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It was another Saturday morning in the SEC. I was in the middle of pledging my balls off, and as the Pledge Class President, my nards took an extra beating. I had to organize all of the other pledges, get our tent equipment together, text as many girls as possible, get all of the alcohol for the tailgates, and hunt down couches for our tailgate tent, which would always end up being the grimy-ass, cum-stained couches that would look right at home at a crusty gutter punk orgy.
The centerpiece of any fraternity tailgate at the University of South Carolina is the bar. Pledges spend weeks hunting for scrap wood, cutting the wood to shape, planning the construction, and painting and varnishing the final beast. It is usually the single most important pledge task you will complete.
Getting them to the tailgates is a huge bitch. You have a massive bar, broken down into multiple pieces, hanging wildly off the backs of pickups with pledges struggling to hang on, thinking they will somehow stop a 300-pound chunk of wood and screws from getting smashed against the ground at a hard stop. Shit was hilarious to watch. It was not hilarious to do.
There’s nothing quite like the sight of a fraternity tailgate lot in the SEC on a Saturday morning in the fall. Pledges all dressed in tucked-in polos and khakis, running around like absolute fucking retards trying to get their tailgates set up before the drunken brothers bust in like the villains in a bad western movie. This particular morning was no different. Pledge trainers were barking orders at the pledges like owners to disobedient pets. It smelled like an American morning. We were red-eyed, dirt-stained, half alert, and weary from getting our shit hazed the night before.
I had managed to rally together 3/4ths of my pledge class, and we spent the morning working like day laborers, trying to get our tent up before the other fraternities at the tailgate lot so that we could start busting out the liquor and beer for the women to flock to.
It was a typical tailgate for us pledges. Lots of pouring drinks for the actives, lots of Bojangles runs, and the occasional pledge would snag a sympathy blowjob from a woman of questionable rapport in the woods behind our tailgate. The afternoon slowly faded away, and the blue skies began to turn hues of pink, purple, red and orange, as they so often do in the deep south. The actives filed out of the tailgate lot as they did for every home game, making their way to Willy B. Stadium.
Myself, my pledge class vice president, and usually three or four others would stay behind during games to make sure our tailgate setup didn’t get fucked with. The last thing you ever want is a stolen couch or missing tables when the actives get back from a game to afterparty. So, like any good pledge would do, we tried to mitigate the ire that would be directed at us after the game by cleaning up our tailgate and fending off would-be vandals and freeloading geeds.
Unfortunately for us pledges, this game was a loss. As you can imagine, the afterparty was an absolute shit show, and without going into too much detail on its events, we got our shit pushed in until late in the night.
Finally, like a ray of light piercing a very bleak day, we ran out of alcohol. Half the brothers left, and the other half stuck around to belligerently demand that we go on beer runs. Luckily, our pledge trainer waved us off this night. As the garnet and black-clad bodies began to file out of the tailgate lots, I rallied the survivors from my pledge class together, and began to lay out a game plan for breaking down the tailgate.
As the last of the drunken mob left our tent, we began to break down the tailgate, as did the pledges from the other fraternities with their tents. The occasional insult would be tossed between fraternities, and this would almost always start a standoff between the two pledge classes that would get broken up by older brothers yelling at us to get our cheap, dusty asses back to work. All of the couches, tables, and bars were moved outside the perimeter, and we began taking down the legs. As those were removed, we placed the poles in piles near the furnishings. The tent came down, the tent canvas was rolled up, and everything was laid out neatly, ready to be loaded into the beds of trucks and trailers.
At this point, our pledge trainer called our class over to the edge of the forest. We all knew this was not going to be something good. And as we suspected, we spent the next hour or so undergoing typical pledging procedures in a lineup. Interviews, bows-n-toes, cig races, the whole nine yards. The lineup concluded with a demotivational speech by one of the wasted older brothers, and a motivational speech by our pledge trainer. Once we were done, I rallied my tired, wounded and aching pledge class together to give one last push at getting everything loaded, transported and unpacked. At long last, we finished loading everything up, drove it to an active’s house, unpacked it, and all went home.
As I laid my head down on the pillow in my dorm room around 4:30 a.m., I stared at the ceiling for a while, asking my self why the fuck I volunteered to be the Pledge Class President, and how long I could last under this siege of my mental faculties.
I slowly began to doze off, and the warm embrace of sleep finally wrapped its arms around me.
That night was some of the best sleep of my life, and I needed to stock up on good sleep. Next tailgate would set off a chain of events leading to the biggest pile of turd to hit the fan in my pledging career.
To Be Continued….