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Gallon Smashing: Funny Prank or Wasteful Crime?

By: Laura Paton (lpaton2@uic.edu), section editor for literature & art 

Lately, the internet has been spawning many silly videos and fads, such as the Harlem Shake (which our Section Editor Bolaji Oke-Samuels has written about here) and the Taylor Swift/goat videos (original goat video, Taylor Swift version). But there is yet another funny video that is quickly gaining popularity on YouTube: Gallon Smashing.

I do think gallon smashing is a bit unnecessary. I think there are a thousand other funny pranks someone could do that do not involve smashing a gallon of milk or juice in a grocery store, and potentially endangering other shoppers while doing so.

Gallon Smashing videos, started in Vienna, Virginia by Faysal, Omar, and Zayd Khatib, consists of teenagers holding gallons of liquid (usually milk or juice), while walking through grocery stores aisles and feigning fantastic falls while smashing the gallons on the floor. Most of the bystanders in the videos are taken in by the prank, and who wouldn’t be? The people starring in these videos (which have now gone viral and have been duplicated in other countries) do a good job of pretending to be hurt, and pretending that the entire thing was an accident. It is unclear what the aftermath is of the pranks, as the videos do not show much beyond civilians attempting to help the prankers.

However, is this prank becoming wasteful? Each prank costs a grocery store at least two gallons of beverages, and judging by the videos, this has been attempted at many, many grocery stores. Some think it truly is a wasteful fad, while others dismiss it as a goofy prank done by bored teenagers.

Gallon Smashers can be charged for a crime, as well. One 15-year-old boy in Butte, Montana “was cited with misdemeanor criminal mischief and theft for intentionally destroying two one-gallon cartons of milk in Walmart…” So, while some people may be laughing at these teenagers behind their computer screens, others are facing the consequences of their actions.

I can personally say I did find the gallon smashing prank funny when I was first shown it. In its utter ridiculousness, it’s hard not to laugh. But that could be because of my age – I’m only 20, and as I’m in college and live in the res halls, I am not responsible for buying my own groceries. If I saw this prank live at a grocery store, I’m pretty sure I’d find it hilarious. However, if I was much older and trying to shop for my own groceries in peace, I doubt it would be as funny.

I do think gallon smashing is a bit unnecessary. I think there are a thousand other funny pranks someone could do that do not involve smashing a gallon of milk or juice in a grocery store, and potentially endangering other shoppers while doing so.

What do you think? Have you done a gallon smashing video that you’d like to share? Have you been a victim of gallon smashing and want to share your story? Comment below and let us know what you think!

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