The Runday Shag
Date: 27 August 2023
Hares: FRB & Petal
Venue: The Star, Malden Rushett
On On: The Star
What a triumph! It’s all down to FRB…
…apart from the flour.
Today let us cut straight to the chase and mention some of the great imponderables that have taxed hashers for the past 85 years. Why am I a hasher? Is there a Great Hasher in the sky that holds all of us in the palm of his hand? If there is a Great Hasher, why does he allow good trails and bad trails? These are all meaningful and legitimate questions which are unlikely to find solution in a single page. So, rather than deal with the metaphysical let us drop one level and consider a rather more philosophical subject. One of interest to many that is frequently discussed is that of The Shortcut.
Now there are many misconceptions in this matter. Definitions are always dangerous and frequently restrictive but it would be fair to say that a short cut is performed when the shortcutter can see, hear or otherwise establish the whereabouts of the pack and the general direction of its travel. He / she will then adjust their own progress to proceed to an intersection point and thereby save themselves a number of paces / yards / miles to reach that point.
There are also, of course, short cuts laid by the Hare in aid of the halt, the lame, the blind and the indolent. No Gentleman, Lady or true Hasher ever follows that trail. It is unhashing like and generally in poor taste.
So much for actual short cutting. However, there are many variations on this theme which do not constitute the act of taking a shortcut. There are occasions when a hasher may consider that the Hare has erred in his route and adjust his trail to make necessary improvements. Or, conversely, there are the occasions when somebody might feel an obligation to trail blaze in order to help the pack find its way. Never forget though that it is bad form to call from a shortcut.
There are other reasons to deviate that you can name without too much effort.
What is not shortcutting is the act of solving a check before you have got to it. To my mind that is the execution of hashing in its purest form and, again to my opinion, there are only three practitioners of this highly specialised art form currently with the Surrey Hash. They are Popeye, Gibber and myself. Now Popeye perhaps conducts something of a variation on this theme and involves himself in exploring alternatives to the Hare’s trail that the Hare might have used. He is thus afterwards in a unique position of being able to assess and comment on the Hare’s real performance. Gibber, on the other hand, takes a more direct line and, having achieved high ground, contents himself with marking the progress of the pack remotely. He is thus also in a position to evaluate pack and hare, though in truth, I am sometimes forced to wonder whether he isn’t actually lost.
You, the reader, may now perhaps see the clear difference between shortcutting and creative hashing in its purest form. Remember, anybody can plod along a floury trail but it takes a great deal of intuition, awareness, topographical assessment and downright experience to solve a check without actually seeing it.
It can be hoped that this brief treatise may help you to improve your performance and enjoyment of this great activity.
Now, evidently it has become customary to include a short attachment to the main theme termed, it seems, a coda. Today’s subject then is Run 2484.
We had two hares for this as you will have noted from elsewhere, FRB and Petal. An injured Ms Bean, who evidently fell over Spud and wrenched her knee, duly introduced them and we were informed that the run was to be 6 miles with a 4 mile short cut. A good sized pack somewhat swelled by Old Coulsdon who had come along to seek inspiration for their run from the same pub a few days thereafter. The initial stretch took the pack over the A243 onto Ashtead Common for the first check.
There followed some loops on the common, well disguising the overall direction of the run, then taking us down to the old airstrip on Rushett Farm. Here the trail split with the halt, the lame, the blind and the indolent (See above!) turning left towards the farm and eventually the pub. The real hashers, probably half the pack, continued across the field to Rushett Lane, across there onto an interminable, hedge enclosed track to Chessington Zoo, as it used to be.
If there was any calling from the pack it was drowned out by the screams of the punters on the rides as the trail skirted round the zoo, past the Poly Apes treetops scramble (did we lose anybody there?) and into 60 Acre Wood (used to host a paintball site with a rather uncommunicative land owner). Thence across Fairoaks Lane, into Prince’s Covet and a fairly straight line back to the pub.
It was a good run, nice use of the three commons. Didn’t give itself away too soon although the mini war going on at the clay pigeon shoot on Bayhurst Farm maintained a sense of direction. A bit short on shiggy perhaps with which this area can be well provided. That always adds a bit of excitement to a run. But you can’t have it all and the hares can’t do much about the weather.
Reliable information from a whistleblower had it that Petal had 4 bags of flour as opposed to FRB’s 1½. That suggests then that Petal laid almost two thirds of the trail to FRB’s one third. Whether the credit can be apportioned thus may be a matter of some dispute between them. Notably, Petal had developed rather sloping shoulders prior to the general approval given by the pack but then claimed a greater part. Also noteworthy, both short cutters and the FRB full trailers have greatly speeded up their normal rate of progress since pretty well everybody was back by 12.30 – or the stated distances weren’t quite as claimed.
As to transgressors, Uncle Gibber as RA gave a well-deserved down down to Le Pro for messing up the previous week’s run by insisting it be kept short because he wanted to lust over the Woman’s football. Ms Bean was given a condolence on the state of her knee, whichever one it was and Maureen and Petal were proscribed to incorrect clothing.
All that out of the way, to the pub and no orders to get out of the car park this time.
On On, Tosser
The "Register" was taken by Wally again
My Knees are buggered
J Arthur – rank outsider
Blunderbus and dog Potato
Shreddies – M25 trail
Missing In Action
Humpty Dumpty and Ellie
L T-shirt and dog Sabina
Runner Bean – walking wounded
Another tale from the trail
A little birdy tells me that Hash Flash totally confused the front runners with a BASIC ERROR! At a check, beneath the Go Apers, he was checking and called “On!” (the “to check” was missing). This led to the fortunate result that the slow runners caught up and overtook them.
Report from Nash Hash
From our roving toilet correspondent, aka RHUM, keeping it up for SH3 in Yorkshire.