|Beer: ||Beer was just about OK on average (my1st was quite good, 2nd was below par) with Youngs (£3.80) & Brakspear but nothing very exciting - not really a pub for ale afficionados. Sooper however was far more effusive (but then this is one of his ‘locals’) doing his Brucie mark ‘em ‘Higher Higher’ routine…plus he was cycling back home, so he was probably at least 4 pints to the good anyway. Still in the interest of democracy, the rest of the hash was canvassed: Mick: “The Youngs Special was yummy so it's an 8/10 from me.” Hence, I was going to mark it a ‘6’, but with a few ‘8’s’ coming in from around the shires, let’s settle for a ‘7’ eh?|
|Not beer: ||How much was an STD? My usual assistants had initially deserted me with Nikki having progressed onto the black stuff (Guinness) and Jo hiding herself away in a corner, no doubt from the shame of having walked the hash that evening (although she still apparently beat some of the shorts). However, the power of social media came to the rescue, so without further ado: Louise: “£2 for a pint of L&S, £2!!!!!” [I think she was a tad shocked] Mick: “I reckon that they are taking the proverbial with the price for a drop of soda/lemonade with the lime bottle waved over the top. Didn't like it when I asked for more(some) lime.” [more than a tad vexed] Audrey: “Speak to Sarah re a pint of coke.....£3.50 I think I heard her say......unless I'm going a bit mutton !!” [Un-baa-lievable] Sarah: “£3.80 for a pint of coke!” [Baah humbug!]|
|Food ||Very acceptable - nice individual bowls of well-cooked chips (well, at least that’s what our table received….what…you mean we were meant to pass the bowls around?!) with salt, vinegar but no ketchup.|
|Hashmosphere ||A very floral pub and positioned right on the corner of the woods by one of the prettier paths (by daytime) on The Chiltern Way, this pub has somewhat of an ‘urban myth’ reputation, namely that every Tuesday is ‘Singles Night’. However, times change, and the plethora of hashers changing in the lay-bys outside and opposite drew an appreciative chorus of honking horns from passing cars. Could it be that as dating has moved online, some rather more risqué activities are hosted in & around The Crooked Billet? And that was before we’d even got inside the pub……which was very low-beamed (taller members of the hash were walking around with their necks at an angle) but pleasantly oldie-worldie and full of locals, one of whom was even standing outside the entrance to welcome us in. Oh hang on, that was the brother of the farmer who’d been buzzing us with his quad bike & shotgun all evening (creative license there) and who ‘wanted a word’. So, plenty of hashmosphere already, further enhanced by regular black outs during the course of the evening - did I mention it was supposed to be Singles Night? The culmination of all this was the shortest, quietest, GM’s speech ever as Roger went all meek and sotto voce…I think the big burly man at the bar was giving him the eye!|
Hummery: A very pheasant (I mean pleasant) pub, famed for its hanging baskets, low beams, and ‘friendly’ locals...if you count a farmer with shotgun on Singles Night as 'friendly'. OK beer, not so OK soft drinks, scrummy chips, good hashmosphere - it’s a date!
Overheard on the hash (13th October 2015)
”Why are you wearing a headband around your neck?”“Because my ears get really cold” “What about your bare shoulders then?” “Ah, they’re usually very hairy…you should see my back usually!” [Nikki’s explanation as to her attire leaves more questions than answers]
”Very stylish” [General hash appreciation for a 5-star wide-stepped style, complete with balustrade]
“Strictly speaking, he could drive a tank down here if he wanted” “But it’s a Public Footpath….” “It doesn’t matter if it goes across your land” [Gerry holds forth on Rights of Way law ]
”You could have checked with the Land Registry first?” “What, to run across a path at night? “It’s a permissive path - I didn’t give you permission” [a mash-up of the conversation with the farmer]
”Oh, that’s a relief - for a second I thought we’d gone 110 miles” “How come?” “I just glanced at my watch…but it was only my heartbeat” [as an early adopter of modern technology, Gerry proves remarkably laissez-faire]
“F*cker” [Ian - under his breath - during the 2nd farmer stand-off]“Who said that? Come on, who said it?” “She did! she did!” [suddenly speaking as men] He did! He!” [the hash amuses itself with a lapse into Life Of Brian]
“Rwelease Rwoger !” [staying in character, the hash heckles Roger during his GM speech] ”Ahem, what’s so funny then? “Hoo hoo hoo…the little rascal has spiwit"
“I am not the Pheasant Plucker, I’m the Pheasant Plucker’s mate, I am only plucking pheasants, Because the pheasant plucker’s late!” [The Hhash, getting warmed up now in the pub!]
“Duck!” “I thought they were pheasant…ouch!” [Zac bangs his head on a low beam in the pub]