Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frat Life 101: I'm Not Even In School!

While in college in November, 1986 I joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard for two reasons. The first was so that I would receive a bonus and I would receive money for college. The second was so that I would have a little bit of money coming in each month. In order to receive my bonus I had to complete Basic training as well as my Advanced Individual Training (AIT) so with that in mind I elected to attend them consecutively instead of doing Basic Training in the summer and AIT in the following years summer. Ironically, after completing both courses I decided that I did not want to return to college because NSU didn't offer anything that I really felt spoke to me as to what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Not that I know any better at this point in my life either.

After returning from training I was at my fathers rented house in Tulsa, when I thought that I would go to NSU and spend some time with my brothers while I decided what to do with my life. At that point anything was possible for me and I guess that I thought that if I were around them then besides being happy maybe it would help me decide if there was a chance that I would go back to school. Let's face it, I wasn't exactly a stellar student. Not that I was stupid or anything like that, it's just that going to class and learning what they offered bored me and I just wasn't interested in it anymore. Still, my friends were important to me and I wanted to be around them before the hard realities of life settled on my shoulders like The Iron Sheik did when he put you in a Camel Clutch (for those that aren't familiar that's old professional wrestling lingo).

It was the beginning of November and my birthday was about two weeks away when on one fateful evening I decided to attend the weekly fraternity meeting held at the student center on NSU. Afterwards as I was walking and talking with my best friend in my life and little brother in Sig Tau (Tommy) we took the elevator down to the ground floor. As we departed from said elevator I immediately knew that something was wrong because I was suddenly surrounded by pledges. I tried a lame excuse about forgetting something upstairs but they didn't buy it and quickly grabbed me. I had no recourse but to resist in any way possible which was short lived as I was outnumbered and because none of my so called brothers deigned to assist me. As they lifted me over their heads and started to carry me towards the front door I unleashed a torrent of curse words some of which I had learned in my military training and others in the fraternity. The faces of the students passing by were a mix of horror at the expletives that were gushing from my mouth and bewilderment as to just what was going on.

Try to get a mental picture of a skinny guy being carried over a group of peoples heads as they march him to the front doors cursing like a sailor as a group of my brothers followed along laughing. We moved right past the door to the President of the University's office (which was thankfully empty) to the two sets of front doors. I tried everything I could including putting my feet on the sides of the doors and grabbing them but was unable to halt the pledges advance and shortly afterward we were in front of the building where they had to set me down in order to get me into a car. It was at this moment that I realized as one pledge held each of my arms that I had a prime chance at attempting my escape if I were willing to simply drop my hands and do the old double ball squeeze, which would also eliminate two pledges from being able to chase after me. However, since this was being done in the spirit of fun and my pledge class had done far worse to the members in our time I decided not to do anything that would injure anyone and merely resisted their attempts at putting me into the car as best I could. Plus I was afraid of what they would do to me if they caught me.

Their attempts were better than my resistance and soon we were on our way to the river accompanied by many of the members as well as the pledges. It didn't seem to matter to them that I WASN'T EVEN IN SCHOOL and that it would better serve them to get an active member but they weren't buying it. Once there I was told to get out of the car to which I responded with something like "Get me out of the car, I'm not doing your job for you." It was my intention that they work for this as much as I could make them before I ended up giving in to the inevitable. That of course came rather quickly once one of them got ahold of my right arm and gave it a sharp Aikido like twist followed by my rapid acquiescence.

Being the kind of person that I am I decided that I would not resist any further and that I would enter the river of my own volition thereby ensuring that I would have dry clothes for when I came out of the water. That's right, I decided to strip down and go in buck naked which I think shocked them a bit. Maybe because that sort of thing was extremely out of character for me but more likely it was because they saw my pale butt. At least I had the excuse of shrinkage if anyone ever decided to question my size or lack thereof. Plus to me it allowed me to regain some of my manly pride by going in under my own power instead of being thrown in. See, I CHOSE to go in. At least that's what I fooled myself into thinking. Now, it wasn't the coldest water that I've ever been in during my life but I have to say that it came pretty close however at least I did have my dry clothes to put back on. As a result of all of the conditions though I did catch a rather nasty cold.

I made the pledges abide by all of the rules even though I didn't smoke then (or now) and didn't exactly want a beer at that moment. I wasn't about to let them have it any easier than it had already been. We drove back to the house and shared a lot of laughs mainly due to my nudity and I tried to goad the pledges into getting an active member and extend the fun but they were through with their shenanigans. Soon their pledgeship would be over and I myself would be moving back to my home state of Ohio before ultimately going active duty in the Army and those days would be long gone and over with for me and everyone else involved. You see, the chapter folded a few years later and was all but forgotten except for those lucky few like me who will never let it completely fade away into obscurity. After all, that's the purpose of this blog.

I'll continue the water theme (sort of) very soon.

Published by Don Leach

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