Already-plowed ground alert: I try not to take all my cues from “This American Life,” but ever since I heard #1 Party School earlier this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about drinking on college campuses, which from recent descriptions, sound like the new Indian reservations, alcohol-wise.

In comments yesterday, one of our Marks pointed out this Smoking Gun report on a wild debauch held by the Ohio University chapter of Pi Beta Phi sorority for their spring formal. This follows an earlier report on the same sorority, at Miami University this time, doing much the same thing. And a different sorority at Miami, same behavior.

If, by “debauch,” you’re thinking stained tablecloths and broken chairs, I encourage you to read the reports. I’m talking about vomit so copious it’s practically an intermezzo course at dinner, pee everywhere but where it belongs, poop on lawns and in urinals, and, of course, public sex.

If this were just a fraternity I might not have even taken note, but it so happens my subset of the baby boom happened to be the leading wave of new traditionalism, after the ’60s. All those Time magazine stories about the return of prom were written my senior year — 1975. If you’re all of a sudden going to prom again, you’re also going to pledge a fraternity or sorority, too.

Not me, I hasten to add. I’m about as un-Hellenic as you can get. Plus, Ohio University was a filthy-hippie haven at the time, although there were Greeks there. They didn’t dominate the social scene they way they did at Miami — the antimatter version of OU — or Ohio State, but they made their presence felt, and one of the things you learned about them was their pecking order. At the bottom, the “ugly-girl” house, was Phi Mu. Mark the Shark’s very pretty wife was a Phi Mu, and he taught me the frat-boy snark:

Rattle rattle rattle
Here come the cattle
Phi Mooooooo

But at the top were the Pi Beta Phis, the alpha girls, the mean girls, every single one of them blonde, beautiful and no larger than a size 2. The worst of the worst. Their male equivalent was Beta Theta Pi, and I expect they were paired off in a top-secret basement ritual, so that they’d only breed with one another and turn out a new generation of blonde tennis pros and Junior Leaguers.

I’m sure they drank plenty behind the doors of their respective houses, and I’m equally sure there was vomit, but I’d have been shocked if the peeing was done anywhere but the bathroom and the pooping? Please. These were the Pi Phis. They didn’t poop. Their waste was extruded in an even more secret manner than the pairing ritual, and when it emerged, smelled only of blueberry muffins.

Truth be told, it’s the public-sex part that concerns me most. The letter written by the owner of the trashed venue of the OU Pi Phi party this year mentions:

…”a couple engaging in sexual congress, while surrounded by a cheering throng,” and that a bathroom sink was broken as a result of “one of your members and her date attempting to have sexual relations on it, an act which was witnessed by the event’s caterer, who walked in on them.”

I know alcohol lowers inhibitions. I have had plenty of forehead-smacking moments of shame on many pitiless mornings after. I have been drunk in my life, believe you me. But even in my crazy early adulthood, I can no more imagine myself having sex surrounded by a cheering throng than I can imagine flying a plane into an office building. If this is what campus partying has come to, I’m worried.

In “#1 Party School” — which I encourage you to listen to, via stream or podcast — the statistics fly by in a blur. The two most depressing: Penn State (and many other schools like it) records about one alcohol-related student death a year. And the only thing, the only strategy that has proven even minimally effective in curbing the sort of blackout-seeking drinking that prevails on college campuses these days, is draconian police action — drunk-driving dragnets, aggressive ID policing in bars, raids on house parties, basically.

It’s pretty depressing, when you think about it. OU was a party school when I was there; rumor had it we were on a list somewhere, maybe in Playboy magazine. The main drag was one bar after another, and as any Econ 101 student can tell you, that meant lots of competition for customers. I believe I spent time in every one on Court and Union Streets in my college career, and I was familiar with them all — drink ‘n’ drown Monday, Texas Cocktail Tuesday, two-for-one Hump Day, daiquiris by the pitcher, beer by the bucket, you name it. Senior year, one of the bars installed a dentist chair for the latest wrinkle: You paid your money, sat in the chair, and they reclined you. You opened your mouth, and they poured several shots straight in, followed by a wheeeee spin in the chair to mix everything up. Then you were righted and sent on your wobbly way. I found this repulsive. By senior year, I was too sophisticated for such juvenile shenanigans.

Maybe that was the tipping point. It seemed to take drinking from social lubricant to blackout hastener. Where it is now is hard to say. I expect the Pi Phis will start drinking their hairspray next.

So, bloggage? Sure:

In re our discussion yesterday, the last days of Sen. Chris Dodd. Note the disconnect:

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd completed what might be the capstone of his legislative career last week by shepherding a major banking overhaul through the Senate, the guest book in his office offered a glimpse of why he is not seeking re-election. It includes these recent greetings from visitors who stopped by to pay their disrespects:

“Good bye and good riddance to you,” wrote one guest on May 16. “I know it’s tough, but I expected better,” said another (April 15). “Thank you for being corrupt” (March 26).

…“A natural, intuitive legislator,” Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, calls him. “Easily one of the best-liked members here,” said Senator Robert F. Bennett, Republican of Utah. Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said Mr. Dodd embodied “everything that is good about this place.”

Given the yin-and-yang dynamic that governs today’s political landscape, Mr. Dodd offers a basic object lesson: the more entrenched someone is in Washington, the less popular he is at home.

I’m sure everyone has heard by now about Sarah Palin’s new neighbor, whom she, in typically restrained fashion, basically accuses of looking at her tits and maybe even her sweet little girl. Now it’s time for the second-day story, which if I were assigning it would be: Who owns the house, and why did he or she rent it to a snoopy journalist in the first place? In other words, why do Sarah Palin’s neighbors hate her? (I suspect the answer is in the two-story, 6,000-square-foot TV studio/man cave/lady cave they’re building, but that’s just off the top of my head.

Dave Weigel:

She describes McGinniss as the author of “the bizarre anti-Palin administration oil development pieces that resulted in my Department of Natural Resources announcing that his work is the most twisted energy-related yellow journalism they’d ever encountered.”

Another way of putting it would be that McGinniss is an investigative journalist who wrote his first best-seller at age 26 and was shopping a book about Alaska and the oil industry when Palin was named John McCain’s running mate. And another way of describing those “bizarre” pieces is that no one has ever challenged the facts in them.

Palin, who has an undergraduate degree in journalism, should understand that articles don’t become untrue when the subjects don’t agree with them.

Mary Schmich: Hoarding is not entertaining. We had a case in the suburbs here a few months back, an elderly couple who died, along with their disabled daughter, when a fire broke out and they couldn’t reach the single clear exit to their house, because the rest were blocked by junk.

Ten a.m. already? Time to get moving.

Posted at 10:13 am in Current events |

54 responses to “Blotto.”

  1. Julie Robinson said on May 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Yanno, I can sympathize just a bit with Our Lady over this one. I’d be uncomfortable in those circumstances too. Of course I didn’t sign up to be a national figure.

    That story about hoarding is spot on except when it says you can help hoarders. Both my Mom and sister have this disease and I have spent years trying to help them change. I completely cleaned out my sister’s place and three storage units full of crap, and 18 months later it was just as bad. Mom couldn’t even throw away a videotape that was sitting on her kitchen floor coated with half an inch of dust. Suggesting it threw her into such a tizzy I thought we were headed for the ER. Someday she will have a heart attack and won’t be found for several days, and people will think her family has neglected her. I have thought of calling in authorities who would condemn the house, but based on previous attempts to help, I know it would mean she would never talk to me again.

    I’ll step out of the confessional now.

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  2. John (not McCain) said on May 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

    “It seemed to take drink­ing from social lubri­cant to black­out has­tener. Where it is now is hard to say. ”

    It’s right in the eye:

    As a hedonist, I protest. This can lead to no good.

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  3. Deborah said on May 26, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Another great post Nancy. I went to a Lutheran College that did not allow fraternities and sororities, thank goodness. I didn’t have to think about that and certainly never missed it. Back in the late sixties early seventies when I was in college that kind of thing was considered passe anyway. Protesting (and dope smoking) was a much bigger deal. Drinking happened at my college, of course, but nothing like what goes on now, not even close. My husband is three years older than me and he skipped a grade in school so his undergrad days (U of Illinois) were over before mine started (we met much later in life). He was in a frat but claims he hated it. He doesn’t talk about it much but every once in awhile one of his frat “brothers” turns up in the news and reminds him of those miserable days.

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  4. Connie said on May 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

    My MSU days (two years before our hostess’s college days) were pretty hippie-ish, and greek just wasn’t in. Although as a freshman I was contacted by several slightly older sorority girls from my home town to invite me over.

    One of my most drunken memories involves a date to a party at Beta Phi Mu, which at MSU was all business majors. We were dressed in 50s outfits, and drinking orange punch. I found out later they had overspent their budget on the vodka, so instead of buying mixers they mixed in a large bottle of Tang. Actually for the getting back to the dorm part there is no memory at all. Just waking up in the morning and seeing my date, still in his 50s outfit, passed out on my roommate’s bed.

    I had a friend from home at Delta Tau Delta, just down the street from my dorm. Now that was Animal House in a fun way.

    The drinking age was 18 during my MSU days, so we were all legal.

    My newly graduated kid tells me Butler is totally Greek, and then there is her gang.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on May 26, 2010 at 11:07 am


    You hit your own nail on the head. SheWho is a celebrity. She has courted and chased and seduced that national spotlight ever since John McCain made the stupidest move of his life in naming her to a national ticket. She’s Lindsay Lohan with a half-term as governor instead of “Mean Girls” to her credit. She’s Paris Hilton but with middle-brow MILF tastes. She’s Kim Kardashian except she attends NRA shows instead of fashion show. In short, her expectation of privacy should be zero. She can’t revel in the idolatry of her fans in Grand Rapids, but expect to be left alone in Wasilla.

    Sarah, hon, that’s the trade for the $12-million and counting you and your gang of grifters are skimming from the ignorant and angry rubes who hang on your every tortured sentence.

    It’s pretty clear by now that SheWho has no capacity for intellectual or professional growth. She’s been in the public eye –frigging constantly– for almost two years and she still doesn’t understand the quid pro quo of the fame game. This is either density or delusion on a grand scale.

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  6. Bob (Not Greene) said on May 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Man, that McGinnis guy has some balls. While the guy living next door is certainly going to make She Who a little queasy, it’s probably not going to be the easiest five months for him either. That, my friends, is dedication to your vocation. He’s working a lot harder for his dough than she is, I can tell you that.

    I went to a little Catholic liberal arts college outside of Cleveland in the early 80s. My freshman year the drinking age was still 18, and there was bar on campus. At a Jesuit institution no less.

    There was plenty of drinking and horrible hangovers — my first night of college was the best cheap lesson I ever got and never repeated — but nothing like what is described at those things. That’s Nero’s Rome for god’s sake.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on May 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

    IU in the last half of the 70’s had Greeks galore but a much larger group of people who ignored them. That’s a great thing about a big school. And amongst my crowd, drinking was truly an adult activity–a glass or two of wine with a meal, some beer at a picnic. It wasn’t just a means to get blotto. But I really wonder about the heavy drinkers–what is it about their lives that they hate so much they have to get away from by drinking so much? Haven’t most of them led privileged existences? I kinda pity them.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on May 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Bob NG,

    I think McGinniss has far more to fear than SheWho. Many of her fans are just as delusional and paranoid as she and they may act on her behalf if they fear the author is working to taint their saint. I do think his physical safety will be threatened at some point. She’s fanning the flames already on her Facebook page.

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  9. KLG said on May 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I went to a large Southern State University in the 1970s famous for partying. Drinking age was 18, so nobody had to slink around. Plenty of semi-drunken behavior but I have no memory of an alcohol toxicity problem. When you drink in public and pay by the drink it is practically impossible to get that far along. So, lower the drinking age to 19 (too many 18-year-old high school seniors these days) and treat people like adults. And stop with the arrests for public intoxication when walking back to the dorm or apartment. What? You want them to drive?

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  10. Bob (Not Greene) said on May 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Exhibit One, Jeff B., the First Dude’s “what goes around comes around” bullshit comment to the NY Times reporter. I agree, McGinniss should keep his head on a swivel. On the other hand, I have a feeling there are plenty of locals who resent the hell out of that family. We know her next door neighbor sure does.

    By the way, Wasilla is what a Tea Party nation looks like. Rich hillbillies building fairy castles next door to some poor sucker with no money and blocking out the damn sun because there’s apparently no zoning or building code laws.

    You don’t like it? So sue me, rube. Assholes.

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  11. velvet goldmine said on May 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I’m no Palin fan, but I don’t question that it would be unnerving to have one of her chief critics move next door to her, while writing a Palin-damning opus. Naturally, she blows her own case by accusing him of being a pervert, just as she did with Letterman when she had a legitimate beef with him.

    But, Jeff Borden, the “national figure” thing doesn’t wash. Public figures ask you to support their positions and/or line their pockets by buying their books or go to their movies. As quid-pro-quo, that doesn’t equate to five months of having someone watching every move you make.

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  12. moe99 said on May 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Julie, I think the point to be made from SP’s hissy fit is how inappropriate the response is to the provocation. I can see mentioning it and saying how concerned you are about your privacy being invaded (even though as Jeff B points out she has brought this upon herself by her own behavior), but to basically accuse McGinniss of being a pedophile? It’s striking how low they immediately take the discussion. And I think indicative of their trailer trash background.

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  13. Little Bird said on May 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Lower the drinking age, but raise the driving age. Yeah, I know it’ll cause problems for kids who have jobs (particularly in rural areas) but that can be worked around. Make the penalties stiffer for drunk driving. Give special licenses to kids with jobs, highly restrictive licenses at that.
    I went to art school, and believe it or not, it was a dry campus. One time when Deborah visited we had to sneak the beer in in her suitcase! The guards wouldn’t have DREAMT of searching a parents luggage!

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  14. Deborah said on May 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Little Bird, I have no memory of that. Did I really do that? Yikes. Shame on me.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on May 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm


    Well-said. Setting up shop right next door might be a bridge too far.

    But I’ll stick to my point that SheWho still doesn’t “get” it. She wants to be left alone to say stupid and indefensible things on Fox, to collect six-figure fees for blathering a campaign speech (her appearance at a Chicago law conference was a disaster), to pen her books about “real Americans” and to preen her feathers for the party faithful. But you can’t be a part-time celeb. She has sought the spotlight but seems incapable of understanding she cannot turn it off when it pleases her.

    I’m with Bob NG. The Palins are snowbillies. It won’t be long before we read that Bristol has wrapped a souped-up Camaro around a telephone pole, I’ll bet. And I’d rather live next door to Joe McGinniss than SheWho’s entitled clan.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    So, I’m reading Nance’s post about the self-destructive drinking behavior (and grimmacing), and then I followed the link about the new neighbor checking out her tits (a tease like that will grab me, every damned time!), and it was on that linked story that I tripped over a reference to Sarah’s fake bus tour. I had never heard of this before, and found the linked story interesting. And it lead me to another story with the headline “Palin’s pick in Idaho loses”, and when I read it, I found that HE’S the very same teabagger who plagerized Senator Obama’s 2004 Democratic Convention speech, which sort of ties into Nance’s headline yesterday (“Who Speaks For You”), which made me laugh.

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  17. Scout said on May 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    From She-Who’s Facebook page:

    “Spring has sprung in Alaska, and with this beautiful season comes the news today that the Palins have a new neighbor! Welcome, Joe McGinniss!

    Yes, that Joe McGinniss. Here he is – about 15 feet away on the neighbor’s rented deck overlooking my children’s play area and my kitchen window. Maybe we’ll welcome him with a homemade blueberry pie tomorrow so he’ll know how friendly Alaskans are.

    We found out the good news today. Upon my family’s return this morning from endorsement rallies and speeches in the Lower 48 states, I finally got the chance to tackle my garden and lawn this evening! So, putting on the shorts and tank top to catch that too-brief northern summer sun and placing a giddy Trig in his toddler backpack for a lawn-mowing adventure, I looked up in surprise to see a “new neighbor” overlooking my property just a stone’s throw away. Needless to say, our outdoor adventure ended quickly after Todd went to introduce himself to the stranger who was peering in…”

    Once again, Sister Sarah immediately jumps the shark in her over-zealous need to put her mean-girl spin on a situation that for anyone else would have generated some sympathy. She actually thinks people will believe she mows her own lawn in a tank top and daisy dukes with a 40 pound toddler strapped to her back? Bitch is comedy friggin’ gold.

    Edited to add this new nugget from Jeanne Devon of Mudflats:

    “And in a brilliant move, to attempt to show how intrusive he’s going to be, and how much he will invade her privacy, she has actually published a picture of him sitting on the far side of the deck, minding his own business. You know… to show how inappropriate he is for whatever it is he might or might not do at some time in the future. Maybe.”

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  18. Jen said on May 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    My sister and I both went to IU (I graduated in 2006, she graduated in 2009), and the Greek system was pretty popular. We both just basically ignored them, but I know I heard sorority and frat members talking about getting crazy drunk and blacking out and puking and all of those fun things. Partying was (and, I’m sure, IS) very, very popular in Bloomington.

    Now, both of us drank in college, usually just to the point of extreme silliness, although sometimes we’d cross that line into “drunk” territory. (In fact, I still cross that line occasionally, especially when margaritas are involved!) But, we were lucky enough to have heard all the drinking horror stories from our dear father about him and his football/college/rugby buddies, and it convinced both of us to never drink so much we’d really regret it. As we were discussing this weekend, neither me nor my sister have drank alcohol to the point of vomiting, so I think we’re doing OK.

    As far as Sarah Palin, to me it’s the same way as it is with actors, musicians, reality TV stars, etc. – they say “Look at me! Look at me!” and then suddenly it’s “Don’t look at me!” It doesn’t work that way. If you want fame and celebrity and recognition and all the money that comes with it, you have to deal with the consequences – namely, the lack of privacy. Yes, politicians can be a different animal, if they simply want to do their jobs. But if they’re actively courting fame like Palin, all bets are off.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on May 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I heard they were going to increase the drinking age in South Carolina to 23. Something about keeping booze out of the highschools.
    Pilot Joe

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  20. crinoidgirl said on May 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    And now for something completely different –

    I’m shocked, shocked I say, that BP internal memos exist showing that they did a cost/benefit analysis on worker housing and protection against explosions:

    I should be editing, but I can’t stay away from this establishment!

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  21. alex said on May 26, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, had forgotten about Joe McGinniss. He must be older than dirt. I read his 1968 book The Selling of the President after it had been out for several years when I was in junior high or high school. In that book, he gatecrashed the Nixon campaign as a volunteer and revealed how political sausage was made back in the day — pretty icky, as I recall. The mainstream media were apparently asleep at the wheel as Tricky Dick toured the country talking out of both sides of his mouth. He could pander to segregationists in the south as well as progressives in the north and never got called on it. Imagine such a thing happening today.

    It was considered a groundbreaking work of literary journalism. It’s hard to imagine him wasting his talents on She-Who, but once again it looks like he’s approaching his subject from an angle no one else ever dared to consider, as it were.

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  22. Sue said on May 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Probation for young Mr. O’Keefe:

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  23. Jeff Borden said on May 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Isn’t Joe McGinniss the guy who wrote “Fatal Vision,” about the handsome Green Beret doctor who killed his wife and kids at Fort Bragg and claimed it was a Manson-style assault by killer hippies? The doctor in that book –I know his first name is, sadly, Jeff– came across as a delusional narcissist who had created his own reality.

    So, it’s not like McGinniss isn’t used to chronicling delusional narcissists.

    I’m sad about O’Keefe, Sue. Well-born, connected, Ivy League educated white boys always get probation. Even a few weekends in the slammer might’ve taken some of the starch out of this shit-eating weasel. Oh, well, at least he pleaded guilty, though I’m sure he and his sycophants will spin it in a way that suggests he’s actually innocent

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  24. brian stouder said on May 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Sue – an interesting story. Not for nothing, but Shit-for-brains Sean Hannity would have had a stroke by now, if that guy was a “liberal film maker” (as opposed to the somewhat odd reference to him, in the TPM piece, as a “conservative film maker”)

    And while I was there, there was this, wherein we learn that World War Two, and especially Nazi atocities, can be blamed on (wait for it)…..homosexuals!!:

    an excerpt:

    During a radio broadcast, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association explained:

    So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn’t the Germans, didn’t the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.

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  25. Sue said on May 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I know Sarah handled this with her usual ham-handedness, false cheer and insinuations, but there is a creepy aspect of this that bothers me, public figure or not. Who does this McGinniss guy think he is, Jane Goodall?
    And Jeff Borden, the comment section of that article includes some excellent points and suggestions, including sending him to the Gulf Coast cleanup areas to help him understand what “muckracking” really is, and making the comparison to Sarah’s email hacker, who is also looking at potentially several years in prison.

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  26. Sue said on May 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    ‘So he sur­rounded him­self, vir­tu­ally all of the Stormtroop­ers, the Brown­shirts, were male homo­sex­u­als.’
    I think he’s thinking of Springtime for Hitler. Those dancers were awesome.

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  27. coozledad said on May 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I didn’t drink nearly as much in college as when I got out and found out about the wonderful employment opportunities Reagan had created with a smile, a shrug, and his bare hands. Then I drank a lot. It’s how I met my wife.
    My freshman year quaaludes were everywhere, and people seemed to eat them by the handful. I tried them once and managed to fall down an entire flight of stairs, right myself, and fall down another without so much as pulling a muscle. That was it. I really couldn’t see the point of them unless you were going to have surgery, or someone desperately wanted you to just shut up and watch TV in the psych ward.

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  28. LAMary said on May 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Reefer and bad wine were the drugs of choice when I was in college. When I transferred to University of Denver there were frats and sororities, but I only knew one person who belonged to a frat so I don’t think they were that popular. The one person I knew was drunk a lot of the time. He was on our intramural softball team and frequently he couldn’t play because he was in his words “overprimed.”

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  29. Little Bird said on May 26, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I’d like to point out that the beer Deborah smuggled into my dorm room was merely a 6-pack, and was shared between the two of us. I didn’t have a roommate at the time, or she’d never have done it. Drinking with her was not at all like the rampaging parties that I never got invited to. I was safe, and no driving was involved. Just the two of us catching up over a few beers. More 19 year olds should have had experiences like that. Maybe then drinking wouldn’t have been viewed as such a forbidden thing, and fewer of then would have partied so hearty.

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  30. nancy said on May 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Quaaludes were big when I was in school, too. One of my professors at UM claimed they were briefly approved by the FDA as a female aphrodisiac, but I think you’d have to be a necrophiliac to enjoy whatever sexual congress might result.

    I once read a profile of Oliver Stone, which described his trying to seduce date-rape some young woman at dinner. She went to the bathroom, and he dropped a ‘lude into her wine. It didn’t instantly dissolve like a Fizzy, so he tried to break it up with a fork. By the time she got back from the jane, her glass of cabernet looked like some sort of Orange Julius. I gather the rest of the evening didn’t go so well.

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  31. Sue said on May 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Nancy, shouldn’t you rewrite that as “which described his trying to **date rape** some young woman”? Because it sounds like the same effect. If so, what a loser for doing it and then admitting it like it’s no big deal. At least she wasn’t a kid like the ones Roman Polanski preyed upon.

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    • nancy said on May 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm


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  32. LAMary said on May 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I just read a resume that included mention of an associate degree from Rogue Community College. Who knew?

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  33. brian stouder said on May 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Hmmmm….what would be on the letterhead of Rogue U?

    (I’m thinking it would have to incorporate a busty woman with a firm grip on a thick shafted spear, or a sturdy flagstaff, or something else suitably suggestive)

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  34. Julie Robinson said on May 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I used to have a Tshirt from Ball State University that said “Ball U”. I bought it in 1972 and thought I was being very cool at the age of 15. Does anyone remember if the Ball Canning Co. founded it or just gave bunches of money? I do know they aren’t in Muncie anymore.

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  35. Andrea said on May 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Those stories are the reason I chose a college without a Greek system.

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  36. Kirk said on May 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I always thought it would be a blast to burn down one of the frats’ giant homecoming displays, but I never got around to it.

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  37. Jolene said on May 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    It’s interesting that these massive drinking sprees are going on at the same time that the use of prescription stimulants (i.e., Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera) to increase concentration is rising.

    Makes you wonder if the kids even know what they would feel like absent mind-altering substances.

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  38. Dexter said on May 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    JulieRobinson: ’tis the same Balls, fersure. I remember those shirts which all the cool kids were wearing.
    I am from a family who sent a few cousins as well as my brother to BSU.
    My brother started there the first year it changed from Ball State Teachers College to BSU.

    My brother likes telling how he was the very first radical long-haired male ever at BSU. His name is Bob but the jocks taunted him with “Alice” for a moniker. He says a sympathetic jock who still hold a few Indiana track records stopped the bullying and perhaps saved “Alice” from a few beatings.
    “Alice” got caught with a beer in his dorm and was made to bow in front of the dean, who threatened to kick him out of school and who also threw in the threat of a nice career overseas , in Vietnam. End result: nicely barbered hair, graduation, teaching deferment. “Alice” no more, Bob beat the system his way. I was still in high school when “Alice” was raising hell, protesting the war under an SDS banner. Can you believe Ball State U even tolerated an SDS chapter? (Students for a Democratic Society)

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  39. nancy said on May 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    The cheerleaders say, “Ball U, and U, and U and U and U.” All while blushing prettily.

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  40. MichaelG said on May 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    My daughter went to Austin Peay State U. in Hopkinsville TN. Hubby was stationed at nearby Ft. Campbell. I have a bumpersticker around here somewhere that says “Let’s go Peay!”

    Mary, was that Rogue JC located in Oregon whence flows the Rogue River?

    When I was at the U of I in the mid 60s a friend of mine was busted in the back seat of his car receiving oral favors from a young woman. The university authorities sentanced him to see a shrink every Thursday at 3:00 PM for six months. So the first day Dwayne went to the shrink and the shrink asked what his offence was. Dwayne told him. Shrink pondered a moment and then said “Let’s go to Stan’s and get a beer.” So every Thursday Dwayne and the shrink would go to Stan’s.

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  41. Jim Neill said on May 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    So Hitler him­self was an active homo­sex­ual.

    All these years, I thought Eva Braun was female. Ya learn something new every day!

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  42. LAMary said on May 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    That’s the one, Michael. I like thinking of it as a school for mavricky types.

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  43. alex said on May 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    When I was at IU in the late ’70s/early ’80s the Greek system was undergoing transition from totally uncool to the new hip. I avoided it. My parents had both told me they’d been accepted into it and left of their own accord when they learned it was expected of them to shun “lesser” beings who didn’t have big tits or fat wallets or Mayflower pedigrees.

    That was the era in which Reagan was the Second Coming and cocaine was King. Pot and acid were suddenly declasse, disco suddenly sucked and I didn’t know what to make of it then anymore than I do now.

    Ah, such an innocent age it was. Even in the dorms there was snobbery over being an in-state cheapo, but at least hailing from the northern linguistic belt. Our SDS chapter president got busted skiing in Vail during one break or another, unleashing a tirade of political “gotcha” in the Indiana Daily Student that doesn’t hold a candle to the ugliness of the politics we see routinely today. Some of my classmates still have a steadfast allegiance to the GOP just as they do to IU’s sucky sports teams who also haven’t accomplished anything noteworthy in the last twenty to thirty years besides their own shame and abasement. And I feel like just one of the herd, one of the cattle at the trough of a diploma mill with a flayed carcass to show for it.

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  44. Dexter said on May 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Closing time…Whitebeard’s gravesite and memorial testaments are on his Facebook page if any of you had friended him.

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  45. A. Riley said on May 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Jaysus. I read the sorority-girl links and I’m appalled. When I went to Ball State in the early ’70s (God, I’m old) I was too poor and scruffy to join a sorority but was a Little Sister to a fraternity — a humble one with a dumpy little house at the end of frat row. They were sweet guys who liked beer but didn’t get excessively stupid about it. Smoking pot in a dead car in the gravel parking lot behind the house in between epic euchre games ewas about as debauched as that crowd got.

    Pi Phis at BSU then were silky blondes like the Proprietress describes. One of the pranks sororities & fraternities used to play on each other was to steal each others’ composites — the group photo that hung over the mantel, if you had a mantel. Well, the Pi Phis stole the boys’ composite, and they were all astonished and awestruck. The Pi Phis? Really? *Pi Phis??* Wow. They had to *serenade* them to get their composite back. Clearly it was a more innocent age.

    At Ball State, sororities didn’t have houses. They had suites in one or another of the women’s dorms. Folklore had it that Lucina Ball had been blackballed by a sorority, so when the Ball family founded a college, she insisted on a clause in the charter barring sorority houses. It seems old Lucina was onto something.

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  46. Dave said on May 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Phi Mu was the ugly girl sorority? Didn’t know that, I remember a absolute sweetheart of a nice looking young lady when I did my time on main campus who was a Phi Mu. Just something else I’m just now learning because I spent most of my time at OU-L (Lancaster).

    Yes, but in my time at main campus (how branch people spoke of it), I did get fairly well acquainted with N. Court Street. I think those bars must change names every three or four years, the last time I drove down N. Court Street, the only familiar name that I recognized was the CI (College Inn).

    It seems that “She who must not be named” gets named all the time anymore. I think I liked it better the other way but its hard to discuss her continuously and not name her. She should go away and end all discussion but that probably won’t happen.

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  47. basset said on May 27, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Austin Peay State University, named after a former Tennessee governor and pronounced “Austin Pee,” is in Clarksville… Hopkinsville is in Kentucky, right across the nearby state line.

    Back in the, I don’t know, late 60s or early 70s the star of Austin Peay’s basketball team was one Fly Williams… which led to the cheer, “The Fly is open! Let’s go, Peay!”

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  48. Joe Kobiela said on May 27, 2010 at 1:56 am

    As far as fraternitys go, I would not want to belong to a club that had me as a memeber.
    Pilot Joe
    Greetings from Charlotte N.C.

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  49. ROgirl said on May 27, 2010 at 6:50 am

    A highlight from this article on Shewho: “the dubious character trifecta of the Palin brand: bone-headed, defiant and willfully ignorant.”

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  50. crinoidgirl said on May 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Great link, ROgirl!

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  51. Peter said on May 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Sorry I’m so late to this thread, but Connie at #4 tripped a memory switch – my school’s Delta Tau Delta members weren’t welcome at other chapters because they were too geeky.

    And Our Lady of Wasilla – what a gift that keeps on giving. Compared to her, Dan Quayle’s Nobel material.

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  52. MichaelG said on May 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

    You’re absolutely right, Basset. Austin Peay is in Clarksville and that’s where S. lived. I’ve got pix of it all. It seemed like a nice campus. It’s Campbell that’s listed as being in Hopkinsville Ky. even though it straddles the state line. I was stationed there for a couple of months in fall of ’67.

    Daughter now lives in Austin Tx and hubby is packing to leave in July for a year long all expenses paid tour in A’stan.

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  53. basset said on May 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

    right, most of Fort Campbell is actually in Tennessee but the front gate and major buildings are in Kentucky.

    fall of ’67… you would have been there a couple of years after Jimi Hendrix, who was not exactly a model soldier. proof is on Smoking Gun.

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