...Picking Up Babes
Our fellow fraternity brothers came up with the endearing nickname of “Vermin” for Steve due to his frequent and unapologetic hookups with just about anyone who was vaguely willing and possessed a vagina. To understand the depths of Steve’s lechery, just imagine how poorly you must have to behave to get fellow members a fraternity, a social organization whose primary function is to get young men drunk and laid as often as possible, to look at your behavior with universal disapproval.
Steve’s various pick-up methods became the stuff of legend. Two of his most common were:
1) The Cute and Unusual Pet Method
Steve was the owner of a smelly but irresistible ferret who was kept in his bedroom on the bottom floor of the fraternity house, below the house’s main living room/socializing area. This hook-up method entailed engaging a young woman in conversation just long enough to develop a level of comfort to where Steve could eventually ask, “Would you like to see my ferret?” He’d then bring the girl downstairs to show off his furry friend. If all went as planned, he'd get to see hers in return. While Steve was ridiculed unmercifully for the corniness of this approach, it's effectiveness is exemplified by the fact our fraternity house soon welcomed a second ferret and a whole family of chinchillas.
2) The Intellectual Method
I hope this doesn’t come off as sexist, but for attendees at an institution of higher learning who were supposedly representative of the best and brightest young minds in America, I saw a lot of college girls fall for some pretty stupid shit. Just one unrelated example - another fraternity brother, Aaron, was an Art-Photography minor who was able to easily convince large numbers of attractive young ladies to gladly pose for him in the buff under the guise of “helping out a young artist”; photographs I believe eventually ended up as community jerk-off material in the fraternity house.
There also seems to be a universal law of academia that states all college girls must fall for at least one supposedly “deep” guy as a requirement of graduation. This method of picking up women worked especially well for a guy like Steve who wasn’t likely to ever wow anyone in the looks department. With a body that could only be achieved through lazing around on the couch watching TV all day eating snack food, and a personal style that can only be described as “Fonzie-esque” (slicked-back hair, jeans, T-shirt and leather jacket, the only deviation being the once in a blue moon when Steve would replace a white t-shirt with a green or black one), Steve’s appearance alone didn’t turn any heads. But as a philosophy major, he could play the “Faux Intellectual” card better than just about anybody. A particular incident that stands out for me was on the drive back from Lake Tahoe where a few of us had joined some sorority girls on a Spring Break ski trip. Steve, being uncharacteristically quiet, was asked by one of the girls, Sally, why he was so silent that morning.
“I was just thinking about the book I plan on writing. It is going to be in the form of a science fiction/adventure novel but its theme is actually the philosophical concept of deciduism – whether or not we control our own destiny or if our destinies are predetermined”.
It took weeks for my backseat to completely dry.
If either of these methods failed Steve would just resort to the more direct approach of asking, "Are you drunk yet?" Tacky as hell, but at least honest with its intentions.
Some of Steve’s ideas were just stupid, though. My fraternity always threw a freshman orientation party the week preceding the new school year as a way to "recruit potential pledges". To be honest, getting a head start on meeting and wooing all the new freshman girls had a lot to do with it as well. At one such party, two girls who Steve and I had spoken with throughout the night independently of one another asked the two of us if we’d mind walking them back to their dorm. Honestly, I think they just wanted to be safe on what was a dark and unfamiliar path. But being boys, Steve and I of course took this request as, “Hey guys, howsa `bout some sex?”
Back in their dorm room we were making what we assumed was some pre-doing-the-nasty small talk when the phone rang. It was a new friend these girls had made, someone from another dorm asking what they were up to.
“We’re just in our room hanging out with a couple of the fraternity guys from the party, [my real name] & AUSTIN.”
Now I am not so naïve as to not understand that sometimes a woman will look at criteria other than the quality of a man’s soul to determine whether or not to sleep with him. But somehow I have a hard time believing that there exists a woman on this planet who would find a particular man worthy of giving her body only to determine that his name was too plain and/or common and change her mind. Or alternatively, I seriously doubt any woman has ever found a man otherwise unworthy of her bed but found herself unable to resist his unique and cool sounding name. Steve obviously thought otherwise, figuring “Austin” increased his fuckability quotient substantially vs. "Steve". Considering he came home with yours truly that night, I guess you could say it didn’t work.
Maybe if I had told them my name was Gooch…?