Since April Fool’s Day is approaching, I thought I might take the opportunity to regale you with one of the pranks I pulled in college. It is elegant in its simplicity.

It came about when I bought a can of Scotchguard waterproofing spray for my coat. At the time, I wore a surplus army field jacket (and I wish I still had one of those). It came with a hood that could be rolled up and tucked into a compartment which would zip closed. The hood was just a bit of canvas, and the rain would soak right through it. But I heard that Scotchguard was some pretty good stuff and that it would solve this little problem.

I unfurled the hood and sprayed it liberally. I mean, I soaked the hood and good. When it was dry, I decided to test it. I took it to the sink and ran some water over it. The water rolled right off, and the drops that didn’t just beaded up on the fabric. One shake, and it was dry. Wow. Then I filled the hood with water. It easily held a gallon. The dry side of the hood was still dry, and the wet side was confining a gallon of water. I was impressed. I dumped the water out, and gave the hood a good shake, and once again, it was bone dry.

I thought to myself, “This is some pretty amazing stuff! What else can I use it on?” I cast my eyes about the dorm room until they settled on my roommate’s towel. In short order, I unloaded the rest of that can of Scotchguard on his poor, threadbare towel, and then I waited.

I don’t remember how long it took, but when he took a shower, the plan worked about as well as you could imagine. He turned off the shower and grabbed his specially-treated towel. He toweled off, but it had no effect. The towel was still perfectly dry, and he was still soaking wet.

To this day, it is the greatest prank I have ever pulled.