MEMOIRS OF A FRAT BOY: HALLOWEEN EDITION

My frat house had three flights of stairs in it, so to ensure my safety, I demanded my big, strong frat brothers to carry me from floor to floor all night long while I screamed, “DON’T SPILL MY DRINK!"

Oct 24, 2012 at 11:30am | Leave a comment

Y’all wanted to hear about my days as a frat boy, and while I can’t imagine WHY, I’m all about giving the people what they want.  

It should come as no surprise that I’m not your typical frat boy, but it WAS your typical frat. The frat house was filled with big dudes with tattoos, beards, foul mouths and whiskey on their breath. And me! Don’t even ask me how I ended up in a frat in the first place.

It was a lot like Wendy and the Lost Boys. Half the time I’d be the mom, trying to break up fights and stop guys from setting things on fire. Believe me when I tell you that I’ve got some real JUICE on the down and dirty life of a former frat boy such as myself -- let’s start out on the tamer side of things. Halloween!

It’s 10 am on a Friday morning in late October, all the way back in 2008. “Just Dance” is blasting from my bedroom as I’m stumbling around my frat house in nothing but my underwear, clutching a giant coffee, trying desperately to get the taste of vodka-pineapples from the night before out of my mouth.  It’s Halloween weekend and everyone has spent the entire week getting their costumes ready for the numerous parties that would soon be taking place. But the boys from my frat are kicking things off a little early, ringing in the weekend with a Zombie March!

Okay, as if I would ever actually take part in a Zombie March.  I mean, I have a life.  But, being the generous and caring brother that I was, I chose to skip class with my friend Tiela and do everyone’s makeup, getting the guys properly undead ZOMBIFIED.

Tiela was well versed in stage makeup, so she met me in my room, dropped her numerous bags of makeup and set up shop.  One by one, the boys rolled in. I’d make their faces a delightful pale gray/green (basically how someone looks when they’re about to vom), hollow out their eyes with purples, blues and blacks, and send them over to Tiela so she could work her magic. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but I could sure fake it. And besides, they were dumb frat boys, it’s not like they knew any better.  

By the time we were done, my bedroom was overflowing with dirty, smelly, hungover boys who were mulling around, taking in the sight of all of their zombie brethren.  By the time everyone was made up, they had all been cooped up for too long and their excitement was getting the best of them.  True to form, these grown ass men started roughhousing and acting like a bunch of children.

“GENTLEMEN,” I wailed, “SO HELP ME GOD, IF YOU RUIN YOUR MAKEUP, I WILL NOT BE TOUCHING IT UP FOR YOU.” My threat didn’t shake them to their core as I’d imagined it would, but my booming masculine voice helped.

That was how the weekend started.

Halloween was, and still is, a very serious ordeal for me.  I’d spend months devising my costume to ensure that it was executed perfectly. The typical frat boy, however, cares about very little. My guys put minimal thought and effort into their costumes, which, frankly, I found appalling and blasphemous. Halloween is a GIFT, and should be treated as such. The guys knew when it came down to the wire, they could rely on me to help them pull off a great costume. At the very last minute, I’ve whipped up costumes such as: giant condom, a giant ballgown made out of trash bags, and basically anything “giant.”

Every Halloween, I would have the best costume out of everyone, obviously. But I always ended up having to sacrifice some level of physical comfort to rock the best costumes, you know, to really GO there. The following is a comprehensive list of my costumes each year and an explanation of the personal trauma that they caused me.

Freshmen Year:  Unsurprisingly, my first Halloween was a real mess. I chose to be a zombie Catholic schoolboy (again with the zombies). This, I am sure, was my subconscious attempt to exorcize the last four years of strict Catholic high school from my soul.  As I was putting together my costume on the night of Halloween, buzzed off of UV Blue and lemonade (that was during the time when I would literally drink ANYTHING, clearly), I was putting holes in the back of my blazer that had once been part of my high school uniform.  

In doing this, I just about sliced my thumb off with a pair of dull scissors and proceeded to bleed all over my costume before my lovely friends got me bandaged up. It really added to the look of my costume seeing as it was now covered in blood, which everyone thought was fake.  

“Great costume! It looks so gruesome,” people told me, as I swayed back and forth, lightheaded after losing at least a pint of blood, which was now all over my own shirt.  

Sophomore year:  I decided to go as my favorite sidekick, Robin, from Batman & Robin.  I also apparently wanted to wear exclusively spandex because I hate myself. The costume was killer, save the fact that you could count each one of my ribs, and since it’s so cold by the end of October, there was a major case of shrinkage. Not cute. Running around in solely spandex in the cold weather was not my best decision, but it worked out great on the dance floor because while everyone was sweating through their costumes, I was nice and cool, whipping my cape back and forth. I loved that cape. I’m still wearing it as I type this.

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Junior Year:  Junior year I was a mermaid…er…merman. My mom can sew absolutely anything I dream up, so when I texted her “MERMAID TAIL,” I promptly received an “Oh, hell” as a response -- she accepted the challenge. The costume looked great; the only problem was that the tail was so tight around my ankles that I had to take teeny little steps while walking. My frat house had three flights of stairs in it, which I would frequently tumble down even when I wasn’t wearing a mermaid tail, so to ensure my safety, I asked (demanded) my big, strong frat brothers to carry me from floor to floor all night long while I screamed, “DON’T SPILL MY DRINK” as I joyously flapped my mermaid tail.

All you need to know about my senior year Halloween is that I was living in Los Angeles, I dressed as Andy Warhol, and I spent the entire night going jello shot for jello shot with a sassy drag queen Beyonce.  I think about her sometimes.

But back to that particular weekend.

After the weekend had ended, the shrapnel of Halloween was everywhere. I made my way through the frat house, careful not to trip over any jack-o-lantern shaped candy buckets, broken shot glasses, discarded pieces of various costumes, and the occasional person still passed out.  

I walked into the bathroom to take a shower. As I yanked open the curtain to our big communal shower, I was horrified by what I saw. BLOOD. Blood all over the walls, smeared handprints being dragged down to the floor, blood spatters from floor to ceiling.  It was gruesome, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it was the leftover fake blood that some idiots got a hold of during the party the night before and decided to replicate a murder scene with. The blood had dried to the walls and refused to budge. You couldn’t rinse it, and even scrubbing it wouldn’t do a whole lot of good.  

SO, being the good, selfless and HUMBLE brother that I was, I took it upon myself to clean it all up. I promptly grabbed my laptop, put on Britney’s “Womanizer” on repeat (it had just been released), busted open the janitor’s closet and grabbed every bottle of chemical I could fit in my arms. I didn’t read any of the labels, but one of them had to work. Plus, each one was a fun color. Jewel tones!

I was in that goddamned shower for two and a half hours, covering the walls and myself with strange chemicals, trying to get the remove the blood. To make matters worse, I had forgotten that there was absolutely no ventilation in the showers and I was gliding around in a haze of strange chemicals feeling lovely and woozy. The guys had brought me like three or four fans to blow some clean air into the shower so I wouldn’t accidentally huff my brain to pieces, and were begging me to go outside and get some fresh air. But I was a man on a mission.

“Tynan,” they’d yell, “Womanizer has been on repeat for two hours, can you at least change the song?”

“NO!” I’d bark, “I’M DOING THIS FOR YOU.”  

Brotherhood.

In hopes that you’ll take SOMETHING constructive from this article, I’ll include our recipe for fake blood as I remember it.

#CookingWithTynan

YOU WILL NEED:

Water

Corn Syrup

Food Coloring

Powdered Hot Chocolate Mix

A Big Ass Bucket

In a big ass bucket, combine three parts corn syrup to one part water. Stir that shit. Then add some red food coloring to make it, you know, red. Don’t be heavy handed while doing this because less is more. When you’ve achieved your desired shade, add just a couple drops of red and blue to darken it, making it more realistic. THEN, add some hot cocoa powder. The hot cocoa is going to thicken up the mixture, making it look more real, and it’s also going to make it more opaque and just a little bit darker. Oh, it’s edible, too, so that’s gross.  

As you can see, Halloween is an interesting time for us all, but let me assure you that it’s ALWAYS an interesting time to be in a frat. But I mean, what do you guys want to know?  I wouldn’t have written this if I didn’t have so many of you asking! I can’t tell you anything *esoteric*, but all of that shit is anticlimactic and uninteresting anyway. Promise.  

But what about the time that I convinced my entire frat, who then convinced the entire campus, that I married my female best friend on Homecoming weekend?  Or all of the interesting situations that came from being the “only” gay guy in Greek life. Or the beer Christmas tree. Or the zip line. I had almost successfully blacked all of that out of my memory (read: blacked out) and now you want me to dig it up again. God, I’ll do some thinking. In the meantime, ask away.

Oh, and here’s a picture of me from last Halloween. I was a moose.  

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Or a buck. Whatever, I just really like antlers. 

Tweet me what I should be for Halloween.  Your choices are:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • The Giant Peach, from James and the Giant Peach
  • Amy Winehouse
  • An Empanada 

Or anything else you can come up with.  Bonus points if it involves me wearing stupid shit on my head.

The past is haunting Tynan at @TynanBuck