Among the hacking community, this story is the subject of much debate. This is a story about hazing, which all of us these days disapprove of; on the other hand, it's a pretty impressive story. Sometimes it's told for Orange Tours, sometimes it isn't. Decide for yourself whether you approve.

At MIT, near the West Campus dorms, there is a tennis bubble. This is a funny-looking creation, a building-sized white oval bubble, made of plastic, with regular dents in the side where the ribs are. In fact, it looks a great deal like a giant larva of some insect.

This resemblance was noticed by several residents of Baker House, near the bubble, shortly after its construction in the 1970's. They formed a group they called "LarvNet", whose purpose was to monitor the giant larva and make sure it wasn't getting any closer to Lobby 7 and Main Campus. One evening, after a particularly caffeinated planning session, the members went through Baker House writing "LarvNet is monitoring you" on everyone's whiteboards.

Now, strange writings appearing on whiteboards are hardly uncommon on college campuses, and most of the residents just shrugged and erased it. One young man, however, was extremely offended. He went around complaining bitterly about how some unknown person had written strange things on his whiteboard, and how much this pissed him off. Of course, several members of the newly formed LarvNet were friends of his, and put the message right back up again as soon as it was erased, in order to tease him: "LarvNet is monitoring you". Every time the message went down, it was put back up again, and it turned into a running joke.

It didn't stop there, however. Notes reading "LarvNet is monitoring you" appeared in his notebooks when he went to class, and were slipped under his door. One day, he woke to discover a piece of paper duct taped to the outside of his window reading, of course, "LarvNet is monitoring you". (This would have been less impressive had he not lived on the twelfth story of a sheer building, without even windowsills to hang on to.) Another morning, he woke up to discover that his pillow made funny noises-- there was a note on it that hadn't been there when he went to sleep the night before: "LarvNet is monitoring you."

This went on for several weeks, until one day the young man had a Date. The girl was from Wellesley, had heard nothing about any of the LarvNet nonsense, and he wanted to make a good impression. He made plans to take her to a restaurant deep in Chinatown, where no one would recognize him and nothing at all would come up to bring up LarvNet. When his date arrived, he took her to the T, took the train one stop, got out, walked three blocks, got back into the T, went another stop, and took a taxi to the neighborhood of the restaurant, and then walked the rest of the way, in order to make sure that no one could possible follow him. (His date, of course, was quite bewildered by his paranoid behaviour.)

The meal went very well, and the couple had a very nice time together. At the end of the meal, they called for the check, and it arrived with the inevitable fortune cookies. He opened his cookie, and read the message inside: "LarvNet is monitoring you" and fainted dead away.

You see, the restaurant was owned by the uncle of one of his housemates, and the nephew was in the kitchen that night washing dishes. He'd seen his dormmate come in with his date, and decided that a prank was in order, and talked his uncle into making a very special batch of cookies.

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