Hare - Hopeless
I was on the horns of a dilemma. I'd been out to buy new runners as we're leaving HK shortly and I thought I'd pick up one last pair from the bargain basement bin at Metro City in Po Lam. But when packing my old pair for Hopeless' 600th gala run, I noticed a sole starting to peel away.
Of the various Neanderthal rituals of the Hong Kong hashing movement, drinking beer out of a runner is something I've vowed to avoid. And I speak as someone who once had to down shorts and sit bare-cheeked on a block of ice (thanks Rocky - Sek Kong hash).
Thus, I had to decide whether to risk taking new runners and be hauled into the circle for a shoe shooter or a complete sole blow out while running at a rate of nots (sic). Solution: take new runners outside and rub dirt into them. Sly chuckle.
Then I walk into the change rooms at Quarry Bay Park No II and I'm getting my running gear on and Castrato says, "Are they new runners?" Sweat immediately breaks out on my forehead as I stammer, with just a hint of falsetto, "No." Rats.
I eventually joined the swelling throng that had come to celebrate this auspicious event. Hopeless was circulating and the Caligula of the LSW hash - he is so anal he could easily be our Sphincter Boy - had very generously designed and paid for commemorative shirts for the run. But rather than doling them out as people arrived or drawing up a list, he'd handwritten people's names on pieces of paper and stapled them to shirts individually. On top of reccying and setting the run, and the usual requirements of haring (posing the age old question: when does Hopeless work?).
But there is a certain irony in a man named Hopeless having a microscopic attention to hash detail. In his own words, once rather poignantly expressed to me in email form, "I am a very sad man."
There were a few unfamiliar faces who turned out to be LSW old timers, including Rob, Cavewoman and Biffa, who last ran with LSW on 11 September 1996. Camel turned up, having had only run once with LSW in December 2008. The Bastard was having his first run in a year, and also dragged his brother-in-law along. Last week's Lamma hash was Quiche's first appearance in a year and he was back for more. Major Bendover hadn't been seen since July 2006. Other rarely seen hashers included Bear Arse and Dick the Shit I noticed.
Even Brazilian Buttslap was putting in an appearance, despite vowing to never darken LSW's circle again after getting nearly as lost as BOF on our recent Tung Chung marathon.
While waxing historical, I've been asked to include reference to the highly creative names the old timers used to give themselves. Cavewoman got her name because she was Mrs Cave. Kishor became Quiche Lorraine. Wait, there's more. Mr and Mrs Parkinson became Parky and Park N Shop. Biffa hit someone and Macau Drunk got drunk in Macau. It's almost a hash palindrome. And Hash Cash was hash cash……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
And of course, Mark Hope became Hopeless.
Actually, while on the subject of hash names, an ongoing source of frustration has been my uniformly unsuccessful efforts to name and re-name fellow hashers. As a result, I take some quiet comfort in thinking of selected hashers (in what remains of my mind) using my preferred options. Eg - Bravefart is Robert the Spruce and Lost At Sea is Gilligan.
There were names I floated that sank without a trace. Fat Sweating Businessman's Plaything became Rough Stuff Amongst the Grass and, understandably, never ran with us again.
I've tried pandering to juvenile, populist tastes by venturing into scatological territory with Turd Whisperer to describe a fellow hasher with a special ability to communicate with fecal matter. I ran this past Inky and she asked "What's a whisperer?"
Free Range Tits became Community Chest, who made her second appearance on a hash after a long break (all fractured puns intended), having kindly turned up to my last Sai Kung trail the week before.
I have in the past attempted to re-name Denver Ho as Penis Denvy, rhyming with the Freudian term Penis Envy. After her epic win in the Gobi Desert Ultra-marathon earlier this year, a feat that still beggars belief, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert has been another option. However, we have the extant Priscilla but, as an added attraction, this would allow us to refer to him, in the rich hash tradition, as Priscilla (thick). (Apologies btw to Any Dick'll Do who I once wanted to re-name Shiggy Shoes after she ran a Friday hash without any inner soles for her runners. Thus, the entire run felt like she was running through shiggy, even when on flat, paved surfaces).
I have also recently conjectured that Gunpowder Plod, who has spent more time in the wars than General Douglas MacArthur what with hash crashes, pole dancing incidents and general ill health, could be re-named The English Patient. Those that have been a passenger in his car will know that The English Mental Patient may be more apt.
But the run……..our briefing included wimps, rambos and super rambos trails and we'd no sooner set off than Dick the Shit stumbled at the first turn and in Formula One style, almost took Inky with him. The adrenaline was also coursing through Shitler's veins as he apparently executed a full cartwheel while negotiating some particularly tricky footpath.
We negotiated a long stretch of street running before reaching a check we'd used on the Christmas hash 2 years ago and headed up a set of stairs to ?? Road. We eventually made our way into the wooded area above Quarry Bay and found ourselves negotiating reasonably difficult terrain for a night hash, climbing up a creek bed. By this stage, I was feeling a tad ordinary and tracking Indy up the creek as she gingerly picked her way through the rocks perhaps because she was getting used to, as I later discovered, her new Asics.
At one point she heaved herself up a rock just as I shone my torch in an upward direction, creating a kind of simultaneous flash. Hoping to avoid more of Inky's in your face hashing, I resolved to pass her. Sort of. The mind was saying yes and body no, and my feet started flailing before I executed a swan dive into the rocks. I slowly picked myself up, with the likes of Penis Denvy/Priscilla (thin) checking on my condition.
I managed to catch up with some of the FRB's later on the trail and was lobbing along, nursing my wounds when I realized that Mr HTFU, Inflate-a-Date, was loafing behind me, presumably also hobbled by injury or age. "New runners?" he pointedly enquired. "No", I lied, feeling a little like Peter denying the Nazarean for the second time. I was now sweating, not from the exertion of the run, but the growing threat of a jig venturing in a northerly direction. It hadn't occurred to me that the back of the new runner lights up like a traffic light under the red hot gaze of a hasher's torch at night. Rats again.
We eventually made our way up to Sir Cecil's Ride and the Super Rambos included an extra loop before we started our long descent back to urbanity, which included one of the longer set of stairs I can recall negotiating in Hong Kong. It was above this that I lost trail only to have Motormouth of all people calling On On further down the hill. I chuckled to myself at the rare sight of her calling and beckoning siren-like in the dim night light.
The run in was fairly regulation though marking did become a tad economical as Freewheel later observed.
While milling about re-Carlsberg-drating, I learnt that Crème Brulee's torch was faulty and flicking on and off so quickly, it nearly triggered an epileptic response in a couple of fellow hashers.
Unfortunately, I am completely buggered after a rather big weekend so will end this report here. But not before recording Inky's down down for wearing new runners on the hash (with me still sweating, now with relief). She insisted that partner Lost At Sea join her and I watched perhaps the bravest man I know drain an unholy cocktail of Tsing Tao, necrotic tissue, pickled toe jam and petrified toe-nails from Inky's shoe.
Retrieving the runner from him, she noticed he'd left a little behind so gave it back to him, insisting that, "You have to drink every last drop. Like I sometimes have to…."
A Chinese style stampede for the door ensued shortly thereafter.
DOWN DOWNS by Inky
The Hare - 600 runs
The Hare - Emailed a very select list of anticipated attendees about his very limited edition Hopeless 600 commemorative t-shirts
The Hare - why orange? To match his garish new Asics.
The Hare and Macau Drunk - run start at 7 no, 7.15pm. Struck the fear of god into Inky who turned up 20 minutes early.
The Bastard - for dragging his brother-in-law to the hash.
Old Timers - Biffa, Rob, Cavewoman, The Bastard, the Parkies, Quiche Lorraine
Piss Perfect - who is Justin/The Bastard?
The Bastard - so named for dumping his fiancée 3 weeks before the wedding.
The Bastard's would be wedding party - Biffa, Quiche.
Returnees - Camel and Buttfan who can't compromise her finely tuned marathon training by hashing
Lost At Sea - ordered a medium t-shirt, but had to change to a large
Freewheel - markings so bad it was lucky Hopeless hadn't done his own run
Lost At Sea & Crème Brulee - LAS made the mistake of following a woman, CB, and getting lost on the way home.
Piss Perfect - enjoyed the ignominy of losing trail before having Motormouth calling on on to him
Dick the Shit, Shitler, Piss Perfect - hash crashes
Castrato - very polite when passing on the trail
Kuntshy - marked a huge cross the width of the road
Wimps - Fast Pussy, FFFM, the Parkies
Yummy Mummy, Virgin Mary - Non-runners
Inflate-a-date - Anal about his bag
Shitler - overheard at the start telling everyone he used to be a great runner
Buttfan - vegetarian but refused to eat the rabbit food
Parky - always keeps condoms handy