I’m not even sure where to start today. I had such an awesome experience last night but I don’t think it’s going to be easy to describe. You guys might need to do a little research on your own. Here goes nothing (maybe literally):
I was wandering the worldwide webs two days ago when I started talking to a guy that goes by the name Trashy Transvestite (yeah, this is going to be a long story…I can tell). Besides being a fellow Totally Rad Show fan he’s also an avid hasher.
I first heard of “hashing” through Mike, of the Boston Douchebags, and have subsequently heard the term several more times throughout my travels. So when, um…”Trashy Transvestite” started talking about it, my curiosity was instantly piqued. Luckily, as it turned out he had several friends in Atlanta that were also hashers and he passed along my contact info.
That’s how I met house of bOObs.
(Wow, it kind of sounds like this post took a sharp right turn into Crazytown pretty early on.)
“Stop teasing us. What the crap is ‘hashing?‘” Good question, disembodied voice. And one I’ve been trying to avoid answering because…I’m STILL not sure how to explain it. The hashers tend to describe it as “a drinking club with a running problem.” I’m not sure that really answers the question though.
Here’s what I knew going in: One person is the “hare.” They get a head start and set a trail using flour to make “hash marks” on the ground. They can make false trails to lead the other hashers astray. At some point in the run there is at least one beer stop. You want to catch the hare.
That’s about all I knew, so when Debra (“house of bOObs”) picked me up last night I was still pretty much in the dark (and not just because it was nighttime) but without ever having run a hash, her explanations kind of went over my head. The problem was compounded when we met up with “Little Willy” and she had someone to talk hash with. Suddenly it was like being trapped in bad sci-fi movie where they just make up a bunch of words and you’re left wondering what the crap is going on.
However, by the time we got to the starting point I had decoded enough snippets to have a fair idea of what I was in for (or so I thought). This particular run was “dead” meaning it didn’t have a live hare running and the trail had already been set. And after the “chalk talk” I had a pretty good idea of what I should be looking for during the run.
The first half of the run was okay. Nothing really stood out as awesome; it was just a bunch of people trying to follow a running trail (like high school cross country minus the competition).
But then there was a beer stop. In the middle of a run. And that’s when things stopped being like high school.
The trail went directly from a truck loaded with coolers full of alcohol to a wooded area with a creek running through it.
And then the trail went INTO the creek.
After a brief hesitation I realized this was exactly the kind of adventure I was hoping for and jumped in, running just behind the small pack of people willing to brave the trail. From the creek we were led to a small opening filled with briars and that’s the first place we briefly lost trail. People started shouting out codes that basically amounted to status reports.
“On one!” Everyone gets excited.
“On-on!” Everyone stops looking for marks and runs to the voice that’s shouting “On-on!” I decide it’s probably a good idea to follow.
The trail led through a forest of bamboo, several of which managed to find themselves between my legs before attempting to snap back up to attention. People darting between the shoots search the ground and the stalks themselves for any kind of marking.
We lose trail again briefly and end up in someone’s back yard before hearing another “On-on!” from the direction of the creek.
Again? Really? Well…I guess I’m not going to get any wetter. Let’s do this.
Splashing through the water thigh deep we continue to follow whoever shouts those now magical words, “On-on!” We climb a log finally leaving the creek behind and end up in an open field that eventually leads back to the road.
Following the marks we come to a “BN” in the road. “Beer Near.”
The trail ends at “Little Willy’s” house (with an “On In” marking) where the coolers have magically reappeared and food is waiting. After taking a breather and changing clothes, leaving my shoes off and going barefoot for the rest of the night, everyone circles up. The Hares are asked to enter the circle. A song is sung (something about effing a duck) until the words “down, down, down, down…” when the two hares are expected to finish a cup of beer each.
Then the “virgins” are asked to enter the circle. Apparently that’s me.
“Who made you come?”
“um…house of bOObs?”
“Come in the circle, house of bOObs.”
This song was to the tune of the Flintstones. I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics. I was too busy staring at the cup of beer that somehow ended up in my hand.
Next it was the FRBs and the DFLs turn. First and last place. (I’ll let you work out the acronyms.)
Then came the “Rule 6 violations.” I wasn’t paying very close attention at this point but that seemed to mean they just make stuff up to force other people to drink. I do know that at one point I got called up for being a racist. Apparently it’s bad form to wear “racing” shirts to a hash. Like a shirt that you got from running a marathon or a 5k or (and I’m just pulling these off the top of my head) walking to the top of the Empire State Building.
The reason everyone goes by such strange nicknames is because after you done five hash runs they “name you” (usually against your complaints to the contrary) and never use your real name again.
I saw “Just Jake” become “Erector Sex.” (This was my first. I was “Just Brett.”)
Finally the circle broke up, dinner was served and I spent the next couple hours mingling with a bunch of really friendly people.
I love these amazing tight-nit little subcultures filled with great people that I keep running into!
But my shoes are still wet.
P.S. Thanks so much to everyone! Trashy Transvestite for setting things up, house of bOObs for taking my under her wing, Manhole for the company, Erector Sex for letting me run alongside, Ballet Bootie Boy for Charley’s new tattoo, Crip Teaser cause I wanted to write one more name and Lube Job for the ride to the bus station. Thanks for the indoctrination!
If you like to hear about these things please don’t let me stop you from donating!
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