Monday, November 26, 2007

H3 News October 07

Let it be noted that couples should not set Hash runs together.

You know what happens when he’s driving and she’s navigating – well, throw in a bag of flour and decisions about which route to take and you’ve got the makings of divorce. You’ll hear phrases such as “Do you want to get out and walk” (that’s rhetorical) or “If you’d just done it the way I told you to” (guess which gender says that?). All too quickly a hot afternoon just got hotter.

Conchi and AlphaBet took the naïve step of setting the September 27 run together. A balmy 20 knot wind was blowing, the day was a delightful 38 degrees and the bushfire ash was delicately sprinkling itself over town like northern snow. Cue the ominous music.

They hadn’t even made the first trail marker before they were disagreeing on where the start should be. It was a testy two hours hence through the bush and back streets. But the trail took shape. A luminous moment occurred when a trailbiker saw AlphaB carrying the bag of flour and stopped to enquire whether she was baking a cake. Finally, as Alpha drew the On Home in the last of the flour, and Conchi revved the engine, they agreed it was going to be a good Hash run.

A small crew gathered in the Minyirr Park carpark and set off, only to be nearly run over by Director in his large 4WD, who was running hellishly late and screamed to a halt in the dust. He triumphantly blew the Horn (the hash horn, not the car horn). The trail took the pack away from Minyirr Park and into the bush opposite the new highway. Barge Arse immediately showed her colours and pushed through to take the lead on the soft dirt track. Red used his superior tracking skills to deduce whether or not false trails were false by the number of footprints leading in and out of a pathway, and as they plunged deeper into the scrub, the Horn started to lag. The Flour trails through suburbia proved useful since many footpaths were covered in graffiti or had smatterings of splashed paint. One such paint trail led Red waaaaay off the trail by about a kilometre and by the time he got back, Director had caught up, just in time to go off-road again. There was the world’s shortest check-onback (blame those Domestic Issues) just before the on home. Awaiting the Hash hordes, under the bright moon, was a plentiful picnic of organic fruits and quiche, which was all devoured.

What a bloody cockup the October 1 run was. It was fantastic!!!! Chards made his debut and was chaperoned up the garden path by none other than Cockup. (Mothers, never let your Hash Hare Virgins go out with Cockup) The run began in the car park of the Cable Beach Caravan Park. And for some Hashers they didn’t get much further than that! The caravan park is a cul-de-sac nightmare, or a town planner’s wet dream. Arrows led everywhere and in the growing dark we were taken down some pretty narrow crannies between grannies’ vans and up some very hairy nooks. It was here that things got sticky. The park residents are a sociable lot and shouted their support of our quest from the comfort of their laz-e boy chairs. Cries of On On could be heard near and far, like a disorientating echo. A nasty set of false trails led Red and AlphB to suspect some double trail crossing, so they set off in a southerly direction. Meanwhile a group of merry footy blokes helped other Hashers by directing them north. And Trailblazer got out her axe to mark her own trail in a westerly direction, with Houndog on her heels. Midway through cutting her own path she was joined by Red and Alpha, thoroughly bamboozled, so they cut across some cul-de-sacs where TB & HG said they’d found some arrows. Emboldened they raced away singing On On to old ladies in their shower caps and men turning snags on the barbie under their awnings. The arrows pointed towards a tiny gate being held open by a child, like an Alice in Wonderland scenario, and the hashers burst to freedom. They waited. And waited. And then feared the grip of the caravan park tentacles had captured the others. They were right.

In a cul de sac far far away, Conchie was running in circles, having his fifth deja-vu moment for the evening as he came back to the same toilet block he thought he’d shaken off. Into the vortex arrived Kamakazi, equally disorientated but not without hope. Another lap round the toilet block. They split up, not to see each other again for an hour. Kama stumbled onto the Hares (those bastards) and was led to safety and re-dehydrated in a secret location.

Conchi followed his nose and found the part of the trail that led towards the gate out of the nightmare. As he jogged along he was joined by a suntanned grey nomad on his bicycle who said urgently,

“Have you found her?”

“What” replied Conchie.

“Have you found her, the missing girl.”

“No. Is one missing?”

“Err,” said the nomad, “I heard shouting and thought one was missing.” He stopped pedalling. The penny dropped. “Bye then.”

The four free hashers tired of waiting and calling set off at a fair clip on the trail. Out in the empty space where a resort will be built, Red indulged in spontaneous paddy melon bowling, and took Trailblazer out like a nine pin. A passing camel train was a distraction from running, and before they knew it they were at the On Home mark. There awaiting their sweaty arrival was a set of fresh, relaxed, grinning Hashers with beers in their hands. Cries of dismay from the poor bastards who’d done all the running! Turns out that back in the “Alice in Wonderland” moment, they’d overlooked a LARGE hash halt symbol that directed them to Cockup’s car, parked near a caravan, which was full of cold ones. That was as far as they got! 15 minutes later Conchi arrived into the carpark, heaving sweat, and the expression on his face was priceless.

Charges were laid against those slackers who didn’t get out of the caravan park, charges were laid against those who did, and charges were laid against the Hares. And after the previous week’s healthy picnic, the boys laid on meat pies, sausage rolls and enough chips to feed the navy.

There’s something wonderful about running at night in Old Broome when the air is filled with the perfume of frangipani, Albizia and Alstonia, along with curry, barbeque and steak.

The October 8 run began outside the Conti and Hares Commando & Hounddog swiftly established the rules of engagement when they led everyone beautifully up one side of the street, around a roundabout and downhill all the way after that. The phrase of the evening was from Hounddog “I’m sure I put a check/arrow/false trail there, and it’s gone.” It’s unlikely that civic authorities reacted that quickly, so we can only assume it was the Hash Leprechaun.

We ran around the prison perimeter, where mango farmer Ranger spotted some nicely ripening fruit on the other side of the barb wire. Then there were some aimless minutes in the hamburger franchise’s carpark searching for the markers (that dratted Leprechaun) before we ended up in familiar dark territory in Old Broome.

Hounddog reckons she got a blister on her finger from all the arrows she put down, but we could find little evidence of that!

Neither Kamakazi or Director could run this shift, but they came down to show off their injuries. Weirdly, they both had swollen limbs; one the hand, one the leg, it was worthy of a Two Ronnies sketch. And Ranger showed up her country life by pointing at a streetlamp through the palm trees and saying, genuinely, “Gee the Moon’s pretty tonight.”


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