When you rush Alpha Omega Alpha, you secure not only your future at Blyton College, but a rich future for your immortal soul. There is no shortage of options for Greek life here at the College: Jews can pledge either Zeta Gamma Mu or Delta Iota; if you’re Hindu, you’re stuck with Pi Omega Nu. The Christians insist upon thirty-eight quibbling fraternities and sororities, missing the point entirely. After all, doesn’t Alpha Omega Alpha hold the Answer? Am I, Everest Pleasant, Major in Business Administration, not God made flesh?
You may have encountered another campus Prophet of a new movement, Larry Butterworth, who founded Alpha Gamma Epsilon as a precocious sophomore. The Epsilons (as we at Alpha Omega Alpha like to snicker) believe in ancestral worship and reincarnation, unlike our evidence-based belief in bodily assumption of the Worthy. After all (as you know!), Graduation from Blyton college consists of each fraternity and sorority assembling rank and file in the college stadium, waiting for a Grad (or Grads plural) to be lifted up through the specially constructed hole in the ceiling and into the heavens as an Enlightened Person. Some years it doesn’t happen; other years there are five or six. Everyone here argues about what occurs post-Enlightenment – Heaven? the Greek afterlife? Nothing? A New Earth? Everyone, that is, except for us. Alpha Omega Alpha just Knows.
When I reinvigorated this failing fraternity as my Junior Project in Business last year (after taking four white tablets that Tyler Seilberg insisted would “zap me out, man”) I scribbled our scriptures and founding tenets on several Korean takeout napkins. Central to these was a plan to create a dynamic organization that would last well after my inevitable ascension upon Graduating. Like Larry and the Epsilons, I made the fraternity co-ed. But unlike Larry, when I sense that a female member of Alpha Omega Alpha will become one of the Worthy, I allow her to call me by my sacred Prophet’s name, “Ever”. This name is only even revealed to the most fervent believers. (You, of course, are now among them.) I doubt the Epsilons can even conceive of something with this much spiritual gravitas.
Official Rush season is two weeks away, and Larry Butterworth has begun pamphleteering. He and about six of his devotees (two of whom we’ve dubbed “Razor Burn” and “Aggressive Mullet”) have assembled a small jam band on the campus quad. Whether or not you think Larry Butterworth is Good, you have to admit this band is Very Bad. Over keyboard, out-of-tune guitar, and several tambourines, they vocalize (“sing” is a strong word) about how fulfilled they feel as members of Alpha Gamma Epsilon. Razor Burn hands out pamphlets and chocolate chip cookies. I would suggest the cookies are marijuana edibles, but this would insinuate that Larry Butterworth is cool. He has, I will concede, recruited many new members this way. These are largely a smattering of “I’m just spiritual, you know?” former Christian-adjacent females whose conversations do not pass the Bechdel test.
I, Everest Pleasant, who received my name during a most holy ayahuasca ceremony on a trek through South America last summer, do not have to resort to these tactics. Unlike for the Epsilons, at Alpha Omega Alpha it’s not a numbers game. Worthy People are drawn to us, like bees to a hive, so that every few days we find a disillusioned Muslim or crisis-of-faith Mormon bedraggled on the steps of the Alpha Omega Alpha frat house. We welcome them in and read them the most revered Korean Takeout Napkins of Promise. And we help them to see. We assist where we can, on this dark and deranged planet. Better to have lifted up one Worthy Person than to have eaten eight thousand chocolate chip cookies on the quad.
But in the Spring, the great Judgment that is a Blyton College Graduation will be upon us. I will meet my ultimate fate as Prophet of Alpha Omega Alpha, besting Larry Butterworth as I ascend to a plane far above human comprehension. And the AOA fraternity brothers and sisters will all cheer in jubilation while Larry Butterworth rips out tufts of his bland, sandy hair and wheeze-groans outside in the dirt.
Last year’s Spring convocation had every hallmark of a dud. Three, then four hours went by with everyone crammed into the hot stadium in eager anticipation, like a sad, sweaty Coachella. A rumble of muttering broke out. Do I have time to pee? Think I can turn my phone back on?
But then, majestically, a confused and half-asleep student rose up from five rows in front of me: Tanya Park, from the Buddhist sorority Gamma Tau. Her blue-green sweatshirt fanned out behind her like a peacock’s tail as she drifted dreamily toward the vaulted ceiling. Then, Tanya Park sailed through the majestic Ascension Hole, toward her fate in the Eternal Beyond.