The Frat Cooler Diaries

Pain Within the Paint

Satire | Dhali Wama | April 15, 2016

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Sigma Kappa Beta Rho formal is less than a month away and since Greg and I are pretty much dating, Jenny K. suggested I start his cooler. I wouldn’t consider myself very crafty, but from what other girls tell me, it seems like a full time commitment.

And with that, I’m off to buy my cooler and crafting supplies! Updates to come.


We arrive at Michaels bright and early and I am immediately taken aback. The frustrated exhales of fellow female crafters are nearly audible from every corner of the store, not to mention the fresh scent of glue sticks and blood permeating the air. Are they all here for the same reason? They scavenge in an almost primitive fashion—looking for the perfect pieces to impress their mate.

A small child is shoved into the Easter Egg sale crate. Jenny P. curses at the absence of cerulean blue Liquitex acrylic paint. I offer her the cerulean blue Holbein Fluid acrylic paint instead, and she looks at me like I just offered her a half-eaten dumpster sausage. How is she expected to paint Tommy’s favorite scene from Transformer’s: Age of Extinction without it?! I grab some primer, paint, and modge podge, and get out as fast as possible.

Back home, when I finally get settled into my backyard crafting area, I sand and spackle until my palms bleed. There is something oddly satisfying about a surface as smooth as my newly shaved cooler. I decide to forego meeting with my orgo study group and prime this baby so I can get to painting in the morning.


I haven’t slept in 47 hours, but on the bright side this cooler is really coming along. I finally completed the backside on which I painted a version of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, except I changed Jesus and all the disciples to the characters from Wolf of Wall Street. Then, I changed the faces of those characters to the faces of Greg and his closest friends. Greg is always talking about how Wolf of Wall Street is the pivotal film of our generation.

The hardest part of the artwork thus far has been trying to paint the SiKBRho letters onto the top. It can’t just be a simple stencil like every other girl’s cooler. No, my cooler is going to be the best—the most creative. So I have started power-drilling an indentation of the letters into the cooler surface. I will then cement together the hundreds of pieces of sea glass I’ve collected since age six into those engravings. It will be beautiful.


I don’t like who I’m becoming. Yesterday, I threw a torque wrench at my roommate’s head. I haven’t eaten in 26 hours and last week I cried when I accidentally left the caps off one of my metallic paints, rendering it dried up and useless. I can tell some people are starting to worry about me but those people just don’t know the stress of having to create the frat bro equivalent of the Sistine Chapel on six different surfaces of a f*cking glorified ice box. Anyway, I’m fine and I’ll stop eating, sleeping, and defecating in my backyard once this cooler is finished—which should be any day now. 


 SiKBRho formal is tomorrow and even though I technically finished the cooler four days ago, I can’t stop adding embellishments that will really set it apart from the rest. I want Greg to look at this cooler and know that I put an obscene amount of effort into it. I want his friends to be jealous that theirs isn’t as thoughtful or detail-oriented. I want to hold this over his head for the rest of my life so that he will always somehow owe me for the time, energy and fingernails that I lost.

Though I am now tired and sickly, I am happy that my date will still have something beautiful to look at. And I don’t know if it’s the way Greg makes me feel or if it’s the glue I accidentally ingested earlier, but I am euphoric just thinking about tomorrow.


Here it is, right before me; the moment I’ve been waiting for. Upon the sandy shores of Key West, Greg looks longingly into my eyes and takes the cooler from my scabby and still bleeding hands. My heart pounds with excitement, love, and the bout of my newly-acquired anxiety. He promptly places three warm Natties into the empty cooler, looks up at me, and says, “Did you seriously not get ice?” I feel as though my throat is closing up and a fast-paced visual of me stoning Greg to death flickers through my mind, but I take a deep breath and remember my dignity. “Sorry babe, this was my first cooler.”

Later that night I swirl his toothbrush around in the hotel toilet and then fart on it for penance.