Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Farmhouse, Part 7

Hustled from the farmhouse in the dark of night, our captors drove us back to town. “God, do you pledges stink!” they kept saying. We hadn’t showered in a week. We still had the odor of smoked oysters about us.
We entered the new fraternity house in the quad like skittish, beaten dogs and were ordered to strip. Then we were led, naked and blindfolded through “stations” in the house, where brothers, some of them drunk, some of them intoxicated with the opportunity for sadism, conducted exercises vaguely intended to instill in us trust for our soon-to-be brothers.

Some of these exercises were disgusting, but harmless. Take, for instance, the brick drop. We were ordered to stand on a chair and then handed a string and told to tie it to a certain part of our anatomy. Then we were handed a brick – a rather large and heavy one – and told to lift it upward. As we lifted the brick, it was apparent to us – blindfolded as we were – that the string attached to our anatomical part was also tied to the brick. Then they ordered us to drop the brick.

You can just imagine how fearful we were and how detached from reason were our brains, having been deprived of sleep and nourishment for so long. We dropped the bricks, which thudded to the floor, unaccompanied by any part of our anatomy. We gasped; they laughed.

At one station, we lay on our bellies on the floor and were told not to move. If we moved, we would be beaten. WHACK! A rolled-up magazine struck my back. Chas and Ted must have flinched at the noise. WHACK, WHACK! And then we were pummeled from head to foot. When we left that station, we probably looked as if we had fallen asleep while sunbathing in the nude.

Eventually, it was over, and we were inducted and endowed with all the secret, spooky information of the Skull House, and welcomed as brothers by our tormentors.
I suppose that we were meant now to feel a special bond with these people, one as strong as family, having endured so much. As I stumbled up the stairs toward my room and awaiting bed, I felt relief, but also bitterness and resentment.

We would never again respect those members that had taken such glee in our suffering. We could not see who was beating us with magazines, but we knew them by their voices, and their behavior would not bring them closer to us but rather create a distance that would last forever. Chas and Ted and I vowed that no one in our house should ever be subjected to that kind of hazing again.

And they were not, although we can’t claim all the credit for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Again as a fraternity man myself, I was never subjected to such actions and always opposed them when people suggested them. It was not what fraternity life was to me and for that reason I have nothing but fond memories of my days in college. I am sorry that this happened to you. It was wrong and I fell nothing but disgust for those that would do such things.
Thank you for sharing.