A school district near my town had to collect and "fix" every single yearbook before its release this year because of a problem with one picture. If you look carefully at the photo above, you can guess what the problem was.
The young man in white bragged about his prank, and news got around. If he had kept his mouth shut (unlike his fly), no school advisor would have been the wiser until it was too late.
Here's another yearbook prank, caught last month in Georgia.
This was done by a girl who obviously knows her way around the Periodic Table. Translated, the message is as follows:
Also this year, a girl on the yearbook staff in Marysville, Calif., made 175 changes to that district's book just before it went to press. She swapped pictures and substituted crude terms -- "Virgina" instead of "Virginia" and so on -- for the correct ones.
She thought she had pulled off a great prank. People in Marysville sound pretty angry with her.
Yearbook pranking seems to have become a high school sport. Most pranks are verbal, and most seem to be found in the quotes seniors submit with their photos. A few I found on the internet:
"Waking up is the second hardest thing in the morning."
"No, I don't want a quote under my picture."
"I will miss the friends that I have made and the memories we shared along with the teachers I have boned with over the years."
There are approximately a jillion more of these. You can look them up if you like, but I imagine most of my readers would prefer not to do so.
Everything is Animal House these days.
American newspapers and magazines have shed -- what? -- 50 or 60 percent of their journalists over the last 20 years. Maybe more.
A certain number of those people were copy editors.
Copy editors are precious improvers of written product. They brook no misplaced commas or misspelled words, no sly puns or run-on sentences.
Think of the hawk who, perched on a football goalpost, can spot a mouse in the grass at the far end of the field. That's a copy editor.
I see a market opportunity for a band of proven copy editors to hire themselves out for final proofreadings of high school yearbooks. Self-styled pranksters would find themselves handily overmatched.