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Funny College Pranks

Slosh Night

by Steve Kremer
Copyright 1995-1998

I was one of the lucky members of my college fraternity. As a transfer from another university I had gone through my "hell week" two years earlier with what seemed like the usual pranks and humiliating traditions. But when pledging began at my new house at Michigan State University I learned of a hazing tradition that seemed to outdo all the ones I had heard of. It was simply called "Slosh Night."

The pledges were instructed to buy a twelve pack of their favorite beer and show up at the house at 5:30 one night. (A twelve pack is one dozen twelve ounce cans of beer-about two and a quarter gallons or about eight and a half liters) That's all they were told. As a new member I volunteered to help out but knew that the brothers who had gone through "Slosh Night" themselves as pledges were in charge of the show.

The preparations were set up in a large four car garage in the back of the fraternity house. "Slosh Night" had originally been held in the house but moved to the garage after the brothers found how valuable the garage's concrete floor and drain were for the "hose off" later in the evening. The main elements of the evening were laid out on a table at one end of the garage. On the table was a box of extra heavy duty plastic garbage bags, a coil of nylon rope, and several rolls of duct tape. (Duct tape is a heavy duty adhesive tape used to seal heating ducts. It will stick to anything.) Also next to the table was one of the brother's powerful stereo set-up with a tape deck that held all-important "Slosh Night Greatest Hits" cassette tape. And not to forget the most important element, a large ice cooler with Beer, Beer, and more Beer. It was not possible to run out of beer that night.

As 5:30 came around the pledges dutifully began showing up with their twelve packs of beer. They were sent around back to the garage where we were waiting. They all bounced into the garage groovin' to the U2 blasting out of the stereo. They were greeted by the pledge chairman with a "brewski handshake", handed a cold bottle of beer and were told to sit down on one of the folding chairs. The pledges all had smiles on their faces, it looked like it just might be a drinking party, not so bad. They all admired the powerful stereo set up but were puzzled by the fact it had been carefully covered in sheets of plastic. Good set up if it was going to rain outside, but this was inside.

After all the pledges had arrived, the chairman turned down the stereo and began to give the pledges their instructions for the evening. Before he began he singled out the pledges who had already "dipped" into their twelve pack of beer. Those that appeared to have already "had a few" were told to move to the front row. The first instruction was that a pledge had to do whatever a brother told them to do. Second, that a pledge could not do anything, and he stressed anything, without getting permission from a brother. At this point one of the front row pledges asked if he could be excused to go use the bathroom. The chairman smiled, looked at the other brothers who were also smiling and said "no."

The pledges were told to begin drinking one of their beers and to stand up and strip down to their underwear. As the song "The Stripper" played on the stereo they all stripped. Myself and some of the other brothers began taking the heavy duty trash bags out of the box and using scissors cut diagonal holes in the two bottom corners of the bags. When each of the fifteen pledges had their bag they were told to push their feet though the two holes in the bags and pull up the bag as if they were putting on a pair of shorts. That done, we began passing out lengths of the nylon rope. We paused for a moment, the pledges were told to finish up their beer, and to open another. We then told the pledges to take the rope and tie it around their chest like a belt to hold the garbage bag in place. We then passed out the roles of duct tape. They were told to tape up the leg of one of the other pledges at the point that their leg came out of the trash bag. We went around to supervise to make sure lots of tape was used and to be sure there was a good seal between the plastic bag and their leg.

At this point the brother who acted as our official house photographer came it and took a picture of the pledges. I could show you a copy of this picture but since one of the participants is running for U.S. Congress in Ohio and another is a big executive with IBM I decided it was not such a good idea. So there were our pledges posed with a beer raised high standing there in their big plastic diapers.

The chairman then outlined the evening's activity. Simply a night of drinking beer and singing songs. At this point the pledge who had asked to go to the bathroom repeated his request. The chairman and all of the brothers laughed and said "go ahead, step to the front of the room and go." You could see the sudden realization in the eyes of each pledge. A night of drinking beer wearing a large plastic diaper. Eventually they all would have to "go" and the sloshing would begin.

The rest of the evening was drinking, and singing old songs with special lyrics for the evening. The Leslie Gore classic from the 1950's "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" became "It's my party and I'll piss if I want to." The Beach Boys classic "Help Me Rhonda" had a new chorus "Help me Rhonda yeah, gotta pee in my pants!" At one point the chairman passed out bottles of the Mexican beer "Corona" and started the Knack classic "My Sharona" with the chorus changed to "My Corona". Later that night the song was re-played with the chorus changed to "Ur-i-nation."

Along with the singing there were visits from some of the sisters from neighboring sororities. One of the women likened the spectacle she was witnessing to that of primitive tribes rites of passage. She finished her observation just as the belching contest began in earnest. There were also "beer spraying contests", shake up your beer and spray it at your neighbor. "Chugging contests", drink a can of beer without stopping. And "Shotgunning contests".

Just in case you are not familiar with the American drinking tradition of "Shotgunning" here is a brief description. Unlike "Chugging", Shotgunning eliminates the air vacuum caused by the beer as it chugs out of the can or bottle. To "Shotgun" you take an un-opened can of beer with a flip-top, turn it over, then using either an old-fashioned bottle opener, or a screwdriver punch a hole in the bottom of the can. The hole should be about the same as the hole created by the flip-top. You then pick up the can, cover the hole with your mouth, tilt your head back until the top of the can is up in the air, then pull the flip top. The beer goes straight down your throat. There is no air holding it back.

Isn't the World Wide Web great? I'm so glad to use it to spread some of the finer cultural aspects of the U.S. to the world.

Anyway, back to "Slosh Night."

The evening wore on with more singing and more beer. At one point the brothers piled the pledges in back of a pick-up truck. With one of the brothers as a sober designated driver they cruised up and down fraternity row. They would stop at some of the sororities and fraternities and at the brothers prompting would get out of the truck and run around to show their "Sloshing". One of the stops was rather fortunate for one of the pledges. As he was running around the lawn of a sorority he slipped and fell on some wet grass. He was helped to his feet by one of the sororities pledges. They later dated and got married. I guess there is something to say for a first impression being an embarrassing one.

"Slosh Night" finally ended a little after 1:00AM with a traditional hosing off of the pledges. The cold water cleaned them up and sobered them up long enough to get dressed and pile into the truck to be driven back to their dorms.

The next year I didn't participate in "Slosh Night" but do remember the experience whenever I see "Corona" listed on a drink menu, or hear the old Knack song.

NEXT:  Voice Fe-Mail Problems - The dorm's "Don Juan" has his out-going phone message creatively changed.

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