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Vow of Silence

Brothers,

You know that I like to have a good time. I like to “come out to the coast, get together, have a few laughs” as it were. But today I want to talk to you about a troubling trend that I have noticed within the fraternity community. If you’re any kind of man, you’ve surely seen your fair share of mafia movies. Now whatever real mafia guys may get wrong (sweatsuits, gold chains, taste in women who wear leopard print), they really struck brotherhood gold when they came up with Omerta.

Now for those of you not familiar, Omerta is an old organized crime term for a strict code of honor that places a huge amount of importance on silence. Not in the not talking sense like monks tend to do (what would we do on the weekends if we couldn’t be aggressively loud?). No, Omerta is all about keeping your mouth shut about matters of the family – or in this case, the fraternity – when talking to outsiders. For people who read TFM, the outsiders tend to be the GDIs. But in this case, an outsider is anyone who’s not a brother. Fraternal Omerta means not divulging secrets to other fraternities, sororities, or (if you’re Catholic) even your priest.

The usual motivation is bragging, especially about what goes on during pledging. You’ve had a few beers. Some guys in another house are talking big about the shit they had to go through when they were pledges. They want you to join in. I mean, it’s a dick measuring contest, right? Although for the life of me, I don’t know why the hell that’s a good example. Who the fuck actually pulls their dicks out and measures them against other dicks in the room? Whatever. Not my place to speculate on what goes on in bottom-tier houses. I digress. You should not, under any circumstances, start swapping war stories with these guys. Three reasons:

1. No matter how much shittier you had it than them, they’re not going to respect you more for your pledgeship. They will either assume you are lying, or allow themselves the delusion that they still had it harder than you.

2. It’s fucking pathetic. You and your brothers know what you went through. Even the descriptions of the most heinous and dangerous acts you committed while an asshole pledge can never convey how hard it was. So trying to makes you look desperate for attention.

3. It cheapens your fraternity’s rites of passage. If everyone knows what you do, then there’s no air of mystery. You’ve ruined it, not just for the brothers who came before you, but also for your future idiot pledges who will now inevitably hear what’s in store for them. We all know that the worst part of pledging is not knowing what’s coming next.

But worse than swapping manly stories, are the guys who talk about pledging with girls out of some deluded belief that her knowing how many miles you ran with a can of Copenhagen duct taped in your mouth will somehow shoot her panties right through the floor and magically float her to your bed. I know, I know. Guys who do this most horrible of things are probably beyond saving. But it is your job as a lifelong brother to stop them from vomiting your secrets all over the place in a desperate attempt to get laid. Discipline them. Surgically remove their vocal chords. Eliminate them if you have to. And for God’s sake, if you’re the one doing this; figure out your fucking life.

In conclusion, be more like a made man. Do what you do. Enjoy what you do. And keep your mouth shut. Also, the velvet sweatsuits? Surprisingly comfortable. How do I know? Like I’m gonna fucking tell you that. What did I just say?

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Sterling Cooper

Sterling Cooper is a contributing writer for Total Frat Move and Post Grad Problems. He has never understood why people like sand, and has been in a bitter ten year rivalry with Muggsy Bogues, for reasons neither of them choose to reveal.

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