Brooklyn Hash House Harriers
Run #285 & Bar Crawl
Fluffy's Bye-Bye Weekend
October 17 & 18, 2003
On In: Redd’s (511 Grand, Billyburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Scribe: The Saint
How can one begin to write about Fluffy who after what seemed like a (long) decade plus is/has retired as JM of the Brooklyn Hash? Flags should have flown at half-mast throughout the borough had Hiz Honor been made aware, but on this sunny, cool day all of Brooklyn was out and about with nary a fluffy to worry about. The only thing that appeared to be at half-mast were Fluffy’s eyes the night before in Hank’s. (Perhaps eyes were flown at half-mast later this evening, but I admit to leaving the On In before the promised spring rolls arrived; the Saint had other fish to fry this evening). But I digress. It is interesting if not shocking to note that many, many aspects of Fluffy's life were unknown to his flock. For example, his last name, which I really thought, was “Lockerman” is something else entirely – Nelsen the Smith of Norway. One might have guessed that he was a Scandinavian derivative most likely not Swedish or Norwegian but no one knew he is a direct descendant from Thor! Why I am surprised that smelts, sardines (at least a dozen variations) and Aquavit were not often served at an On In! Did anyone know that Fluff has a B43 tattoo on his ***? Very strange but true – until dear readers you see below.
Act I – The Crawl
But onto the festivities. It was a cold and rainy night in Brooklyn pres la Acadamie du Musique quand the call went out that we were to gather at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge. Now the Saint got there a tad late cause he has work to do at all hours including Friday nights, while the festivities were attempting to get into full swing. Problem was is that Frank’s is laid out (which might have described Fluff later that evening, but I tell no such tales) straight and narrow which makes it kind of hard (which does not describe many hashers this evening) to mingle. Now ecology of a pub crawl is important especially if you ain’t crawlin after an hour and one-half. Twas a nice sized gathering brought together on this auspicious evening, however, which suggested bright things to come (which probably did not occur much either). Fortunately after slamming down a cold Red Stripe the edginess increased and the crowd began to move on to …………Mike’s, which was located close by and filled with Gen X and Y types until our group showed up. Now I really liked Mike’s as they had a reasonably good beer selection, a cute bartendress with nice tattoos, an attractive crowd (not us obviously) and great music. I remarked to Crazy Bob that their selections approached The Boat (which he used as a BH3 On In), which scored an all-time high 5 on The Saint’s bar reviews. The head @ Mike’s, unisex, featured candles and had there been a bathtub who knows what kind of hankypanky would have occurred although it would have created one hell of a line. After a reasonable amount of time, before we wore out our welcome cause we really did not look like we were regulars, Fluff and Stephen decided to move us along so we downed our beers and set out into the cold, dark and drizzling night. Now by this time numerous hashers had been buying ole Thor beers and Stephen was low on blood sugar or high from the (peyote?) pretzels I passed him in Mike’s. So the trail understandably had a few quirks. First, an arrow directed us (a trio much more good-looking, smarter and sober than Moe. Larry and Curly, the Saint’s all-time favorite trio) across the street but the arrow pointing left was a tad obscured. Next, back on trail after a few better, accurate marks the trail ended only to pick up again across some main, wet street. Now Fluff or Stephen must have decided to set a falsie but we sussed it out and found Bar #3, which will go nameless because it had more than one word to its name. It did have a Welsh bartendress and dinner —— a barrel of peanuts – so we were are energized and able to drink more beer. Had it not been for dinner this pub would have been eminently forgettable. Unfortunately I got into a conversation with an MD (Doc-type versus some liberal, never-worked-a-day PhD like The Saint’s brother) who claimed to have turned down her acceptance to Harvard not sure Med School or some research PhD program. Now few of us can turn down such an honor but she was still steamed about the arrogance of the place – Harvard but perhaps this pub. Qui sait, she was trying to impress Your Scribe but my sense is that she would lay that rap on anyone – thank god I didn’t have my HBS sweatshirt on.
Fortunately, the pub of the evening lay ahead —- Hank’s. I don’t really remember getting there expect it was a short crawl and we had to again cross some main street. It was close which allowed us to get there in time to hear a native Brooklyn COUNTRY BAND. Now in Saint country an old poke can wander into just about any old café and catch some real good country or western music any night of the week, but in Brooklyn where there are surely no saguaro cacti! Holy, hellfire merde, tell us all about it. Hank’s featured an eclectic crowd bopping to the C&W sounds. I almost went up and asked for “All My Exes Live in Texas” but they were into their final medley. They were good enough for Stephen to buy a CD. Now that IS saying something. Lacking any real fun thus far, or excitement, an incident proved this was no authentic C&W place, witnessed by a few of us hashers. It all began when I bough Fluff and Paul a beer – a beer each of course – although by this time Fluff may have been 50% beer. Young Paul having successfully ditched his son so he could get wild with us, made the mistakes of putting his beer down apparently thinking he was in Glasgow or Wander (TX) resulting in a local seeing and snatching it. Paul was both stunned and then – realizing it was HIS BEER – apoplectic. The scoundrel was rounded up and escorted outside. Paul will press charges and will see the SOB in court; Fluff will act as his character and crime stopper witness. Now in Texas stealing beer is next to cattle rustling as an offense and you know what they do to those thieves. At minimum he would have been (appropriately) lashed behind a horse and escorted out of town. I am sure Brooklynites could have been more creative and Paul would have felt much better.
Act II – The Hash
The name of the band playing at Redd’s, the On In, was named Clueless, which may have been the state of Fluff, Stacie, Crofty or anyone else responsible for this effort. How do you describe a hash with 75+ checks which began with the directions to head north only to have the pack head west before going northeast on North 7th street? How do you describe a hash where the pack ran past the Brooklyn brewery which was serving beer and not have a beer check? (This abomination was later atoned for by a beer check with Brooklyn Lager but the effect both psychological and emotional was not the same) In defense of this last maneuver our current senior JM, Stacie, stated for the record “Hashers are supposed to bring BRAINS on-trail, and if they are too stupid to stop, they should (unprintable). themselves.” How do you describe a hash where a biker (not a mountain type) washes off a check and (1) then remembers to tell us all about it and (2) seemed sorry? Must be Fluffy’s retirement trail! How do you describe a trail where the ENTIRE pack is together and searching for the trail at a check in a major intersection only to miss the eagle or falcon trail that led over the Williamsburg Bridge? Fortunately, anyone taking that path would probably still be running.
Act III – The On In @ Redd’s
This place had the nicest bathrooms of any NYC hash. Now your Scribe believe cleanliness is next to Godliness and we are all so happy that Fluff feels the same way. Also, this pub had one of the best bartenders who was from Texas (San Antonio) of course. And (finally) the best hash grub – remember this is the hash that served White Castle not one year ago – some Pad Thai and (semi-spicy) Chow Fun. My goodness anyone from Mars showing up for this Do would have thought this group to be entirely too respectable. No doubt those Martians who read up on Hash history and knew of all the “events” that occurred during Fluff’s reign would have been shocked and confused! Paul also deserves credit for recruiting a local, young lovely to hash. We will see the efforts of his efforts in NYC in the next few weeks as she slaves there close to Union Square.
We had a few Brooklyn virgins – Erin (sporting a Rutgers sweatshirt and a mouth like a Brooklyn Teamster); Andrea from Westchester (who was hit on dually by Cree and HUA) and Monica (certainly no virgin by NY standards) but not only had she never hashed in Brooklyn but (!) had never been here before – my notes and/or memory may be wrong here, but what the hell it sounds good. Christine, a former Brooklyn resident moving to Manhattan became JM suggesting any logic escapes this Committee. John Burke, SCB par excellence cut the trail so significantly he arrived at the beer check before Crofty woke up from his nap on the bench.
And then came the tearful thoughts on Fluffy’s life as JM. John O recounted a few Fluff stories including the Sinking of the Barge; Sheepshead Bay runs, the Cyclone, some favorite Fluffy disguises, and other abominations from too many years past. Stacie presented not one but two mugs thereby (finally) allowing Fluffy to balance himself. The first mug had a wonderful flowery description of Fluff but somehow referred to US as B43. It took at least three hashers to read it correctly confusing us all. Turned out the engraver was an illegal Finnish immigrant who could not read very well ……………………..resulting in a need to order a smaller but Pewter vessel with the proper inscription. Now we thought Fluffy would make a tearful General McArthur “Old Soldier” speech or perhaps a George Washington fare welling the troops approach but lo and behold Fluff took the “Thanks let’s keep drinking approach.” As Frank Rich of the NY Times described the next day, “Mr. Fluffy is a man of few words who always focused on what’s important. His leadership of one of the most successful, highly regarded hashes globally will be his legacy.”