:’007 License to Prank

“Can my code name be Amphibian?”

Andrew Schein ’07, middle name Ribet, asks Nuriel Moghavem ’07 before the two pranksters devolve into an argument about ancient Greek and Persian history. They try to negotiate an ethnically appropriate code name for Moghavem, but are ultimately unable to decide between Xerxes and Alexander the Great.

The two were part of a four-man team who “pranked” the junior class March 13 by taping paper license plates reading “SNRS007” over those of almost all the cars in the St. Michaels parking lot. Moghavem and a team of three other seniors began brainstorming pranks at the beginning of the school year and settled on the license plate prank in February.

Moghavem and another senior printed the labels the night before. The plan for the morning was to be in and out in five minutes: four rows of cars, four labelers.
“Tape, label, tape, label,” Moghavem said, shuffling to the side and demonstrating his streamlined system.

Sam Alper ’07 and Schein, who were recruited to replace two planners who couldn’t participate due to previous infractions, signed out with Moghavem after third period before driving out in one car. A fourth senior remained in his car with a walkie talkie as lookout.

“I was watching anybody who was walking by, be they students, CJL workers or teachers,” he said.

CJL vans backed in and out of spots, a maintenance worker gathered trash from the front of the lot and two juniors lingered by a trashcan, chatting over their Starbucks coffee.

“There were people walking around,” the lookout said. “And there was one guy walking by the CJL van for a while. When he finally went to the front of the van, I gave them the green light.”

Alper, Moghavem and Schein drove by three times before pulling over on Coldwater and donning their Spiderman masks.

“We also took off the sweatshirts we had been wearing so that we wouldn’t be noticed by the cameras pointing into the lot,” Moghavem said.

Moghavem carried a walkie talkie and was warned of people walking by throughout the operation.

“When basically anyone who wasn’t a senior came by, I told him to stand down,” the lookout said.

Despite the precautions, the team was surprised twice by cars driving into the lot.
“S—t! Car!” Schein yelled the first time and jumped back with Moghavem.

The two crouched between an SUV and a sedan.

“It was such a small space,” Moghavem said. “We were petrified.”

Alper, who was farther away, had to find refuge on his own.

When a car drove down from the Didax house, however, they didn’t escape as easily.
Schein dove behind a car, and Alper ducked behind another, but Moghavem couldn’t escape. He started walking away slowly, but the Spiderman mask and giant sweatshirt in 75 degree weather were too conspicuous.

“Hey, come over here,” the computer services employee said.

Moghavem walked over.

“And tell him to get out.”

Schein rose from between two cars.

The two explained to the driver that it was a harmless senior prank and “after that it was pretty much smooth going,” Moghavem said.

The pranksters labeled all but about 10 cars in the lot, but most of them were taken down by the end of the day.

“Because someone took them down, it was not as huge as we had hoped,” Moghavem said, shrugging.

Smiling, he declined to state if they were planning any more pranks.