Challenge: James’ Naughty-cal puzzle

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Words || Katelyn Free

Having a perpetually-bare-foot-flower-child EIC should have been an indication that when James was put in charge of organising the group challenge for this issue, physical exercise and nature would be inevitable components. Alas, on a steamy Saturday afternoon, the Grapey team assembled at MQ – with questionable footwear choices, half empty water bottles and high amounts of sleep deprivation. We were dismally unprepared.

Challenge #1

Pirate hat in tow, James arrived to begin our treasure hunt adventure, presenting each of us with a ‘borrowed’ bandana from the Lush storeroom and leading us to our first clue, promising ‘treasure’ would await us if successful. As Nate helpfully provided a soundtrack in the form of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, we began at the gravesite of the 120 gum trees felled from the former campus courtyard at the beginning of this year. After some quick Grapeshot trivia, our next clue led us to the hub of all things eco-friendly, uplifting and physically detrimental at Macquarie: the smoking forest next to MUSE.

Challenge #2

Paranoid that some bystander would witness his hiding of the next clue, James decided to make a particular effort of concealing the next clue. Nathaniel’s bush bashing resulted in a victorious squeal, he had found the hidden yellow envelope. Our next challenge was putting together a puzzle comprised of a tactically torn up cover of Cane Toad. After completing this task, the Grapey team realised their next stop was down by the ever famous lake – stopping to reminisce the time Nate almost drowned trying to cross said body of filth.

Challenge #3

Crossing the border-line-marsh-land of the freshly rained upon grass caused severe regret due to inappropriate footwear choices (Erin), but nonetheless the team persisted. Stumbling upon the blue-swirly sculpture on the right side of the lake, we recounted the various occupants of the death pool with surprising efficiency (we see you SRC funds and shady eels), to find our next clue lay all the way at the much-beloved Grapeshot stands near Piccolo Lane.

Challenge #4

After successfully completing the next challenge James rewarded us with eye patches to further our pirate garb and provided us with arguably the most challenging part of the treasure hunt yet: constructing the DIY eye-patches. A challenge resulting in the Grapey team standing around for 15 minutes trying to fumble our way through assembling children’s eye-patches. The future of student journalism is bright.

Challenge #5

Our next clue led us to visit the hallowed ground of the entrance to the secret underground Macquarie tunnels…which (if you didn’t read issue five), is literally just a door. Sexy stuff and arguably a bigger let down than Kanye becoming BFFs with Trump.

Challenge #6

Clue number 5 informed us we’d need to make a journey back to…the lake. Again. We love James for many reasons, but his ability to construct a geographically logical treasure hunt is not among those reasons. Across the marshlands, our next challenge was to recreate Tahmyna’s iconic cover pose from The Front, to be captured by Erin’s temperamental polaroid. One by one the Grapey team upon the lake-side rocks and requested at several intervals to be shown the cover as reference for the aspired ‘mood’. After several photographs, including several for Ilhan’s own collection. The question on everyone’s lips – Did any of us achieve said mood? The answer? Questionable. Did Sam however give what may have been the best smize the MQ lake has ever seen? 100%.

Challenge #7

Nearing the end of the hunt, James had chosen the next challenge to make sure his minions were receiving all the correct vitamins and minerals for final edit weekend. Our next challenge would be to chug a litre of Boost juice reminiscent of his own liquid diet from issue 7. The hero of this portion of the challenge was unequivocally Max, who downed 80% of the lukewarm juice that had been sitting in the lakeside bushes for a few hours. A Qween.

Satisfied that his team (or at least one member of it) had successfully consumed the requisite amount of liquid vegan power, our beloved EIC handed us a spade and heralded us in the direction of the nearby bush line. The end was near.

Challenge #8

A storm had begun to brew and time was of the essence. We wandered for about 5 minutes before finding the small pile of upturned earth, it was time that we unearthed our long-awaited treasure. The promised ‘rum’. The pinnacle of the challenge.

Would remain a secret to all but the Grapeshot team.

Not the climax you expected? It surely wouldn’t be a secret treasure if we told you what it was, would it?

As we trudged back to the office clutching onto the dirt covered treasure, there was an undeniable sense of victory in the air. Was it from the forced exposure to fresh air and sunlight? The two kilometres of brisk walking exercise? Or the prospect of editing the magazine filled with the sweet, sweet treasure we found? We will never know.

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