The Runday Shag
Date: 24 September 2023
Hare: Belcher & Veggie Queen
On On: The Red Lion
THE FRONT RUNNERS VANISH OVER THE HORIZON
“Turn next to Lawrence the Auctioneer” said the instructions, truthfully but unhelpfully: this place of business has no signboard. [Ed: There was a picture of the entrance too!] But those who live locally know this car park all too well: at 10:45 there were no places left, unless you disregarded the “Staff Only” notices. There was a good turnout of Surrey hashers, but virtually no officials: just Birthing Blanket, and your Scribe. Belcher declared a trail 8.7 Km long, and a short-cut yet to be set of 5.2.
He also said there were no checks on the golf course, which meant that checks one and two were 25 minutes apart: in other words, that the front runners were never seen again.
I went round with Mother Brown – well, mostly just about keeping his back in view; we were caught once by Le Pro, who had struggled to find the car park, and at noon precisely by Atalanta, and otherwise seeing no one anywhere, a very unusual approach to hashing. Normally my reports dwell on what people said and did. I can say that when Mother Brown and I got in, at 12:45, most people seemed to be back, with Peay presiding over the drinks: I infer that the majority took the short cut.
Atalanta commented sternly that the trail had been very hard work, making sure the hares were in earshot.
Now, we have hashed a fair few times from Bletchingley, and indeed the trail often starts down through the golf course, as today, and then uses the perimeter around the quarry at the bottom, just as today, and comes back up a path west of the golf course, and this trail did all of that. So far, so familiar. But Belcher and Veggie Queen had a central section to their trail which I did not recognise, crossing and recrossing a motorway, and re-visiting the conveyor system used by the quarry – oh, at a different location indeed, that conveyor is very lengthy.
This original part of the trail included a very long stretch of blacktop, and a certain amount of up and down; well, I suppose the terrain around Bletchingley includes moderate hills everywhere.
The front runners did include Loopy Lou, Randy Pandy and Vera Vomit, and perhaps Le Pro and Atalanta caught them eventually; there may have been 3 or 4 more, but how could I know?
Homo sapiens has numerous related species – now called hominims – which all became extinct for reasons unknown, though many survived much longer than our own species has existed so far. Could they foresee the challenges which would end them? We certainly can, and do, but prefer not to think about it, or still more, act to prevent the tragedy. No wonder, when it means changing how we live: better just keep going and let others worry later. “Après moi le déluge”.
Do I really mean extinction? It is predicted there will be some 9 billion humans when our population peaks (from 7 or 8 now): will climate change kill them all? Naturally many will die in the fighting as richer nations repulse invasions from tropical countries where human life has become impossible, and many more from starvation and in fires and floods; but surely there will be survivors?
Living in northern Canada or Siberia? Difficult to say: what we are doing now to the planet may make all human life impossible. Within a century or two. But yes, there may be survivors, living of course in a very different way from our present approach to extinction via a comfortable lifestyle we refuse to change.
On On, FRB
Run 2488 Addendum
With “saving the planet” uppermost in his mind, CL drove Ardon Provocateur and me to the remote (for us) venue. We arrived more than 10 minutes early but it took us almost all of it to find the ‘kin entrance to the car park which was “déjà vu” for the three of us!
I don’t know how many hashers took the short cut but it turned out that my group of four which included First On, CL and Proxy, were the last to complete the full trail. No checking was necessary because the, well-marked, trail (we didn’t notice any scuffed out blobs) was also clearly “Checking Chickened” by Belcher. We variously took the lead but because he can (still) run up hills, Proxy got more than 100 metres ahead. About 20 minutes into the trail, my rear end had received a “tweak” and the fluorescent yellow of Atalanta disappeared into the distance.
I recorded 10.1 km or 61/4 miles (later, in the pub, confirmed by the hares to be about right) and we completed it in about 11/2 hours which I thought reasonable (two of us were “Octos”) for a hilly trail of this length.
I was, therefore, disappointed, to learn that the circle was long gone and worse, there was no beer! Come back Teq, all is forgiven!
Atalanta, evidently, did not receive her birthday Down-down. I guess it was considered that she got it “in absentia” the previous week when she had to self-isolate with COVID. At least CL, Tosser and I were able to give her our cards and pressies.
OnOn, (a disgruntled) Master Bates
Sorry I couldn’t be with you today, Peeps. I had something a bit more competitive to do!
It seems that other committee members were missing too, so here’s a picture of some of our older hashers: