Sunday, May 20, 2007

So Funny

I miss college. Don't you?

When I first moved into the dorms, my mama gave me a lecture that I remember now so fondly. She said that this is such a good time in my life, when I have so few responsiblilities. Your only job is to study. That's it. Study and take care of yourself. After college you have to get a job, and you have to worry about money and raising a family and all kinds of things, but in college all you have to do is study. You're so lucky, she told me.

I don't roll my eyes at my mama, but I didn't fully understand what she was saying at the time. She was so right. I wish I could go back to college now, and do it over again with the understanding this time that my only job is to study. All that 'experimenting with independence' stuff that seems so obligatory in college looks like total bullshit in retrospect.

Not that I did a whole lot of 'experimenting with independence.' Just learning how to stay afloat in a mostly white world was hard enough for me... experimenting was a waste of time and money.

A lot of people seem surprised that I was in a white fraternity in college. I wanted to save my parents some money, be part of a social scene, and frankly, I had a streak of fascism and conformity that still needed to be spent. I spent the peak of the Grunge Era in Seattle's UDistrict.

I was an officer in the fraternity by my sophomore year, and I wielded the gavel like a weapon. I learned a lot about white people, especially dudes. For a while, that was my job, and studying was something I did on the side. Stupid. Four years goes by so fast, and there is so much to learn about in the classroom.

Oh well.

Some of the awsome house culture we had was whenever we took a vote, people had to say "Nay" or "Aye," we'd say "Aye" and somebody would say "pendejo." Cracks me up every time.

I also had a game called "Put stuff on the floor." I would get a bunch of guys together, and we'd all go into Malane's room, take stuff off the shelves, desks, etc., and put them on the floor of of his room. He HATED it. We would just smile cheerfully and explain we were putting stuff on the floor! It's a game!

After we had done this to him a number of times, he had a carefrontation with me. I hate it when you play 'put stuff on the ground!'

me: Malane, it's not called "Put stuff on the ground." It's called "Put stuff on the FLOOR." And you like it when we do that, remember?


me: (smiling cheerfully) Come on, Malane, yes you do.

him: NO DON'T DO IT ANYMORE. Last time you guys did that, I was missing two... things.

me: Malane, we didn't take anything, we just put it all on the floor!


me: Oh? What are you missing, Malane? Two... things?

Then Malane stomped of in frustration. He was a stomper.

We also used to answer any "where" question with "up your butt." So, the answer to "Where are my keys?" would invariably be "up your butt." So funny!

Here's how it would go:

a: I'm going to kill Malane!

b: Why?

a: He told me he was going to finish my dish duty!

b: Oh yah, he said he'd be right back...

a: Well where the hell did he go?

b: . . . up your butt.

a: d'oh!

Pure comedy! We would do this when speaking Spanish as well... "... en tu culo." French was the best though, because the best translation we could come up with was "il a grimpé dans ton cul," which means "it has climbed into your ass." Subject, verb... it's a complete sentence, so much more satisfying!

The best part was when I came back after a quarter in France, Swabbie asked me where something was.... of course I answered "...up your butt." And he yelled OH NO. NO. When you went to France, everybody stopped saying that. We are NOT saying that anymore, that shit is OVER.

Within just a couple days of Swabbie's admonition, the entire house was back to saying it again, especially to Swabbie.

Sigh. I miss torturing those guys.


J in LA said...

JP in a frat? Don't think I knew that. Hilarious stories. I was a little sis in a frat, and the guys used to blend up one of their bro's goldfish, and pour it back in the bowl. Way worse than Put Stuff On the Floor....which i can totally see making that guy crazy. But in a frat, stuff is usually already on the floor. Sigh. I miss college. And grad school...

Chadwick said...

Did white fraternity life really teach you that much about "white culture," or was it really "white fraternity culture?"

john patrick said...


Either way, there's so much to learn....

Just a couple Christmases ago, I learned about the custom of making "Christmas cookies." Who knew!