Hell week is a unique week. It's hell. It starts when the freshmen pilfer all of the CO (Commanding Officer)'s stuff, and ends when they cave in and give it back. For us, Gary Hendershot gave us the "inside" information that Zac Crouch would be gone for the weekend. So we raided his room that Friday night. We took his door off the hinges. We left him nothing. Then he showed up Saturday. And we had CQ (Call to Quarters) that afternoon. And about 10 minutes before it ended, the calls started. "Zac is back" the hushed tones were heard. "Are you sure?", "I saw him in the hallway", "I heard Gary Beaty saying "Howdy Zac" in the hallway, and there is only one Zac in the band.", and so on until we knew he was back. And still we didn't bolt in terror. If we had only known. At precisely 4PM the yell was heard. "Freshman, get out in the hallway in fish clothes NOW!!!!" Now Zac knew we took his stuff. And we knew we took his stuff. But it's a tradition to leave a note from the "Homosexual Society of America" or some similar fringe group claiming responsibility for the theft. And he plays along. Under the auspices of this facade, he starts decrying our poor readiness. How we allowed these miserable thieves to take his stuff. And that we weren't ready. So we need lots of "readiness training". Needless to say, this training sucks. For the next 6 hours until 10 PM, it was non stop hell. Constant commands to line up on the wall in "height order". We'd never done it, and couldn't do it in 10 seconds so...BAM...10 push-ups. Then to line up in alphabetical order. Again, several sets of 10 push-ups. Then by hat-size. ARRRRGH!!! When it came to phallus size we all bolted for the "big" end and sprinted out the door (he caught us darn it). And then we couldn't even sleep in our own rooms. At the end of the evening, we were to toss our keys onto the floor and pick up a random key, then find the room we were to sleep in that night. As we were trying to drift off to sleep, the resounding tones of a Broadway musical filled the halls. "And I say to myself, what a wonderful world...." the voice taunted. Of course, that was the last thing we would have been thinking at that moment. The week was long, but we persevered. Through "death runs" and early morning readiness. Wearing ridiculous combinations of uniforms, and calling seniors not just by name, but by home town and major as well. Through it all, we lasted somehow, and came out on top, having overcome the adversity of it all.
I remember my favorite corps myth about a bunch of clever freshman who had gotten their CO good in a hell week prank. They had robbed his room, leaving him nothing but a fish uniform, and a box of donuts. He appreciated the donuts, and ate a few. Then he discovered a picture in the bottom of the box of, how to say this delicately, the freshman with the donuts gracing their phallic organs. That's right, they had the donuts on their dicks. He ate no more donuts after that.