The Runday Shag
Date: 28 January 2024
Venue: Guildford College
On On: The King’s Head
SIMPLE MAKES IT VERY COMPLICATED
I left the London Hash to join Surrey so as to escape urban squalor and suburban monotony, so I feel little enthusiasm for such trails as this. True, the reed beds traversed on duckboards (after we had passed the sewage farm!) were of great beauty, and the Wey with its attendant canals is always attractive, but most of this trail is best forgotten. We began zig-zagging through the mean streets of eastern Guildford, and then re-enacted in reverse a recent trail set here -by Speedy Humper? – probably: she was in her element today, prescient and knowledgeable about where the trail might or might not go. I suspect she was first in. Simple’s checks were mostly very difficult; at times towards the end Dr Death and I assumed we were short-cutting through familiar territory, only to discover flour some improbable distance from the check.
We got in to find almost everyone back, when we had thought only Atalanta and Le Pro were ahead of us. People coming to a Surrey hash nowadays fall into three groups: those who are there purely for the social aspects of hashing, those who do the full trail, and a majority who come in between, very sensibly on such a trail as this. Simple had described it as 5 miles long; it took me 10 minutes short of 2 hours. I did not think we were going that slowly, but we certainly lost good chunks of time wrestling with the checks. Popeye courteously informed me when we came to a fish-hook marked 6 that I was then 7th, and could continue without needing to return to the rear; I am not sure how Bonn Bugle interpreted her status, since I was surprised to find her there at all, but she went on forward and quickly found a blob which Le Pro interpreted as laid the previous Monday, doubtless by the Guildford hash. Atalanta caught us up in the confusion attending the next check, which appeared to send us back on the other bank of the canal we had just followed, or would have done if we had seen the check circle. Simple had to show us where he had hidden it. This trail was a very good example of the principle – which I find excellent, but is stoutly denied by such stalwarts as our Uncle Gerry, that hares should go round again.
“Literally” does not add emphasis. “I am literally exhausted”, if it means anything, would be “My liver, lungs, and lights have all been removed”.”Literally” means the words used should not for once be taken as figures of speech. Consider the quotation, perhaps used less nowadays than once, “hoist with his own petard”:, usually, his plan to hurt others has damaged himself. In Gaza recently soldiers were literally so hoist: blown up by their own explosives when trying to demolish a building. This misuse is not new; in 1959 I was struck to hear someone had “literally been whipped off to South Africa”. My vision was of a black-clad torturer scourging the unfortunate fellow throughout the flight. People say you must move with the times, accept changes in usage and meaning, but to admit that a word now means its opposite?. Indeed, I have heard a woman say “Of course, I didn’t mean “literally” literally”. At least she understood the problem. I admit there are a (very few) words, such as sanction, and cleave, which can have opposite senses, but those who use them know this; misuse of literally is more like teenagers using bad to mean excellent.
On On, FRB
More questions from our avid readership. This week the following two:
Q) What does Simple mean?
A) This is not really a relevant question as the answer already exists in any reputable Dictionary. Nevertheless to rapidly dispose of this matter we quote from The Oxford English Dictionary, acknowledged as the leading expert on the English language.
“Simple, a person who gives morons a bad name. Alternatively a lover of mud and rubbish, somebody lacking any imagination, a complete absence of aesthetics, a level of stupidity in putting a fish hook through a foot, or an inadequate who hides in full view by being part of an athletic social group. Also see Mindless”.
Q) Recently I observed in the Circle one of our younger, dynamic, and athletic members being ironically serenaded with “Gordon is a Moron,” egged on by an aggressive RA. I found this behaviour both unpleasant and unnecessary. In the circumstances can you give me the background to this offensive song/lyric?
A) This lyric comes from the April 1978 Pop hit record, No 4 in the hit parade, sung by musician Graham Fellows, and released by Rabid Records before being further released on EMI Records.
However, there is considerable controversy about these lyrics, held by Faber and Faber, as the original was “Simon is a Moron.” A notation at the bottom explains that the then Sound Engineer took immediate offence to the name and in a panic the lyric was randomly changed to Gordon. However purists still sing it as “Simon is a Moron,” and in Hash circles it should be sung as such as almost certainly a Pack contains a Simon, and should be used as required.