By Alex Johnson ’23
Water War, an event so significant it shook The Frederick Gunn School and defined the end of the spring term in 2022. Here, the real untold story of Water War will be told. Not known by many, but Water War broke out across Route 47 in the small hamlet of Memorial Dorm.
Sunday, May 15, 2022, the night of prom at 1:00 AM the prom goers from Memorial returned from post prom with smiles on their faces. The evening’s prom and post-prom casino night were both a huge success, with many students winning prizes. Most of the upperclassmen from Memorial dorm were exhausted, they filed into the dorm talking and laughing but slowly began to prepare for a good night’s sleep after a long day. Most of the boys retreated to their rooms and slept, all but a mere few decided to completely alter the course of FGS history.
It is still unknown who poured the first drop or why but one man poured a bottle of water in front of another dorm mate’s room; soaking the floor, creating a small puddle, and vanishing into the night. With any act of aggression there is always retaliation, and mere minutes after seeing the wet spot, the student who was just attacked retaliated with a bigger water bottle. He marched to the door of whom he thought was the one who first committed this act of aggression. He was incorrect. The bottle was poured at the door of a non-combatant’s room. As a result the domino effect began and the fight for who could pour the most amount of water in front of someone’s door began. Huge jugs of water were filled and dumped and refilled and dumped. For over a week Memorial became an intense warzone. The small dorm consisting of one singular hallway and ten rooms was quickly turned into a swamp. Puddles of water littered the hallway with small islands of leftover chinese food within them. From 8:15 to 3:00 there was a cease fire and the carnage could be seen. The alarm was raised of what was thought to be a massive pipe burst and authorities rushed in, only to realize that the water damage was from a group of immature sophomore and junior boys dumping water on people’s doors. At that point peace talks began and an armistice was agreed upon.
Subsequently, just after the Water War in Memorial, the campus-wide World Water War began. Various groups of students filled water bottles and began jumping random people at random times around campus. These small attacks on the student population led to the creation of two armies, DOA (Dead on Arrival) and Drench Gang. The two belligerents began mobilizing; they recruited, purchased water guns, and water balloons. DOA was a tight organized army where everyone knew who was in it. The Drench Gang however clearly had more followers but it was unclear who was actually a member. Early on in the war DOA had prepared an ambush just outside of the fitness center. They had balloons, guns, and large painters buckets filled with water. DOA was to send bait out to draw them in. Unfortunately, the bait was not taken and DOA was forced to displace and move their army closer to the enemy stationed at Bourne. After preparing for a full on assault just outside of Bourne, DOA realized that Drench Gang was in fact not at Bourne but instead had been in the process of moving to TPACC. DOA jumped on the opportunity and after a brief exchange of fire between the two belligerents, Drench Gang had made it safely to TPACC. Water War was not allowed in buildings so DOA surrounded TPACC and waited until Drench Gang was forced to leave. However during this commotion, Drench Gang sympathizers attacked DOA from the rear, stole water balloons, and threw them at DOA. However, DOA remained unfazed and drew them away. Eventually, after waiting for over an hour, the Drench Gang would not come out from the safety of TPACC. After this long wait DOA became bored and called it a day and went home. The next day the weather was abysmal. The rain was non-stop. However, that did not stop World Water War from stopping. The two armies clashed in the rain, both armies geared up, and heavy artillery was brought in. Trash cans were filled up and dumped on the opposing armies. In this particular battle DOA had taken control of a spigot at the back entrance of Brinsmade. They set up a perimeter and fought any Drench Gang member that attempted to break in and take the Spigot. Drench Gang eventually took the Spigot. Although driven from the prime defensive position with unlimited ammunition, DOA regrouped and counterattacked with full force, completely drenching Drench Gang. After several minutes of fighting both forces lost interest and retreated. The battle of Brinsmade had finished with neither army taking a clear victory.
Over the next few days World Water War died down. However, people still carried water guns on them at all times and you would always see people soaked in water as they would come into the dining hall. Water War was a huge influence during the spring term at FGS. To this day you can visit the hallowed battle grounds around the school. Come spring term this year could World Water War II erupt? Or will there be a proxy war of snowballs? Only time will tell.