There was a strange sort of energy in the air. It was that feeling makes all the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. You could almost smell it. My nostrils flared. What was that scent, so familiar yet so far away? I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. My eyelids popped open and a mischievous grin crept across my face. The Bradley symbol had been activated. The prefrosh had landed.

Like hundreds of little locusts, they descend on New Haven for two days with only one question in mind: “Do I, Overachiever McValedictorian, want to go to Yale?” I sensed the tension in the air. I knew what was at stake. The reputation of Yale and the Yale Daily News rested upon my shoulders and my shoulders alone. I, Bradley Bailey, columnist for the Yale Daily News and Boozing Ivy League Welcome Wagon, was going to convince each and every one of these little indecisive adolescents that Yale was their dream school.

I would have to assume my secret super hero alter ego. (Don’t get too excited, I don’t really have any super powers — I’m mostly in it for the costume.)

I donned my condom belt — courtesy DUH — and sprinted (see? I can’t even fly, and really, let’s be honest, it was more of a hurried jog) over to Payne Whitney Gymnasium where I assumed my position: legs shoulder width apart, slightly bent over, gripping the ends of the table tightly.

“What can I do to convince you to write for the Yale Daily News?”

“Ummm — well, I think I want to write, but, I mean, is it a lot of work? Like, is it a big time commitment or whatever?”

“Fabulous question! It’s a little work during the week, but once Friday night rolls around, we all get naked and party like it’s 1959!”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Yeah! It’s great! Every Friday we throw on some Frankie & Annette music and tap the keg! Friday night orgies are a YDN tradition, except now they’re co-ed!”

“Is that why you’re wearing a condom belt?”

“Exactly! I am the new face of the Yale Daily News! We’re all about fun, excess and Caligula-caliber partying! Come to the YDN! Come at the YDN! Come on the YDN! Oh my God, you’re 17.”

After that, I was kindly asked to leave the prefrosh bazaar.

My work, however, was far from done. There were still legions of prefrosh wandering campus aimlessly, unsure of their college choices. I found a group of them standing outside of WLH, looking lost and confused, so I sauntered up and offered to take them under my wing.

I tried to remember back to when I was trying to decide where to go to school. All the information sessions and tours seemed to blur together. Once you’ve seen one phallic tower, you’ve seen ’em all. It was then and there that I decided to run things my way, Bailey style, if you will, and believe me, you will.

“What is one tour that I will never forget?” I wondered to myself. Then it hit me. I will always remember that Asian sex tour I took senior year of high school. How couldn’t I? It still burns when I pee! This was going to be one memorable Bulldog Days, but I wasn’t going to be able to do it alone. I was going to need my faithful super sidekick. I whipped out my cell phone and called my friend and future M.D., Betty Chen SM ’03.

“Betty, I need your help. I need to give some prefrosh an Asian sex tour.”

“That sounds absolutely disgusting. Why do you need me for that?”

“Ummm duh! You’re Asian!”

Now now, friends. Don’t go getting the wrong idea about Betty, or my intentions for that matter. I didn’t want her to actually do the humpty dance with my prefrosh posse; I merely wanted her to serve as tour guide, to lend some Far Eastern authenticity to my tour. Rather than actually taking them around to random places for sex with Yalies (oh Jesus, if only it were that easy), we decided that we were going to show them all the freakish places that we even more freakish Yalies hook up! I could hardly contain my excitement.

For added emphasis, I suggested that we bring a black light to wave over the soiled love nests, and just for the record, the glow coming off of the Silliman climbing wall almost blinded me. It was second only to the glow coming off the managing editors’ desks at the Yale Daily News. Dirrty! (with two r’s!)

I could tell though, that there was dissent in my tour group. One girl even had the nerve to mention something about how “amazing” her Harvard information session had been. Another had the audacity to nod in agreement. The crowd of baby-faced high schoolers began to turn against me. Mutiny loomed on the horizon. Drastic times call for drastic measures. It was time to lie.

“So, Bradley, I have a question. I was out on cross campus swashbuckling with foam swords earlier today. It was totally awesome! Is that a popular pastime here?”

“Ummm — yes. Yes it is.”

“Bradley, Bradley, I have a question, too! I ate lunch in Berkeley today and it was amazing! Are all the residential colleges that nice?”

“Ummm — yes. Yes they are.”

I started to feel bad about lying so brazenly, until one of them decided that he was going to lead an insurrection.

“Hey! That’s not true! I read in the Wall Street Journal that the Berkeley dining hall was –“

“Oh please, I go here, okay? I know what’s up.”

“Are you just making all this stuff up? Was there really a Whore of Quinnipiac?”

“No. Why would I make all this stuff up? Puh-leeeease. Now, if you’ll all follow me this way, we can–“

“You ARE! You don’t know anything about this school!”

“Of course I do! You’re, like, 14 years old! Your testicles haven’t even descended yet!”

“Fine. What’s Yale’s endowment?”

“Excellent question — Betty! Get him!”

Betty sprang into action almost immediately and within seconds he was bound and gagged. We hid him in that little nook in Trumbull courtyard (which, incidentally, glowed like a freaking light bulb under the black light). As we left him there, we could hear him screaming and trying to loosen his restraints. Strangely though, he didn’t sound all that angry, which, I guess I can understand. When Betty holds guys down and ties them up, anger isn’t normally the initial reaction, and this boy was no different. Expect to see him in the fall.

By the end of the evening my prefrosh were all pretty much sold on Yale except for one who kept saying she was worried about being so far from home. I was disappointed she most likely wouldn’t be going here in the fall, but it made me realize something: It’s probably not the best idea to go to a school just because some weird guy got you drunk on grain alcohol and announced to the entire room that you weren’t allowed to leave until you were pregnant. I guess it’s okay though, I mean, really, she was pretty ugly anyway.

Maybe that’s the problem with the Bradley Bailey tour — it doesn’t filter out the unattractive weirdos that should be at competing institutions. But really, isn’t that the beauty of my tour? By the end of it, you’re so full of punch that everyone’s beautiful. Maybe that’s my super power. Even if it’s not, these little errant high school seniors needed an excuse to believe, and I needed an excuse to wear spandex pants and a belt made of Trojan spermicidals.

Next year, I’ll still be here, wearing my condom belt. You can be sure of that, though I may not have pants on. Sorry, people — I’m only human. n