April 11, 2010
Scotland Day R*n
Start: Highlands, 150 10th Street
Hares: Mean Jean the Down Down Machine, Legs Lesley and Fire in the Piehole
On in: MacDougal Street Ale House
Scribe: Eager for Beaver
It is a little known fact that Scotland’s famous explorers have also been avid hashers and contributors to the pastime:
· In 1779, from a start location in Old New York, Sir Alexander Mackenzie set trail north to Lake Athabasca in Saskatchewan. Although the hotline was set the hotline in advance of the start, half the pack stopped at drink check at Jakes Dilemma; the remainder at the 178-mile checkback outside Winnipeg.
· The great Scottish author John Buchan was also a great hasher, and is perhaps best known for the book “The Thirty-Nine Steps,” which documents his trail setting rule that “first mark should be no more than 39 steps from the check.” Curiously, the copy of this book at the NYC H3 library still has the receipt in its pages and has yet to be checked out.
· During the Ethiopian Interhash of 1770, James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile. Down downs were drunk out of coconut shells and the hares provided an excellent stew for the pack. Actually, the hares were the stew.
In spite of all this genetic hashing knowledge and experience, our hares set a convoluted, impossible-to-solve trail set with lightly-applied chalk in the pouring rain. The prelude at Highlands in the village was packed with men and women in skirts – this thoroughly confused the pack as no one knew whom to hit on.
“Chalk talk” roughly translated into Gaelic is “caint cailc” which, when translated back into English, is “can’t understand.” This is appropriate, since no one understood Piehole’s Gaelic chalk talk. The pack was then sent west to Bleecker to find the first mark, which by then was mostly gone, then further west to Hudson, where the second mark was barely legible, and then can’t-get-any-more-west-than West Street, where the pack lost trail completely. About 100 feet of trail took about a mile of hashing to solve. The trail finally, somehow, picked up, north along West Street before finally getting to 14th Street and 9th Ave.
Like the Bishops War in 1638, solving the check here was brutal, mostly because the rain washed away key sections of the trail. The key section in this case was first and second mark off the check. The pack checked for miles looking for a mark. After a good 45 minutes, the pack finally found trail by the garage on 16th Street, heading east. The pack continued north and east through the peat bogs of Chelsea, until finally seeing the central lowlands at Madison Square Park.
Unlike last year, the hares were sober enough to set the hotline, so the majority of the pack that had given up walked directly to the on-in. The stubborn few that decided to solve this tricky trail followed what remained of it south on Park Avenue, straight down to 9th Street, and west to Washington Square, steps away from the bar
The trail ended at Macdougal Street Ale House in the Village. The pack, relieved to have survived the trail and find beer at the end, called for Scottish justice, which was dispensed James Bruce-like style, with beer in coconut shells, by the JMs:
· Mean Jean, Legs and Piehole were punished for shitty trail, weather, and trail.
· Everyone wearing kilts got theirs.
· There were other offenses, but as they say in Scotland, “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!”