'T'was a dark and stormy night........well actually it wasn't to start off with, which is why many-a-foolish hasher (scribe included) had failed to don any sort of wet-weather gear as we were called to order by Andy, our hare for the night, in the puddley car-park of the Chequers. Andy promised us 5 miles and a hill for each of them, with 3.7 for the shorts (moans from Kerry) before we set off to the woody aroma of autumnal bonfire and the earliest long/short split ever encountered by this scribe. It soon transpired that Rob had accidentally taken the long option but there was no turning back as we headed-up hill #1.
Paul, who you will remember had both shoe-moosed and body-moosed last week, decided to moose once again - not something that I personally witnessed this time but I was informed of the fact by an amused Dick who, in turn, managed a gymnastic 1.5-turn tumble through the mud minutes later – but did he moose, or was he tripped (Paul?).
There was much talk of wedding plans from the various engagees and I noted a tone of competitiveness between two grooms-to-be as they compared pre-nuptial preparation plans (calm down Roger, I'm referring to venue-booking and invitations). I think it was at the bottom of hill two (it was certainly 8:30 p.m.) when a faint rumbling was heard in the distance - was this something to do with the spicy bean-burger that Whipping Boy had hastily quaffed before heading out? Our muted question was quickly answered by the rapid onset of torrential rain, accompanied by vicious winds, as we were chased around the surrounding hills by thunderbolt and lightening. I suspect that for some this was very, very fright'ning but no-one wanted to confess it, for hashers are well renowned as brave-hearted souls, although I noted a-trembling in the voices of those who quipped and questioned such things as, "What do you call a toasted hasher?" (I thought a hash-brown would be apt - any other suggestions to Ed) and nervously joking, "Haha! Let's all stand beneath the trees!" (this being mostly inevitable in a woods), and [flash of sheet lightening], "Wish I had a torch like that!"
On, on we hash, but were we chasing the storm or was it chasing us as we tarried up the third or fourth hill, secretly praying that we would make it back to our pillows as we passed through the Cherry Red Records gate! (see what I did there?!)
As we approached the decent from hill number 4 our trusty co-hare (commi-hare? under-hare? vice-hare? associate-hare?) Gerry, who was one of the few wise and weather-wore souls to wear a cagoule, generously warned us all to take the route through the long-grass to the right lest we should all fall on our behinds. Then it was up hill #5 to the long-since eroded "On-Inn".
We arrived back a bedraggled and dripping bunch, the storm having subsided with our return, and churlishly attempted to swop wet clothes for dry, without re-wetting the dry clothes by putting them onto wet bodies and at the same time maintaining some sort of demure - although this might have just been me as I overheard boasts of dangling dangly-bits out to dry (mentioning no names).
Back to the bar for copious chips and chocolate liqueurs - which it seems, are the marmite of the confectionary world. Roger voted Matt the winner of the night's (prize-less) wet t-shirt competition and I asked for a show of hands of those who were "going commando" - important to note for the Hash Trash - only two shameless hashers put their hands up, with Gerry claiming to be "Going half-commando" - erm, how do you.....actually, let's not even think about it, especially not in those shorts. (Gerry's aside, what actually happened was that I spotted a third hasher who started putting up his hand to admit going commando, but who rapidly brought it down again, hence the comment as of "unnamed" seems to be going half commando.)
Many thanks to Andy for the first ever proper hash-in-a-storm that I can recall.