So, for the 2nd week a row, we were in good ‘ol Lord Dashwood’s roistering territory, and for the 2nd week in a row I was in the writer’s chair….owing to a very strange mute affliction that seems to descend upon the hash when Roger asks for volunteers to write the Run Report. Still, what better to appease the old Dashwood rogue by an offering of comely maidens, resplendent in their silky red dresses, from the very young and innocent (i.e. Maggie’s grandchildren) to the rather more weather-beaten and worn (i.e. myself and Aaron)……I say that because for a run advertised as ‘Valentine’s Day Fancy Dress. WEAR RED - a red dress would be good’, there was a distinct lack of ‘dressing-up’, or indeed of ‘redness in general’ on show in the car park before the hash.
Kamikaze Kev insisted that he was actually wearing something red beneath his neon running gear (but he wouldn’t disclose what), Kitty (Sooper’s daughter) had gone anti-red dress (by wearing blue shorts over her black leggings), and other members of the hash couldn’t even pretend to affect a passing interest, “It’s on the website? Oh, I never look at that thing anyway” - Paul (aka Digital Marketing Guru). Quite.
So, the mood wasn’t exactly buoyant as we set off. Maybe this was because memories still abounded of Kamikaze Kev’s last winter run, almost a year ago, still referred to in hushed tones by the survivors as ‘The Grand of Duke of York’ run. This took place from up atop Stokenchurch on one of the filthiest nights of 2016 (yes, Kev did march us up and down the same hill, having got severely lost in the process…and then proceeded to take 2 weeks off work sick!).
Anyway, surprise surprise, from Paddington the only way was up, so we ascended what seemed like a mile long incline, then hung a right and ran down the other side of the same hill. Kev seemed rather pleased with himself at this point:
“See, at least I didn’t bring you up this hill did I?”, said Kev, running downhill. “No, but we had to run up the other side of this hill to be able to run down it” “Oh well, I think this side is much worse……” Kamikaze runs off again….to lay some live on-backs.
“Was that a 3 on a 2?” Roger thought he had spotted an unusually-positioned hash sign. “Do you mean a 3 on a poo? Shame it wasn’t a 2 on a poo…that would have rhymed far better!” Unfortunately, comedy value was already in short supply, but that didn’t stop the conversation taking a distinctly scatalogical tone:
"I judged that it was far enough from the path not to bother with” claimed Roger proudly, as he debated the etiquette of whether ‘To Bag’ or ‘Not to Bag’ Summer’s winter offerings. “What is the unit of measurement for how far a dog sh*t has to be off the path then Roger?” “Oh, about this long..” [Roger holds his hands about 6 inches apart] “Shall we call it a doggy cable then?"
Ah, now that opened a whole can of worms (pills are available from your vet), and the rest of the hash joined in ‘The Great Doggy Do-Do Discussion’. “Surely though, a doggy cable is going to vary greatly from dog to dog….I mean, a Great Dane could easily outsh*t, say, a Chichuaha….couldn’t it?”. “Oh, I’ve seen some small dogs do some VERY big sh*ts!” weighted in Sarah breathlessly, slightly late to the debate, having been caught by another phantom On-Back…. “And if you’ve ever seen any of Lucy’s nappy’s….they’re definitely 3’s!”
“Plus, if it’s Hector, he can clear a room at 40 paces…and that’s before he’s even dropped his doggy cable!” Phil adds his two-pennyworth….or is three by now…I’ve lost count?
Anyway, we then ascended again (obviously…because we’d just descended - doh!), which pleased Kamikaze Kev greatly; “Chiltern Hills - the clue is in the name….’cos it’s not bloody flat is it?!”. Any chivalry was similarly in short supply, as nobody stood aside to let a lady over the stile first, hence I had to grab Cockers by his neck and yank him back, “Look, I’m a f***ing lady, I go first, OK?!”. Manners……
After losing the shorts at the split, we kept on climbing in the direction of Adam’s Park, which seemed to comfort Simon…actually no, I tell a lie, it didn’t at all: “At least I can bloody well sit down when I go to Adam’s Park!”. However, the mood was then lifted when it transpired that Kerry had been put in charge of the flour at this point, much to Kev’s dismay. There followed a series of ‘inventive’ signs, such as smiley faced checks, circular arrows, and a new hash sign….the ‘Back On’.
We initially thought it was another Long/Short split, but it turned out to be a ‘6’ with an arrow next to it, pointing forwards…..”’cos that’s the direction they’re gonna ‘ave to run….innit?! [says he using his best Kerry accent]. We debated whether this meant the ‘6’ rearmost hashers had to run to the front, but by this point, everybody caught up anyway and in Kamikaze’s words ‘I don’t have a bloody clue what she’s on about…..I very rarely do!, and a brief flour splodge later marked the scuffle at the point where Kev had wrested back the bag of flour. Sorry Kerry, why don’t you set a hash on your own next time…eh? Just remind me so I can make sure I’m washing my hair that night…..
By this point, we were all drenched, very muddy, and those of us who had dressed up for the occasion were starting to complain of ‘female chafing’ issues, such as joggers nipple and the need to pop behind a tree for ‘a quick Paula [Radcliffe]’.
Evenutally back at the pub, we regrouped with the Shorts, and gate-crashed everybody else’s Valentine’s Night - just think of Roger invading your personal space on the one night of the year when you’ve just forked out a fortune fro be sat opposite your loved on? To be fair, the locals didn’t look like Valentine’s Night figured high on their romantic agenda, so Roger was, for once, welcomed in as a force for good. Or new blood, depending upon what stories you’ve heard about Piddington in the past?
Was a t-shirt presented….yes, I think it was…for 300 runs….can’t quite remember to whom….I just heard the words ‘A Gerry Special’ as I was playing ‘Snare-the-Chicken-Nuggets-from-underneath-the-chips’, under intense competition from Cockers and Kamikaze. This demanded all my concentration as one wrong move would have rendered me nugget-less and that red dress had already chafed away a fair bit, so I was already feeling semi-nuggeted…..
We did say a silent prayer for those absent hashers, no doubt enjoying themselves on Valentine’s Night with their loved ones, grimacing over the cost of a 3-course set menu complete with love-laden puns and a severe allergy to liberally scattered rose petal leaves. Ha! Serves you bloody well right, and oh, Dick, the going rate for a hash write-up in abstentia has just gone up to two pints for Valentine’s Night….well, I don’t see why I shouldn’t put my prices up as well?!