And so we keep ‘on-on’ — Hashing every week. Running through jungles, slogging up mountains and sprinting along beaches; it’s a little bit crazy, but a lot of fun.
And yes, we’ve been given our Hash names — we were baptised, complete with a ceremonial pouring of beer over our heads. Luckily, within the local bouquet of Hash names, ours are very respectable, so I am comfortable to reveal them at last:
Stefan fell heavily on one of the runs (a.k.a. a Hash Crash), so he was named Earth Trembler. I am Knee Trembler — make of that what you will? Anyway, together we known are The Tremblers.
After our naming ceremony, Stefan grinned, stood a little taller and puffed out his chest, then declared how proud he was of his new name.
I, however, was a bit disappointed, because I had thought of a great Hash name for Stefan — ‘Buffalo Dropping’, which I picked up when his Hash Crash was described by the ring leader ” … like a buffalo dropping from heaven …” But Stefan was not very impressed with my creativity and threatened to come up with something far worse for me, and to reveal it to the elders before the naming ceremony. So in the end I kept mum about my idea, for the sake of marital bliss, although, admittedly, the fear of being stuck with a rude Hash name forever could also have carried some weight.
“It sounds just like a Super Hero!” Stefan exclaimed. “Earth Trembler … Earth Trembler … EARTH TREMBLER,” he practiced in a deep voice on the drive home. Next thing he’ll be arriving at the Hash runs with a cape and a mask, and I have to live with the man!
As soon as we had we been named, we were given the task of setting a Hash Trail. (In Hash speak we were known as Hares and, because it was our first time, we were Virgin Hares.) This involves finding a new running route and marking it with shredded paper. This proved to be quite an ordeal; beating through impenetrable jungle, dodging dogs, stepping over snakes, avoiding dangerous-looking buffalo, being stung by nettles … trying to explain to local Thais what we were doing.
As little guidance is provided, apart from the requirement that the run must be longer than 45minutes, I decided to create a recipe to assist all future Hares.
After the run your trail is voted upon by the Hashers and a ‘thumbs down’ means that you become the next Hash Shit, condemned to wear a toilet seat around your neck for every meeting until another is given the honor. I think the longest stretch for an individual was running into a few months on end! (See if you can spot the poor sod in one of the photos)
HOW TO SET A HASH TRAIL: A Recipe to Avoid Hash Shit
1 or 2 Hares (gullible Hashers are best e.g. Earth Trembler and Knee Trembler)
1 mature, well-marinated Hasher (select a devious veteran Hasher e.g. Leopard Piss)
1 large bag of Shredded Paper (blue and pink are the most visible, but throw in green and yellow for good measure)
1 Runners/Walkers Split Sign (created and decorated by you!)
1 Big Stick (straight and strong)
1 Truck8 – 12 whole Coconuts
15 Coconut Palm Fronds (14 for decoration, 1 for whipping)
A sprinkling of Courage
A dash of Determination
A smidgeon of Madness
1. Allow idea of setting trail to soak in mind for a couple of weeks. Do not freeze.
2. Source route
• Use Big Stick.
• Make forays into deepest jungle and up steepest mountain slopes at regular intervals. Do not follow existing roads, use Big Stick to carve and chop out new and exciting paths.
• Do not knead in too much concrete, as this could leave a shitty after-taste.
• Sprinkle in Courage, keeping a little aside for unforeseen events.
• Add Determination.
• For added texture saunter through the private back yards of local Thai’s and mash in some sweet smiles and fluffy waves.
Note: Big Stick is ideal for whipping away snakes.
Warning: If buffalo boils over and charges when walking through pasture — Big Stick useless. Drop Big Stick and beat a hasty retreat.
However, be sure to include pasture in route for added excitement.
3. Find new Big Stick. (straight and strong)
4. Mark Route
• Drop generous dollops of Shredded Paper along trail approx 30m apart.
Helpful Hint: Place Shredded Paper on right hand side of trail only. Do not be discouraged by competing local litter, this will assist in confusing and slowing down Hashers.
• Use Truck to speed up process.• Form a cross out of 2 Coconut Palm Fronds at each intersection and garnish liberally with Shredded Paper. Be creative.
• Toss whole Coconuts to the well-marinated Hasher, and instruct him to mix things up with False Trails. If he stirs in some Back Checks too, you know you have selected a well-ripened, devious bastard, through and through.
• Moisten trail with plenty of sea spray or river water.
• Paste the Walker/Runner Split Sign on any available tree. Do not maim or kill tree.
Helpful Hint: Blend in Sign, making sure it is barely visible.
Optional Extra: Heat up trail by dicing with barking feral dogs.
Warning: Do not skewer leg on barbed wire.
• Leave trail to stew overnight. Pray for no drizzle or crumby wind.
1. Sweeten trail with lies and coat with false information.
2. Flavour with a hearty helping of On-On’s.
3. Rub in the smidgeon of Madness.
4. Bake for a minimum of 45mins to avoid a guaranteed flop and the resulting Hash Shit.
1. Serve with a truckload of ice-cold beer.
2. Supplement with side-dishes of fruit provided by a bevy of generous Thai ladies.
3. Scold all transgressors with 1 coconut cup of beer. (real or imagined transgressions count)
4. Whip up serious offenders with the Coconut Palm Frond.
5. Ice all short-cutters.
Helpful Hint: Do not admit to using
Truck while marking route.
For best results follow all instructions with no deviations, and you will be sure to avoid Shit Hash. Good Luck!
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND: 27-07-2015