“That tent pole is definitely not at the house,” said the pledge in the truck bed with me.
“I know, I searched the place before we left,” I said.
“Then why the fuck are we driving back there?” he asked.
“We’ve got to buy time so we can figure out what the fuck happened,” I replied.
This seemed to satisfy his line of questioning, and as we stared down the road revealing itself behind us, I racked my brain for answers to what the fuck happened to that tent pole.
The truck screeched to a halt outside the brother’s house where we had stored the tent, and we all hopped out. My pledge brothers looked at me with the faces of 3 year olds that had just heard a sound emanating from their closet.
“What the fuck are we gonna do?” one asked. “We made sure we didn’t leave any poles behind before we left for the tailgate this morning.”
“I know, I know,” I replied, “but we didn’t check to see if we had all the pieces we needed this morning.”
“So? The piece should have been there regardless. We swept the tailgate lot last night. It definitely wasn’t there,” he said.
“Let’s retrace our steps. Think back to last night,” I said. “Right before we had our lineup, we left all the tent pieces out.”
“Ahh fuck,” another pledge brother exclaimed.
“What?” I asked.
“One of the other fraternities must have taken the pole. We left it out for over an hour while we got our balls hazed off. None of the brothers were watching the tent parts ’cause they were all too busy fucking with us.”
We all four broke out in choruses of “motherfucking cock shit FUCK!!!” as we realized the hopelessness of our situation.
“BUT…that means the blame isn’t entirely on us,” I said. “There’s a bright side Let’s get the fuck back to the tailgate and tell the brothers.”
We all hopped back into the truck, newfound determination coursing through our veins. We sped back toward the tailgate lot just as quickly as we had sped out.
When we arrived on the scene, we saw that the tent had been erected without the missing leg part, and that the couches, tables, rugs and bar had been placed under it.
“Well, at least we’re not entirely fucked,” I said.
Just as I said that, my eyes happened across the familiar sight of my pledge brother’s garnet tucked-in polos and khakis, doing up downs on the gravel, under the tutelage of our pledge trainer at the edge of the woods.
We slid to a halt on the gravel around the tailgate tent, sending rocks flying. We all jumped out of the truck in a hurry, and ran in the direction of our pledge trainer, who was enjoying the spectacle with our president.
“I don’t see a pole in your hand,” said my pledge trainer as I ran up, panting. “Get your ass on the gravel and find it, PCP. You’re so fucked.”
“That pole had to have been taken last night,” I said, sucking in air. “Some other fraternity’s pledges must have taken it while we were in our lineup.”
“Motherfuck,” said the president.
As that last sentence escaped my mouth, a thought occurred to me. I suddenly remembered the breakdown of the tailgate before last. My fraternity had bought the most alcohol, and our after party had stretched late into the evening. Thus, our breakdown had occurred much later as well. When we had finally finished breaking down, the lot was completely empty. Every other fraternity had already broken down their tents and left. All that were left were a few cars, and a derelict couch or two. That’s when one of my pledge brothers noticed the jeep of a Pike he had gotten into a fight with at a bar a few weeks ago. He then took the liberty of taking a huge beer shit on the kid’s soft top.
“I think I know who did it!” I exclaimed, and then went on to recount the story of the beer shit and the Pike’s jeep.
“You absolute fucking retards,” The president said. “PCP, you’re with me. The rest of you sorry fucks get your goat asses to the tent and start pouring some drinks for the actives. Fucking degenerates.”
I slinked off like a chastised puppy behind the president as we began making our way toward the Pike tent.
As I trudged onward, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander toward the inevitable confrontation with Pike that would have to take place as pittance for their sins..
To be continued…