On Monday, May 4, 2009, Alex Korn and I visited Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. While in Claremont, Alex and I joined together with newest Geniuses Andrew La Motte-Mitchell and Tyler Wolf to play a prank on Professor, Computer Science Department Chair, and all around swell guy, Mike Erlinger. As is no doubt apparent following our branded cupcake post, we, at Genius.com, are very serious about our brand. We bleed orange and green and will take any opportunity to spread the Genius.com gospel. This is especially true when it comes to our branded beach balls.
In my three years at Genius.com, I have always been infatuated with the branded beach balls. I have always had at least one on my desk and take every opportunity to distribute the beach balls into the unsuspecting world. Thus the prank.
Inflating 100 Genius.com Beach Balls
Andrew and Tyler rounded up Tyler’s girlfriend Brigid Polian, fellow senior Adrian Sampson, and freshmen Ryan Brewster and Richard Porczak to assist in the inflation of 100 Genius.com beach balls. Andrew successfully solicited Professor Zach Dodds into providing us access to Mike’s office.
Spiderman Alex Scales the Olin Support Pillars
While somewhat oxygen deprived from blowing up beach balls, Alex came up with the brilliant idea of climbing the support pillars in the Olin building entry way to strategically place a couple of the beach balls. What resulted was Alex climbing approximately 20 feet above the ground to deposit two beach balls. Once placed, Alex inflated the balls while still at his elevated perch.
What to Do With So Many Beach Balls?
After we finished inflation, the task turned to what to do with 100 inflated beach balls. We began by swarming them around Alex.
Then proceeded to fill a portion of Mike’s gargantuan office with our inflated friends. Underneath the pile we hid a bottle of Willams-Selyem Russian River Pinot Noir.
After Mike’s office was successfully filled and securely locked, we placed a note over the lock on his door saying, “YAHAR! There be gold buried afoot! – Geniuses New and Old” (we have an unhealthy affinity for pirates at Genius.com) to allude to the fact that a bottle of wine was strategically placed underneath the mountain of beach balls. We also kept one beach ball and set off to find it a less crowded home.
After a short walk, we decided upon McAlister, the main lecture hall where the Projects Day keynote was to be given the next day by Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe. Inside the hall we found a perfect spot in the middle of the room above a camera. It took us a couple of minutes to bounce the ball into position but it was well worth the effort.
Mike Arrives the Following Day
Alex and I were lucky enough to be outside of Olin the following day when Mike arrived on campus on his stylish Vespa. Alex and I accompanied Mike to his office where, upon noticing the sign, he immediately suspected Tyler but quickly changed his suspicion to Andrew before even opening his door. As we hoped, Mike was a great sport about the prank and allowed us to take some truly excellent photos of him at his computer surrounded by beach balls.
By the end of the day, Alex’s elevated beach balls were still flying high in Olin.