the problem. He would have played along but it wasn't meant to be.
In the middle of class we get a surprise fire drill. All the classes file out. Tracy was in such a panic she found our resident assistant during that weird interlude and started apologizing profusely. We hadn't prepped him yet, so the cat was out of the bag. He thought it was hysterical though and on the bright side she learned he wasn't ogre she thought he might be.
There will be a final installment to this series of stories, just be forewarned it has a sad ending.