Mu Epsilon Nu, by Joy Carletti

Pregnant woman holding baby bottle in martini glass isolated over white background

Written by Joy Carletti
Photo: © ginosphotos1

Whitaker ‘Tad’ Worthington III closed the heavy mahogany door behind the woman. He watched out the window as the petite brunette walked away, elegant computer case in one hand, statue of the female anatomy in the other. She was wearing a slim navy pencil skirt and Tad’s eyes intuitively looked to find the curve of her bottom. He shook it off and scolded himself internally, then wondered where that had come from. What was happening to him?

He pivoted on his fraternity brothers.

“What in the ever living fuck was that all about?” He gestured wildly toward the door.

There was no response from the board-shorted horde assembled on the couches.

“Tuck? Trip? Spence?”

A gurgle emitted from Brandon Wyatt, a thin blonde sophomore who was leaning on the bar. Tad knew he’d get no answers there. The boy looked like he might vomit. Brandon ran from the room suddenly, lurching sideways. Tad wondered briefly if he could fix the rush process to root out vomiters.

Tad stalked toward the wing chairs at the north end of the den, where fraternity leadership sat. “Blake. Wasn’t it your girlfriend who organized this thing?”

Blake Nolan sat up straight. He wouldn’t look Tad in the eye, but continued to stroke the arm of the wing chair. From the condition of the fabric, it looked like he’d been working it pretty hard for the duration of the woman’s presentation. The velvet was sticking up in different directions, and even where it was worn, it seemed to be standing at attention.

“Well, Tad, okay, I admit, it was not exactly what I expected from a talk entitled ‘Female Sexuality and Sensitivity Awareness.’ But I’m sure we can all agree that it was… enlightening.” A dull murmur of reply came from the room, its meaning incomprehensible.

“Enlightening!? Seriously? I thought I was going to learn how to give better head or something. That was… that was…”

A new pledge (Doug? Craig? Nobody was quite sure after he was unconscious) slipped off a barstool onto the floor. A few sophomores gathered around to try to revive him. In the hubbub, Blake stood up to face Tad. The room quieted immediately, Gregg – yes! Gregg! – forgotten. The two men – fraternity vice president and rush chair – stared at each other over a leather ottoman. Every brother watched intently, a strange sense of high noon hanging above it all.


Hi, I’m Logan Mattingly, chapter president. Okay. Uh, this was Blake’s idea, but I’m a communications major, and the president, and we voted on it, so here goes.

The Mu Epsilon Nu fraternity would like to issue several formal apologies.

First, to women generally. We’ve recently learned that the term ‘on the rag’ is not pleasing to you, and that the shower scene from “Carrie” was not a suggestion for how men should behave. Our fraternity will be ceasing our weekend ‘Toss Across’ of feminine hygiene products at the Walk of Shamers.

Relatedly, that is the last time we will be using that term. There is, apparently, no shame in women seizing their sexual independence. Good on you, ladies!

On the topic of feminine hygiene and times of the month: apparently when women have their periods, uteruses become engorged to twice their normal size with blood or something. We can’t be sure about this part because half of us literally couldn’t look at the slide during the presentation. There were photos. There was also a very graphic description of chunky blood that – never mind.  Suffice to say, you are not faking the pain thing, and we should lay off and let you lie down with a heating pad and an Aleve and maybe some Ben & Jerry’s. Or, you know, do whatever you want to do. We don’t want to mansplain your period to you.

So, yeah. We’re not certain where the Toss Across had its inception; we’ve checked the minutes from our official chapter meetings going back twelve years (you know, since Tate Dinkman computerized them) and there’s no mention of it.

There is, however, a comprehensive list of the nicknames we have created for sororities over the years. We want to apologize for those – especially to our sister sorority, Omicron Beta Tau. We will hereby retire and refrain from using Oughttahave Better Ta-Tas, Omigod Big Tits, Oh Baby Teaseme – that one is just lazy – and the like. Most of them aren’t even funny or clever. Some of them make literally zero sense. And we really don’t know why we wrote them down. So yeah. Please forgive us.

Finally: we also need to say how sorry we are about our yearly ‘Bang-a-Blonde Bingo’ which last spring featured Julie Madigan, rush chair of Omicron Beta Tau, as the center square. It has, no doubt, been difficult for OBT to attract pledges this year what with Julie being five months pregnant. We apologize for our role in that, if any. For what it’s worth, we’ve been super impressed by some of the pregnancy related rush activities that OBT has developed and we look forward to joining you next week for the kegger/baby shower/mixer. Sounds like a blast. And by the way, Julie. you look just great. Shit, that… that sounded half-hearted. Crap, I’ve forgotten how compliments work. Sorry.

Okay, listen, being a dick has come really naturally to this fraternity. We’ve got a lot of learning to do on the whole women front, it seems. So we’re just going to start with a blanket apology. Sorry. Seriously. For everything.

And now I guess I’ll shut up and let you women talk. Apparently that’s a thing too.


Joy Carletti (@laughatlantis) is a writer and improviser living in the Denver area. She’s somewhat haphazardly working on a novel. She curated Volume Seven of Out of Stock, thinks her writers & artists are all damn geniuses, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks, Mogolov. It’s not possible without you. And stock photos. But mostly you.