19 October 2009
Kent State University
23 Jun 2009. Frostburg, WVU, RobbyMo, and Kent State all in one day! Wait, another visit to Kent State? Why on earth would I go out of my way again? Thank a lost water bottle, originally purchased 21 Nov 2007. Which ultimately I am okay with - look at that gaudy yellow eyesore. Replaced with a centennial shotglass.
Before she was into her studies, before she was into her health, before she was into dental school, new ZTA pledge Persephone Evelyn Bumbaugh was into tanning.
Like many young women, she took her skin's tautness and her godlike metabolism for granted, bombarding it with inordinate amounts of UV rays, empty alcoholic calories, and late night slabs of pizza.
Persephone, and much of the KSU student body, took the skin coloration to another level one chilly night in November. Kent State's opening night of men's basketball was being broadcast live on ESPN. In the early days of cable sports, this was unheard of for a small school (they could thank the reputation of their big-time opponent, Ohio State). For Kent State, a televised sporting event was a first. The students, traditionally feisty, shifted into full spring break mode for the game. Persephone and her sorority mates painted themselves gold, with white lettering on their stomachs that spelled out K-E-N-T-S-T-A-T-E. Persephone played the part of the last E.
During a video camera's crowd scan, mini-riots broke out. A grabby drunk tried to yank off Persephone's sports bra. She pulled away and gathered some momentum on the backswing. She launched forth at his jaw with a tiny fist. She pegged him square, then gave him another shove. He was carried off by ushers. But as she turned back to the court and the camera, her top snagged on a hastily fastened STUDENTS ONLY plastic placard. It tore away a strip of spandex. The plastic sign, though it had no libido or horny malice of its own, managed to do what the drunk frat boy could not. The TV audience at home was beholden to a brief glimpse of golden tanned teen bosom.
Persephone enjoyed the rest of the game in an usher's bright yellow raincoat.
The 'golden flash' was the talk of the school the next day as much as the basketball game itself. A new nickname was born. Persephone quickly tired of the notoriety but was proud to have inspired more school spirit.
The electrocuted bird logo is another story though.