I looked on from the porch as the smoke billowed from the nearby plot of land that, ten minutes prior, had been home to a Hawaiian-themed party build set for the following day. The sirens were getting closer and closer — the fire would be put out soon. I took one last puff of my cigarette, jammed it into the ashtray, and headed back into the house. As I walked in, I overheard my pledge brother, voice filled with fear, ask, “My God, what have I done?”
It started out like any other Friday. No one could’ve guessed how it would end.
My pledge brother, Cheddar, and I made the daily breakfast run for a group of actives who had told us to get them the following: four honey butter chicken biscuits, five bacon, egg, and cheese taquitos, five sausage, egg, and cheese taquitos, four sweet teas, and four orders of fries. After dropping off the goods, I ducked out to get some much needed rest before initiation that night, which was to be one of the most important events in my entire life.
Well, initiation came and went, and I, along with the rest of my pledge class, were now officially brothers. High fives, hugs, and beers awaited all of us. It was an awesome feeling to accomplish the goal of making it through fourteen weeks of pledgeship. Now it was time to rage. The party wasn’t anything special, to be honest, but we had our typical frat rats over and some other prime females. The rum punch was flowing, the beer was cold, and the music was bumping. It was my favorite party from my time as an active simply because of the circumstances, and because I finally had some time to work my game on Katie, a Pi Phi with an ass like a mannequin. I was grinding on that thing all night.
With the party winding down, and Katie and I both shitfaced, I decided to bring up the idea of making one of our patented Greek Row runs where we’d drunkenly walk through the row and see what shit we could fuck up. The majority of these runs we made as pledges were to get letters/benches/anything we could get our hands on. But tonight’s run was different. As we stumbled past Pi Phi’s house, I realized I should be taking a trip to Pound Town with Katie. Deep in thought, my trance was broken when I heard Cheddar exclaim, “Shit! Check out that build.”
There it was, another fraternity’s party build for their annual Hawaiian-themed party. Since their house was backed up to this giant open field, they would normally do their party builds out there. There were two hula huts, a bunch of tiki torches, a stage, and some wooden built coolers. It was truly a sight that would’ve made Jimmy Buffet proud. Our drunk asses though, had other plans — plans to take some of those torches, piss on a few things, and be on our merry way. Unfortunately, Cheddar was smoking a cig. As we scoured through the build, Cheddar took off and waved for all of us to do the same. So, of course, we did.
As we made it around the corner, out of sight from the fraternity’s house and the field, Cheddar slowed down to a walk. I had never seen him run that fast, so I knew something was up. He could hardly get the words out of his mouth but finally said, “I flicked my still-lit cigarette into that hula shit.” We made our way to the upstairs balcony of our house to spot the damage. Who knows? Maybe nothing happened and the site was unharmed.
Boy, were we wrong. The thing was engulfed in smoke and flames, the fraternity members standing outside, some with their hands on their heads in disbelief, others trying to pour buckets of water onto the fiery hell that we created. The hula huts were all but gone from what I could tell. The stage was charred to shit like a poorly cooked steak. The build was ruined. Something that must have taken them weeks to build went up in flames in a matter of seconds.
The fire trucks arrived and quickly put out the fire before it grew to anything more serious. Thank God that a fire station was basically right across from the street Greek Row.
Our pledge president, who was on the run, turned to Cheddar and said, “Arson — that is what you’ve just committed. No one, and I mean NO ONE will ever speak of this again.”.