One of the great things about joining a fraternity, other than the lifelong friendships and resultant oddly shaped patches of missing body hair, are the stories. Stories that are called to mind after seeing videos like this one about Mr. Earlie Johnson:
"My collection was the best in Michigan! A guy in Connecticut told me that."
A tragedy. A tear-jerker even. Which reminds me of another jerker of a story, one from the vault if you will.
I have written about Spring Break '96 in this space previously. Before setting sail for Booz Crooz Island from the Burg someone, to whom I shall refer as "Schneider," "borrowed" a videotape from someone to whom I shall refer as "Gschvinn." Two important facts about the videotape are that it was (1) a rental from Video Update, the video store on Bypass Road, and (2) titled "Anal Angels 3." Schneider never told Gschvinn that he borrowed it and Gschvinn thought it was lost to the Unit M black hole that soaked up CDs, socks, and myriad other artifacts of frat life.
Years later, Schneider and I were living "right outside" of New York City and assembling a modest (compared to the guy in Michigan, based on the opinion of the guy in Connecticut) collection of smut. Much of it was bad because the good stuff cost more (huzzah for the internet!). The worst of the bunch was a multi-volume video set of "Classic Swedish Erotica" that Schneider acquired through some bulk purchase--he may in fact have received cash to take this stuff off its previous owner's hands. The videos should have been great. Swedish women are notoriously beautiful and the adjective "classic" made the tapes sound like must-see-TV. But in reality "classic" just meant old and "Swedish" referred to the ethnicity of one of the cameramen, not the actresses (who were generally unattractive with massive disco mitts). Simply put, there was nothing classic, Swedish, or erotic about these movies. But we made do.
Our close proximity to the Big Apple made our crib a go-to destination for the Lammie jetset crowd. So, naturally, Gschvinn eventually came to visit. After a night of carousing I entered my living room and found Gschvinn prone on my hand-me-down floral yellow couch, covered in the patina of sweat, sebum, nicotine, and malt liquor that only men in their early-to-mid twenties can generate, nursing a hangover. He professed a need for the famous hangover cure-all: shit, shower, shave, shmoke, and a shpank. I told him that he could do all of those things, as I am a famously gracious host, but asked him to wait for me to leave before doing so.
Gschvinn greatfully obliged and asked me to direct him to our nearest porn depository. I told him that several tapes were stored, naturally, behind my vinyl box set of The Smithsonian's Collection of Classic Jazz. Jazzed to jazz, Gschvinn dove into the stack and, to his great dismay, pulled out a copy of "Anal Angels 3" emblazoned with a Video Update sticker. Purple with rage, Gschvinn regaled me with the story of how the thought the tape was lost and the great dishonor that fell upon him when Video Update repeatedly harranged him for it. Apparently a few female students worked there and learned that he not only rented the film but that he absconded with it, making him a particlarly dirty bastard in their eyes. He eventually had to pony up a vast sum of money to cover the loss lest his credit rating get ruined, adding further insult to injury.
Gschvinn hatched his plan of retribution: he would steal Schneider's most beloved video. He held up "Classic Swedish Erotica: Volume 7" and asked "Does Schneider like this one?" Happy to get this atrocity out of my house, I lied that this was a foundational video in Schneider's rotation, the ace of the staff, and thus Gschvinn absconded with it.
Predictably, Schneider didn't notice. There were at least 8 total volumes to "Classic Swedish Erotica" and each of them was chaff that was routinely passed over for better stuff. Life moved on without a hitch.
Several months later, Schneider was in DC with a lady friend in order, among other things, to attend a keg party at Gschvinn's. Primary of those "other things" was a little quality romantic time with the lady friend in question. Upon arriving at the party, Schneider gallantly filled his lady's Solo cup and began filling his own when Gschvinn's roommate, to whom I shall refer as "Teedge" and said "Hey, Schneider, here's your 'Classic Swedish Erotica: Volume 7.' Thanks for letting Gschvinn borrow it, but that's some nasty shit. It turned my stomach. How do you get off to that? Dirty mothafucker." Schneider was stunned. His lady was repulsed. The rest of the weekend did not go as planned.
Hopefully karma will come around and get the thief that stole Mr. Johnson's collection in a similar fashion.