DURHAM, NC—When the residents of Sigma Alpha Theta house learned last week that the 80-year-old building they call home was under threat of foreclosure, they decided to take matters into their own hands by devising a wacky, R-rated plan to completely repair the battered American economy.
"The moment we got the bad news, we knew there was only one thing we could do," said Theta president Peter "Cool Pete" Barrow. "Sneak into the Federal Reserve Bank with two cans of Barbasol and a giant fishing net in order to adjust the overnight lending rate while no one is looking."
"We're not going to take this decline in investor confidence coupled with the suffocating effect of unregulated derivatives-trading lying down," Barrow added, belching.
While Theta House is closely guarding the details of its laugh-a-minute economy-rebuilding scheme, Barrow admitted that it involves a 50-gallon drum of Crisco, the U.S. Senate, five Russian exchange students in bikinis, incentives designed to provoke a massive injection of capital from the private sector over the next three fiscal quarters, and a dead horse.
If all goes according to plan, fraternity members said, the scheme to prop up the U.S. economy will be completed just in time to throw the fall formal dance into total chaos.
The Theta Plan, as it is known, has drawn mixed reviews from economists. While most agree that the financial theory behind the scheme is "crazy," others counter that the idea of flying a hot-air balloon filled with dry ice over Wall Street is so outside the realm of conventional thinking that, paradoxically, it just might work.
"We never should have allowed Noodleman to refinance our house," Theta brother Tater said. "He flunked Econ six semesters in a row! Now we have no choice but to pump confidence back into the system and reinvigorate the stock market ourselves, so we can save our house and get [longtime Sigma Alpha Theta mascot] Barfy the Goat back."
The crazy plot originated when two officials from Bank of America arrived at the fraternity's beer-can-littered front door to deliver the news that they had 30 days to come up with $237,498 in back payments, or the house would be repossessed. Most of the members claimed to have had no idea that their house was so deeply leveraged, which was reportedly due to the fact that Fat Billy Bower had just baked a batch of marijuana brownies, two of which were mistakenly offered to the bankers with hijinks-inducing results.
Still, the sobering news cast a pall on the Theta House members. Most sat on their hands and stared glumly into space until they were rallied to action by a normally quiet, newly initiated figure known as Slingshot.
"Were we down when the dean threatened to revoke our charter unless we cleaned up our act?" Slingshot asked. "No! Were we down when the still in the basement exploded, knocked the house off its foundation, and nearly blinded Prescott? No! Are we going to let the complete collapse of the global economy get us down now?"
After a rousing chorus of "Hell no!" the misfit fraternity quickly concocted the scheme, with which it hopes to eliminate the sprawling and complex credit-default-swaps market, stabilize the dollar, and create the world's largest beer bong.
Some elements of the plan are reportedly already in place, including convincing the girls from their sister sorority to remove their tops to distract security guards at the mansion of NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer, and the construction of the Recoverybot—a profanity-spewing, stock-trading automaton designed by horny Japanese exchange student Shibusawa "The Brain" Shigenobu.
But Sigma Alpha Theta's plan has met fierce opposition from stodgy authority figure and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who vowed to stop the collegiate scheme.
"We are at a tenuous point in the [Troubled Assets Recovery Plan] enacted by Congress, and any outside interference could damage the good we've already done," Bernanke said. "I'll do whatever it takes to stop those roughnecks of Theta house. No one saves the economy but me. Especially not a bunch of grimy low-lifes who have no respect for traditional economic policy."
While it remains to be seen whether the plan will go awry or will somehow all come magically together at the last minute, fraternity members were confident that they will ultimately succeed in both saving the economy and getting everyone laid.
"How hard can it be?" SAT brother Jeffrey "Tank" Worthen asked. "Last year we discovered cold fusion in order to keep Geezer from getting kicked out of his grad program. And just last semester we launched a space shuttle in order to win back our girls from the creeps at ZBT."