Trondheim is the happiest town above the Artic circle, but Sven was glad to be rid of it. Too dark for too much of the year, and not much excitement, at least not by his standards. He had insisted on going to a university abroad, and he had enjoyed his first few months at the American school he had chosen. His social life had been greatly boosted when he started hanging out with the brothers of the Beta Xi Sigma fraternity, a fairly intelligent bunch who still managed to drink a lot of beer on the weekends. They had good parties and enjoyed each others' company, and Sven was pleased when he was asked to join.
He went to the first night of pledging with a mixture of anticipation and dread, but it went better than he had expected. After a variety of wacky stunts and rapidly consumed alcoholic beverages, he stood in a bucket of an unidentifiable gooey substance and with a bag over his head. He heard Chester, the fraternity's president, speaking from across the room. "OK Sven, if you're ready, repeat after me. I promise to respect the brotherhood..."
"I promise to... ummm... respect the brotherhood." he said hesitantly.
"Come on, like you mean it now!" boomed Chester. "And I pledge to do whatever is necessary to uphold the honor of Beta Xi Sigma."
"And I pledge to do whatever is necessary to uphold the honor of Beta Xi Sigma," Sven repeated.
"Right on, Sven! OK boys, take him out back with the others." He was led from the bucket and into the backyard, where the other pledges had gathered. With much whooping and spraying of beer, they received their pledge pins and were welcomed into the fold.
And with that began the path to one of the most outrageous incidents the university had ever seen.
Later that semester, many of the Betas were at a Saturday afternoon party at the Mu Nu house. The Mu Nus were across the street, and for several years had been similar in character to the Betas, so the members of the two houses often attended each others' parties and got along rather well. This year, however, the Mu Nus were having more outrageous parties, took a much larger pledge class than usual, and generally seemed to have a much more cocky attitude than the Betas were used to. Still, this was a big party, with many sorority women in attendance and a big wiffle ball tournament, so off they went.
But the party took an ugly turn early, when the Mu Nus unveiled a new horrifying way to drink beer. Dan, Mu Nu's obnoxious president, stood behind the bar and filled a latex condom (thankfully unlubricated) with beer off the keg, then held it up for the approval of his brothers. As they chanted "Dan does the condom! Dan does the condom!" he took the ring between his teeth, then turned up the bloated beer-filled condom, and chugged as one might drink from a balloon. The Mu Nus cheered their approval.
Dan refilled the condom larger than before, then looked about the room for a victim. His gaze settled on Shelby, a sorority president and generally nice girl who just happened to be dating Chester. She didn't normally go to events like this, but had made an exception. When Dan and the other Mu Nus started chanting "Shelby does the condom! Shelby does the condom!" she was horrified. She tried to make a dash for the stairs, but two Mu Nus grabbed her and dragged her to the bar. Dan put the enormous balloon of beer in Shelby's hands and forcibly lifted it to her face, where some splashed out before she could drink it. "Oh noooooo! You're all pregnant!" Dan shouted, splashing beer at the women in attendance. Shelby did her best to keep up with the beer, but had to stop halfway through, leading the brothers to chant "Shelby's a virgin! Shelby's a virgin!" Finally, to end the torment, she drank the last of the condom's contents. She groaned in relief; it was limp and flaccid. The Mu Nus roared with satisfaction.
Chester and Sven had been in the back yard playing wiffle ball, and another Beta had only alerted them in time to witness the end of this spectacle. Chester forced his way through the throng and led Shelby away, shouting "You fucking animals! Leave her alone!" The Mu Nus jeered. Chester led Shelby outside, where she expelled the contents of her stomach in front of another crowd.
Sven idolized Chester, and when he saw how unhappy his big brother was, he became angry. The Mu Nus had besmirched Shelby's honor, and by extension the honor of Beta Xi Sigma. Nothing good would come of this.
Two hours later, Beta Xi Sigma met Mu Nu in the final of the wiffle ball tournament. Conveniently for the Mu Nus, Dan was the umpire for the critical game. It was a close match until the final inning, when with two runners on base, Joe of the Mu Nus hit a long fly down the left field line. Sven had run after it, until it appeared to land foul. However, Dan called it a fair ball, and by the time the ball was recovered, Joe had scored the winning run.
Chester was beside himself, and erupted onto the field. "This is why I said you shouldn't be the umpire. That ball was two feet foul, and you called it in favor of your team!"
"Oh come on, trust me," Dan said with a smirk. "I said I'd be impartial, and I called that as I saw it."
"Criminy, Dan, how are we supposed to trust you on this one? You cheat at everything! Remember when you had the cards up your sleeve when we were playing poker? And the Monopoly money in your shoe!"
"Hey, c'mon, that was just a joke."
"No way, Mr. Competitive, you'll do anything just to win."
"Oh, whatever, Beta boy. You know, we've had it with your bitching. You don't like how we serve our beer, you tell us we're abusive to women, you don't want to play fuckin' wiffle ball... here's an idea: why don't you get the hell out of our house?!"
"Fine!" thundered Chester. "Come on, guys, we don't need this crap." The Betas headed out the side gate, to the murmurs of the Mu Nus and other assorted party-goers. The last Beta to leave was Sven; he stopped at the gate, turned, and shot a piercing glance at Dan that he would never forget. He turned to leave, and somehow Dan new that there would be more trouble to come.
The next morning at the Mu Nu house, Dan stumbled downstairs holding his trash can and looking like death warmed over. Joe laughed at him. "What's wrong, Dan? You look a little hung over. Or was it all those cheese fries you ate?"
"Ugh...never again must you mention cheese," Dan mumbled.
The brothers couldn't let that one go. "Grilled cheese sandwich?" "Cheese fondue?" "Deep-friend mozzarella?" Myriad serving suggestions for cheese were offered until Dan ran outside to hurl; the other Mu Nus chortled and high-fived.
Dan returned looking even sicker than before. "Guys, you need to come out here."
He led his brethren outside and pointed up the street. Under a gray sky, a hulking olive shape sat upon the horizon, malevolently, and emitted a low rumbling sound. The shape got larger, and the sound louder, until they could see it was a regulation Army tank, coming right down their street and tearing out bits of asphalt. When it reached their house, it abruptly turned and headed straight for them. The brothers scattered as the tank drove straight through the brick, mortar, and wood, shattering the front wall, destroying the pool table, the TV, the kitchen, the dance floor, the DJ booth, and finally plowing through the back wall and into the back yard, where it came to a halt.
The hatch opened, and out climbed Sven, who nonchalantly walked back across the street to the Beta house, while the Mu Nus stood and stared.
Incredibly, Sven had managed to sneak onto the local army base and drive a tank through a chain link fence without anyone noticing. Upon further questioning, it became apparent that he took his pledge to "do whatever is necessary to uphold the honor of Beta Gamma Sigma" a little too seriously. Even more incredibly, no one was hurt in the tanking; the upper stories of the Mu Nu house stayed up long enough to get everyone out safely, and the brothers who had been downstairs had all gone outside, saw the tank coming and got out of the way in time.
Sven was sent to a mental hospital for several months and eventually sent back to Trondheim, where he became a postal worker. Chester graduated with high honors, and became a moderately successful computer consultant. Dan graduated last in his class, and immediately became a vice president in his father's cable company. Shelby transferred to Brown, where they don't have crummy Greeks to degrade women.