24 Shades of Gerry
Well despite my reservations, the GM's twist on the Gerry mask plan worked a treat, although I must say it was somewhat assisted by the dark rainy night & Gerry's keenness to be the centre of Phil's photographic attention - not realising that we'd all whipped out our photocopied Gerry masks as his knelt proudly in front of his entourage. 20 years eh Gerry & still as gullible as the young man that kicked it off all those years ago.
Speaking of gullible, anyone who knows the area around Henton will know that it is not the driest of places at the best of times, so why on earth 24 of us thought it would be any better with storm clouds having brewed up floods of biblical proportions all over the country over the proceeding weeks is beyond me. Never mind, our hare promised just the one shiggy-filled field & with our masks half blinding us we trotted off amiably into the first field – meanwhile Gerry opted out of running at all & scampered off in his car with Rose.
Barely two paces into the first field & it became very clear what the night was going to offer & there was next to no point in trying to avoid it, water, mud, muddy waters (not the singing variety) & plenty of country smells. Despite all the rain, the flour was still apparent to the naked eye, but unfortunately not to the Hawkeye so we managed to miss the first check & get a sharp ticking off from Phil as the trail veered left over a stile out of the first field.
Mud, grumbles, screams (as various hashers took on their first trainer full of cold night water) were soon replaced my muffled expletives as we entered and passed the smelliest field in the whole of Bucks, god knows what beast resided there in the daytime but I think a quick call to the European court of human rights would have it put down for creation of such a stink. Unfettered by this chemical aberration we swiftly & gladly joined the Phoenix trail to enjoy some solid ground before being rejoined by Gerry's mobile disco, mostly rooted to the spot the hares listened to one or two hits of the day, whilst Gerry swung his hips for our entertainment (hint for next time Gerry – put an extra ingredient in the cakes & hand them out at the start, I'm sure we would have had a few more hips swinging to your disco then).
Moving swiftly on, the shorts decided to leave us & return to the hallowed Phoenix trail, sprinting off into the night, whilst Phil determined that the worst of the terrain had yet to come & that the longs would have to pass through the "Shiggy field". Most of the rest of the hash was spent trying to gauge just how Shiggy full this field was going to be & whether Ian had been a tad hasty by leaving his snorkel & mask in the car. Anthony & Andy decided that if Gerry could return to his youth so could they & promptly started splashing each other like little children, personally I was praying for a Vicar of Dibbly moment to swallow one of them up but alas it was not to occur and the said Shiggy field eventually appeared out of the gloom. If I had ever run through the entrails of several dead whales then this is what I think it would have been like, so Phil & Gerry I would congratulate you on surpassing the muddiest hash of the year last week & trumping me just seven days later. However, all was not lost (despite Helen disappearing into the longest grass known to mankind) as the hares kindly laid on a stream to run along for the last mile or so to ensure that all traces of mud were removed from our footwear and the leap of faith from the stile across the pond was a nice bonus before the On Inn & the chips aplenty filled our boots, stomachs, pockets & any other available orifices.
Prizes go to Gerry for not spotting the Gerry masks until we were back in the pub & Ros for the leaf mask that any member of the SAS would have been proud of. Although her & Matt's search & catch up with the rest mission rapidly turned into a give up & stay in the pub mission, for which we really cannot blame them one bit.