The Great Jello Assault


Kids love Jello. Or so we are told. But as a kid, I never “got” it. I saw it as a worthless food-like substance that didn’t taste like it looked, frequently contained hidden fruit, and never satisfied like crunchy chocolate anything.

But later in life I discovered a much different use for the wiggly, stiffened colored water that, to me, always looked more suited for an art installation than a staple at a cafeteria.VerducciHall

I was on the 12th floor of the dorms at San Francisco State, back when college used to be powered by sweating freshman slaves shoveling coal into a furnace to the beat of a giant drum.

My roommate and I had a window that faced out towards the sports fields.  It didn’t take long until we realized that lunatic tennis players liked to get up at the freakin’ crack of dawn and start hitting tennis balls around.

tenniscourtSo before 6am, after a couple of hours of sleep due to, ah, excessive studying . . . we would awaken to “THWOCK, THWOCK, THWOCK!  HA HA GOOD SHOT TRAVIS! THWOCK! THWOCK . . .”

This situation was simply untenable.

So one evening, we loaded up a couple of trays from the Food Center with all the little bowls of multi-colored Jello cubes that no one ever ate, and took them back to our dorm room.

broadsideThe next morning, at the first THWOCK of dawn, we opened our window and launched several volleys of Jello cubes at the unsuspecting tennis idiots below.  Their childish screams as their white shorts turned rainbow colored were like a long snooze button to our ears.

Apparently broadsides of dozens of colorful Jello cubes plummeting to the hard court from 12 floors above, can generate enough impact to alter someone’s serve, as well as correct their sense of time.

We slept better after that.  Thanks to Jello.


This first appeared in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s