In 1977, I was a first year student living in Gate House in the Men’s Residence at Vic. One evening in early December, I was walking back to Gate House from Burwash after dinner. A light snowfall covered the Quad in front of the House. As I approached the front door, I saw two of my fellow Gaters on their hands and knees in the Quad in front of the House, sifting through the snow with their hands, obviously searching for something. I asked them what they were doing, and they said they had lost their house keys in the snow.
“Both of you!” I exclaimed…and then I made a disparaging remark about their respective mental capacity which they simply ignored. I then reached the door of Gate House, and placed my own key in the lock—at which point a sudden and more than slightly painful shock ran up my arm to about my elbow. My hand flew back out of the door and I caught a glimpse of my house key flying over my shoulder in the fading light in the direction of the snowy Quad. Seconds later I heard a distinctive gleeful laugh and the door opened to reveal an engineering student who lived in Gate House. He had rigged a fairly large battery to the inside of the door lock such that the insertion of a key resulted in a shocking welcome to his fellow residents. (I’ve omitted the names of Rob Stewart and Graeme Allison so as not to embarrass them; and Chris Sherratt so as not to encourage him.)
With chagrin, I proceeded into the Quad to join my two housemates on hands and knees to look for my keys. A few minutes later, another housemate wandered out of Burwash towards the front door of Gate House, and asked us what we were doing. “Looking for our keys”, we harmonized…smiling with anticipation.
Submitted by Shane A. Kelford VIC 8T1