High school coincides with some messed-up teenage brain activity. It's a period of supercharged cockiness crossed with reckless impulsivity, driving many of us to destroy those who least deserve it. It's sad, but also weirdly common.The sticky tape was actually sandpaper! Etc.
To get a gauge on just how common, we asked around the VICE Australia and New Zealand offices for regrettable stories.
I started a rumour that an anorexic girl in our year level left a massive poo in the year-10 toilets. It was called the "monster poo" and I said she did it because anorexic people ate so much fruit. She heard me telling some cool year 12 girls, one day. I was so broken by it. I wrote her this whole email saying she could make up anything fucked about me, and I would admit to it. She just wrote back: "It's cool, we're still friends." It was the saddest email.
I spiked a kid's water bottle with an entire bottle of fast-acting liquid laxative. Didn't see him for a week afterwards.
Two friends and I made up a realistic dream girl (realistic as in she liked System of a Down, not just "death metal") for our mate, and then added him on MSN. But it got way too real when he kind of fell in love with her, so we made up a story about her moving overseas and her dad banning her from MSN. We ended up telling him the truth when we were drunk, and then he lost his virginity to his stalker.
We had a foreign exchange student at our school from South America and I volunteered to house her (I was an only child). Once she'd been with us for a few days I started telling her that her mother hated her, and that was why she got sent away. She cried and asked to be moved out of our house. Then I started doing it at school, until she suddenly left to go back to South America—ahead of schedule.
A friend and I called up the herpes info line and got a bunch of info packs sent to the homes of girls in our grade we thought were "sluts". We were in year seven, so that pretty much meant girls who wore lipgloss.
I told my friend, after accompanying her to a vet with her guinea pig, that her guinea pig wasn't going to make it (even though it was fine) just to see how she'd react. She cried for days.
My friends and I used to prank call a lot of landlines. One time we got the voicemail of a lovely (in-love) sounding couple. Let's call them Jane and Dave, and I pretended I'd been having an affair with Dave by leaving a long-winded voicemail about our time together. Then left my friend's mobile number for them to call back. They kept calling, and we never answered. Eventually they went to the police as they were so close to getting a divorce, and the husband wanted to prove it was wrong. My friends and I (along with our dads) had to go and face them at the police station, and give them a restaurant voucher to say sorry.
I went to a boys' school with a deeply ingrained culture of bullying. The younger boys used to get it the worst, and I "witnessed" something called "poling" on numerous occasions. Poling is the act of picking up a short boy and placing him on top of a pole and then threading the pole through his shorts and underpants. Once he has been "threaded", his feet are replaced on the ground and he's left there. The only way he can escape the pole is to take off his shorts and underpants to free himself.
In year 10 I went on a French exchange for seven weeks with five other friends. We knew no one at this French school but each other. One of the girls had been trying to stop other people running for school captain, so I decided to launch a vendetta against her: no one in the group was allowed to talk to her for the rest of the trip. The isolation was horrific, from getting seperate hotel rooms, not inviting her out with us to not eating lunch/dinner with her and literally avoiding eye contact.
Me and a friend hid sneaked into our friend Will's house and while no one was looking started blasting the most heinous porn on the computer in his bedroom (he wasn't in there at the time). I remember landing on a hardcore fisting scene that was pretty much a guy punching a butt. His mum went into his room to see what the noise was. Our friend was like, "It's not mine! I don't watch Porn!" Tears ensued as Will pleaded innocent down the halls. We were banned from the house indefinitely.
I told my favourite teacher's son that he would never amount to be anything like his mother.
I was a real asshole to my brother growing up, and he was always so sweet to me. One day I was stapling something in the living room, and I saw he'd left his school shoes out. Without really thinking about it, I just flicked a few staples in each one. I had this vision he'd put them on and shriek like a cartoon cat and it would be a real laugh. He put them on the next morning and didn't say anything, just headed out the door. So the next day I did the same thing. At the time it made total sense to just keep doing it until I got the hilarious reaction I deserved.
Weeks and weeks passed, and one day I heard him talking to my mum. He was having all these knee and hip problems due to chronic foot pain and was so upset because he was a star athlete. It looked like the foot pain was going to derail his whole year and his place as sports captain. I broke in and was like: "Oh no, there's nothing wrong with your feet, I've just been putting staples in your shoes every day for weeks." They were both so angry. I remember my mum yelling at me, "Why would you ever do that? What is your possible motivation?" And just starting back at her like, well, now I think about it, nothing really.
I sent my friend a series of anonymous death threats written with the ink of a broken red biro, so it looked like blood. I don't what possessed me to do it; I am generally not a sociopath.
I moved schools once and a girl I became friends with suddenly started being really mean to me. I wasn't used to not being the most popular person, and I didn't really know how to do deal with a frenemy. I ended up writing down all of the things she had told me (people she hated, boys she liked) in a "diary entry" and stuck it to the school notice board, as if it had come from her. She cried a lot.
I went to a school that backed onto a national park. During cross country we used to hide and capture year eight students, then tape them to trees.