Johnny Monsarrat April Fools

Johnny Monsarrat Throws an Elevator Party

December, 1993. It was Kostadis Roussos' birthday! As a stellar member of the Artificial Intelligence Lab, he deserved a birthday party. So I decided to hold one... in the freight elevator of the main computer center at Brown University!

Someone else's elevator party

This wasn't exactly an original idea. (And it's not my photo here. I never got any photos of this event.) As a freshman at MIT, I was taken along to a party in the huge freight elevator in Building 26, and we also took a party to the subway, complete with lights and handing out cookies to amused onlookers.

So for Kostadis, a bunch of us from the Artificial Intelligence robot team I ran put up mural paper on the elevator walls and encouraged people to draw there. A couple of milk crates serve as a makeshift table. We had candles, but were afraid to light them. We had plenty of snack food and drinks all around.

Everyone got into the elevator and it was totally packed! It rode up and down, and whenever the door opens, whomever was about to get on usually jumped with surprise. Some people dug it and ate the snack food. Others stood in the elevator trying to ignore us. Fortunately, there are two elevators, so there was an alternative mode of travel. We weren't exactly blocking traffic.

After 90 minutes or so, enough people had been inconvenienced -- including the grumpy lady from the basement who shouted at me during the balloon prank -- and we took it all down. Happy birthday, Kostadis!