If you were to construct a hashing Venn Diagram, then the area around Hazlemere & Tylers' Green would shine out like a little beacon on of one of Sooper's fancy schmanzy maps. Expressed as a formula, it would look something like this:
'Plenty of pubs + limited woods = a lot of re-hashing'
This was the 2nd time in three months we'd hashed from The Queen's Head, although since I couldn't see properly on IGSH Gerry's Inappropriate Hash (2-Oct) on account of what I was wearing 'hat-wise', maybe that doesn't count? However, with 3 hashes in 2018 from The Mayflower, just down the road (6-Nov, 1-May, 2-Jan), the chances were that we were going to end up in Common Wood at some point!
So, I didn't really listen to Jane (Legover's) briefing, figuring that I couldn't really get lost on home turf. Ah, no, hang on - the reason I didn't listen was because I turned up late and missed the briefing, despite this being one of the closest hashes to me.
Oh, I think that calls for another formula:
'The distance you live from a hash is inversely proportional to how early you arrive.'
Edited highlights from the hash (since you should all know the route backwards by now):
• Legover pointed out her favourite view as we trotted across the fields out of Penn; apparently she can be found sitting there with a drink on the longest day, toasting the sunrise...or on plenty of other evenings, simply lying unconscious with a bottle in her hand.
• I reminded Rocky Road that her 50th parkrun was fast approaching (16th February) and that it was customary to celebrate this landmark occasion with lashings of her eponymous confectionary. Those with a sweet tooth, take note!
• Nicebutt swapped stories with me about rugby tours and what he used to get up to at Edinburgh University (see below: Hash-Olympic Sports Section)
Back at the pub:
• T-shirt awards for Legover (150, complete with a very 'enthusiastic' stretching image) and Ron (250, XXXL size); for good measure, Ron was also regaled with his favourite song of all time, 'Happy Birthday'... just in case (note - it's August - gives us all plenty of time to practise!)
• TOSCA awards were deferred - phew!
• One of the BMF guests brought along by Glenn-fidich had his car broken into whilst we were out running and his work laptop stolen - very unpleasant, and this is one of the poshest pubs we hash from!
Right, so that rounds up all the usual write-up business! Now that we're into 2019, we're only 19 months away from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (24 Jul - 9 Aug), so in the spirit of sporting excellence, I'd like to put forward the following hash-specific sports for Olympic consideration:
1. Off-ground Tag
• Dry January doesn't ever have to be so again! If you are off the ground when you drink, it doesn't count anymore...honestly, it's official!
• So, watch out for a forthcoming elaborate variation of off-ground tag, whereby hashers will move gracefully from pub bench to pub bar stool whilst drinking their pints and without touching the floor or spilling a drop.
Current hash world champion: Ian 'Massif Slacker' Cockerill
2. Bin bag bagging
• In Scotland they call climbing mini-mountains (over 3,000ft) 'Munro bagging'.
• In Nicebutt's Uni days, it was customary to take 2 black bin bags after the pubs closed, - one for all your clothes (except for your shoes) and the other to wear - then run to the top of Arthur's Mount (no pun intended) in the latter.
Current hash world champion: Tim 'Nicebutt' Ferens
3. The King Edward Surfing Championship
• Finish off all the chips off at your table, then go round the other tables in turn, stealing as many of their chips as you can.
• If you get caught red-handed (because the chips are particularly hot), you lose points.
• Points are gained for complete bowls emptied + angry remonstrations from people who didn't manage to have any chips in the first place.
• Live example from Tuesday: Nikki (Gritty-Arsed Fox) "I'd saved a few chips especially in a little bowl, went to the toilet, and came back to see Mike's claw hand sweeping it clean...I was NOT happy!" (scores 5 points + express threat of physical violence, an additional 5 points)
Current world champion: Mike 'The Locust' Consden
Other practice events - requiring verification before being put forward for Olympic accrediation
• Novelty Fruit drinking - figs in vodka (Hels Belles)
• New Year barfing - comedy vomiting (Simon 'Zebedde' Kent, aka Wing Commander)
• Table rearranging - the GM's go-to OCD event (the XXX version involves underwear drawers, but that's for late-night viewing only folks!)
So there you have it - a very pleasant, quick run to kick off the New Year, leaving plenty of time for post-hash merriment and drinking...well, at least for those of us who haven't bowed to the #metoo pressures of 'Dry January' - just remember, if you're off the ground, it doesn't count!!!