So why didn't we think of this? The burning, not the ban. I mean we had lots of cheap couches and most of them did need to be burned for aesthetic if not sanitary reasons. Yet we never put "a want and a need into the deed" so to speak. I suppose it was a failure to achieve the critical "Optimal Prank Nexus". The OPN was a theory of fraternal living that I developed to explain why a group of relatively intelligent young men/older boys would some times come up with absolutely brilliant forms of mischief (such as creating a giant water balloon slingshot out of a soccer goal the better to shell sorority sisters sunbathing behind their privacy fences) while at other times we - I mean they - did the most dumbass things.
Your common variety collegiate prank is trivially easy to produce. All you need to do is throw a few kegs and some high decibel Weezer in the midst of a bunch of college kids. Within minutes the combination will begin emitting a "Seemed Like A Good Idea" field from which all prank mayhem originates.
But the optimal prank only emerges from the fog of a common SLAGI field if several conditions occur at exactly the same time. For example, to come up with the brilliant, high concept prank of couch burning one must have a certain level of excitement underway - say a party or sports victory or even an abortive narcotics sweep by the local gendarmes. Then you need someone with a weak moral sense but a strong eye for fun to be sober enough to generate "the idea". Thirdly, everyone else needs to be sufficiently inebriated so that something like "hey let's burn the furniture!" seems like a swell idea rather than arson but not so pickled that they keep trying to get the couch out the door sideways and failing that decide to "light her where she lies" in the hall.
As you can see it is these minor variations at the nexus of the deed that can turn the "brilliant" into the "dumbass" in the ten minutes it takes the fire trucks to arrive. Although I suppose West Virginia has a higher concentration of the essential nexus variables than most - which makes them particularly fiery prank innovators. Burn Mountaineers Burn