The Rime of the Grocery GoRuck
An epic poem in the style of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic work, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written to detail in full the Challenge of GoRuck Class 1014.
By Friar Tuck
How a Class of men, having risen many a morn’ before the sun’s awakening, did accustom themselves to the heavy load; how the men did encounter the be-skulled Cadre Guest bound for southerly trails; how he stole away their earthly comforts, and yet Providence did provide; and how they shouldered the beastly burdens to a dramatic end.
It is a lowly Friar
And he speaketh to the PAX.
“What sayest thou good Friar Tuck?
Now give your tale, provide the facts.
The dawn has come, the sun doth shine,
We Oak and Queen City brethren;
Sit round the Circ’ of Trust to hear,
So to your tale do now begin.”
Tuck holds them with his glitt’ring eye—
The brazen PAX stone still,
And listen like a three-years’ child,
The Friar hath his will:
To highest deck, the men rolled in,
To park and don the Rucks;
And all but Peak Week found the deck,
Though he didst finally ‘rive with luck.
Then down the flights the PAX descend,
To find the point of origin.
Adrenal surge beneath each chest,
Then from the veil, our dim-lit Guest.
“Alright you crazies,” quoth he Dan,
“Now follow me this way.
My Coupon-laden truck unload,
My price of pain you now shall pay.”
“You see, at Man’s first genesis,
No comforts did he know,
Nor shoes, nor food, nor speech, nor straps,
These gifts I to thee unbestow!”
“You can these comforts yet regain,
To help thee in this Quest.
So plan for how you’ll bear the load,
To reach with speed your time-hack next.”
Then off with Coupons hung like lead,
‘Round necks of silent men;
The barefoot brethren drift like fog,
Past rev’lers, puzzled citizens.
First hack! Young Scrappy’s lead triumphs,
The PAX regain their soles.
Admin and then the PAX begin,
To train for battle roles.
“To field of green!” the Cadre calls,
“With bullets whizzing past;
To learn the art to dodge the aim,
As soldiers moving fast!”
The Cadre Dan he spiels and spouts,
Of defending men all ‘round;
Upon the deck the PAX do flop,
“I’m up… He sees me, I’m down!”
So ‘cross the field, Coupons in hand,
With Wounded well in tow;
The Rucking band with hurried pace,
In Alpha, Bravo sequence flow.
Then done with this, more spiel Dan lays,
“It can always get worse;
Attention to the Fine Detail,
Now Coupons stack, and well rehearse!”
Admin and then once more to arms,
All loaded to the gills;
And down the greenway, clothed in black,
No room to whine, steel up your wills.
Silent once more, we slip like sharks,
Through crushing darkest deep;
‘Neath slosh pipe load and bags of sand,
Compadre Dan, swift pace we keep.
And darker still the night became,
As Winnebago steers;
The stealthy PAX to ne’er relax,
But spell the brethren, front to rear.
And some did note that through the gloom,
Their consciousness did fade;
The walking dead at times they seem,
Beneath the moon and through the shade.
So on we fly to time-hack next,
Then sit for Cadre’s class:
To cross the road with PAX secure,
We organize, then careful pass.
Now hydrate up, now check the map,
And into silence drift;
Fungo to lead with vigor, speed,
The coupons heavy, on we lift.
Yet somewhere in his heart he thinks:
“This trail, could it be true?”
So TL Fungo polls two men,
About face, surely this we’ll rue.
But swift we fly and ground we gain,
The Pullen plot in view;
Arrive, employ Math 1-4-0,
What miracle, the Hack we slew!
So to Bell Tower, that of Wolf,
For admin, food and spiel;
The Cadre’s first GoRuck he tells,
While resting PAX enjoy the meals.
Now south again, we drive once more,
Descending to the brook;
“Step into cold, step into stream,”
Spoke Cadre Dan, no pause we took.
Then whilst we wade, embrace the chill,
The Guest speaks truth renown:
That wet and cold takes toughest men,
And levels them to equal ground.
So into water, chilling, dank,
The PAX must now sink in;
Your loins, men, fortify and steel,
Let soaking PT now begin.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the PAX did sink;
Water, water, everywhere,
That none should dare to drink!
Their Lamps did sink beneath the line,
To depths the lights descend;
Then up for air, full soaked to hair,
Now to the trail return, ascend.
So at some point the Cadre spiels,
That leadership may call;
For picking up an instrument,
A tool to gain advantage small.
With this detail the PAX trek on,
This parcel tucked in mind;
When suddenly, with warning none,
The mighty White Shoe gives the sign!
He points The Flag with vigor strong,
To steel and wheels forsaken;
Then .345 seconds later,
The Chariot we the PAX had taken!
“What fortune!” cried each silent heart,
“This tool to bear the weight!”
But then, say no, to curb, Po-Po,
Would Men in Blue this Chariot take?
Then did commence a meeting swift,
The Cadre with the Fuzz;
To see were trouble-makers we,
We wonder, “Will they kill the buzz?”
Raleigh Police Department: Hey, what exactly is this?
Dan: It’s a GoRuck Challenge.
RPD: Are these guys part of the Occupy movement?
Dan: Do you think my guys would be part of that? Look at the American Flag, man.
RPD: Who are you?
Dan: I am the Cardre. Cardre Dan. I’m a Green Beret and I’m responsible for these guys.
RPD: You guys have a good night.
Sweet victory, the Cops u-turn,
And Dan he waves us on;
With vigor fresh we push the pace,
And next time-hack we make with brawn.
So seated now for admin time,
The Cadre ‘gain he chatters.
“Remember, men, this cart you gained,
Brings up important matters.”
“This cart, you see, is like a Dame,
A Lass of hottest type;
But careful, Lads, remember well,
Her company can turn to tripe.”
“So too this cart can serve you well,
Its strength you now enjoy.
But pause, take care, perhaps beware,
With you she may yet toy.”
These words relayed, now pause again,
For food and natural break;
The sun does rise, and breathe we full,
A lighter step we take.
To Johnson Lake the trail we make,
And hike the rising ground;
Till finally we stop, we pause,
To hear next orders Dan would sound.
“Spread out, look ‘round, and for me find,
Three logs of stature stout.
And bring them here for Log PT,
Your spirits I may rout.”
So look we did, and wood retrieved,
One log above the others,
Did weigh perhaps a quarter-ton,
It was one heavy mother.
“Pick up these poles,” the Cadre spoke,
“And heave them up and down,
In cadence count ‘til three times through,
Then lay them on the ground.”
And finally, the be-skulled Dan,
He gave the order straight;
To render up more tough PT,
Whilst he another smoke did take.
So drawing deep on F3 skills,
The PAX conceived designs;
To carry partners up the knoll,
Then flapjack all, return in kind.
PT complete, Dan satisfied,
We dump the extra sticks,
But Quarter-Ton has just begun,
To put us in a fix.
This log we raise and northward head,
The pace moves slow as tar;
Once stopped, Dan queries if in fact,
This strategy will get us far.
So quickly now we rearrange,
And give the Beast a shove;
Into the Chariot’s potent bowels,
And onward now we rove.
Heave ho, and on! We steady climb,
The byways to assault;
Five miles to pass and finally reach,
The place of final halt.
So on we trek, Chong Li spurs on,
The men toward the goal;
The end is now quite clear in mind,
Its image lights our souls.
But woe! Anon! How can it be?
How could our fortune take,
An awful turn, a terrible twist,
The front wheel sick’ning breaks.
Ah me! ‘Tis lost! The Cart from heav’n,
The Lord he gives and takes;
Yet still, Tecumseh and Peak Week,
Say progress still, three-wheels can make.
So forward we on wheels of three,
Still covering ground with care;
And on approach to Tower of Pack,
The second wheel does tear!
Alas, oh me, now all is lost,
The Cart is surely gone;
But men of faith, the PAX rebound,
And Friar, he climbs on.
A time-hack made yet once again,
Could 1014 crush all?
With Bell Tower break and snapshot take,
The final hack does beckon, calls.
Now mounts White Shoe the rascal Log,
And rides Hillborough with flair,
With careful pace, the last-leg race,
And sadclown citizens do stare.
But on we push past hole and hump,
With fervor, purpose strong;
We have not extra time to kill,
The Hack cannot be long.
The Capitol within our sights,
The Lumber dragging low;
We wonder, will the Cart prevail?
The final path we carve and mow.
Good Providence! Could it be so?
We swiftly to the end;
Reach Capitol, then Cadre’s truck,
And he THE COUNTDOWN DOES BEGIN!
“10-9, 8-7!” we stack Coupons,
We to each man help lend;
But knotted ropes will surely be,
Our doom, our fate, our end!
“4-3, 2-1!” the end, the Hack!
We’ve missed it, failure plain!
Then wryly smiles the Cadre Dan,
“Two minutes still remain!”
Relieved, revived, the job’s complete,
The Coupons all in line;
Then to the Capitol we march,
How will conclude our time?
Expecting worst, the PAX await,
To hear the Cadre tell;
But final crushing he withholds,
Instead, greets each with, “Job done well.”
“You’ve no idea,” says Dan to we,
“The strength you men possess.
This band of men so named F3,
Stands high above the rest.”
A GoRuck patch pressed in each hand,
The PAX beam wide and high.
The journey’s end, 12 hours burned full,
Time now to feast, to lie.
So you, fair reader, hear this tale,
Forever this recall:
Always worse your fate can get,
But in the end, you will stand tall.