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When it comes to fall rush, you definitely have your A-Team rushees and your B-Team. The guys on the A-Team are the obvious bids: the politicians’ sons, the star athletes, and all the other high school wunderkinds who everyone in your chapter knows will go on to do great things. If these kids were movie stars, they would be the Brad Pitts and the Leonardo DiCaprios.
The B-Team is different. Their parents aren’t famous or rich, but these kids typically know that they aren’t royalty and that they will actually have to work to impress enough guys in your chapter to swing the vote, which shouldn’t be hard because they are quality guys. Continuing the celebrity metaphor, these guys would be the Ty Burells or the Peter Dinklages; they’re excellent TV actors, but they’re still TV actors.
This column isn’t about those guys. This column is about the Danny Devitos and the Steve Buscemis–the really weird kids. There are going to be a lot of them during rush this fall, and there are many ways to deal with them. You can bid them all and see who makes it through pledging, Army Ranger style; you can bid none of them and shoot for a star-studded pledge class akin to the 2012 Olympic basketball team; or you can bid a few of them–the ones who show the most promise–and hope that they round out the pledge class, like all of the members of Danny Ocean’s crew who aren’t Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, or George Clooney.
Here are the six types of weird kids that will likely rush your fraternity this fall.
1. The Goofball
I start this list with the goofball because I was once a goofball. Any woman or employer who’s ever stalked my Facebook knows that my entire freshman year could be considered a mistake in more ways that it could be considered a success. I grew out flow even though I was an offensive lineman, I wore way too many graphic tees complemented with cargo shorts, and I still posted song lyrics from time to time. To put it short, I looked like
a raging GDI a mess.
I still got a bid though, and you should seriously consider giving all goofballs a bid because they only look funky on the outside. As dumb as I may have looked, I was a good student. I was also pulling upperclassman chicks at parties. The guy who would eventually be my big brother saw this, fought for me, and here I am today. Thanks, Buck.
2. The Loser
Unlike the goofball, the loser is funky on the inside, not on the outside. There are things about his personality that just make people not want to be around him. The variance between losers is huge. The kid who took too much TFM to heart in high school and became a 17-year-old Sperrys-wearing douchebag can be be just as much of a loser as the virgin band geek who can’t get pussy because “girls only like assholes.”
Losers can be really dangerous for a fraternity because they don’t accept responsibility for their own situations, and therefore, can’t change. I imagine a pledge process that forces pledges to be really introspective could possibly cause one of these kids to come around, but I’ve never seen it done, and I’m not exactly willing to try. Proceed with caution.
3. The Fish Out Of Water
This kid is only weird in the sense that he looks out of place. Maybe you go to an urban college and this kid is 110 percent country all the time, or maybe your school is surrounded by corn fields for miles around, but this kid is street. This is the type of kid who looks like he would fit into any setting that isn’t the current one he’s in, as if George Costanza was Heisenberg. It just doesn’t make sense.
However, if you can imagine how funny George Costanza being “the one who knocks” would be, you can see the benefit of having the fish out of water in your fraternity. The only real thing that you should look at is whether or not he is legitimate. If you go to school in California and this kid is waving Confederate flags even though he comes from Indiana, boot his ass. Same thing if you go to school down south and the kid is Mr. Baggy Jeans and Bling, and is also from Indiana.
What I’m trying to say is that if you’re at a school anywhere besides the midwest and the kid comes from Indiana, he better act like it…which is acting midwest I guess, with our silver-medal winning hospitality, general agreeableness, and love of deep-dish pizza.
4. The Drug Kid
This kid smokes pot. Lots of pot. He knows where to get it, he probably sells it to his buddies, and his knowledge of smoking apparatuses is unparalleled. He also probably does molly, acid, and/or ecstasy when he goes to summer weekend concerts like Coachella, Lollapalooza, or really anything that doesn’t sound like it’s a word. But he’ll smoke you down for free, and that’s pretty cool.
Kids like these are like firearms. It’s awesome to have one or two and to know how to use them, but if you have more than is necessary, you will start to look like the stoner frat, which will attract more stoner kids, and then alumni won’t give you money, and you’ll eventually be forced to start growing in the house to pay the cook. That will get you guys a nice visit from the DEA, which will, at best, result in your chapter’s charter getting run through a shredder. You don’t want any of that. Only have one or two.
5. The Idiot Savant
There are kids out there who get it. They know what to say and when to say it. This kid isn’t one of those kids. He has a Michael J. Fox-like grasp on human interaction, and somehow, he can always outdo his previous effort to look like a total dumbass. However–this is the kid’s draw–he can do one thing really, really well. Maybe he’s a step below functional, but he is always hanging out with smokeshows or he somehow always makes a clean getaway with better loot after raiding a rival house. He’s like your fraternity’s own personal Rain Man.
This kid’s usefulness can vary. Typically, if he’s rolling with dimes, you want this kid around because you want them around. If he’s a klepto, then you might want to think twice. We had a kid like this who really turned around and became a great guy in the fraternity. I’d take the chance.
6. The Trap Lord
This kid knows every song there is to know by every DJ you’ve never heard of. He knows which song will get the party popping in any situation. His personal idol is RiFF RAFF, and he doesn’t take shit from anybody because of it. If this kid was a song, he would be the first 30 seconds of Bauer’s “Harlem Shake,” back when it was cool to make a dumb video with your buddies.
This kid has lots and lots of quirks that aren’t really negatives. He won’t contribute much from an administrative angle, but this kid will be the life of the party. Bid.