Sometimes, life hands you a gift...
So it's my turn to do the write-up; the hash is from The Pink & Lily; many moons ago, on a hash from here, I earned my Hash Handle, Whipping Boy.
How? As one or two of you older hashers may recall, on returning from that hash we found a pub packed to the gunwales with post-wedding revellers. Undaunted, I slipped out of my hash kit and into something a little more comfortable, and plunged into the throng in search of a beer. Having acquired said beverage, and ensconced myself in one of the few quiet corners available, I waited for the rest of the hash to join me. And waited. And waited. And waited, until at last I decided to seek them out, returned to the car park, and found that, to a man, woman and dog, they had all disappeared without trace. Somewhat put out by this, I returned home and dashed off an email to IGSH along the lines of "MISSING: one hash, last seen in the environs of the Pink & Lily..." Turns out there'd been a collective decision made in the car park to head down the road to The Whip. The rest, as they say, is hash history.
So to my write-up: What should I write about? The crisp, clear, cold Winter's night, lit by the glow of a full moon? The hare's announcement at the start that she and Dashwood Dick had become engaged? The various incidents that took place en route - such as Matt's peerless impersonation of the boulder from Raiders of the Lost Ark with your correspondent in the role of Indiana Jones? (Is Harrison Ford carrying the Tosca in that scene?) Perhaps the sumptuous array of snacks accompanied by what can only be described as lashings of cava served from the boot of the hare's car at the bottom of a ski slope? Or the warming glow of the log fire and the excellent selection of ales - including a Winter Ale from Prestwood's Malt The Brewery - on offer at the Pink & Lily?
No: instead I shall write about what was not there - or more correctly, who. Who was missing - and indeed missed, especially when the cries of "Six back!" went up - from this hash? Ant, true - but the frequency of his back-checking has long ceased meriting comment. Ah, but there is one other hasher, whose back-check behaviour always brings a few good-natured grumbles and gripes, in whom any number set in flour or yelled into the frost-filled darkness strikes a deep fear. I refer, of course, to Keyboard Ken.
Yes, where was Ken on the night in question?
Blowing his blues harp and twanging his gee-tar?
Restoring TV reception to some benighted corner of South Buckinghamshire?
Curled up with his pipe and slippers in front of a nice warm Lesley?
A mystery indeed. At least, until this email flooded in:
"Hi ■■■■■ [I've redacted Gerry's name to protect his anonymity]
Having just returned disappointed from The Whip at Lacey Green where last time I checked Natasha was setting tonight's hash, having changed venue from The General Havelock, the last thing I was expecting was yet another change of mind! While I respect the right of any woman to change her mind I do think this was a bit excessive and as I did not take a mobile phone or any such similar device, I was unable to find out where you all had gone."
Mystery solved - but who had led poor Ken astray? Helpfully, IGSH can explain:
"...in this case it isn’t a case of nobody telling Ken to go to the Whip. Ken, along with everyone else was always told the right thing, he always was (after the General Havelock) told to go to the Pink & Lily ... on the Web, in the pub and in the Trash."
In the immortal words of Stan Laurel, "You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead." If only Keyboard Ken hadn't already been blessed with that most appropriate of monikers, we could delight in naming him 'Lilypink'.
Gerry: thanks for the evidence.
Natasha: thanks for the hash, the snacks, and the cava.
...and Ken: thanks for making a scribe's life easy!