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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pac-Man senior prank in final days at Thurston High School

pacman senior prank | funny pranks and practical jokesThe four Thurston High School seniors, Garrett Cogburn, Ben Carlisle, Matt Galceran and Jeff Forrest, all Advanced Placement students headed for college in the fall, were all dressed in their homemade 1980's iconic video game Pac-Man costumes and run through the cafeteria, the school courtyard, past classrooms. Most students had no idea who was inside the costumes made of PVC pipe and colored butcher paper.

All classic senior pranks could have dragged a cow into the school gym, or filled the fountain (if the school had one) with detergent, or let rats loose in the cafeteria. None of those funny pranks and practical jokes were likely to please Principal Ed Mendelssohn, though, who thought the Pac-Man prank last Thursday was “very clever” even if he was caught unaware much better than many senior pranks that often involve vandalism or “just making a mess,” Mendelssohn said Monday.

And who would think they’d do it again on Monday? Once more, though, it was a hit.

“Every time I see them running through our school, I laugh really hard, They should run around every day.” said senior Mara McCornack.

Pac-Man began as a video arcade game, and involves a yellow circle with a mouth (Pac-Man) working its way through a maze, scoring points by eating dots and prizes. Pac-Man is chased by “ghosts” with crazy eyes and names like Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, who try and terminate him. It became a worldwide phenomenon.

But why would four high school seniors born in the early 1990s want to emulate the game for a high school prank during the final two weeks of classes?

“I really don’t know, We just thought it would be something really cool and funny to do.”
They spent about two months making the costumes Cogburn said, as he and Carlisle prepared for another run through the Thurston campus.

Carlisle said they all watched some YouTube videos of senior pranks, and saw the Pac-Man one with high school students elsewhere in the country running through their school’s library.

“It’s hilarious,” said Carlisle, who plans to attend and play soccer at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, this fall, of the experience of running through campus, chasing Cogburn in the yellow Pac-Man costume.

“I thought it was awesome, They put a lot of work into that. It was really fun and everyone really enjoyed it. I don’t think the teachers really enjoyed it, but …” senior Logan Lewis said.

The response from staff and administration has been nothing but positive. One teacher even gave a lecture last week, pointing out that “that’s how you do a senior prank,” Cogburn said, who will study chemical engineering at Oregon State University this fall.

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