Brooklyn Hash House Harriers
R*n # 316: AGM Weekend
December 11, 2004
Hare: Da Committee: Wet Connection/Crofty
Annual Santa Lucia Hash & Pub Crawl
On In: Brazen Head
Scribe: The Saint
Some Historical Perspective
We of the BH3 believe we serve a larger role to educate participants about the historical relevance of the neighborhoods we run in as well as the festivities and customs in which we participate. Accordingly, some intense research has led us to offer the following education update about the “holiday” for which this sainted run was named. After you’ve read this have another beer à you are an improved person!
Santa Lucia Day
It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
–Motto of the Christopher Society
A thousand years ago King Canute (also known as Knud in Denmark and Knut in Norway) declared that Christmas would last a month, from December 13, the feast of St. Lucia, until January 13, or Tjugondag Knut (St. Canute's Day). No one is quite sure why Lucia, a 4th century Sicilian saint, came to be so revered in Sweden. Some say she once visited the country, and others believe that Christian missionary stories of her life entranced the Swedish people. Whatever the origin, these new Christians who converted to Christianity around 1000 acquired a special fondness for the saint whose feast day marked the return of the sun and whose name itself means "light."
Although Santa Lucia Day, in its modern incarnation–both sacred and secular, has only been celebrated on a national scale in Sweden since the 1920s, today's celebration can be traced through Swedish history and medieval custom to the 4th century martyrdom of a Sicilian virgin named Lucia.
Pub Crawl Review
Whenever this Hash schedules a pub crawl it rains, so next year, next time invest in weather derivatives and retire to your own island where you can invite the rest of us down to entertain you by setting a trail. Here’s the agenda: the Brooklyn Brewery; the Turkey Shoot; Mug’s Ale House; the Blue Bar; the Abbey and several more according to Lesley who arrived home at the reasonable hour of 1:30A. Fluffy relates he started early and made it as far as the Blue place, but elected to bag this portion of the hash early, and again lived up to his motto of Discretion s the better part of valor or Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise or perhaps his favorite, Run away from a crawl by 3 to make it to the Hash the next day.
Well, what was notable about these pubs. Not much really. The brewery makes good beer; the Turkey Shoot has become gentrified as has the Abbey from the time Fluffy found it with its holes in the wall and hanging light bulbs; Mug’s had the best selection of brews; the Blue Bar was over-priced and populated by Russians, but that is to be expected in Brooklyn. The Shoot and Mug’s did have some good 60’s and 70s’ music according to my notes which is relevant to your scribe, but not likely to most young hashers who were not born back then. Nothing like hearing Joe Cocker again as these circumstances were exactly the same as 30 years earlier: in a pub with a beer chatting up the locals. Of course, the pub crawl attracted the Swedes, an octagon of 8 by my count. As it turns out, SLD is a national holiday in Sweden, and we will test you later on the details or you can’t run next year.
The SLD Hash
Records are meant to broken and today one was. Never before had such a number gathered for a BH3 even if it did start in Manhattan. Now perhaps a foolhardy few believed that we would return to the Island but that thought was fleeting indeed. Hashers kept coming and coming. Old and new faces; young and old; fat and slim, well a few edging towards those descriptions; virgins and hashers with many a tree ring on them; even Stephen the Whoremaster (who appointed him and where are the bloody wh****?), seen for the first time outside of Brooklyn; dogs and cats (living together) and seven Swedes (apparently the pub crawl took its toll on one).
Off we went for a quick circle sans jerke around 100 Centre then on to the Brooklyn Bridge for a nice warm-up to the Swede Check, the inspiration of Crofty. One of the seven was successful and off we went down around the bridge base and up the obligatory hill with a check that fooled some of us into thinking we wouldn’t take that route which leads to the Promenade – of course — back to the neighborhoods then around to the On In at the Head. A nice short 33 minutes without the promised Aquavit Check – but more on that later.
When we arrived at the pub, there were a few patrons enjoying a mid-afternoon Saturday pint. Holy Hellfire Shit, who were all these sweaty blokes in strange garb and why were they populating our pub? And why did they keep coming and coming? Blame it on the Swedes but perhaps SLD should become a US national holiday or at least a BH3/NYH3 (we’ll share) national event. Blame it on the marketing; blame it on the unseasonably warm day despite the pittance of rain at the start. All told 70 not only a SLD record but a BH3 record. Maybe the BH3 will continue to attract more hashers after this. As Mean Jean told me “I would come more often…………. “before she started speaking about hashing in Brooklyn.
While it took most of us about half an hour to complete the run the spread turned into .5-1.5 with Ewa arrived a tad behind or did her behind arrive first? But she (fortunately for her) did miss the mayo on pita bread that was left for the pub’s patrons. Looked mighty tasty and the hashers slathered and slathered pdq. Ewa’s other half wore his traditional Kuala Lumpur shirt and no one can admit seeing him at an On In without it. Surprised it has lasted this long and looks so good.
Now for the bad news: Crofty informed the pub that perhaps 20 people would be arriving maybe 30 at the most resulting in a lone bartendress Sasha, and a few folks who really like beer, lots of beer. Wet Connection made a speech about being nice and patient and it paid off as no one upset young Sasha although Stephen described her as passive-aggressive leaving me to wonder which he prefers, the Passive or the Aggressive or perhaps both in turn. Do ask him next time you see him.
Ms Connection passed out her homemade Swedish meatballs, Crofty brought Brand X chips (why can’t one get Doritos when you need them?); the crowd drank and Down Downs were called.
Quite a few. The Hares; the Swedes who received the fabled Aquavit versus beer; 7 virgins; former JM Fluffy; two birthdays Stephen and Lisa BH3 founders Fluffy and Charley Dugan who started this fiasco in 1993; the Committee – your Scribe and Stephen again; Ed who drank for Farmer Bob’s son; probably some others but they were clearly subordinated debt.
The pizza arrived in tranches and the beer flowed until 8 or so. Sasha was made happy by The Body not Stephen (no wonder we haven’t seen Stacie in a long while) and a very good time was had by all especially if you are Swedish, honorary Swedish or ate a Swedish meatball.
Till next year in Stockholm!