"It was a bright cold day in January, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
No, apologies, this was not some dystopian nightmare - I had mean to say 'the clocks were striking eleven." The net result was the same though - most of those present visibly winced. Notably the ones who had turned up worse for wear...whilst for the rest it was simply the case of another year's wear 'n tear.
So, in an act of New Year compassion, Roger gestured quietly as he drew the hash to order.. Ha! Did you honestly believe that? Seriously, for a single second?! How about..."an ear-piercing whistle then shattered the calm followed by Roger screeching instructions at top volume." At least that's how Zebbede later described it, and he'd just gone proper vegan; i.e. looking decidedly green.
"Blah blah...not very long...blah blah...panettone...blah blah...Check it out!"
So we did, and about an hour later arrived back at Roger's house. There you go - write-up complete. What - you want more than that? Seriously? Sheesh, you're a tough crowd to please...can we just compromise on the edited highlights then?
Here you go:
- Conehead went foraging for fancy dress items for his 2019 wardrobe: cue, one pair of abandoned ear muffs, a bit sticky though...at least we presumed they were ear muffs.
- Twinkle Toes' friend (who was brought up in Holmer Green) excitedly pointed out the history of her youth and was busy name-checking local landmarks - "this is where the funfair used to stop over ever summer", "this is where I went to primary school", "Behind this bus shelter I.." [sorry, had to edit the rest of this out...family viewing and all that!]
- The optional detour for the longs of 'about a mile' turned out to be 'about 100 metres', as we almost immediately stopped to check Roger's map, marked 'ONLY OPEN IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES'. Given that the usual FRB's (Andy, Helen, Ant; i.e. the AHA Brigade) were all absent an emergency was almost immediately declared and Roger's little ruse was rumbled!
- "Is Panettone a bread or a cake?" - can't recall whose conversation I was eavesdropping on at the time - let's presume Stadler & Waldorf (aka Mick & Barney) for the sake of argument (*)
Back at the GM's, all thoughts of Dry January were hastily abandoned as the hashers tore into the cartons of beer like hyenas descending upon a bloodied zebra carcass. Apart from those who had partied too hard the pervious night that is; Zebedde had by now progressed from a delicate puce shade of green to a virulent tango orange. He was practically a one-man rainbow!
The main man himself - Roger - in a very rare fit of political correctness had laid on a very balanced spread - pro-European treats of lebkuchen, battenburg, and ricotta panettone, together with a pro-BREXIT selection of assorted crips, biscuits, jelly tots, Haribo and jaffa cake slices. Rocky Road, meanwhile, had also weighed in with something equally spectacular...but I'm sorry, I forget exactly what, as I was caught in a violent sugar spike at the time.
Anyway, in an attempt to spread understanding, increase the general cache of hash knowledge, and to poke fun at unsuspecting hashers, I've compiled a selection of New Year's traditions from around the world which might be appropriate for certain members of HWH3:
- Mexico - it is customary to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve to find love [I'm presuming that this extends to red dresses at all times of the year...in which case, Budgie Smuggler, you're going to be properly loved up in 2019!]
- Ecuador - men dress up as women to represent the widows of the past year...yeah, right...just see Mexico above and be done with all this cross-dressing! [note - a Red Dress Run for 2019 might kill 2 birds with 1 stone...gender-fluid ones obviously!].
- China - all knives remain hidden so that nobody can cut themselves [hmm....not very panettone-friendly - I think I'll take my chances!]
- Russia - dive into a frozen lake (one for Mr Eager...although Katie may not be quite so eager at the prospect).
- Armenia - knead good luck wishes into special bread (and if Roger chooses to knead his panettone butt-naked for his 'special wishes' save for a novelty apron, then that's his business...and erm Roz's too, if it happens to be her apron.
- Estionia - eat seven, nine, or twelve times on NY Day as these are all lucky numbers (take note Mr Chips!)
- Iceland - lots of weird stuff going on here; cows being able to talk (ha, Jo!), seals taking on human form (sorry, no sharks though NiceButt!), elves moving house...etc. Proper weirdos!
- Peru - have a good old-fashioned punch up to settle differences and wipe the slate clean for the New Year (or just go hashing in Wycombe town centre?)
So there you have it - food for thought for 2019. And whilst you're chewing that over, give thanks to Roger for his 'special baking'...just try to get the image of that apron out of your mind...no, really, really try...it's rather hard...see, there it goes again!!!
(*) The word "panettone" derives from the Italian word "panetto", a small loaf cake. The augmentative Italian suffix "-one" changes the meaning to "large cake".