This past Saturday I was part of an elite Golden Words task force that, under the cover of dusk, snuck onto a bus full of upper year Eng students to go to grease pole to take some photos and act as a reputable newspaper presence. The first thing we noticed were the amount of gatherings around campus where these engineers-to-be were pre-ing. Or so we thought. In actuality these folks were greasing up their own poles, in a graphic display of engineering hubris and overconfidence in their girth. Instead of being dressed in their faded purple GPAs, they instead wore perfect period outfits from the Victorian era. Men and women in elaborate courtesan attire made their way to the fleet of horse and wagons that would take them the 3 day journey to the pole. People helped the old and weak onto their vehicles and away we went, leaving dust and Kingston behind us.
You might think that having hundreds of horse-drawn carriages on a major Ontario highway would be problematic, and you’re certainly right. All other traffic went to a standstill and pileups would be a regular occurrence as we went around sharp corners. Nonetheless, the days passed and eventually we arrived at what I first thought was the Grease Pole. After all, it was a large field with a pit in the centre. However as we finally walked up to the pit I saw that rather than being full of mud, water, and a large metal pole, it was actually an Olive Garden. It was pristinely maintained, and had all the amenities required of a classy restaurant while maintaining its secret and obscure location. Nonetheless we entered, and were astounded by the staff’s immediate responses, filling up our glasses with crystal clear water in the speediest of times and generally expressing pleasantries. My eyes widened with the possibilities of endless breadsticks, baked to perfection and seasoned ever-so slightly. Spaghetti, pennes, rigatonis and all sorts of other pastas went past my nose – aromatic and perfect. I almost passed out merely from the sensory overload, but I knew that I needed to find the truth behind the grease pole.
After a hearty meal, the engineers left to go behind the Olive Garden, only to be greeted to a green screen in which they simulated climbing a grease pole. Just like the moon landing and Redbull Stratos, this was a hoax. I say this not to ruin any of the mystique surrounding the pole, but because I felt a moral obligation. There’s no pole except for the one in your heart and maybe your pants. For any other lowly ArtSci majors, take solace in knowing that Engineering Frosh Week is just as lame as ours.