10:00PM Saturday is to Fratman what the full moon is to Remus Lupin — time for the party animal to come out.
The clock strikes midnight, and the transformation begins. We rejoin our well-dressed capped crusader for a night on the town, a night for blunts, blazers and liver-bleeding; a night for proving points about one’s masculinity; a night for primal misogyny!
Fratman departs the Zeta mansion at around 10:15PM. Most fraternity parties at Fratman’s school have been happening at off-campus houses lately, a recent trend caused by giant sticks lodged in multiple administrative bungholes. He takes a moment and chuckles to himself, already seeing in his mind’s eye the horde of inebriated freshman stumbling through the streets, lost and far from home. Luckily for the frosh, the local and school authorities are well-known for securing misplaced drunken underclassmen.
It’s a colder night than usual and the walk is long, but Fratman is not a baby. What are cigarettes and whiskey for, if not warming the soul on an evening stroll? He lights up a 27, takes a deep swig of Jim Beam from his flask and pushes on.
But, just as our hero is about to turn left onto Dyde Street, preparing to heat impassioned loins with his roguish charm, he is blocked completely by a throng of people. Many are sitting. A quick glance through the audience reveals a band of normal looking folks, but something is amiss in such an oddly-placed gathering.
Then he hears it.
“Shoo bop! Shoobee doobee doo wop! Shoo wop, doobee doobee doo!”
“Bum, bum! Buuuuuuuuuuum! Ooooooh, ooooh, ooooooooooooh!”
“La la la la la, brown eyed girl!”
He is horrified.
Confused and disturbed as to why such a concert is unfolding only inches away from the annex lawn and killing all of the vibes, Fratman fearlessly approaches for a closer look. Standing before the mass are six men of extremely variant heights and widths, bobbing to and fro and snapping their fingers dressed in matching khaki pants, blazers, and bow ties. They are unperturbed by the loud electronic beats blasting from the nearby residences. At first, these six seem intent on belting out as many cover songs as possible before their congregation disbands for fear of boredom-induced heart failure. But on closer inspection, he sees the crowd is very into the act. Especially the girls. Hell, all of them are girls.
Fratman notices they have no instruments and finally understands. It’s one of them A Cappella groups. He must act.
“Hey! Get off our lawn you buncha sticks!”
The shortest of the band turns toward Fratman with unexpected speed.
“This isn’t your lawn. We are on the sidewalk. This is public property.”
A disapproving murmur roils through the audience. Fratman hasn’t seen so many hateful female faces since he stumbled into his three ex-girlfriends’ sorority reeking of pot last week.
“Ew, is that second hand cigarette smoke?!” a girl pipes up.
“Ehmahgaw! Is that an open container?!” another squeals, pointing at Fratman’s flask, “I’m pretty sure that’s illegal to hold around us ’cause not all of us are 21!”
Before Fratman can respond, all six guys are suddenly before him with arms crossed.
“We are The Treblemakers,” the short one sniffs with an upturned nose, “And I am Ganno Meedy.”
“You the head of this posse?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Man, I didn’t know Glee had a B-Team. How you guys enjoying second string?”
“Look, asshole, we’re trying to sing some songs and sell some CDs, so why don’t you just clear out?”
“Uh, how about you’re on my lawn, bro, and we’re trying to throw down. The ladies can stay.”
“You know,” Ganno lashed out, “go be a pig elsewhere ’cause we’re not moving! The whole message of The Treblemakers is that we don’t have to be chauvinist douches like you to have a good time!”
“Well somebody’s gotta do the job. Might as well be me. Are you guys the best thing Beta Male Corp. could put out or … ?”
Laughing as rudely as possible, Fratman turns his back on the ardent singers and strolls onto the annex porch. As he’s high-fiving his brothers and lighting another cigarette, a sudden haunting wave of sound carries towards them.
“We shall overcome … we shall overcome … we shall overcome some day…”
The entire throng, led by The Treblemakers, chants the eerie tune. Fratman’s sure he’s heard this song before but he can’t place it … Might be from an inspirational Nike commercial or something.
As the choir grows more vexing, he can think of only one appropriate response: a U-S-A chant. Like a sergeant, he races through the house and rallies the entire brotherhood. They pour out from the porch upon the misfit crowd, and blast them with some true-blue American patriotism, pumping their fists and chugging their beers.
“U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”
And as the sulking Treblemakers lead their loyal following away from Dyde Street, Fratman rushes up to Ganno and spins him around.
“Just one thing,” Fratman says, “Do you even lift, bro?”