The Runday Shag

Issue 2496

Date:        19 November 2023

Hare:        Kelinchi

Venue:     Devil’s Punchbowl

On On:     Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel


  A football match is sometimes described as a game of two halves; this cliché may be used of Kelinchi’s trail today.  An ingenious beginning, with frequent changes of direction, and then a tour of the Devil’s Punchbowl, with virtually none.  Fortunately the autumn landscape was superb, and the weather kind, with threats of rain unfulfilled.  There is a good variety of trees in this landscape, very attractive in the sunshine.

  The Cunning Linguist once master-minded a catastrophic combination of trails here, employing a suite of junior hares.  Today he told a cock-and-bull story of where the trail started and would go, in all respects the exact opposite of the truth.  But the evidence of one’s own eyes is better in finding a start. This well-used venue (many hash dances have happened at the hotel) is fairly remote for many of you, but we proved to have over two dozen hashers, maybe even 30, including the energetic Bigfoot, who with Miss Zing (did I hear this handle correctly?) [Ed: That’s good but it’s Mee Sing In Action!] had been vexed at appearing as visitors in last week’s account: they are members.  We also had a family, well-stocked with both children and dogs, which was very welcome indeed, just the people we should be attracting.

Atalanta caught us just after 11.30, so she was less late than some weeks; 15 minutes, she said.  The front runners did an excellent job of marking the trail.

I was not a front runner today, delayed by a back-check which Kelinchi spared other runners, so in the latter part of the trail I found only a few people. 

Twinkletoes had hurt herself clambering through a fallen tree; later we found Petal with Master Bates and Fleur d’Or, and eventually Tosser, as usual confident of where to go.  The hare had said confidently 4.3 miles, and indeed by 12.20 most people were back and sampling the beer from the Bongo, Piercy and J. Arthur combining as Biermeister, and rain again threatening us.

A history lesson

  Our clothes reflected a variety of views on the weather, Bigfoot in just shorts and a T-shirt, others wrapped as if for a polar excursion.  In fact the morning was quite warm, unless we were exposed to the wind, and inside the Punchbowl we were fairly sheltered.  Kelinchi had ensured a very enjoyable morning for all of you who made it there.

  Those who began to read during the second World War were expected to enjoy the same books as their parents and indeed grandparents; Lewis Carroll, Kipling, Stevenson, Ballantyne (Treasure Island, Coral Island), A. A. Milne….. Ask “What are jam tarts made of?”, and accept as the only answer “Pepper, mostly”.  I dimly recall reading the adult version of Robinson Crusoe (I knew of no others) aged 6 or 7; I certainly read The Old Curiosity Shop at 9.  Along with this went authors now forgotten: “Baroness” Orczy, Jeffrey Farnol, Percy F Westerman, and one still remembered, Enid Blyton; we were quite undiscriminating.  Still, I don’t recall enjoying Biggles much, or the James Bond character of those days, called Bulldog Drummond.

  Modern children face a different choice; I had absolutely no idea of the tastes of my grand-children when they were still young (they are all adults now).  Publishers are eager to promote new authors, not re-issue classic novels for youngsters.  There was I believe an attempt to re-issue another favourite of my early days, Arthur Ransome and his Swallows and Amazons books.  (Did you know he was close to Trotsky?  I am sure my father, very right-wing in his views, did not know this).

  On On, FRB

The hare

The trail
a Christmas jigsaw puzzle?
CL smells something, Chundy scratches her bum, FRB accuses, Belcher is lost, Spud has a wizz & Blunder checks
He's back!

Higher resolution versions of the above in Dropbox or Google Photos

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir

The maxim “in polite society, avoid discussion of politics or religion” applies, I believe.

Or, in less polite society opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one, and none appear to be the same.
These topics are very interesting, but could, I believe, cause unnecessary fractures in what is a really pleasant social group.

I imagine it is subject to a group opinion as to whether these topics should appear in the esteemed Runday Shag – however, I would appeal for the exclusion of that rabid national obsession – football.

(an unfortunate moniker bestowed by an ex-GM, the aptly named Napoleon)

Dear Raffles

You raise the issue of politics and non-hash material being brought up in Hash affairs, citing the criticism of RHUM by somebody for lamenting a lack of historical understanding in today’s youth. In the circumstances a totally acceptable and non-political observation.

However, on the broader issue of inclusion of political and non-hash material in the RS, the hash is a democratic institution (with saving overtones of tyranny, autocracy, dictatorship etc). It is the inalienable right of all hashers to wear old trainers, smoke a pipe and drink whatsoever they wish. So also can they choose what to read. Don’t like it, don’t read it. A right which I have exercised for a number of years now.

It would be possible to include a ‘Speaker’s corner’ in the RS (I had a few days in Belgium last week and don’t they make fantastic waffles!) but I cannot help feeling it would be a shame to allow this to spill over from Page 1. It would impose on space presently set aside for humour and lightness to brighten that awful time between consecutive weekends.

Alternatively, if anybody wanted to edit it, we could have a dedicated publication, the SS or MS or TS, depending on the day of issue (the S having a more stringent meaning than in the RS acronym). Everybody free to contribute but perhaps a rather limited readership.

However, I think that the most satisfactory arrangement is for those who believe they have something interesting and worthwhile to pass on to be prevailed upon to proceed to the pub after the circle and find somebody to listen to their opinions.

Yours faithfully


PS Happy to form an ad hoc committee of, perhaps, myself, CL, Master Bates and Wally to vet speakers. A rough structure would be for the candidate to buy everybody a beer and explain to Wally exactly what they wished to discourse on. Wally would then summarise it to the committee who would debate it over another beer provided by the plaintiff and declare it adequately erudite or otherwise.

Dear Sir,

I feel it necessary to utter comments on run 2496.
Not wishing to be subject to National Trust blackmail, I parked in the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel CP. At the circle, I was called in by “Jumped-up” RA, Gibber (UG!) for failing (or unable) to read the SH3 website parking instructions. I have always subscribed to the maxim “Rules are for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools”. Incidentally, Tosser displayed the same wisdom but he was called into the circle for other “trumped up charges”. Tosser and I had to walk the considerable distance to the (God only knows why) extremity of the NT car park. We had the last laugh, however, when (eventually) leaving the pub! But, I digress.

Kelinchi laid a “hypermarked” trail and thoroughly Checkin’ Chickened it. She provided a number of short cuts and although I hate to snitch (I don’t really!), I saw FRB take the last one. She even provided an alternative to the “Assault Course” of broken trees. At this point, I was running (yes, running!) with Fleur, Raffles and Petal. When we got to that last punishingly steep hill (nearly 150m up (?), I wished then, that the trail was not so clearly marked! They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unfortunately not everyone makes it into that second group! Raffles must have dragged Petal up it at high speed, for that was the last we saw of them.

At the On-In we encountered Simple who (slightly) short cut to the CP. When Ms Bean and friend (Knickers) caught us up, she explained that her tardiness was due to her still recovering from an injury. Stevie Blunder had, being an itinerant (usually wrong) checker, overtaken me several times. What a breath of fresh air to the SH3, this pair is, in addition to favourably altering our ailing demographic.

Yours, aching-legedly, Master Bates

Dear Petal,

I thought this was pertinent to some of the “off topic” content of your esteemed organ.

On on
Doug the Tub

Misogynists’ corner

From a Horsham & Dorking magazine (so it must be true):

Beer contains female hormones.  Recently Sydney University and CSIRO scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.

Men should take a concerned look at their consumption.

The theory is that hops contain Phytoestrogens and that by drinking enough beer men start behaving like women.

To test the theory 100 men drank 8 pints of beer each within an hour.

It was then observed that 100% of the test subjects:

  1. Argued over nothing
  2. Refused to apologise when wrong
  3. Gained weight
  4. Talked excessively without making sense 
  5. Became overly emotional
  6. Couldn’t drive
  7. Failed to think rationally
  8. Had to sit down while urinating.

No further tests were considered necessary.

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