On the way to last weeks hash, Gerry informed me that he has only gone to "wildly" the wrong pub once in 20 years of hashing.
Having decided that the run was definitely from Farnham Common (we were half way down the M40 when we concluded this), we decided that the run was probably from a pub called "The Crown". We worked this out by Gerry asking me if that was the case, and me replying in the affirmative, not because I'd checked online, but because Gerry himself had mentioned it 5 minutes earlier. With our Holmes-esque powers of deduction, and the fact that there are apparently two pubs called "The Crown" in the area, our chances of finding a pub with the right name looked pretty good.
When we had pulled into the car park at "The Emperor", and concluded that although emperors wear crowns this clearly wasn't the right pub, I consulted Google maps and realised that we were only two streets away. Because of this stroke of luck, Gerry can still maintain that he has only gone to "wildly" the wrong pub once in 20 years of hashing...!
When we arrived, we saw that our co-hares had entered into the Halloween spirit, and dressed up for the occasion - they were the only ones, as the rest of us had decided to play a cruel prank. Well, they were almost the only ones. Helen and Aaron had clearly been so concerned by David's appearance that they donned bio-hazard suits just in case. Either that, or they were the victims of a cunning double (or would that be triple?) bluff by our very own Check Supervisor.
Anyway, after a very elaborate gag involving pictures of groundhogs that just goes to show certain members of the hash have far too much free time on their hands, we set off up Crown Lane until we got to the prep school. We then proceeded to run a lap of the grounds as only hashers can (i.e. loudly), leaving some of us wondering if the hares had really got permission - as they had claimed - for us to cause such a commotion on school property. Even with permission, I'm sure the school wouldn't have bargained for Helen explaining to all and sundry how she had to cut the crotch on Aaron's bio-hazard suit before leaving the house, which could perhaps explain how she had so much blood on her own suit... When we left the grounds and headed back to the main road (perhaps someone heard sirens in the distance?), we re-grouped for the most obvious and poorly disguised false trail that think I have ever encountered. Needless to say most of us fell for it anyway, cerebral bunch that we are...
We then ran past The Stag for the first time, and headed off down East Burnham Lane before doubling back cross-country. At some point the shorts left us to our own devices, but not before David promised that if we caught them back up again the beers would be on them.
Zig-zagging away from East Burnham, we ran past Thompkins Wood and across some farmers fields, where Anthony complained of having trodden in something that he was fairly sure wasn't mud. A cattle grid and numerous on-backs later, we re-crossed Hawthorn Lane and headed into Burnham Beeches, where we caught the shorts having a bit of a breather. They claimed that they had been instructed to wait for us, an assertion that was made with a certain amount of skepticism by the longs.
While re-grouping with the shorts, Whipping Boy sidled up to me to inform me that Roger and Kevin had been discussing their mutual love of a good firm shaft, and he thought I ought to know. The fact that both Roger and Kevin are passionate about golf seems hardly worthy of mention, however I trust Simon's judgement that this is something you should all be made aware of...
Anyway, we all got a bit strung out through the Beeches, but soon found ourselves back by The Stag for the second time - Kerry suggested that David had perhaps got a little confused while setting the run, and had forgotten where he'd been already. It worked out OK though, as we were only a short run from the ON INN, and therefore the all-important chips and beer.
When we got back to the pub, Roger said some things, but my attention was diverted by a nice pint of beer and a plate of potato wedges that melted in the mouth. I also got to listen to the multitude of excuses from those who missed my run the week before - too many excuses to list here, but I think they can all be summed up as "it was rainy and I didn't feel like it".
Thanks to David and Lesley for an enjoyable run, good beer, great chips, and for being such good sports!