The Runday Shag
Date: 3 December 2023
Venue: Fishpool cp, Chobham
On On: The Red Lion
WE FIND A HERD OF COWS ACCOMPANYING US
Popeye promised us no ropes, no hills, and no shiggy.
The last word needs defining; if there was relatively little mud, we found water in abundance, and soon had wet feet. More surprising was the duration; I am told those in front took 48 minutes. Belcher and I were back before noon. Now, “those in front”: Atalanta arrived too late to catch them, but who were they? Stevie Blunder and Simple, but otherwise visiting families, complete with dogs. Ah, youth! This was their second visit; we must persuade them to become members.
Trails from Gracious Pond often take in the Common to the north, and so did this one, but Popeye also found farmland. And cows. A herd of Belted Galloways took a very dim view of our presence, and first lumbered menacingly towards us, and then elected to follow us, an alarming addition to our numbers. Fortunately the trail twisted and turned, and the cows preferred a more linear progress. It is many years since we had the Fat Controller lecturing us on the errors of our ways, disturbing nesting birds (he said); I am not sure that herds of cows are more careful of bird life.
Now, it is true Popeye avoided the hills on the Common (and therefore the views). In his pre-run discourse he spoke of an 8-bar gate and suggested we go left when we found it. In fact it had only 6 bars, and was climbed quite easily; Atalanta, obedient to what we told her, climbed back over it and went left, for some distance (there was a house and garden obstructing any direct progress); when she did re-appear there was a large group of other hashers in her wake, with Belcher and myself no longer alone. Soon thereafter we came upon ‘Ardon Provocateur, and knew we were nearly back at base. The in-trail had been laid after we set out; Popeye had put his first flour at some distance from the car park. Since Popeye is normally our RA, Uncle Gerry took over the role, and managed to find almost everyone present guilty of some misdemeanour or other, but these days culprits only get a thimbleful of beer. Once sinners got a full tumbler of shandy from a bucket: tempora mutantur! I suppose the present system is more hygienic and also more economic.
Freedom of speech means accepting to hear opinions you do not share. But who defines the limits? Anti-vaccine campaigns have cost many thousands of lives: should the anti-vaxxers be silenced? We all agree main-stream parties are entitled to air time: would you extend this to the EDL? To Marxist groups, if any are left? Libel and slander laws offer protection only to the wealthy. Most people think the powerful must accept more public criticism than the humble; but are politicians allowed to abuse the impoverished sectors of society unlikely to vote for them? Americans, obsessed by the amendments to their constitution, allow more freedom of speech (the First Amendment) than is usual elsewhere on main-stream media (obviously in the cockpits of social media all restraints vanish, and courtesy with them, rantings protected by anonymity, that resort of the inept). Do you consider the current anti-woke campaign, endorsed by Cabinet ministers, to be an assault on free speech? Or an attempt to protect those not very good at defending their opinions from those more articulate? You will have seen that this is by no means a simple or straightforward subject; not shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre was always too facile a summary.
On On, FRB
Letters to the Editor
You passed me your business card in The Red Lion yesterday, since I had some connective ideas relating to our run that FRB might be interested in.
St Andrew’s Day – a lost recognition:
It had perhaps escaped notice that Friday was St Andrew’s Day (December 1st) [Ed: Surely Nov 30th?], and the planets seemed to be aligning in auspicious recognition. Given the multicultural nature of SH3, I had respectfully worn one of my past St Andrew’s Day hash shirts on the run. Then lo and some more behold, apart from soggy wet oorlich, smirr and definitely dreich Scottish weather, we found a herd of Scottish bellowing and lowing ‘Belted Galloways’ crossing our path. A coincidence perhaps, but someone then observed that they believed Popeye, hiding in the bushes, had them under some remote control system (evidenced by the electronic technology around their necks – pretend bells that didn’t ring!! – a giveaway), since wherever we then went, the Scottish Belted Galloways followed. They seemed in a very St Andrews upbeat party mood.
Stevie ‘cowboy’ Blunder stated that he was of farming heritage, and seemingly comes from most of the countries of Europe, this time professing that he was Spanish and had spent many a year tending his Pyrenean herd, fending off wolves and bears, during their transhumance annual cycle, supported by his trained fighting Romanian cow-dog, Spud. Anyway, Stevie forthrightly stated, that he was a bovine expert, and there was nothing to be concerned about with these cows. Bigfoot corrected him, that they were in fact bulls, to which he still continued to call them cows. Stevie please note the Scottish criadilas and give them a wide berth. So much for Stevie’s anatomical husbandry.
And if the planets were not aligning enough on this auspicious run, we then had some Scot visitors in the Circle, but still no mention of St Andrew’s Day.
I dropped my new girlfriend home after our first date. It went very well and she told me I’d have to wait 3 months before she would have sex with me. I told her I totally understood and respected her decision and that I’d ring her again nearer the time!
(Name withheld as he’s still hopeful)
(Or “some say”, but not necessarily the editor!)
Our esteemed scribe asks who defines the limits to free speech? Are the limits not defined already on the basis that one should not incite hatred and violence? With freedom of expression comes the responsibility to respect others. This may be something of an anathema to some keyboard warriors. Opinions are not binary, which may seem strange to some in the world of social media as there is likely to be merit in some aspects of arguments that are unwelcome to those who dislike or are wary of the people making them.
Our scribe mentions vaccines. The term “antivaxxer” is often used derogatively. It is true that many people who espoused either side of the argument did not engage their brains before propagating misinformation and dogma (propaganda)! However, good points were made by both sides and Novax Djokovic does not look so stupid now. Some suggested that a vaccine that was (and is) approved under emergency legislation, with less than the usual rigour of testing, should be deployed cautiously. Therefore, it may be worth the risk of giving it to those known to be vulnerable, but not necessarily to the whole population.
It snowed last night...
8:00 am: I made a snowman.
8:10 – A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.
8:15 – So, I made a snow woman.
8:17 – My feminist neighbour complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere.
8:20 – The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.
8:22 – The transgender man.. women…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.
8:25 – The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.
8:28 – I was being called a racist because the snow couple is white.
8:31 – The middle eastern gent across the road demanded the snow woman be covered up.
8:40 – The Police arrived saying someone had been offended.
8:42 – The feminist neighbour complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needed to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.
8:43 – The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.
8:45 – TV news crew from BBC showed up. I was asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I replied “Snowballs” and am now called a sexist.
9:00 – I was on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.
9:10 – I was asked if I have any accomplices. My children were taken by social services.
9:29 – Far left protesters offended by everything marched down the street demanding for me to be arrested.
By noon it all melted
There is no moral to this story. It is what this country has become, all because of snowflakes.