How to Troll Tour Guides

By Laura Lewin | 4/19/17 11:55am

If you’ve stepped outside once in the last few weeks, you may have noticed the absurd number and size of tour groups. I did a little brainstorming and realized that the only memorable tour guides were the ones that could successfully roll with the punches of inappropriate parent questions or fellow students who wanted to spice up the experience of the tour goers as well as their tour guide classmate. These uncomfortable moments inspired a few ways to be purposefully problematic if you feel so inclined:

“The Frospie”

Unfortunately this has nothing to do with frosting. I’m truly sorry. This one is pretty simple though: just assimilate into a tour and ask them sincere questions you know they can’t answer. “Do you know what type of architecture this is? Isn’t Yale all gothic?” “When was this building built?” Once you warm them up and they hate you just the right amount, take it up a few notches: “How much alcohol do you drink?” “How enforced is this hard alcohol ban?” “What does ‘rigor’ mean to you on a personal level?” Your success is measured by how quickly they start to ignore you or ask you to leave.

“The Strike”

All you need is a yoga ball and your own two feet. Run at full force through a high density tour and knock down as many people as you can. Don’t forget that you can try one more time for a spare if the strike doesn't work out.

“The Stick”

If you know the tour route (and you should because they’re all the same), put a nice thicc stick in their way and watch the smiling Dartmouth student walk backwards to their fate. As they scramble to get up, walk by and remind the tour guide to tell the tour about how important trippees are.

“The Hand Hold”

Just walk up to the tour guide with purpose, grab their hand and gaze silently as they spew lies about how Dartmouth students love to work collaboratively in Novack. This would work well with a close friend who’s giving the tour, but probably most effective if the guide is a total stranger.

“The Happy Birthday”

Unoriginal, but a classic. The premise is simple: scream happy birthday to the tour guide and get the entire tour to sing along. I guarantee you every parent will politely wish them a happy birthday in the hopes that it will make a difference in their child’s application.

“The Shotgun”

Run up to them in your crispest pair of salmon shorts, Vineyard Vines button down and don’t lose a boat shoe! Make a nice accessible hole (that's what he/she said) in a soda can of your choosing, and then don't let them say another word until they shotgun it. If they can’t do it in under 10 seconds, make them try again so they don’t leave the tour goers with a #soft reputation.

"The Megaphone"

Stand in the back for the first few minutes, then through the megaphone tell them you can’t hear. Alternatively, repeat everything they’re saying via megaphone. For bonus points, translate it into another language — it’s a much more effective way to learn a language than drill.

“The Pants”

Step one: walk up to them. Step two: pull at pants with slight force in a downward motion. Step three: run.

“The Biggest Fan”

Make a cardboard cutout of the tour guides face and some encouraging posters. Make sure to laminate it — they can be reused and are durable through inclement weather! Let them know how proud you are that they boot and rallied last night! Make sure they know that they barely look hungover at all!

“The Sign”

A Dartmouth twist on the traditional “kick me” sign on their back. This one is mostly up to you and what you know will make the tour guide the right amount of uncomfortable. Some suggestions of mine include “Ask me about AD!” or “Ask me about my favorite study spot (The Boom Boom Lodge).”


Laura Lewin