Dik's Ravings

Dik Saalfeld '80
Washington correspondent
Spring 2002

It strikes me, from reading newspaper accounts of fraternity hi-jinx these last few years, that frat boys doing stupid things are no longer exempt from enforcement of the laws that cover practicing adults. Those of you of a certain age know what I'm talking about. Remember when you hog-tied a drunk pledge, tossed him in the trunk of the Studebaker, and left him in the snow on the side of the Elmira Road wearing gym shorts and shower shoes, and the State Trooper smiled and drove off when you said it was a frat thing? Man, people go to JAIL for that now! Can you imagine? It was considered a sign of weakness to give naked, kidnapped pledges a dime so they could call for help; hell, if they're duct-taped to the inside of the elevator in the girl's dorm, who needs help? They should have been paying US for the privilege. What kind of world is it where we can't laugh off horrific acts of reckless endangerment and vandalism with a bemused "boys will be boys"?

Speaking of a depraved disregard for the value of human life, I heard from Brad Smith '80 recently. (Brad invented the Joust Over Water event at the annual Fun in the Sun festival; big drunks hitting co-eds with water-logged pillows - man, we knew how to have FUN!) Brad and his babely wife Joyce were playing host to Chuck Smith '79, who was in California with his delectable wife Jan and their children. They were trying to track down the elusive Paul Lego '80, who now runs a company called Virage, which is either a high-tech firm, or a wiener drug knock-off.

I went to New York City the other day for the sole purpose of seeing Kathleen Turner naked. (She's in the stage version of "The Graduate.") Everybody's doing it. You should, too. Then I won't be the only schmuck I know to shell out 75 bucks to see a middle-aged tart in her birthday suit, something I can see for free every goddamn night. Talk about stupid frat boys. I mean, it's great to see her naked, but the 1978 pledge skit was better than that play. The audience was mostly guys like me, schlubs with binoculars and wearing loose pants, who remembered Kathleen Turner from "Body Heat."

Peter Aufrichtig '80 writes that all is well in his neck of the woods. He is a colossally successful patent attorney. He has a lovely wife and two smart kids. Friggy may not remember this, but he played a great part in my initiation, despite the fact that we were in the same pledge class. See, I sat next to Peter during the Pledge Test. They must still give that test - four hours of torture involving fraternity arcania and Greek letters. Anyway, Friggy got a perfect score, and I only missed one: "Name: Peter Dan Aufrichtig." I would have caught this blunder had I not spent the afternoon at Dimeys loading up for the weekend. To this day I can't get past Gamulon in the Greek alphabet, or whatever that one is just south of Beta. My fraternal big brother, Brad Garrigues '77, could say the Greek alphabet five times on a match, whereas I couldn't say it once on a tire fire. Some people say this is what drove him to Jesus, but I prefer to think it was the time I got stoned and put my pledge pin right through my nipple, long before everybody else started doing it.

Speaking of pledging, Pledge Master Andy Henderson '78 once asked Pledge Dik which brother he admired most, and I had to say Bill Sipperly, because on date night he could pick all the meat off a Cornish game hen using only a fork and knife. Andy thought I had brain damage. It was really quite fascinating, though: that man missed nothing. Sipperly, I mean. At the end of the meal, the clean bones would be stacked neatly on his plate in order by size, so it looked like you could reassemble the chicken. Bill, if you're out there, call me; I'll take you to dinner, my treat.