Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Truth About A Dare

Inspired by the Bezz, as I so often am, here is the story of a Dare that took on a life of its own.

Every Halloween for the last 14 years I have remembered this event fondly. And today, BMB faithful, I'll forsake my solemn oath to never tell this story to another living soul and share it with all of you. You might not like me anymore after hearing it, I'll just let you know. Or, if you have the same sense of humor as I do, I suppose you might like me even better. It's a gamble I'm willing to take.

I actually used to tell this story on dates occasionally as a weed-out mechanism - if somebody thought I was too mean or psychotic by the end of the story, well, then we obviously weren't meant for each other. In fact, I told it to R on our first date and he told me an equally interesting story about his own college antics, and, as they say, the rest is fairy tale history.
But enough set-up.

My junior year at college I had several classes with one of my roommates, whom I'll call Shirley. Shirley is the Absolute, Undisputed Global Master of the Mind Fuck. The Queen Mother of Fookery. She always came up with the best, most brilliant ideas for just jackin' with people for her own amusement. Usually, her victims deserved it, but not always.

I'll tell it to ya straight, she could be mean, but it was funny as long as YOU weren't the one she was fuckin with. She was definitely one of those people you'd much rather have as a friend than an enemy. I blossomed under her tutelage the way Luke Skywalker learned the Ways of The Force from Yoda the Jedi Master.

We were both English majors (don't laugh, I bet you're not doing anything with your degree either). I don't know about your school, but at my school the English majors were just below the Theatre majors in terms of the Freakshow factor. There were some real weirdos in the English Department. And one of them was in our Shakespeare class with us.

I don't know how to describe him physically other than unkempt, and freakishly hairy. He had the wildest, curliest, Slash-after-being-struck-by-lightning hair I'd ever seen. I'm going to call him Snake. He also had these swarthy mutton-chop sideburns and an earring. He experimented with the full beard and variations thereof. He was just one of those people that stand out, not necessarily in a bad way, but he just caught your eye and you couldn't help staring.

And his eyebrow - singular - I almost forgot. He had a unibrow with trajectory. Put two of your fingers together and place them on your eyebrow. That's what I'm talkin' about. Like you could hold him upside down by his feet and scrub the floor with his face. And yet, something about him was totally hot.

Shirley and I looked forward to his always-late and never-discreet arrival into our lecture room. He usually looked like he just woke up. This class was at 1:40 in the afternoon. Maybe it was his overtly lackadaisical attitude that was hot.

He never did turned in homework when the professor asked us to, never participated in the discussions, sometimes didn't show up at all. Shirley and I were mesmerized by him. And then one day, he walked in with a Fraternity Letter Sweatshirt on.

Ok, here's where I admit that I'm a sorority girl. Shut up.

It can't be much of a surprise to anyone who counts the number of times I use the word TOTALLY in everyday conversation.

Anyway, here's where I go all sorority girl snotty (and I'm not sayin' it's right):

"He was SO not what you'd think a guy from this particular fraternity (or any other fraternity) would look like. He must have been a legacy..."

Shirley and I couldn't believe it (by the way, when I said "roommate" I meant "sister"). This fraternity was known on our campus for having guys that looked like J Crew models. Snake was the complete antithesis of this stereotype. It was so unfathomable to us, that we called in witnesses (other sisters). They agreed, it seemed impossible that this guy would even be drawn to the idea of being in a fraternity, as he was so unique - unlike any fraternity guy we'd ever seen.

We lusted from afar for the first several weeks of the fall semester. And then, one day, my house had a Pledge Mom/ Pledge Daughter Pumpkin Carving Cheesy Sisterhood Bonding Event. Shirley had a Pledge Daughter named Queen LaTaTa (not to be crass, but she had absolutely enormous juggs), who was one of the sisters we had invited to check Snake out.

Long story short, the two of them decorated a pumpkin that looked exactly like Snake. Exactly.

They had cut out long strips of black construction paper of varying widths, wrapped them around pencils, and affixed a bevy of dissheveled locks to his head with straight pins. They'd also made the sideburns, the earring and the unibrow. It was a work of art. Completely creepy art.

When I saw it, I nearly peed my pants laughing. There were enough sisters who were familiar with Snake that Shirley and Queen LaTaTa's genius did not go unappreciated. We were all gathered in our little sorority house room, giggling hysterically when someone - it may have been me but I don't remember - suggested:

"Omigodyouguys... we should TOTALLY take it over to his fraternity house."

Everyone gasped giddily in sorority girl unison.

Yes, it was decided that we would take it there and leave it for him. Ideally, without being seen. I don't know how to describe how utterly impossible this idea was, but among us was a sister with a car, and that was really all we needed, other than a Designated Deliverer.

And here's the Dare part.

Guess who got the job of stealthily sauntering up to the door, opening it just wide enough to sneak the pumpkin inside, then closing the door before banging loudly on it and sprinting back to the getaway Ford Escort with nine snickering sorority girls in it?

Yeah. That was me.

I so vividly remember running back from the front door after completing my mission, down the hill, pumping my fist and whispering "GO! GO! GO!!!" to the driver of the car, and the sisters opening the back door with the car in motion and pulling me inside, across their laps. I don't know how I kept from peeing my pants. We shrieked with laughter until we ached.

Later that evening, we sat around wondering if anyone in the house had seen the Snake Pumpkin yet. I mean, there was no doubt who this pumpkin was supposed to look like. Anyone who would have found it would have known instantly it was Snake. We wanted to know if it had gotten to Snake yet.

In the days before Caller ID, it was possible for us to call the house anonymously and ask whoever answered if Snake had received any special presents today. Again, I was called upon to do the bidding of The Fookery Queen. I dialed the number, made up a silly voice and asked the pledge who answered the house phone, "Yesh, I wash wondering if Shnake recheived hish preshent?" The young man put the phone down and I tried not to break character despite being surrounded by my twittering Pumpkin-Stalker sisters.

A few moments later, I heard a man's voice say, "Hello?" I repeated my question again, and he replied, "YEAH, I GOT MY PRESENT, WHO THE FUCK IS THIS???!!?"

And that is the only time in my entire life that I've ever peed my pants from laughing so hard. (Once I laughed so hard I threw up, under a totally different set of circumstances that I don't even want to get into right now.)

But the story doesn't end here.

A few weeks later, in mid-November, we made a Pilgrim Pumpkin, just like the Original Snake Pumpkin, only with a pilgrim hat complete with a shiny silver buckle fashioned from a gum wrapper (my idea).

Again, we secretly delivered our handiwork and again we called to anonymously confirm its safe arrival. And we called a couple other times to leave silly messages on his answering machine. We would make up songs and poems and try to assure him that we weren't dangerous. I mean, despite the fact that we were obviously making fun of him, we actually did really like him and weren't out to scare him. We kinda hoped he'd be flattered by it. All the while, Shirley and I were still seeing him three times a week (and thoroughly enjoying his presence) in our class, comforted by the fact that we were 100% certain Snake had no idea who we were.

And there's still more - the week before Winter Break, we created and delivered yet another pumpkin (don't ask me where we found a pumpkin in December, but we did), this one decorated as Snake wearing an elf's hat. Again with the hair, sideburns, earring, eyebrow all the same as the first one, with the clever addition of the green hat with cotton balls at the brim and on the end.

We had such plans for Spring Semester. We were going to make a New Year's pumpkin with a party hat, a horn and confetti; a Valentine's Day Cupid pumpkin; A Leprechaun; an Easter Bunny... it would have continued until we got either busted or sick of it, and there was really no forseeable threat of either. But sadly, one January afternoon we called the house to see if we could get Snake's room number, and we were given the sad news that Snake had dropped out of school.

Now, we'll never know if it was because of the pumpkins that Snake dropped out of school, but I will say that if he put forth as much effort in his other classes as he did in our Shakespeare class, then I have no reason to blame myself. I'm pretty sure he flunked out. Still, I've often imagined what it must have felt like to Snake, a student in a university of 40,000+, coming to the realization that he was weird-looking enough for somebody to make a pumpkin that everyone could tell was supposed to be him.

In an interesting follow-up, Shirley hooked up with him at a party later that year.

Why didn't I get THAT dare??


Cheryl said...

So did Shirley report on Snake?

Bezzie said...

I can't believe you put the disclaimer on that story--that's a great story!!! Pumpkin stalking...ha ha!!!

Apparently English majors have all the fun!!

LilKnitter said...

PENNY! I FUCKIN' LOVE YOU! I successfully did NOT pee reading your story, but I laughed a GREAT deal!

You rule. And I totally understand the strange attraction to the strange looking guy...both been there and done that!

I want to hear about Shirley hooking up with this guy!

DomesticOverlord said...

I was expecting sinister treatchery with that story not pumpkins! Of course I still love ya. And I'm waiting for my pumpkin...

Trillian42 said...

I honestly almost laughed out loud while reading that. Too funny.

And not only am I also a sorority girl (Kappa Delta), I was a theatre major. We were WAY weirder than the English majors. :D

buttercup said...

OMG! How could anyone not love you MORE after that story! That is totally something I would have done, probably with my brothers. Yeah - it runs in the family.

Dan said...

That was not so bad. Snake probably dished out a lot worse to pledges, so frat boy should have been able to take it.
Maybe you ruined him and he became the NASCAR guy in you last edition of WPN.

Joel Widdershins said...

Wonderful story! I'm still peeing my pants!! Ooooh, WARM!! hehehe btw, thanks for the link here! --Weef. (Leif to you others, thanks.)

OldLadyPenPal said...

I have B.A. (I joke that it should have been a BS) in English.


Excellent story!

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

How funny.

Man, I sure remember the days before "Caller ID". Things were so simple back then.

Stephanie (aka qdgirl) said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! The cake and ice cream were delish, but the maid ran shrieking down the street when she saw my kitchen. Oh well.

Your dare story cracked me up - English majors have all the fun.