Soon enough, brand new freshmen—the class of 2023—will be roaming around campus, enjoying the abundant social possibilities this university has to offer. They will (unfortunately) feel inclined to visit a frat party or two, and so for them, I present a cautionary tale about events that occurred at a frat party long ago.
Some Friday night early on in my first year, I wandered with a rag-tag group of borderline alcoholics looking for a way to validate their drinking habits at the local frats. “Listen, champ,” insisted the de-facto leader Robby in a solemn tone of voice, “you need to know the in’s and out’s of these joints. First and foremost, you gotta constantly lie to everyone you meet at these places. Never tell them a shred of the truth.” He held true to this policy, insisting that he was rushing, and I was a transfer student from Florida State University. The latter lie seemed fairly unnecessary since a blanket lie about our group rushing could have easily covered both of us for a simple Welcome Week event.
By this point, most of us had amassed enough alcohol to not only turn our stumble into a dangerous balancing act but to also work up a full bladder as well. Upon some heavy deliberation, we decided that we would line up to pee in order of height—shortest last—and unfortunately, I lost by an inch.
With a bladder dangerously close to bursting, I waited as patiently as I possibly could, shaking hands with every guy I made eye contact with until finally, it was my turn to piss. The line grew smaller and smaller until I was finally up to bat and eyed my proverbial pissing tree. Admittedly, the facilities were not optimal. In fact, they were not even facilities. Staring down a pile of soggy cardboard beer cases, I blindly assumed it was the frat’s half-assed attempt at composting. I approached precariously, checked my surroundings, and began to unzip. Approximately ten seconds later, my bladder was empty, and I prepared to pack up my business.
There was, however, a small kink in that plan—my zipper was stuck. A mere inconvenience, no doubt, but I simply did not have the agency to process this rationally. I began to panic–what if my pants wouldn’t zip up? After all, I only had so much time before the people behind me got annoyed and starting shouting unintelligible phrases meant to insult my brittle ego. I could try pulling my shirt down over my crotch–but I would run the risk of my hot-dog-patterned boxers and the tip of my penis poking out, as my shirt was far too short to disguise the underdeveloped size of my member. I could take my shirt off and wrap it around my waist if it were not for debilitating body image issues.
“Fuck it,” I thought to myself, “one more try.” I pulled on the zipper, and voila! It moved! For a moment, I was ecstatic. I felt like proclaiming from the hilltops that I had narrowly avoided a lifetime of complete and utter shame—my parents disowning me, my friends shunning me, my cat committing suicide out of shame—until I realized my mistake. The zipper had indeed moved, but only by a little. It had been…obstructed by something. A numbed pain flooded into my body as I willed myself to look down, inching my head down as a crowd of partygoers threatened to pee themselves, on the ground, on me. I worked up substantial courage and looked at the gruesome scene.
There, atop a pile of Coors Light boxes, laid my mangled foreskin.
Tears flooded out of my eyes. I began shaking as I reached for my phone and dialed the only person I could trust in an emergency.
“Hi Mom,” I sobbed, “I think I’m Jewish now.”
Written by Sam Zylstra; Art by Brianna Kucharski