In honor of a wise and gentle soul, here are two stories of his college days at MIT in the 50s (courtesy of my dad):
Two stories I recall about Grandpa's college days. I heard these from his
own mouth, but all the juicy details escape me. One has to remember that MIT is an engineering school of the most brilliant caliber. Bright and inquisitive minds. Only the elite get into MIT.
1) The bug. One of the guys on the hall of Dad's dorm went home for the weekend, but not by car (maybe by train?). Dad's hallmates were looking for some practical joke to play on him. They decided to disassemble the guy's VW bug and carry it piece by piece from the street into his dorm room. When the guy returned, he opened his dorm door only to find his car sitting in the middle of his floor! The rest of the story I can't recall. (I imagine the jokesters helped him get his car back outside in the same manner.
2) The sink. Dad and some buddies were experimenting with a certain chemical reaction which produced a mild explosion. I think they learned about the reaction in chemistry class and wanted to experiment on a stronger scale then they were allowed to in chemistry lab. So they mixed their chemicals in a lavatory sink. Unfortunately, they mixed their chemicals too potently. The explosion was powerful enough to shatter the sink. They turned off the valves to the sink and started sweeping up the mess. However, the building superintendent heard the explosion, ran to the lavatory, opened the door and caught them red-handed. He was furious and told them he was going to get a high ranking university official, bring him back to the lavatory, and try to get the boys kicked out of school. The superintendent left to get the big boss. Dad and his buddies then went to the supply room, got another sink, installed it, cleaned up the mess, and left. Thereupon the building superintendent returned in a huff with the big boss, opened the lavatory door with a flourish, and showed his boss....a
perfectly clean and functional lavatory!!! When Dad told this, he had us in hysterics. I don't remember the remaining details, except that Dad said he never mixed chemicals in a sink again. I seem to recall that he was careful to stay out of the superintendent's way after this incident.