By Nick England
They said it couldn’t be done. They all scoffed in disbelief. “How can one man watch over two chapters in Arkansas! Not to mention make two visits to Arkansas in three weeks.” But I was determined. I refused to believe their snide remarks and set out to The Natural State once again. This time to a different region of the state, the Central region, if you will. I caught a flight from DFW to Little Rock, Arkansas, capital of the only state with an active diamond mine and home of the cheese dog. Their newly elected VP, Chase Baggett, picked me up at the airport and we drove to Conway, Arkansas, home of the University of Central Arkansas, alma mater of American Idol winner, Kris Allen. My arrival was joyously received by a group of men incapacitated by college football and one Kane Moix, current president, studying away. We were all starving so one of the men suggest they take me to enjoy authentic Arkansas cuisine at which point we decided on China Town Super Buffet. After stuffing our faces with wontons and sugar biscuits we ventured back to the house to watch football for the rest of the day. Which none of us had any objection to. During commercials and between games we played Deadliest Warrior for PS3. And yes, by Deadliest Warrior I am referring to a video game based on the hit tv show on the wholesome network, Spike TV…epic. Even more epic was getting to teach the guys how to play jungle pong. They had a ping pong table in the garage, but Jeremy Flynn and Jeremy Wilson also had enough sound equipment to put on a reunion concert for Led Zeppelin. So we moved the ping pong table out of the garage and onto the driveway. Not sure if playing jungle pong outside at 1 in the morning in a residential neighborhood was my best idea. But was it awesome? Indeed it was. And what made a great day even better was a shut out by the Sooners and a Texas Rangers win!
The following day I had the opportunity to go to church with a few of the men. After which we decided to experience some more authentic Arkansas cuisine so we went to El Parian Mexican Restaurant. It was good except for the fact that it wasn’t good at all. I now refuse to eat at a Mexican restaurant that charges $9 for the world’s smallest burrito and which may or may not mean “the frog” based on their logo. We made our way back to the house starving and proceeded to play more jungle pong in the driveway. One item worth noting is that TJ Beringer, pledge captain, was the only one who had ever played jungle pong. Which one would think would have given him a leg up. However, it did just the opposite. TJ chose to play in his leather soled dress shoes and bit it on the driveway. As TJ’s brothers we responded in uproarious laughter as he lay on the driveway in a pool of his own shame. so when we returned from Morale Regional Hospital and TJ’s ego had a few stitches, we went inside to watch more football and play Deadliest Warrior. A little while later I decided it was probably time for me to actually meet with some of the officers seeing as that’s part of the reason I came out there. Each of my meetings went very well that day and I had a great time catching up with each of the officers. Except for their secretary, Jeremy Flynn. We met in his room and he had so much dust accumulated on his fan that it would have been the Grand Canyon of dust. I wouldn’t be surprised if dead skin cells and dander traveled from other houses to take a tour of this magnificent mass of dust. It was truly a work of art and an incredible display of apathy to have not cleaned it for so long.
That night I went out with a few of the officers and members to Brick Oven Pizza. We watched baseball and talked about the chapter over some great pizza. Following the first meal that was not entirely sugar based and actually filling, we went back to the house to start officer meeting. The officers at UCA have done a fantastic job with their chapter. They have lead honorably as well as pushed their men towards legitimacy on campus. It was a privilege to get to sit in on their officer meeting and watch the men at work as they strive to push their chapter. Following the officer meeting, a few of the guys were telling me about how cool the movie The Strangers was. To which I said, that sounds stoopid. That’s right, stupid with two o’s. They assured me it was not stoopid, so they showed me a trailer to which I responded with the exclamation that we would be watching it that night. Everyone went their separate ways to make sure to get things taken care of and Blake Jacobs and I went to get a ton of ice cream and toppings for watching the movie. We returned to the house at which point, Kane and I both admitted that we didn’t really like scary movies, but that we would watch it. So we got our ice cream, closed all of the blinds, locked all of the doors, and sat 3 to a couch to watch The Strangers on blu-ray. I’m pretty sure Kane and I kept clutching each other throughout the movie but made it through. Then we all watched Spongebob afterward so that we’d be able to sleep that night. Or did we?
We awoke the next morning and something wasn’t right. There was an eerie feeling in the house, almost musty. Then we heard TJ scream like a little girl and we all ran to Flynn’s room. As it turned out he tried to clean his fan but the dust overpowered him. All that remained was a room full of dust, and a cold hand clutched around a Swiffer duster. Haha, just kidding! Everyone was fine and we all made it through the night. I began my day with a few more meetings, some more Deadliest Warrior matches as well as preparing for my address to the chapter that night. I rode to chapter meeting with Kane and we worked on getting everything set up. As people filed in and sat down, the officers began chapter meeting. They included me on a segment of Facebook Oopsies where they show a few slides of someone’s Facebook pictures. They somehow picked a lot of funny pictures with good stories to tell from them. Shortly following Facebook Oopsies, I gave my chapter address and challenged the men to grow as men and serve BYX wholeheartedly. But there was more than just my address that evening at chapter as they also had officer elections. Everything went well and they even had a tie for president. The current officers handled everything very honorably and according to protocol and the newly elected officers chose the new president that evening. The two men who ran for president were by far two of the most devoted men and it was great to see their love for BYX and their love for one another through the entire process. I was unbelievably proud of the UCA chapter and their current officers for handling everything with so much prayer and dignity.
After chapter meeting that night, I video taped Kane and Kyle Boyd, treasurer, for their video update on the chapter. After the updates I had done previously, I decided to really challenge these guys and gave them a creative premise by which to film their update. We did it in two takes and it was a great success! Even though it was late, afterward we ate dinner at Stoby’s a Conway favorite. Then Kane and I went back to the house, hung out with the guys, watched Planet Earth and went to bed. It was a great ending to one of my favorite chapter visits. I got on my plane the next day and as I reminisced of my trip to Conway, I realized that the men of BYX at UCA are my Deadliest Warriors.
(Click on the picture to view the awesome video update from the men of BYX at UCA.)