[GM]Dave: The College Years 7I am not sure what possessed me to do it. Honestly, I blame decades worth of movies about college life and related hijinks.
[GM]Dave rushed a fraternity.
No, I am not proud of this fact. To this day, I still have no idea how it even occurred to me.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Maybe it was dodging the freshman hazing that did it. Perhaps if I had been dunked in more toilets or forced to run naked across campus, I would have been smart enough to avoid the whole thing.
It's funny... You never imagine getting your head jammed in a toilet being a constructive event.
Then again, maybe you do. You're weird like that.
Anyway, with visions of drinking-related mischief and humiliating the evil dean in my head, I rushed the biggest frat on campus.
For legal reasons, I'm not going to tell you the name of the frat, but I will give you a hint: their name was composed of three Greek letters.
I've said too much.
Now, some people will tell you that fraternity houses don't really look like they do in the movies.
Those people are liars.
This place might as well have been a set for a John Belushi film. There were posters of half naked girls, sports jerseys, and, I kid you not, actual paddles hung on the walls.
Rushing or not, I see someone come at me with a paddle, they were going to be the first person in heaven to show up in a wheelchair. Pearly gates better have a ramp.
One thing you never really got from those movies is just how the place smelled. Each breath was like breathing in years of school spirit and honor.
School spirit and honor smell like sweat and stale beer, by the way.
They herded us, a group of young pledges, into a large common room. As I looked around, I saw a bunch of scared faces and frightened eyes. I pictured myself shaping them into fearless warriors, guiding them through rush week and leaving no man behind.
Or crushing them beneath my boot.
As the senior frat brothers walked in, there was a sudden inhalation of air. The entire room fell instantly silent and the fear was palpable. They were garbed in robes of a dark, flowing material, their faces hidden from view.
Okay... It wasn't so much robes as khakis and polos.
Still, very ominous.
We quickly arranged ourselves into rows.
Actually, they arranged themselves into rows around me. I pretty much just stood there.
I'm not a row kind of guy.
Then the house president raised his hands, calling for silence.
I restrained myself from pointing out that we were already silent.
Then... He spoke.
President>> Hey, everybody.
President>> I want to thank you all for coming out.
President>> Unfortunately, not all of you are going to make it.
A nervous murmur went through the crowd.
I'm not sure why. We all knew not everyone was going to make it. That is the entire premise behind a selection process. People were going to be selected and, therefore, people were not going to be selected.
This was not surprising.
Did these people murmur nervously every week when the ghost on Scooby Doo ended up being the owner of the haunted amusement park?
I was surrounded by idiots.
President>> Let me explain what rush week will involve.
Here it was. This is where he laid bare their horrible plans for us.
President>> There will be an interview process.
President>> You know, to help avoid personality conflicts.
President>> And you'll be required to clean the house.
Here we go.
President>> Along with the other brothers.
President>> We all take part in maintaining our house.
Did I get the wrong house or something? Interviews and cleaning?
Where were the ritualistic beatings and medically questionable activities?
President>> There will be some... More difficult things.
President>> We all take part in campus charities and drives.
President>> You will be expected to volunteer a few hours a week.
I couldn't even believe my ears. Volunteering? Charity?
It took all of my will power not to say something.
[GM]Dave>> What the F&%@?
Note to self: order more will power.
President>> I'm sorry.
President>> Is there a problem?
[GM]Dave>> Your damned straight there is.
President>> Could you please watch the language?
[GM]Dave>> OH, COME ON!
President>> What's wrong?
[GM]Dave>> WHERE'S THE HAZING?!
[GM]Dave>> WHERE'S THE PAIN?!
President>> Oh, we don't do that any more.
President>> It's childish.
[GM]Dave>> THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!
President>> If you won't settle down...
President>> We're going to have to sit down and discuss your concerns.
[GM]Dave>> This is bullshit.
[GM]Dave>> I'm leaving.
President>> Take some pamphlets on your way out.
President>> Charity begins with you.
[GM]Dave>> WHAT THE HELL?!
Honestly, the whole thing just destroyed my vision of college.
I went home, drank myself into a stupor and watched every National Lampoon's movie I could find.
The idea of subjecting myself to that kind of punishment was crazy enough. Just the idea of choosing to be tortured...
But getting accepted into a group based on nothing more than my personality?
That's just bullshit.