Hell Ride `95, continued.
Our plan was to block off every possible entrance to Hell as well as we possibly could. We wanted to construct a reinforced concrete wall at the main entrance to Hell with a very strong support structure. Behind that we'd have lots of furniture, possibly a refrigerator, and then finally yet another wall. At the other end of Hell we'd have a wall comprised of essentially a metal chain-linked fence gate sandwiched between plywood and metal sheets, which would be wedged between some steps and the overhanging ceiling, the top angled towards the intruders, the back supported extremely tightly with metal rods and plywood. Behind that, as at the other entrance, we'd have furniture and a second, less formidable, wall. There are other entrances to Hell, though. First of all there are windows. Since Hell is the highest alley of all the houses (hence the irony of its name), the roofs of neighboring alleys come close below some of the windows in Hell. Two of these windows are at doorway-level in relation to the neighboring roofs --thus very serious threats. We decided to block off all the windows, especially the two critical ones, with plywood and metal, supported by beds and mattresses. In one of the rooms we had a 200-lb metal grate wedged against the window by two 15-foot metal poles extending across the room to the opposite wall. Nothing short of a demolition ball would have gotten through that window, in which case it would have been the room's opposite wall to give way. The last and most vulnerable entrance to Hell is via the attic, i.e. "hyperspace". Luckily, owing to Hell' high elevation, Hell has largely its own attic, but still on both sides of the alley there are two-feet openings connecting Hell hyperspace to neighboring hyperspaces. One room in Ricketts House has attic access right into Hell hyperspace, in fact. All these entrances had to be blocked --last year this is where the upperclassmen primarily got through. (Once one has made his way into Hell hyperspace, it is a trivial matter to climb down one of the rooms' attic accesses, putting him in Hell.)
On to nonsecurity matters, we wanted to do this year's Hell Ride with style. In previous years the Hell Ride has degenerated into nothing less than a war between the frosh and the upperclassmen. Typically, the upperclassmen drop into a viscerally frenzied state of mind, willing to break any thing or even anybody to get the Ride out of the air. In the days before the Hell Ride, the house sledgehammers, axes, and power tools would be stolen back and forth between the frosh and the upperclassmen. This year we wanted to be somewhat mature about it. Once the upperclassmen got through our walls, that would be the end of it. No silly, dangerous struggling or fighting. No duct tape. Nothing stupid like locking the door of the room with the power switch (that simply invites a sledge hammer to the door.) Our walls would be strong, and our music would be loud. Period.
I wanted to go for even more style points. My idea was to turn Purgatory --which would otherwise be an empty room save for the relics of construction-- into a neat and comfortable living room. We would have comfortable chairs around a coffee table supporting food, drink, and flowers in a dainty vase; we would hang framed pictures on the walls; and finally we would set out neatly before them the sledgehammers, axes, and power tools they would need to violently destroy our walls and, in consequence, Purgatory's peaceful atmosphere.