A true underdog story with lots of male nudity.

Part IV- “My civilian friends were very uncomfortable with the current state of affairs.”


This also marked the first night I ever got into a bar. We all pushed through the door into Oscar’s- one of the two popular student watering holes. The other, Cockeyes, always closed on Alumni Weekend. Reasonable decisions are typically in short supply on Alumni Weekend, but that’s probably one of the soundest. With everyone bedecked in matching 25th Anniversary polos (I borrowed one) and a manic twinkle in our eyes, I blended in seamlessly with the rest of the upperclassmen and alumnus. Society’s rules no longer applied. There were no good ideas or bad ideas this weekend- only action.

I felt good about how satisfied the seniors were with my performance. They looked at me differently now. Before, I could tell they were somewhat frustrated and confused and weary about what to do with this nice kid who didn’t drink. The other FNGs they could just force to chug or slap around and feel great about it because the other FNGs were fucking idiots. With me, I felt like they almost felt guilty or apprehensive about riding me too hard. It now felt like they had finally found a way to thoroughly break me down, thus making me one of them.

Taz- that bald, smiling cement block of a human, came over to express his satisfaction as I made small talk with another bald, smiling cement block of a human named Venner. Taz went in for a hug low, as if he was mauling me (in the rugby definition), squeezed, and lifted me off the ground. Nearby Norsemen immediately got the hint and lifted me over their heads until I was crowd surfing. Unfortunately, this coincided with the crescendo of the song ‘Shout!’ They began lifting me in the air to the cadence of the song. Higher and higher I went. I would’ve gone higher, but Oscar’s does not have a high ceiling. I was just being thrown continually against the ceiling, leaving little dents from my head, belt buckle and knees. Mercifully, as my body tried to correct its orientation, my rugby mates let me down. To this day, I feel pretty confident saying that I’m the only person to dent the ceiling at Oscar’s with my belt buckle.

Alumni Weekend. Anything is possible.

2 am and although Oscar’s was closing, the rugby party only seemed to be picking up steam. We returned to the Rugby House. I triumphantly basked in the uncomprehending looks my boxers received on the walk over.

This being a rugby joint, the matching polos were quickly replaced by matching bare chests. It’s not a true Norsemen party without at least some violence and some male nudity. You just hope that those elements don’t coincide. I brought two of my non-rugby friends who I ran into on the walk back to the house. I think I just wanted more people to enjoy this night of nights- a coming-out party of sorts for me. I didn’t anticipate the shirtless dance party, and my civilian friends were very uncomfortable with the current state of affairs. Andrew made the mistake of questioning the shirtless dance party. It was innocent, but it was overheard by Aton- a generally sane and gentle giant- but someone who takes his shirtless dance parties seriously. I had to diffuse the situation and suggest my two friends find a different party before they become the next dark smears on the door frame.

Finally, mercifully, I perceived an opportunity to slip out and end my wild night. As much fun as I was having, it was always important to get out of harm’s way before the seniors got too drunk and the punches really started to fly. The presence of so many alums made the situation all the more volatile. I had, in fact, just finished saying to Aton how I was about to do exactly that when I turned for the door and was met with another heavy slap across the face by Small, Angry (drunk) Vinny.

“You’re doing a boot, Sparkletits.” Vinny stated in a hoarse, slightly slurred voice.

‘Shooting the boot’ is a penalty typically reserved as punishment for messing up a lyric in a rugby song. It consisted of pouring the perpetrator’s beer into a colleague’s boot and chugging the aforementioned boot. The next level of punishment is an ‘anal boot.’ This involves pouring the perpetrator’s beer down through a colleague’s ass crack into the boot first. I’m sure what you’re imagining right now is downright grotesque- but be sure to keep in mind that most ‘boots’ are doled out immediately following rugby matches. These are not the boots and the ass cracks you’d choose to introduce into your binge drinking.

My FNG brethren had been so dunderheaded over the course of the season, that a week wouldn’t go by without one of them shooting a boot. It didn’t help that the seniors had a penchant for sadism, either. I think they felt that since I had made it this far without shooting the boot, it was something I should probably experience while I’m still an FNG.

“Go get the Ragu.”

The seniors had explained all that to me the night before. With a twinge of regret, they told me to pick out a beer substitute. For some reason, I chose Chunky Ragu tomato sauce. Why? To chug? Why not Diet Sunkist or Crystal Lite or Skim Milk, even? I’d like to claim that I chose the Ragu like how Will Hunting chose to be beaten with a crowbar just to spite his abusive father. Because fuck them. Nope.

As I retrieved the Ragu from behind the bar, a crowd gathered. This audience had a decidedly different feel to it. They were mostly just confused, pre-grossed out, and uncomfortable. Some voiced reservations. “Is this necessary, Vinny? He hasn’t done anything wrong.”

‘C’mon Vin- hasn’t the kid been through enough tonight?”

Nothing was stopping Vinny. “No, no, no- he needs to do this.” Tilting his head up to address the growing crowd of sweaty, shirtless men. They failed in aborting the boot, but they managed to limit him to only half a cup of Chunky Ragu tomato sauce. “Grundle- get over here.”

Grundle knew why he as being summoned. He was the designated ass crack. He was universally accepted as having the least desirable ass crack for chugging. A senior, this was his first year and was thus technically an FNG. Most upperclassmen FNGs are afforded a measure of leniency when it comes to FNG duties. But there weren’t many true freshman FNGs this year, plus Grundle just had an aura that invited demeaning treatment. Built like a 40-year-old, he was already going bald, so his head shaving was treated more as a favor than initiation (Grundle disagreed, but his head was shaved anyway).

Grundle glumly undid his cargo shorts and let them and his boxers drop to the floor. Naked, he turned around and hunched over, making his ass crack accessible as he has so many times before. Vinny gave the jar a hard shake and Ragu came pouring out. He consciencously meted out what he estimated to be the right amount of Chunky Ragu tomato sauce to be chugged and pressed the clear plastic cup to my chest. Everyone was too unsettled to carry out the customary ‘Shoot the boot!’ chant. The Dropkick Murphy’s blearing from the stereo masked the hush that fell over the room.

Drawing in a deep breath, I did it the way I had seen others do it. Brought the cup to my lips, tilted my head back, and tried to down the contents in as few big gulps as possible.

Why Ragu??

It was the worst possible consistency for chugging. My reflexes wanted to chew the random chunks. My gag reflexes began to kick in, but just like that, I was done. One more gulp would’ve been disastrous. To add a bit of panache as a show of fortitude, I crushed the cup against my forehead and spiked it to the floor. Due to his perpetually standing too close to everyone all the time, Ragu splattered Vinny’s ‘nice jeans.’ This sent Vinny into a frenzy. “These are my nice jeans, Sparkleshit!” Aton and Big Gay Vinny jumped in to restrain him and talk him down. As a senior, Vinny should’ve known better than to wear anything nice this weekend.

Shirtless, a circle of Chunky Ragu on my forehead, two pairs of boxers atomic wegdgied to oblivion, hints of body glitter on my bruised nipples- I pulled out my phone as if I was about to take a call, headed for the door, and slipped away to my girlfriend’s dorm.

It was our one-month anniversary, after all.

Come back on Sunday for Part V.

Missed Part III? Read it here-

As always, comments are welcome.

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