Stealing Bicycles

When I was in college, I had a professor who had been in the military before going into academia. He had a long, rectangular hole cut in a large ammo box and then chained the locked box to the wall in the break room. This box was where we were supposed to turn in homework, and the TA would come in to pick it up at the due date and time.

One day, a classmate of mine was unable to complete a homework assignment because his young daughter was very sick and going to the hospital. He hurriedly shoved what little he’d done into the box and ran out the door to be with his family.

The rest of us, slogging dutifully through fluid mechanics, looked to the box.

“He’s a good guy – why should his daughter being sick screw him over?” Tibs asked.

“This isn’t right.”  Big B, ungratefully sober at the time, crossed his arms.  “Can’t let the prof flunk him for that.”

“We could do his homework for him,” I offered, “But they’d catch us since it’d be in our handwriting.”

Tibs lit up, clicked his fingers, and announced, “We don’t have to do his homework – we just have to convince the TA to cheat a little for us…”

So we wrote him this note:

TA note

For those who can’t load images:

Dear TA,

I have your cat/child/dog/significant other/car bike.  If you ever want to see them again, you must pay me in full with a 100 on this Homework.

Thanks, <REDACTED>

<Whited out stuff>

P.S. I know where you live:


In the middle of writing this note, we found out that the TA didn’t have a cat, dog, significant other, or car.  Instead, he rode a bicycle around everywhere – hence the strikethrough.

Under the whiteout was “Tibs and H.R.R. on behalf of <Redacted name of student with daughter>.”  Big B had decided that was too much, so in an attempt to copy some of the professor’s strange antics, whited it all out and just put the screwed student’s name.

We found the TA’s home address (!?!) on the university’s website, added the final threat, and shoved it in the ammo box.

The TA evidently found it hilarious, and I gather actually gave the poor man a couple pity points on the homework when he found out what had happened.


Though it didn’t quite fit the prompt, I was reminded of this event and inspired to write it down by the Purpl Dragon Prompt 315.

3 thoughts on “Stealing Bicycles

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