The Story Of Roddy Payne: The Legendary Pledge Trainer

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Nice Move


When my ass was a sophomore, I changed the face of fraternity pledge education. I was given the keys to the pledge educator program for my fraternity. I would be “teaching” them, “training” them, and “yelling” at them — so much yelling at them. Every pledge trainer around town wanted a piece of my shit. None of them could do what I did. I was just a man with a mind for excellence and a voice like a fucking lion’s roar. Sometimes when you bring the heat like I do, you get lost in the inferno around you. A true educator, when he’s staring his darkest hour in the face, will do whatever it takes to haze balls. He will fight and fight, because surrender is losing, and losing is for geeds. I ain’t no geed — I’m a fucking legend. This is my story.


I never intended it to be this way. It’s just that I’m a power hungry individual with the scorn of George S. Patton, the mind of a fucking astronaut, and balls as big as your head. When I was growing up, I was always the kid that struck fear into inferior punks. As a member of the varsity football team, I would constantly beat down the younger kids in JV. I didn’t do it because I was a bully — I did it because I saw greatness in them, and the only way I know to bring out the greatness in someone is to push them to their mental limits. I was what the experts call a “natural born leader.” When I talked, they listened. When they fucked up, they knew about it. As I grew older, the intensity within me grew too.

Deciding that football was not the key to my college success, I ventured to a nice humble West Texas university to get an education. Just like the rest of the population of people that didn’t suck, I had joining a fraternity at the top of my list. I was a cocky little shit throughout the whole rush process. I knew I was the man. What I wanted, I got. So when the first day of pledgeship came, my world was rocked. I was just a pawn in our pledge educator’s game.

I spent sleepless nights sitting on walls, mopping the floor with my hair, and enduring some of the most mentally challenging things I had ever been through. One thing remained constant through it all: Derek, our pledge trainer. I hated the motherfucker because he was doing to me what I should’ve been doing to others. But damn it did I respect the shit out of that man. Through his violent, profanity-laced tirades, he taught us a thing or two about how to be men.

It was about halfway through my pledgeship that Derek pulled me aside and told me he saw a lot of himself in me. But my true come to Jesus moment was during hell week. The way Derek yelled with such authority, hazed with such grace and determination, was a thing of beauty. If there ever was a hazing Mona Lisa, Derek had painted that bitch. Watching him ruthlessly yell at Will from across the basement while on bows and toes was like looking in a mirror. I was Derek’s successor. I knew it in my heart. I had one goal, and one goal only, in mind: the Pledge Educator Hall Of Fame. Many have attempted to reach this level, but few have succeeded.

After initiation, things changed. We didn’t have a spring pledge class for me to hone my skills on, so I would have to practice on my intramural teammates. It’s no coincidence that once I took charge of our C-squad basketball team we won three games, which was a hell of an accomplishment given our basketball abilities. I berated our opponents as well. Whatever small insecurity they had, I preyed on it. No one was safe, especially not the refs, which was the main reason I set a record for technical fouls and was permanently banned from the rec center. But that’s neither here nor there.

I kept in close contact with Derek. Still learning the trade, gaining valuable insider information from one of the best educators this town had seen in years. It was after spring break that I decided to let him know my intention of running for the position, given that he was a senior and embarking into the real world the following year. He loved the idea, but warned that I would need to win over some of the actives older than me. Weeks of campaigning myself, which really meant getting violently drunk and throwing beer bottles at strangers, led me to election day.

When it was my turn to present my case, Derek stood up and painted a bleak picture of what pledging would look like if a leader like him was not around. He guaranteed that someone too different than him would turn the pledges soft and that the fraternity would crumble from within. While pulling at the emotional heartstrings of the actives, he said he knew just the guy to do the job. That guy was me. With a resounding applause as he sat down, I knew I had won. I beat the other shmuck handily. And just like that, I was elected pledge educator my sophomore year — something unheard of at the time. I could rest easy now, but first, a celebration was in order.

That celebration lasted long into the night, and even longer into the following day, because a pledge educator doesn’t sleep. He waits. Also, cocaine. See you in a few months, pledges.


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