When school pranks get out of hand
Any former college prankster who matured to adulthood without serving prison time probably cringes to think of the things that he once considered fun.
Not speaking from experience, of course, but I knew these guys in college who did some pretty stupid things.
Granted, they never set any churches afire, as three Birmingham college students are accused of doing.
The Birmingham students said it was a prank that got out of hand. That may be the understatement of the year.
But their claim is possible.
Scientists say the frontal lobes of the typical male doesn't completely develop until he reaches his late 20s. This is the part of the brain used for judgment.
It's the part of the brain that keeps us from saying things like, "Watch this!" as a young man did recently before he jumped off Desoto Falls in DeKalb County.
The pranksters whom I knew in college were a lot of fun, but they basically had no brains.
That might explain what happened on their way back from McDonald's one night. One of them decided it would be a good idea to decorate his dorm room with a 40 mph sign.
Not one person in the car had the brains to protest.
The sign, post and all, came out of the ground fairly easily, or so they said.
But the sign post was longer than they anticipated. Much longer. They lowered the car window, put the sign in the far corner of the back seat and ran the other end of the post several feet out the front passenger-side window.
The driver navigated back to campus on the wrong side of the road so the protruding sign post wouldn't wipe out any mailboxes.
The most recent evidence of brainless boys comes from Huntsville where several high school seniors paid a homeless man to walk the halls pantless between classes.
"We're going to hold their diplomas until they do 100 hours of community service connected to the homeless community," Superintendent Ann Roy Moore told a reporter.
Nothing much about young males should surprise us when their frontal lobes go AWOL.
In the case of the church arson suspects, prosecutors are aiming for long jail sentences while some members of the burned churches are asking for leniency.
The science of young males might weigh in on the side of mercy.