The party was wilder than they’d expected. Girls clad in sheer negligees and lacy bustiers floated around the room, grinding lustily with each other. Loud hip-hop music drowned out games of beer pong while frat boys traded keg stands in the corner. Dave had gone to some parties in high school, but Wayne was new to the scene, and getting comfortable took three or four cups of a beverage he’d never heard of (“jungle juice,” was it?).
After an hour of drinking, Dave and Wayne were feeling loose enough to unveil their big surprise: two pairs of special underwear, purchased in advance for the occasion. Dave stripped down to a black man-thong, and Wayne, a bit more reserved, wore a pair of SpongeBob SquarePants boxers. They drank and danced and cavorted with the secular students until the wee hours, using Dave’s digital camera to snap the photos he would eventually post, for posterity, on his MySpace profile.
That was the fatal step, of course, and no one can quite understand why Dave didn’t think twice before documenting his sins online. Did he really think his secrets were safe on the Internet? Was he trying to get kicked out?
These are the questions that have circulated the halls of our dorm for the past week, ever since Dave got busted. By now, we’ve heard all the stories. We’ve heard how, a few days after the party, Dave found an urgent e-mail from the Dean of Men waiting in his inbox. How, when he was brought in to the Dean’s office, Dave tried to make the case that he hadn’t been at the party. How the Dean had pulled from his desk a stack of photos, culled from Dave’s MySpace page, that proved otherwise. How some of the photos had been shockingly lewd, including one of Dave in his man-thong, holding a bottle of liquor in each hand while looking up a girl’s skirt. How Dave had broken maybe half the rules in The Liberty Way, including “Attendance at a dance,” “Sexual misconduct and/or any state of undress,” and “Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages.” How he was served with the biggest punishment on our hall – and maybe at Liberty – all year: 78 reprimands, a $650 fine, and 30 hours of community service. How, at that point, adding up Dave’s punishments was a matter of procedure, like sentencing a serial killer to 23 consecutive life sentences, because the alcohol alone was enough to expel him.
In short, the guy needs a lot of prayer.
After rising from my knees, I walk to Dave’s room. He’s in there with Wayne and a few other friends, still discussing his Dean’s Office debacle. Dave is still waiting for the official news of his punishment, but he seems to have made peace with the fact that, barring a miracle, he’ll be gone by next week.
“I should have done more bad stuff while I was at it,” Dave says, chuckling as he picks at a bag of Jiffy-Pop. “I mean, they can’t kick me out twice, right? I could have snorted some coke or something.”
“Come on, Dave,” says Joey, a Jersey-born freshman who lives at the end of the hall. “At least try to be serious about this.”
“I can’t, dude,” Dave says. “When I get serious, I feel pain. In my heart.”
Wayne is in better shape, we think. There were no photos of him on Dave’s MySpace page, just photos of their car ride together. Wayne’s meeting with the Dean of Men is tomorrow, and he’s planning to say that he dropped Dave off and went somewhere else, skipping the party altogether.
“Are you positive he doesn’t have any pictures of you at the party?” Joey asks.
“No, not positive,” Wayne says. “But there are none on the Internet. He would have to have another source.”
“If he catches you,” Dave says, “you should bust out a Jesus quote.”
Wayne’s eyes widen. “What?”
“Jesus hung with sinners and tax collectors, dude. If He can hang with sinners, you can, too.”
“Yo, that’s a pretty good idea.”
“You guys are retards,” says Joey. “Jesus hung with sinners, but he didn’t sin with them. It’s not like the tax collectors had a lingerie party and said ‘Yo J.C., you gotta get over here, it’s off the hook!’”
Laughter rises, then sharply fades, as it does with gallows humor. In truth, this is no laughing matter. Our dorm has hosted its share of controversy this semester, but no one expected a potential double-expulsion. What Dave and Wayne did was against the rules, no doubt, but some of us wonder whether, in this case, the punishment truly fits the crime.
“I heard about a guy who got more reprimands than you, Dave,” says Wayne.
“No way. More than 78?” says Dave.
“Yeah. A few years ago. This guy got triple-digits. Broke every rule in one night. He went to a few parties, smoked weed, had sex with a girl, went dancing, destroyed some property. I think he might have even done some homosexual stuff, too.”
Joey sweeps his eyes around the room.
“Pretty much what secular kids do every weekend, huh?”
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