Who's That Naked Guy?
Surviving The Quintessential Fraternity Prank
People often ask me what the most outrageous thing was that ever happened to me in my long and illustrious fraternity career. I always tell them this story.
Psi Phi has a long-standing tradition every spring called "Junior/Senior Wars." It basically means that graduating seniors start getting really cocky and the rest of the house cops an attitude about it. It all revolves around "Senior Breakfast," a gin & juice breakfast party that the junior members are required by tradition to hold in honor of the graduating seniors. Until such a time as the junior members fulfill their responsibility, it's open season on juniors as far as the seniors are concerned. Retaliation on the part of the juniors is expected. It all builds up in a complex and suspenseful period of brinkmanship until the juniors finally relent (or get their shit together) and produce Senior Breakfast.
Different years experience different degrees of the escalation of hostility depending primarily on how cocky the seniors are that particular year. I had the distinct pleasure of graduating with a number of extremely cocky members. I figured my best chances were to keep a low profile. I was never exempt from jeers in the student union, but I was reasonably safe from any bodily harm on the grounds that I never actually participated first-hand in any of the attacks perpetrated on the juniors this particular semester. Still, it was not considered wise to find oneself without the company of other senior members.
Alone is exactly what I found myself during a St. Patrick's day porch party. It was a gorgeous day. Weather on St. Pat's day in Potsdam is always a crap shoot. You can have a cold, driving snow, or you can have sunshine and 70 degree weather. This year was the latter. We were all hanging out in the cool sunshine on the Zeta front porch drinking green keg bear. All of a sudden I realized that there wasn't another senior in sight. Every single Psi Phi brother on the porch except me was a junior member. The only thing I had going for me was that none of the juniors had yet noticed.
I was in extreme peril. This was no ordinary party. Zeta throws THE porch party on St. Pat's day, which is THE social event of the springtime in Potsdam. And here I was in grave jeopardy. I had nothing to protect me but the juniors' own dimwittedness.
Despite the fact that adrenaline was now coursing through my veins, I totally kept my cool. I knew that any sudden movements would startle them, perhaps into recognition. I was going to casually turn to the railing as if to enjoy the weather, and then suddenly leap to freedom and run for my very life. Before I even set my beer down, however, one of the juniors suddenly realized the situation I was in. "Hey, Toaph's a SENIOR! Grab him! He's unprotected!!"
Before I could make my escape I was pounced upon. They carefully took my beer away from me (my only weapon), and a big guy named Lurch grabbed my arms from behind. They weren't really sure what to do with me, but it all started with keeping me captive. Eventually they sent Pud to go get his car. Pud drove an early 80's full sized Chevrolet sedan that his parents let him take. This was an ironic choice, as Pud, or rather his car, had been the victim of an attack earlier that semester when someone plugged his horn lead into his break light switch. Every time he touched the brakes the horn blasted.
At this point there wasn't much for me to do but wait for the car to get there and stew on what they could dream up for me. These things are all in fun, but they can get pretty extreme. And with the degree to which my fellow seniors had been stirring things up, I knew that the stakes were high. I could just imagine the juniors serving up poor old pacifist Toaph as a sacrificial statement of their defiance.
After a while as everyone was waiting for Pud to get back with the car, I realized that people had spread out. The only guys left in my immediate vicinity were Lurch who was holding my arms, and a particularly obnoxious junior named Gomer. I knew that escape was impossible, but I wasn't going to go without some kind of a struggle. Gomer was giving me all this shit, "Hee hee, you cocky senior! Your not so cocky now, are ya? Were gonna fuck you up goooood..."
He was standing there with no one around him, and he had a full beer held leisurely at chest height. This was my graduating semester, and I had to catch up on some phys ed credits in order to meet my qualifications. One of the sports I chose was karate. I didn't know any good moves, but my leg muscles were pretty limber and I wasn't bad at some of the defensive kicks. So I planted my eye on that beer under Gomer's face and with my arms still pinned behind my back lay into a crescent kick prettier than any I'd ever done in class. It was the fist time I ever went for a target, and I hit it 100%. Gomer's entire beer was now dripping off his eyebrows and out his nostrils. This stunt could have made things much worse for me, but I was counting on the hope that the rest of the juniors shared my apathy for Gomer's woes. I know that Lurch was laughing.
Before Gomer could think of anything to do about it Pud came by with the car before any seniors happened to come to my rescue. Of course he pulled up directly in front of the house and the entire party. As they tried to move me I went limp, but they lifted me and carried me through the entire party and out to the car. They tossed me in the floor of the back seat and climbed in on top of me. Lurch got in on the side of the car my head was in and managed to put the bottom of his boot right over my open, screaming mouth. I can still taste the sand and rock salt.
"What should we do with him?" they murmured as Pud sped off. Tide, a cute but hard nosed ROTC guy, said, "Let's strip him to his skivvies and drop him off at Phi K. Now it was time to take things seriously. Phi K was our sister sorority, and their house was about a half mile from ours. I did whatever I could think of to keep them from getting my clothes. My shoes and socks were the first to go.
They had my pants undone next. I tried bending my knees to keep the fabric from passing, but it was no use. Tide was saying, "Nope. Nope, Toaph, you're not going to be able to stop us. You might as well not bother" I was somewhat successful keeping my shirt on, but it was only a matter of time before they had my jeans. I made some remark about, "I hope you homos are getting your jollies!" After a while they had my top bare too. There was just one layer of cotton between me and the whole world.
At least I was wearing sexy underwear at the time. Actually it was the favorite pair of underwear I had. It was a navy brief with no fly. It was Speedo brand name underwear. I've never seen any Speedo underwear products before or since. I didn't even know where this pair originally came from. I found them in the shower room at the house one day, and not having any sexy underwear of my own I secretly tossed them in my laundry and started wearing them on special occasions.
And here I was on this special occasion, held captive on the floor of Pud's car on my way to Phi K in my underwear. When we got there they pulled me out of the car and held my pale body prone on extended arms overhead as they marched up to the front door. After a little pounding they realized that all the girls were out partying on St. Pat's day and the house was locked up tight.
"What should we do now?" one of them asked. For a moment I thought I might actually be safe, but the next thing I knew they had yanked my underwear off and were carrying me back to the street bare ass naked. Their plan, it turned out, was to parade my naked body, face up mind you, to Omega and leave me there. Omega was a couple blocks up the same street. It's about the closest thing to a Fraternity Row that Potsdam had to offer. Of course they walked me right down the middle of the street in the broad daylight.
It was a bit of a hike from Phi K to Omega. Actually most everyone was either at Zeta or the bars on the downtown strip and there weren't really anyone on this side of town to see us. Soon the conversation got kind of casual as they strolled along with my naked body held above them in the bright sunshine. I suppose it would have been relatively easy to break free at this point, but it seemed that naked inside Omega was still preferable to naked in the middle of the street. All I was thinking at the time was, "God, I hope I don't get an erection!"
When we finally got to Omega all the guys had to do was navigate a snow bank between the curb and the sidewalk. Of course in their drunken stupor and a bit fatigued from carrying me two blocks it was more than they could handle. Very soon I felt myself going over. Fortunately Tide, the honorable soldier, sacrificed his clothed body so that my bare skin would be spared. He fell backwards onto the snow bank and allowed my body to rest on top of his. If only I realized at the time what I would give later in life to find myself lying naked on top of a cute ROTC guy. But then I *was* trying to keep from getting an erection at the time.
They got me back up off Tide and took me up on the front porch. I don't know if I was wishing it would be open or locked. It was open. They burst inside the house loudly announcing our arrival. "Hello! Psi Phi nude-o-gram to Omega!! Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Here's your naked guy! Happy St. Patrick's Day!!" The few women around scurried like scared mice. The guys dropped my bare ass on the middle of the dining room table and walked back out laughing and hollering. They got in the car and sped off.
I sat there for a moment. Things were very peaceful . I kind of thought, "Okay, now what happens?" I was still kind of worrying about getting an erection, but I pretty much figured that if it hadn't happened by now that it probably wouldn't. Still, my options were limited.
I wound up calling out for help. My baritone voice boomed out "Do you suppose someone could at least toss me a towel?" Soon a girl walked quickly in one door and out another, tossing a towel to me as she passed without her eyes ever landing on me. She was the pinned girlfriend of the biggest and baddest of all the Psi Phi seniors. This was the first thing that had gone my way since I nailed the beer all over Gomer.
With the towel around my waist I went up to her room and she showed me options of what I could borrow to wear home. I wound up with a pair of girls' lavender and light-blue striped silk running shorts, and one of her monster boyfriend's thermal undershirts. She offered me a pair of flip flops to wear back, but I decided to brave it. I was out the door and scurrying home before I had time to think about how I'd bare being seen like this.
The first thing I realized after I was on my way was that I should have taken the flip flops. Although it was a warm, sunny day, there was still ice and freezing water all over the sidewalks. My feet were so cold they hurt. But if anything it served to take my mind off my embarrassment. I seem to remember getting a cat-call or two, but soon I was back at my own house without major incident.
As I showered and dressed I reflected on what had just transpired. In all I found it to be a very positive experience. Fraternity life is all about having experiences. It's about doing things that you've never done before and will probably never do again. I was now one of the elite few who could boast to having actually survived the quintessential fraternity prank. The one thing I regretted was that I never saw that pair of Speedo briefs again. They were last reported seen flapping in the wind atop Tide's head as he leaned out of Pud's car speeding past the porch party from which I had originally been abducted. Guys, thanks for the memories!