Start: Fort Hamilton Parkway and 62nd St.
Every year thousands of tourists flock to New York City to experience holiday magic: to skate under the tree in Rockefeller Center, to see Santa at Macy's, to buy things in SoHo they could purchase at their local malls…. A few poor saps even pile into a tour bus and roll out to Dyker Heights for the "Christmas Lights and Cannoli" tour, paying fifty bucks a head for the privilege. Without an open bar that price tag is just outrageous to me, so I took the subway to the White Trash R*n, which was purported to be "something else" (what that "something" is I'm still not sure, but I think it meant beer instead of cannoli). Fellow hashers and I met Smashmouth just off the N train, where he made a few affectionate remarks about the fine lighting arrangements on trail then we dashed away-dashed away-dashed away all to see some "rather vulgar displays of peasant devotion."
As it happens, holiday magic is rife with inflatable penguins, plastic angels larger than men and the steady, slow burn of fossil fuels. My favorite display featured a rotating light-up carousel around which elves were strung up by their necks as if they'd been hanged by little toy nooses. There were many Santas (Santi? Santae?), but the best was a creepy animatronic Santa surrounded by creepier animatronic children dressed in what appeared to be sheepskins. From the half-crazy look on Santa's face I could only assume this was an adaptation of the traditional Christmas hostage situation, like in The Ref, or Die Hard, or Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
At some point or other I nearly tripped over someone bent half over, sticking his arse up in the middle of the sidewalk. At first I thought if this was some sort of holiday decoration it certainly wouldn't be the worst I'd seen all night, but then made the awkward discovery that the cheeks belonged to Cheeky Bastard and not some plastic elf with curly shoes and a toy hammer. Cheeky was busy chalking a pack arrow that pointed to his house. Nonplussed, I asked if there were lights and his response was an emphatic "Yes! And a six-foot inflatable snowman!!" I admit I was tempted to investigate whether his mom and dad had anything in the liquor cabinet but I figured I could achieve drunkenness faster if I went directly to the on-in.
And boy, was I right! Not long after the beer started flowing I found myself contemplating a pleasant little swirl of foam as the head disappeared from a fresh pour. Suddenly, deep within my cup I saw the reflection of the bar lights twinkling at me, and in that moment I knew I'd found the most magical Christmas lights of all.
Down-downs were dished out by the JMs with care:
-The first one of course was drunk by the hare, Smashmouth
-Visitor Sandy Syphilis, from Chicago she flew! And Pervert the Frog's been gone so long he drank too.
-Drippy Sac got confused by the lights all aflame…or apparently, since he checked back the way that we came
-Tit-Totaller, Blackout and Eager 4 Beaver drank with Fire in the Piehole for getting Christmas-light-fever
-Rack n' Roll Her brought her giant camera along, then complained a whole bunch so we sang her a song
-Cheeky Bastard's haircut won him a down-down and lots of attention… (…ladies…)
-Cheeky Bastard again, for that pack arrow I mentioned. How silly of Cheeky to think he could mis-steer a mob of hashers in the midst of a mission for beer!
-Dental Damned got tired of his sweaty old gloves and didn't have a pocket where they could be shoved. He asked Dogface to carry them on through…Dogface agreed, and so he drank too.
-Cheeky Bastard changed in public, as is his repute, but this time it caused regulars to holler and hoot. Pervert the Frog likewise was caught getting shirtless so the two shared a down down, then we all were dismissed.
We made nice with the locals, hash cash lasted a long time, then I had a long subway ride home to make up silly rhymes.