Monday, July 28, 2008


Everything I'm about to write is true. In fact...two people who normally read went through this same thing, on the same night....FRESHMAN INITIATION.

Every 8th grade girl wanted to be a part of this dreaded event. We knew that we would be miserable, though we had never been told exactly what would take place. We only knew that, horrible as it was to be, we, we NEEDED to be included, as you were NOTHING, going into high school, if you were not initiated.

At some point at the end of the previous school year....or sometime at the beginning of the summer, the upcoming senior girls would choose a few girls to initiate. It was they, who would contact the parents and inform them that their daughters would be kidnapped at midnight of the selected night. We freshman, only knew we were to be picked up. It was then that preparations were made.

The freshmen girls would wear clothes that they did not want to keep...this included shoes. Hair was put into braids...unless you were blond (like me). We had to coat our hair with mineral oil so it wouldn't be stained. Are you getting a sense of this, yet?

Initiation was such a big deal in our town that the main highway (all 12 or so blocks of it) that ran through town, was completely blocked...NO TRAFFIC. In fact, police would be around to watch and make sure no one got hurt. So popular it was that most everyone in high school, plus the parents, turned out to see the spectacle that was our initiation.

So, what happened? You might be asking yourself that very thing. I'll just go through what I remember. I invite my 2 good friends to share their memories, should they have a different one.

I was picked up by a senior girl and put into the back of a pick-up truck, along with some other girls. We were taken out to a party place called "The Pit." Now, keep in mind that I'm as hick as they come. The Pit was not a club which opened it's doors to underage party-goers on Thursday nights. No, The Pit was just that...a pit. A big caliche pit out in the sticks where people would go to drink beer.

Anyway, we went out to the The Pit and had to line up. Twenty to thirty 14 year old girls, standing shoulder to shoulder, trembling...not from cold, but from the fear of what was to happen....knowing only that we would neither be maimed nor killed. People lined the edge of the pit, looking down on us - only their silhouettes visible, due to all the lights from all the pick-ups shining down on us. In the pit with us? Every senior - male and female.

We were told to sit down. If you were in the middle of the line, you were about 20 seconds, as you had that much time to know how to position yourself for what was to happen. With heads down, eyes closed and hands shielding our eyes, we experienced: smelly, wet, hot, chunky, smelly, gooey, oozy, sticky, could probably insert anything and that is what we experienced. Yes, as we sat there, the senior girls came and poured things on us. What things? Though I can't know everything for sure, I am positive of: sour milk, beer, rotten eggs, glue, glitter, dog food, ketchup, used snuff, flour, chocolate syrup, hot sauce, dirt....nothing was out of the question, so I'm sure some things were much worse. And did I say smelly? OH MY GOODNESS! It was "vomit on overdrive in 140 degree heat" smelly!

After all of that "good, clean fun" we were put into beds of pick-up trucks and driven to town. We started in the parking lot of a church on the hill...the parking lot often used to turn around when we were dragging main. Now, the drive helped with the smell, to be sure...or were we just used to it? I can't be sure. Nothing came off of us to be certain. It had all dried. And it was NASTY!!! Imagine being dipped into plaster of paris....that is how it felt...not quite dry, but sticky, gooey and containing hard parts.

Our next task was to play Leap Frog down main street to the Dairy Queen, about 6 blocks down. Ironically, the very same Dairy Queen mentioned in my last post. I will NEVER think of Leap Frog as some fun game that children play. As we were bent down waiting for some poor soul to leap over us, we had our heads resting on the smelly backs of the odoriferous being in front of us.

As we were all in the exact same situation, we did try to take care as we scraped over, and yes, stuck a bit to each other. It wasn't too bad...except for the lasses who were a bit challenged in height and, yes, portly. The fact that my fingers got stepped on some almost escaped my awareness, as I continued to try to breath through my nose only....only a fool would open her mouth at such a time.

Once at Dairy Queen, we had other games to play. (Keep in mind that there are a few hundred or so people watching this.) We had to yell out an introduction that sounded something like this: "Hi, my name is ***** and I am a poor little Freshman. I am here with ***** an awesome senior who is babysitting me tonight." What sucked about that is that we never were loud enough the first time....

or the second....

or the third. *sigh*

After the introductions were made, we had to play Red Rover across the highway. Keep in mind that the only danger was our legs drying completely, thus tripping us on the asphalt....the highway was closed to ALL traffic.

Following the trip down the memory lane of childhood games we were put back into trucks and hauled to the rodeo grounds where we had a shoe scramble. Now this, my friends, HAD to be funny...if you were merely watching. Our shoes were removed and tied together. We were pushed against the fence to await the gun shot to tell us to "go." (And though I don't remember for sure, I would put money on the fact that a real gun was used.) What a sight it must have been as we all scrambled in the dirt for our shoes...PRAYING that we would not be last as we had NO idea the "prize" that awaited the slow-poke.

Now keep in mind what we have been through. All the shoes looked the same, as they were coated with the same crap. AND, if you think the shoes just came untied when we pulled the end....Well, think again my friend. They stuck! You couldn't pull them apart. If you were lucky, you were able to break the shoestrings. If you were unlucky, you had to use your teeth. I was able to break mine, thankfully.

After "shooting the moon," {and yes...I googled it....only found movies and let me describe: we stood in the middle of the rodeo arena, fingers held like a gun, pointing to the sky and yelling "bang, bang") it was thankfully time for a snack. We were each given a plastic spoon and told to line up. The senior girls walked by with opened jars of baby food, of which we had to sample each. (I guess looking back, I'm just thankful there wasn't any breast milk for us to wash down the food.)

By this time, it was about 5 in the morning. The activities culminated with all of us going to THE main intersection of our town (the one with the stoplight, of course...the stoplight that flashed yellow after midnight) to paint. We had to paint the names of our "babysitters" and any other senior who commanded it.

The middle intersection always had names painted on it for as long as I could remember....until about 2-3 weeks before the next initiation when it was paved over for the next batch of names.

After our art project, we were taken home. We were not allowed into the house right away as we had to hose down. Trash bags were put out to hold whatever could be removed. I remember, after hosing down as much as I could, climbing into the bath and taking no less that 6 baths and using almost a whole bottle of shampoo. Glitter dropped out of my hair for at least a week and my skin smelled for at least that long (unless the smell had adhered, somehow, into my nostrils.)

Initiation lasted until the year I got to do it. I would love to think that "hazing awareness" was so big that it wasn't allowed, but I know that is not true. What it was was this: the girls coming up....well, some of their mommas throwing a hissy fit. There is a name for girls like that, but I have a "G" rating.

We did get to initiate, but it was not near as fun, nor does it write up so lovely. :)

As I said at the beginning. This is all true. Some is unbelievable, but absolutely true. And as I sit here and try to wrap things up, I cannot think of a picture to post....NOTHING will do it justice.

Ly? Les? If your mommas were out and you have a pic...scan it for me and email me. I'll put it up.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, sister girl....I have pics!! I will NEVER forget that night. LL gave a very nice and accurate description, but she left off the prize after the shoe scramble. You had to stand in the middle of the arena, by yourself, holding your arm in the air with your index finger up for the number 1 sign and sing the school song at the top of your lungs for the whole town that showed up. Brandi M. lost that one! I threw up in the church parking lot due to the odor we all had. My hair reaked for at least a week. My mom threw away my clothes and shoes and I got hosed off too. Oh, and don't forget how the Senior identified us that night. We had to wear maxi pad name tags. It was a big pad with our name written in red across it with a string and garlic and other objects on it.

After all we went through that night and our initiation of the freshman was a movie I believe???? I barely remember it because it was so lame. I am glad we all went through it though because we can look back and laugh now!

~LL~ said...

Heh...I had forgotten about poor Brandi AND the pads. Well, we know they didn't stick long, did they? And the garlic didn't smell for too terribly long LOL!

I remember what we did, as my dad drove the bus. We went to see "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." We went swimming....went to eat someplace like Shoney's or something then went to the H.S. parking lot to have our names painted.

Theresa said...

LL, I'm shocked! We had NOTHING like that here in Va.(Or atleast, I wasn't invited to it.) I'm glad you survived! And the maxi pad name tag is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Yep, your description was pretty accurate...but remember the final touch...they coated you with flour to make sure everything "stuck" like glue.

Sometimes when my kids vomit it all comes rushing back to me.

I couldn't believe we took those freshman to dinner. What the *censored*? Maybe at the next reunion we should demand a redo? I'll start saving my eggs now.

I always feel sixteen when I drive thru the city limit sign...

POST YOUR PICS!!!! --- I'm probably skinny!!!


Anonymous said...

That is so funny! I too was inititated my sophmore year for Drill team, it wasn't as bad or rough as yours thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, that is why I didn't was lame!! My mom went too. We were robbed!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Come all you xxxxxxs, do you recall?" I guess not! Brandi M. was so traumatized by winning that prize that she didn't remember it until reading lesli's comment tonight. That really explains a lot about the past 20 years. Brandi M. will have a lot to discuss with her therapist this week.

Also, the initiation when we were seniors has somehow merged with memories of the 7th grade student council trip. Possibly because we did exactly the same things? Pathetic.

Rent Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" to watch a small town Texas initiation such as ll describes in action. Complete with Parker Posey playing a perfect mean senior, forcing poor freshman girls to "shoot the moon." (Extra bonus if you like Matthew McConaughey...i think this film was one of his first roles.)

p.s. Brandi M. regularly enjoys reading As for Me and My House. One of the regulars referred her. The boys are completely adorable! Lesli is so right about the dominant genes...

p.p.s. Also a good reminder about the origins of the maxi pad name tag! I swear I remember numerous feminist conventions (or something) in college where someone handed me a puffy, absorbent name tag festooned with garlic and "other objects." With wings, of course, and my name written in red.

~LL~ said...


SOOOO glad to hear from you. Shoot me an email...get my addy from the mutual friend. I'm also on facebook!

Anonymous said...

I know I was slightly shocked by how much LL could remember. When she started in on the shoe thing, I was like..."oh crap, was it me?"

I spent the last - holy crap! did you say 20 years? - blocking it all out. I literally had to have Les in my ear telling me who everyone was for the reunion a few years back. I was SO traumatized. I think I literally hyperventillated at the city limit sign ---my poor husband was throwing xanax at me.

I spent my years in therapy analyzing my childhood/parents --- now I know it was probably just the purple and gold trauma I should have been discussing.


Alicia @ said...

This is too funny!!

I also had an initiation for Color Guards, but I dont think it was nearly as bad!!

Anonymous said...

Ly - I was traumatized, as well. I had not been back since the last "hoorah" Brandi M. and I had (1990), which consisted of sitting on a car next to Allsup's intoxicated and talking to Brant and any other random boy that stuck around Crane. It is amazing how everyone reverted back to 1987 and thinks you still talk to the old boyfriends] and the same DJ sets up in Lance's garage and the old groups congregate at the same places to relive the good times. Oh, and lets not forget girls that two of the classmates still look like it is 1987!! Can't wait for the next one! ;-) I am having a shirt made that says, "Tre' who?"

Brandi - I am on facebook and myspace...look me up! Oh, have you ordered any random pizza's lately?! wink, wink