These past months I’ve been finishing up my MFA scholarly paper. I’ve been working with the talented professor and Norman Mailer Biographer Dr. Lennon. I’ve also helped out in grading undergraduate American Literature papers. Some of them are good, most are bad, but then there is THIS.
Charles “Chug Life” Donaldson
Moby Dick: The Ship of Life
Moby Dick was way too long and talked way too much about whales (like, real ones, not the chicks in Alpha Phi), but it had an awesome theme I could relate to—brotherhood. That ship all those guys rode on, the Pequod, I’ve been on that ship too, but I call it “The Ship of Life.” My ship’s official name is not the Pequod, it’s Sigma Chi—Rush brother of 2012. Like Ishmael, I, too, have met great men who taught me how to ride “The Winds of Life”; I totally relate to the story because Ishmael’s life echoes my own.
Moby Dick begins with this guy named Ishmael, who like me is just this totally awesome guy that is probably misunderstood by his dad and was told by his parents, “Hey, Ishmael, do something with your life. You can’t just play Call of Duty and smoke marijuana all day.” So he says, all right and leaves and goes aboard a ship, scared—but ready to become a man.
After his parents drop him off from like their horse and buggy or whatever, he is on the ship and he meets and dorms with this cannibal man named Queequeg. I could relate ’cause my rush brother and roommate was Asian. His name is Ronald though. And check this—he even hates Chinese food, but that could be because his grandma is from Thailand. Like Ishmael, though, I learned right away that Asian people are like totally different from other Asian people. That is what happens when you step aboard “The Ship of Life”—you learn stuff. Important things that only “The Ship of Life” can teach you.
When they set off to sea, that was totally like Rush Week; Dr. Len- non, I know you talk all the time about that war book that Norman Mailer guy wrote, and I’ve played lots of Call of Duty so I know war is bad and I am not trying to be insensitive to our fallen soldiers, but Rush Week is pretty up there with war: our first day we had to memorize and sing the Sigma Chi Fraternity Song while standing naked as our older frat brothers threw sushi at us. They were extra apologetic to Ronald and said it wasn’t racist. Ronald cried, but only because he got green stuff in his eye.
At night, Ronald and I would go back to our room and talk about how we miss our families. It was very Queequeg and Ishmael sharing a bed but probably not as gay. Ronald told me that he wants to bang hot Cauca- sian (I learned that was a fancy word for white people) Tri Delts. I said, “Me too, I am in this thing to party and bang lots of Tri Delts also.”
We both smiled and I realized Ronald was a true friend and totally like me. I gave him a serious look and said to him, “Sorry you got green stuff in your eye but I must tell you dude, I was impressed—for an Asian dude you are packing pretty well. It is total bullshit about you guys being small.”
He looked at me, touched my shoulder, and said “Thanks, that is a stereotype that hurts my soul.”
And that is what happens when you stay aboard “The Ship of Life”—you get to see into another dude’s soul.
The next morning as Rush Week continued, we were woken up and told to grab our tooth brushes and start cleaning the kitchen. Ronald and I met two other cool seamen on the Ship of Sigma Chi—Will and Brad. They were kind of life Starbuck and Flask. We each got assigned nine tiles and got to scrubbing when Will said, “We are doing it for a party tomorrow. I hear it is going to be huge.”
“Hopefully as huge as the Tri Delt titties that will be bouncing around. I heard there is going to be a special DJ,” said Brad.
A third year went into the kitchen to get some orange juice and pop tarts and said, “You don’t know shit, Freshmen. President and Leader Cody of Sigma Chi has special plans for this party and it is not just about getting some poontang. It’s about much more. Cody has a mission and we will follow it. Sigma Chi till I die!”
The third year left us and we wondered about Frat Leader Cody; I guess he was kind of like our Ahab—the Captain of our ship. We had yet to meet him, but we heard rumors about him: that he could do fifty chin ups and that he banged every Tri Delt except one because she was with the leader of The Pikes—they were our rivals and—to use a “metaphor”—our Moby Dick.
More men walked into the kitchen talking about later that night; I could sense something in the air, and it wasn’t just one of Brad’s bad farts. “The Ship of Life” was going to get bumpy and I was ready for the ride.
That night was the official ceremony where we would no longer just be seamen, we would be brothers—it was official initiation. As we stood in the basement I held Ronald’s and Brad’s hands as we sang the Sigma Chi Fight Song while the other members sat behind us throwing lunch meat at our heads. I felt the salami fall off my neck as Frat Leader Cody walked in and we all went silent.
He stood six feet high but walked with a limp and he held an iPad. He looked pissed as he held up the iPad showing the website of the local Pikes chapter. Their leader was with a beautiful blond with major boobage and they had a dog in the picture. He pointed at the screen and screamed, “Do you see this! They were voted number one frat, and do you see this dog? It’s fucking cute as hell and should be sleeping on my bed with that blond with the tits. But the Pikes, their leader Tyler, they take it all. They even beat us in The Games, fucking twisted my ankle doing the forty-yard dash and they rubbed it in. Tyler walks the dog with her, grabs her ass, and gives me the finger.”
The third year from the kitchen said, “Do you give him the finger back, sir?”
And, Dr. Lennon, he went all Ahab and said, “I don’t give the finger! I am the leader of Sigma Chi! I’d whip my dick out at the sun and tell it to suck it! And no lie, I whipped my dick out in front of them right by the reflection pond and jerked it at them. The cute dog freaked out and they walked away—all shocked and shit. Sigma Chi for life.”
“Sigma Chi for Life!” we screamed back. The boys then laughed with pride and cheered.
There was an awe to our leader, he was a cool dude but underneath the cheers I could feel the rage of the other members that they we were voted second coolest frat and how they felt the Pikes were super dicks.
Leader Cody waited for the cheers to stop and then looked at us, “I know why you joined: ’cause we are awesome, we fuck Tri Delts, and Roth- men over there can get us free beer from his dad. All logical and awesome reasons to be a Sigma Chi. But tonight boys, we are about to be more. We are going to put the Pikes in their place and reclaim our glory. Tomorrow we set a trap and show the Pikes who they and their leader are—evil fags who are number two. They are the shit the Tri Delt’s cute dog makes, that bitch I am going to bang tomorrow night and complete my list of Tri-Fucks. New recruits, are you with me?”
“Yes!” we screamed.
But minutes later Ronald and I then looked at each other with a little worry as Cody told us his plan how to catch the Pikes: a house party that he knew the Pikes couldn’t resist because Skrillex and a Dead Mau5 tribute DJ would be there—and it would be a trap.
That night Ronald and I became official members of Sigma Chi, with new names—mine was Chug Life and Ronald’s was Ronnie Danger- wang, but before we crashed he told me, “It’s awesome that we are in Sigma Chi but I worry Charles . . . I mean, Chug Life. Resentment is a bad thing man, and Cody has a lot of it at The Pikes. It can block you from getting your boner wet. My grandfather said something like that, he was a wise old Asian guy, you know what I mean.”
“Oh dude, I wouldn’t worry, we got a party tomorrow and Tri Delts are coming and DJ Skrill Mau5 will be there, and we will catch and make our rivals look like tools and be the number one frat again. It is going to be awesome.”
“Ok, you are probably right. I hope I get to motorboat a Tri-Delt.” “Me too, man. Me too.”
We then crashed, and honestly there were some moments while reading Moby Dick where I just crashed too. But I do remember in the book, Queequeg or some other Asian getting a bad feeling and Ishmael just rolling with it. There is something about Asian people; they have good wisdom. But, you know, like my kindred brother Ishmael, I didn’t listen to Ronald’s wisdom and instead dreamed about what I planned would be the party of the ages.
And it was. So many Tri Delts came and DJ Skrill Mau5 was spin- ning the dopest Dubstep I have ever heard. It was awesome—I even motor- boated a chick before 9:00 PM. The vibe was so cool and “The Ship of Life” felt right, but I felt the “winds” change when the Pike’s leader Tyler walked in with the Tri Delt hottie and her dog. President Cody was hanging near DJ Skrill Mau5 and called over to Ronald and I who were dancing with two c-cup blonds.
We left the hotties and went over to our Captain and he greeted the Pike’s leader and said, “We have had our differences but tonight is about good music and a good party. Veronica, you look hot, sorry for jerking my cock off at you. It was not respectful. We are all Greek and for tonight we should have peace. These are my two newest members, Chug Life and Rodney Dangerwang. They will grab you beers and show you the special smoke and XTC spot we have in the back.”
“Oh, show us now. I love rolling to Dubstep,” said Veronica as her boobies bounced with each syllable she spoke.
Cody smiled and said, “We will all go together—peace offering. I shouldn’t have flashed my cock. This is my way of making amends.”
The Pike’s leader said, “I don’t roll, that’s for fags, but I’ll smoke up. Asian kid, show me where there is a good blunt.”
We brought them around the party into the room with the trap; right when the Pike’s leader walked in, the other pledges came out from the closet and jumped him and trapped him in our net! Dr. Lennon, we had our Moby Dick in our net (we got it at Sports Authority along with some keggers), totally like the book, but it is never that easy. The hot chick ran out and screamed for help.
Tyler then pressed something on his iPhone; it was like an alarm and thirty seconds later other Pikes came rushing into the room and Cody said, “Now drop the banner around him and take the picture and Instagram it and beat these Pikes’ asses.”
A huge fight broke out, Chi versus Pike. I was throwing fists as the banner came down , but it got Cody too; both leaders were trapped together in this banner that said “I Heart Sucking Sigma Chi Cocks” and Ronald, following orders and being the Asian guy, took the picture and Instagramed it for all of the world to see.
“No!!!” Cody screamed as the fight stopped. Boys from both sides watched their leaders trapped with the other with in the “I Heart Sucking Sigma Chi Cocks” banner like they were getting gay Mummified.
Moments later, the campus security came in for the fight and laughed at our leaders. One reported “I got fight-disturbance, could be a hate crime. I got two boys here engaging in gay sex.”
The cops took photos and so did a kid from the school newspaper and, like Ahab, Cody was netted to his Moby Dick, running out of coolness as our ship went down that night. Our Ahab died, in a way, as he transferred to community college the next week out of shame.
Sigma Chi was already on probation so the house got shut down and was turned into a halfway house for, like, battered women or something. And like Ishmael needing a raft, I grabbed onto Ronald. Ishmael used Que- equeg’s coffin and I had Ronald’s dorm room where we carried on the legacy and brotherhood of Sigma Chi—without a house.
We never got to bang any Tri Delts but Ronald introduced me to his cousin Ananda; she was like the ship Ishmael found named Rachel. Her boobs aren’t that big but she’s pretty hot; we go to movies and bang on Saturdays and she makes this food called Pad Thai—it’s awesome, way better than any other Asian food I have ever had.
To conclude, I will say I am wiser for being on “The Ship of Life” and like Ishmael I have ridden the Ship of Sigma Chi and learned lessons that have turned me into a man. I probably am better off than Ishmael ’cause there probably weren’t any hot Asian chicks on the Rachel, but I carry his spirit of adventure as Ronald and I look into getting a house next year and getting a new crew to join on us on “The Ship of Life.”
Christoph Paul is an award-winning humor writer and co-publisher of New English Press. His most recent books are Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks and Great White House 2: Billary Bites Back. Find him on Twitter @Christophpaul_ and Christophpaulauthor.com.