This is the best opening paragraph in any news story ever

Phil Toledano for The Atlantic magazine.

This has got to be the best lede of all time. And a great article, too. Caitlin Flanagan, writing about fraternities, law, liabilities, and corruption in the Atlantic magazine:

One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.

"The Dark Power of Fraternities" [The Atlantic]