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Seniors are back at it, with a forkful of pranks

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Seniors are back at it, with a forkful of pranks
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Well, we're back. Students are again sauntering through the hallowed hallways of DLHS: scoping the writhing mass of teenager for guys/girls who got more interesting over the course of the summer months; memorizing locker combinations (excuse me, that should be permutations, as anyone who's taken analysis will certainly recall) and classroom locations; theorizing on teachers and courses and their disturbingly significant potential for high volumes of homework; drooling over cafeteria cuisine and coveted cliquey conversation; and plotting pranks.

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Wait -- what?

Yes, indeed. Students and faculty alike arrived upon the scholastic scene Tuesday morning to a vivid "'09" gracing the grass in front of the high school, written, intriguingly, with forks. This perhaps blatant misuse of plastic eating utensils caused a humble degree of buzz when the majority of the high school population arrived at noon, unable to easily miss the large lettering.

Tragically, I found out about the forking secondhand; having come from the wrong direction after lunching at Zorbaz (where it was revealed that peanut butter pizza is simply delectable...for those of us without nut allergies), I was quickly informed about the picnic-gone-wrong upon the lawn.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their efficiency in keeping me as in-the-loop as someone who managed to avoid seeing "Dodgeball" until four years after its glorious release into mainstream popular culture can be expected. Yes, I live under a ridiculously massive, outrageously hefty boulder that my semester in fitness weight training -- alas -- has not enabled me to lift.

However, I am delighted to report that the toenail I lost to a 10-pound weight has nearly grown back. But I digress...

Driving by the very obviously senior-generated prank after an afternoon of five-minute classes (which, by the way, administrators, was an excellent idea I hope will be considered for instatement as a permanent schedule), I couldn't help but chuckle. It was sort of perfect, was it not?

Making a statement at the very onset of the school year, without any hint of damaging vandalism or inappropriate conduct? My parents, though quick to point out that the forks could have been put to use at a graduation party next spring instead of thrust into mud pie and photosynthesis-induced greenery, still seemed somewhat amused.

Somebody in our senior class obviously felt the need to make evident his or her (I could speculate as to identities, but I'm no Sherlock; Watson, perhaps, but my deductive skills aren't quite up to snuff) pride in being at the top of the world -- er, high school. Easy distinction to miss, it seems, as I've gathered from having witnessed junior classes evolve into senioritis-suffering despots in Laker gear and a general atmosphere exuding assumed superiority. (I fear that I am not immune. Is there a shot I can get to prevent the onset? Grab a tourniquet and inject me with some mercury-laden liquid, doc! Give me a chance at being humble!)

Senior class cohesiveness is to be applauded, I believe, and taking a certain degree of enjoyment at having arrived is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. And for as long as this carbonated bubbling of anticipation for a nearly fathomable graduation day is approached peaceably, I see no need for trouble.

As in this instance, harmless pranks rightfully should be undergone, chattered about, chuckled at, and recalled in yearbooks and nostalgic paths of thought. Kudos to whichever seniors realized that and made it reality Monday night.

But I'm curious...wasn't it a considerably damp evening, what with the general downpour I watched from my front porch? Is rain really an ideal condition for stabbing dinnerware into the earth? Having not been involved in as many late-night forkings as one would hope, I couldn't say. Perhaps the ground is more malleable?

Extensive coordination with the weatherman was obviously a failing factor in the planning. I hope you parked your getaway vehicle close by, seniors, because that couldn't have been a fun walk.

Some senior pranks have far different consequences. A forked message seems quite demure in juxtaposition with barging into the commons hefting a rifle loaded with blanks and "shooting" up the student body. (If you, O Developer of Wicked-Awesome Prank Plans, are reading and you wanted me to credit you with that one publicly, you have my most profound apologies. I thought it best not to.)

With a forking, what's the worst charge? Littering, perhaps, or excessive use of plastic cutlery without a license.

I tip my metaphorical hat to the outset of the year, to the Class of '09 and all that follow, and to happily nonabrasive pranking. Who can say what's up next? I haven't the faintest, which is certainly a thrill.

Yeah, we're back.

Thressa Johnson is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School this fall.

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