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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Innocent Chemistry Prank Goes Terribly Wrong


   On Mar. 1, sophomores Esha Joshi and Malaika Boros thought it would be an innocent prank to place small amounts of mercury throughout Upper Campus.

   They had learned about the effects of mercury in a chemistry lesson discussing the “mad-hatter” syndrome and how it affects the human body. From the 18th to the 20th century, hat makers used mercury to strengthen the felt of the hats. Consequently, hatters often ingested the mercury, resulting in slurred speech, mood swings, insomnia and irritability. 

   “We just did this for fun, thinking the campus would appreciate a little bit of whimsy,” Joshi said.

   Boros and Joshi snuck into the chemistry room, found a vial of mercury and carefully deposited the mercury in each of the Upper Campus water fountains.

   By the time lunch came around, Joshi and Boros’s prank had taken Upper Campus down a rabbit hole, transforming it into a mad-hatter party of its own with students and faculty behaving rather bizarrely: randomly bursting into nonsensical songs while dancing around in crazy costumes.

   “I didn’t think it would go this far,” Boros said. “But it’s kind of nice because we don’t have to worry about classes and grades anymore. We just get to be goofy all day.”

   To make matters worse, prospective students toured the school the same day, bewildered by the state of the students and faculty. Some students ran to the front office to call their parents to go home while others joined in the fun, dressing themselves in whatever lunatic attire they could find.

   “We enriched their Pinewood experience,” Joshi said, dancing around in a bright pink tutu. “Everyone’s having the time of their lives. I think it all worked out well in the end.”

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