Today I’m going to share a story I like to tell on a first date if a guy asks about my love of pranks (Which I have listed on my dating profile as a favorite activity).
My best friend and former roommate Audrey and I studied abroad in London during the 2012 summer Olympics.
We make a really great pair because she is more “type A” and makes sure any necessary plans we need are all taken care of, but I am more “type B” and ensure enough spontaneity (read: disorganization) to have a fun time. Playing pranks together in college was always a blast because of the ideas and action on my end, and planning ahead to make sure we wouldn’t get ourselves into a bind on her end.
Anyway, I got a tip that they were selling a few official Olympic jackets at the USA House. As I said before, I love pranks and have a mischievous mind, so immediately realized this was a great opportunity. I found Audrey after our classes were over and told her we needed to get on the Tube and head towards South Kensington. I explained my idea on the way, and Audrey was completely up for the prank.
Basically we plotted to purchase these jackets and wear them, along with other Nike gear, to the Olympic Village –a giant outdoor mall where all of the athletes hung out– and see if we could fool people into thinking we were real Olympians. We were lucky enough to snag two jackets in our size, and giggled as we hurried to The Village.
Our excitement grew as we pulled up to The Village, but was quickly stifled when we walked around for ten minutes and nothing happened. After we made a few more laps we concluded that this was not going to work.
Until all of a sudden two little American girls ran up to us with paper and pens asking if they could get our autographs.
We kept our cool, smiled at them, and said, “of course.”
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but people really are like sheep. When they see any sort of crowd gathering, they will follow, whether or not they know what’s going on.
This fully worked to our advantage. As soon as the girls came up to us, others took notice. A line quickly formed to get photos with us, and just kept growing. We ended up having dozens of people waiting in line just to take a picture with us within a matter of minutes. It was crazy!
We got asked questions about our events and sloppily signed our real names when people asked for our autograph. Before we got to The Village Audrey and I had decided that our story was that we were on the USA swim team — she was a diver and I was a swimmer. This was perfect, as I swam through high school and could answer basic questions, and because Audrey is significantly shorter than I am, so there isn’t really any other sport that we both could have played.
The funniest thing to me was that many of these people were going to upload these photos with us to Facebook when they got home. They would come up with captions like, “We met Olympic swimmers today!” and proudly display these photos as a new profile picture — photos of two completely random American girls.
For the most part my dates seem to think this story is pretty entertaining, and I have heard some pretty awesome prank stories from the gentlemen I’ve gone out with as well. I have also realized that I talk about Audrey almost as much as I talk about myself, which is fitting because everyone knows girls come as a package deal with their best friend.
Today’s lesson: You don’t have to work hard to get credit for being an Olympic athlete — you just have to be a convincing enough actress to make people believe you are one.