‘The Hash of a thousand (short) cuts’
Venue: Woodland area with many small lakes, half a kilometre off the Thoeng (1010) road, about ten minutes from C.R. town. Lovely.
Hares: Do it Yourself and Do it better.
Start time – 16.00hours
We assembled in an area that was familiar to many of us as the general vicinity had been used for a couple of other Hashes – though the actual route was new.
With Svens’ (‘Do it yourself’) directions proving accurate down to the nearest centimetre, none of us misplaced the starting point. 33 Hashers (only 3 children this time!) of whom 6 were virgins and one returner in the guise of ‘Barefoot Bob’ back to visit from far distant lands.
‘Fired up’ and ‘On Fire’ were not the only ones so eager to set off that they arrived an hour early.
Sven reported that they had seen no snakes but a ‘small elephant’ when the trail was laid by them that morning. The trail was, again, on terrain suitable for the rainy season. A 6-7km route would take us through wooded areas, past many small ponds and fields on good paths. The weather was being particularly kind to us, with no rain and a light cloud cover to reduce the heat. Apart from one little ditch and a few metres of muddy path, there was no reason for anyone to get dirty or wet. (Bushwacker – did you listen to this?)
Do it Yourself was to act as ‘sweeper’ and collect the usual detritus in the form of lagging Hashers.
We set off in our usual pattern, a few eager souls running off and a big clump following.
Very soon, with no FRBs in sight or shouts of ‘On,On’ to help us, it became clear that we might have to make an effort to stay on track. Usually too busy talking to pay much attention – I sometimes wonder if ‘lemmings’ might be an appropriate term to describe the likes of Hashers such as myself and ‘Begging for it’ as it would be easy to imagine us walking blindly off a cliff in mid-sentence - Sven had to resort to exhorting us to make an effort to ’look for paper’ and ‘follow the paper’. This seemed like a novel but sensible idea. With so many Hash virgins along, it wouldn’t look good for us more experienced Hashers to appear completely clueless. Peering hopefully at the ground and yelling ‘are we on paper?’ every few minutes seemed to impress those who knew no better.
The scenery was beautiful, lots of shade, lots of tree species, a few remnants of a 1990’s housing project glimpsed upon a hill, a small field of dragon fruit (I suspect this had been heavily cropped by Do it better during the morning’s trail setting as she had lots to offer us to eat post-Hash), and a derelict plane parked in a clearing made for a vey enjoyable event. No one met any elephants, pink or otherwise.
Did anyone stay on course?
This Hash was notable for the many and diverse ways that CRHashers managed to deviate from the ‘true path’. Some of the straying was intentional, some misguided, and some Hashers carried on, unwitting and unaware that they had GONE THE WRONG WAY until some kindly soul (Namron) enlightened them at the Circle. Punishment being swiftly administered in the form of having to down a gassy soft drink.
The Hare signaled one ‘official’ shortcut which a lucky few of us took just after passing the derelict housing – this cut off a few hundred metres. Why ‘lucky’? Because those that were following behind and stayed on the proper trail encountered a pack of dogs ravenous for virgin meat. No injuries were sustained, thankfully. Forget the stout stick defense, here you need a Tazer. (Must add this to my Christmas ‘wish-list’). Might keep Oddjob under control as well.
A few – including one of our Hares (whom we shall not name and shame on this page, but he was the taller one of the two) – sought to wrest a few minutes off their finishing time by taking another short cut across some rice paddies. Those of us virtuous Hashers watching their progress from the trail could feel only sympathy as their strides turned to steps and then to desperate fumblings and leaps for firm ground as the paddy walls deteriorated. The onlookers were definitely on the moral high and dry ground.
Doesn’t Matterhorn and Odd job, reaching a junction, elected to deviate from the trail deliberately and cut off a trip around a lake so they could arrive back in good time. Terrible example from two of our current mis-management committee.
Even Fired Up –one of our usual FRBs – was noted to arrive back from a different direction to everyone else. Ignoring/losing the paper trial and following instincts alone she forged her own path this month.
Whatever route people found, everyone agreed it was a very good Hash.
Able Seaman got back first, with Barefoot Bob in close attendance. The rest of us followed in dribs and drabs.
The missing minutes – what really happened to Shocking?
We had all- we thought- been back for some 10 -15 minutes and were enjoying the usual post-Hash euphoric experience of allowing the sweat to evaporate, eating and drinking (soundtrack – ‘I will Survive’, ) when someone said ‘Where’s Pat?’
Now Sven the Sweeper was back, and no-one could remember when they had last seen our esteemed chairman. Aghast at the thought of misplacing such a valuable antique, Sven appropriated a motorcycle and set off to look for him. Shocking arrived back under his own steam shortly afterwards, Sven returning a little later.
No explanation was given by Shocking, at the time, about where he had been. I can now reveal what caused his late return.
It was that phenomenon often encountered in characterized by inexplicable memory losses and ‘missing time’ – he wandered into a warp in the time/space continuum thingy. One minute he was striding along – he’d been in training – all set for coming in a respectable and remarkable 3rd place – when everything went wibbly-wobbly and there he was, last again. Last, but never lost.
- Thanks were given to the Hares for a splendid Hash, and their complementary T-shirts were presented.
- Next month’s Hares (Fired Up and On Fire) performed the customary ‘down,down’.
- Virgin hashers were introduced to the delights of the Circle, and Barefoot Bob was welcomed back to the fold. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and will come back again.
- Shocking sold another T-shirt!!!
- Early arrivals to the Hash venue were honoured – some of our Hashers show tremendous dedication.
- Shocking urged any Hasher who desired to be a Hare next year to ‘get in early’ to avoid disappointment.
The Circle closed and we gradually dispersed into the evening light.
’’ Deviation from set trail.
May be encountered on any CRHash under numerous guises; most commonly as:
- A deliberate and heinous attempt to reduce time and effort
- A Hasher’s excuse for becoming lost and not following paper.
Will accomplish little. Invariably ends in any or all of the following :- getting wet, getting muddy, getting even more lost, getting seen and having to explain your actions in the Circle or your actions revealed in the Hash report.
In terms of Hash crimes it falls somewhere far below that of the FRBs amending a trail to send the pack up and over a hill unnecessarily (a capital offense in my book), and that of the FRBs drinking all the beer before the pack gets back, but above that of arriving at a Hash and deciding you can’t be bothered to actually set off, sitting down and picnicking.
On,On Ooh Matron and Oddjob.
Photographs of July and Augusts’ Hashes can be found by following this link :
This change enables us to include more evidence (of your enjoyment), and will also allow any of you who take along your own cameras to add to the gallery.