Gerry, having grown increasingly tired of off-beat hash write-ups (talking dogs, dodgy rhymes, and Brexit manifestos to name but three recent examples), had decided it was time for a new simplified hash report; something which could be used to market the hash to potential newcomers.
This was how the 1st week went with Matt & Nikki in the chair, jointly charged with writing up Roger's hash. Gerry had tabled a series of standardised questions in order to encourage consistency and brevity….here's how it went:
[Gerry, starting the interview] Right, first question - how far did you run?
M: About 6 miles
M: Don't blame me - you refused to do the on-backs at the end because, "it's Roger, and it's so obviously going to be a '4' and that's sooooo unoriginal"
N: No I did not! Just let me tell you something.......
OK, OK, let's not argue! Moving on - where DID you run on Tuesday night?
N: [arms folded, glaring] Don't ask me, YOU wouldn't let ME look at the map
M: Well YOU always said there was no point in giving you the map because YOU were useless with directions....
N: I was being sarcastic! And by the way, the last time YOU had a map, you lost it, remember, on the hash relay, when it 'fell' out of your pocket?
Ahem [Gerry coughs politely] - the route......please?
M: So, we turned right out of the pub....
N: [interjecting] Well I turned left....
M: [sighing] That's because you were FACING the pub - all hash directions need to be given from an 'outwards-facing' point of view...
N: [angrily] Who says?!
M: [ignoring the jibe] So, we turned RIGHT out of the pub, the right again down Brays Lane and meandered through the back streets of Hyde Heath before rejoining Weedon Hill, and dropping down (that would be DOWN not UP Nikki!) into the valley to meet the A413. We then turned back almost on ourselves, and ascended back up (yes, I said UP!) to recross the train line and proceeded to wiggle around a lot in various fields (the shorts had left us by now) before a very long run-in up the hill which left us all rather spread out….and which also led to some questionable on-backing (no names mentioned!). The final 'sting' in the tail was Roger's introduction of an 'Extra-long' (XL?) segment that was cunningly marked with just an arrow at the start - no flour blobs, merely the instruction to 'Turn right, right, then right again - you can't go wrong'. Luckily some of the less navigationally-capable Longs didn't take this XL option….
N: [folds arms and glares across]
So moving quickly onwards [says Gerry hurriedly] what were the highlights of the hash?
M: The London Pride was a lovely pint, not bad value at £3.80, whilst the chips were plentiful and....
N: He meant the highlight of the run you idiot! Honestly, who cares about pubs?
M: Well, most of the blokes on the hash care - you know we rate them every week on the Hashalator, and score...
N: [interrupting] Oh, don't I just know it! Gerry, in answer to your question, the highlight for me was seeing all the lovely dogs enjoying themselves on a summer's evening. Oh, and when Helen misheard Phil asking her if Aaron had a big stick.....
Right, I think I've heard enough about that! What about the lowlights?
N: I agree....just this once.
M: Roger thought it would be a great idea to ignore a perfectly good field and instead to run around it on a narrow footpath bordered by barbed wire on both sides and swathes of particularly venomous stinging nettles - shorts were not the best option!
N: I was wearing long running tights and still got stung badly!
M: How did you manage that then?
N: I've got sensitive ankles! [M laughs] It's not funny you know....[M laughs again]....no, it really is NOT funny!
Please, we just need to get this write-up finished! Now, any amusing comments overheard?
M: Well my Dad wasn't too amused at being name-checked in the GM's speech, given his reputation in Singapore as a 'serious' hasher:
"How on earth did you manage to get lost on a Short hash? "I just followed that bloke I was running with - he seemed pretty sure of himself....but you know what, he was wrong just about every time. I mean EVERY time" "You followed Hawkeye?! 'Nuff said!"
M: And then there was the small matter of Roger's 'Gay Pride' rucksack:
"What IS that thing he's wearing on his back Jess?" "Oh I don't know, but he's rather proud of it"
N: And what about Chris, winner of last week's 'Best Murder Mystery Costume' as a rather hirsute Mrs White:
"I'm rather sad not to be dressing up this week....I do like to get value out of my dressing up clothes"
G: [Mumbling to himself] Hmmm, makes us sound like a right bunch of weirdos, maybe this wouldn't be the best PR for the hash after all....
N: [interrupting Gerry's mumblings] Oh, and there was the little matter of your comment Gerry - remember, the one about you being disappointed that you never got chance to wear that red dress.....?
[Gerry cuts Nikki short] Well, that didn't go quite how I anticipated.....let's see, who do we have next week...maybe it's worth giving this standardised Hash Report one more go.........oh, it's Roger......hmm, on second thoughts I think I'll just ditch the whole idea after all!