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Duke University and the University of North Carolina have taken over the frat bench game. The frat bench pictured above sits in front of the Delta Sigma Phi house at Duke, and on it, my friend, who was thoughtful enough to give me the lead on these front yard thrones of fraternal ingenuity. Look at these monsters — solid, stable construction with meticulous paint jobs to match. They’re built for speed and comfort.
I found out about these today. My aforementioned buddy is visiting North Carolina to attend the NCAA Division II College Baseball World Series. He shot me a text this afternoon with the above photo attached and asked me if: 1) my fraternity had one of these, and 2) if I was even aware they were a thing. I answered ‘no’ to both, truthfully and shamefully. He went on to explain that while in Chapel Hill on the UNC campus was when he began noticing the bench trend. Then, upon his arrival in Durham to take in the home of the Dukies, he realized all of Tobacco Road was a frat bench haven. They were everywhere, and all were impressive.
Every fraternity had one, at least all the reputable ones, according to him. Simply put, if you’re going to have a fraternity house lawn on Tobacco Road, and you want respect from your Greek brethren, you best occupy that lawn by one of these well-crafted frat benches.
They all appear to have basically the same design, a design I’d gladly give my personal stamp of approval if given the task. The upper portion, the part where you do the sitting, is tilted back about ten to fifteen “fuck you” degrees from the norm for optimum frat lean capabilities. Because of this feature, the fuckless casual vibe is actually built right into the bench. You literally have to actively force yourself to sit upright and attentive in order to thwart the carefree attitude this bench embodies. Pretty ingenious.
Under the sitting platform and back lays an attached flooring, for lack of a better term, for those days when your boat shoes deserve the proper respect of not touching grass or soil while sitting down and taking in the sights and sounds that your campus has to offer that day. Finally, and the money feature of the Tobacco Road frat bench, is the bench-length, perfectly-elevated foot pedestal that is attached. Because when hanging out in the front lawn of your fraternity house with a couple buds on a sunny day, with a cooler of cold beers at your side, some man thigh gratuitously showing and some Corey Smith coming through the open windows of the house doesn’t adequately set the casual mood to the opposite sexed passerby, the one leg propped up on a pedestal with the other crossing it will achieve the perfect laissez-faire tone you seek.
Lastly, there are no armrests. Those could hinder one’s ability to frat point at a passing coed.
I love these things, but I need to know if they are common in other parts of the country. Does your school feature them? Do you know of any others that do? Do you have a pledge project lined up for your fall pledges yet? No? Boom. Frat bench. For when just sitting isn’t enough.