- Thucydides. Peloponnesian War.
- Matt 'Scribbler' Wright. HWH3
[Cue ominous music] ....du-du-daaaahhhhhh! It's Kenathalon time!!!
Few dates in the hash diary inspire such trepidation as one of Keyboard Ken's hashes. Having recently completed a clean podium sweep at the End-of-Year 2018 awards with the Muddiest, Longest, Most-Hashers-Missing-Presumed-Dead hashes, combined with the fact that this was a 'Special Hash' (HWH3's 1,500th), made it highly likely that Keyboard would pull something memorable out of his bag of tricks.
Keyboard: "The short is 3 and a bit...the long is 5 and a bit"
Hash: "What's a bit?"
Keyboard: "It's a bit longer...now there are 23 ways, go and check it out!"
Even FRBs such as BigFoot baulked at this command, electing to save Ken-ergy (I'm trademarking that one btw) early on - "That means I've only got a 1 in 23 chance of getting it right...not exactly great odds!" Luckily we have FRBs such as Ant (Speedhump) who think in binary (gotta love these software engineers eh?) and just keep going until they eventually do find a way...a bit like ants come to think of it...hmmm, better keep a (compound) eye on him!
It was a swift start as we flirted with a field (sounds almost romantic) and then hared (or hounded?) down Ibstone Rd. I looked at my watch and saw I'd clocked 10m30s for the first 2km, which was more parkrun than hash pace, and which, on a Kenathalon, was downright stupid. Still I contented myself with commenting on Helles Belles' bottom, seeing as my quicker-than-usual-pace had me following right behind her in her new 'Predator' trousers, a kind of dark & light grey number:
Scribbler: "Those look like Magic Eye leggings...you know, the ones where an object magically appears in 3D if you stare at it for long enough."
Massif Slacker: "It's a full moon tonight as well..."
Helles Belles: "Oy you two! My bum is not that big and if you can see my Magic Eye, then you're following far too closely!"
At some point we turned right into The Wormsley Estate, owned by JP Getty III, the man who reintroduced red kites to the Chilterns, and home of one of the loveliest cricket pitches in the world, as well as The Garsington Opera. As Keyboard remarked, "The views were breathtaking this morning when I set it - shame that we seem to reserve the most scenic runs for the winter when you can see bugger all at night!" Yup, but since when was the hash anything but contrary?!
Shortly after, the sound of a chopper going backwards and forwards overhead produced a few wry asides: "You did tell them we were running round their grounds at night didn't you Ken...what with rich men being paranoid about security..and having armed guards and all that...?!" For once, Keyboard was mute.
Around this time, the Marlow Boys caught up. Well, Seagull at least, complete with his natty running cravat. Along with Sooper (now promoted to ultra short walking duties) he had elected to take 'the scenic' route driving to Ibstone, and being distinctly old-school (Radio 4, smoking jackets..etc) he had eschewed any sat-nav help. And got properly lost. Hence his being chucked out of a rolling car at 10mph as the hash disappeared up the lane...that'll learn 'im!
We then had an 'OR' stop. Still clueless about this one. We turned it into a 3-way popularity contest between Nice Butt OR myself OR Helles Belles... needless to say Helles won, having given Massif a particularly threatening stare when he started to waver: "Just you remember who books your skiing holidays, young man!"
Did I mention there were lots of ups and downs? No? Both fields and woods? No? Well, just presume as such until further notice....right, that's the hash route ticked off...now where was I...oh yes...as I was running along with NiceButt, hearing him tell his shaggy dog story (you'd better ask him yourself, for legal reasons), Seagull caught up with us. "Ah, I remember you!" he panted, "you're the one who put down my daughter's hamster." Whoops!
All this talking eh? Well, before we knew it, we'd clocked up over 9km and I still didn't have the foggiest where we were - visions of a Kenathalon loomed large, with medics, bivouacs and saline drips. However, miraculously, soon after, a magical 'On Inn' signed appeared, and we got back to our cars with about 10km (6 miles) on the clock, including quite a few 'long backs' (!) So, Keyboard had been telling the whole, absolute, unadulterated truth for once...well, there's a turn-up for the books!
Hence, we trooped back to the pub (well before closing time) full of smiles, laughter and bonhomie, having dodged the proverbial bullet. Unfortunately, this good humour wasn't shared by the glum bar staff. I checked back over the previous Hashalator report and noticed reference to "a revolving door of ownership", with "the Russian Mafia having departed." Unfortunately they seem to have been replaced by some Balkan money-launderers (judging by some of the bar prices), all of which will be duly noted in the next Chip Advisor rating.
On the upside though, Whipping Boy (who had gone short) reckoned he had found the perfect spot in the corner where all sounds of the GM were drowned out...the official noise-cancelling seat! He reckoned that every pub must have one, somewhere, and that bonus points should be awarded on the Hashalator once located.
Onto the GM's speech [abridged highlights for Whipping Boy's benefit]:
• Bigfoot received his 350 t-shirt - he ticked a few boxes along the way, along with his 1.5 (rounded up to 1.9) children for the GM's benefit
• Sooper confirmed the Marlow Boys were indeed highbrow by wearing a walkers' cravat (to complement Seagull's running cravat)
• Aud went round the hash like a mini-human Battenberg selling cakes left right and centre, raising over £70 from the hash for our Parkinson's UK London - Paris cycle ride (24-28th July) - way to go Aud!
Many thanks to 'Goldilocks' Ken for a fast, fun, just-right run!
PS: For our Parkinson's UK appeal...
* Updates per our blog: www.wrightberry.co.uk
* Reserve Sat 11th May in your diaries - potentially a HWH3 parkrun takeover in the morning (to raise money...not recruits!) and definitely a 'Quiz n Chips' night at the Royal British Legion, Marlow from 7pm onwards.