GGFM # 157

The Truth

Official Organ of the Greater Gotham Full Moon

Hash House Harriers

G2FMH3 Hash # 157 – Friday, September 24, 2004

Hares: StEwa

Start: 59th and 2nd Avenue

On-In: Some Bar in the 80’s and First  (Web editor note: Tavern on 1st)

Punk Ass Bitch (Scribe): Mr. “Merry Andrew”*Ross

*Word of the day on Sept 2nd, “Merry Andrew” meaning A Clown

“Fool me once……shame on……shame on you…

……if ya fool me, ya cin’t git fooled agin’”

— Old Texan Proverb

There was more than one occasion on this r*n where events seemed to defy rational expectation and yet, worldly though we may be, we continued to expect rationality. Hey, “live and don’t learn”, that’s us. This was to be our downfall.

The concept of a Full Moon is not a difficult one to grasp. This event occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun with the result that the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun without the latter celestial body being visible to the hasher. Indeed, on this particular evening the Sun had disappeared from view at 18:48 EDT in a daily process commonly referred to as “sunset”. Observant readers will note the time difference between that event and the GGFMH3 start time. You might think, dear hasher, that such simplistic explanations of the interaction between the sun, the moon and the time of day are redundant.

You *might* think that but you’d be wrong.

For there are some amongst us who have yet to grasp these concepts. Ordinarily, that might not pose such a problem unless the aforementioned ‘some’ should happen to include your Hares for the evening, in which case the odds of your trail going awry are automatically bumped up into the ‘probability of a clusterf*ck’ end of the scale. To be fair to Stewa, there were several clues to our impending doom that perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, we should’ve picked up on. We noted, for example, that Stewa arrived at the start late and appeared somewhat spent arousing suspicions that a) they had lost track of the time; b) they were ‘laying’ something other than a trail; and c) Ewa would have to set a live trail as a result.  Thankfully, at least this last suspicion proved unfounded and Stewa were surgically “detached” long enough for Ewa to explain the rules of the trail. Then she explained them again. Then she explained them again. Then she…ahh bugger it, we’ll figure it out as we go. How hard can it be?

“How hard can it be?” The words are still ringing in our ears when, just before we set off, that seemingly rhetorical question was thrown into the proverbial trashcan as Steve left us with the throw-away remark that “oh yes, by the way, there’s more than one trail out there”, sort of in the same way that a New Jersey Governor might turn to his wife at dinner and say, “By the way, dear, I’m gay. Could you pass the asparagus?”

Undaunted, we headed off. The trail led straight towards the Queensborough Bridge and the somewhat unattractive idea of r*nning around Queens on a Friday night sprung into our heads.[1] Nevertheless, I thought, that would still be marginally preferable to r*nning around Central Park in the pitch dark. No one would be daft enough to do *that* sort of thing. Our first check came at the middle of the Queensborough Bridge and, with no-one offering to jump in the river or play with the evening bridge traffic, the only options lay ahead of us or behind. Surely, they wouldn’t send us all the way to the other side of the bridge only to find a false mark?  Trickery, trickery, trickery.

We headed back the way we came, practically bolting directly west in the general direction of the Park. Of course, hashing through the Park in the darkness is generally considered A Bad Idea™ and only marginally less stupid than spelling the word “Mississippi” with three “g”’s or invading a large middle-eastern country because [insert this week’s fabricated rationale here]. So you might think that the trail would skirt sensibly around the Park at this point.

You *might* think that but you’d be wrong.

Into the darkness we stumbled. Once again, to give credit where it’s due, a lot of the marks were under street lamps. Unfortunately a number of the “alternative trail” marks about which we had been forewarned were equally well lit. Some of the more critical marks were, on the other hand, more concealed (read: non-existent because Stewa had dived into the bushes for a quickie instead). The trail led in ever-decreasing circles around the lower end of the Park until, at some point during our 7th lap, the pack came to a grinding halt at a check mark south of the Heckscher Ballfields. As is the sensible thing to do in Central Park at night, we all split up and went in separate directions. Finally, at some point early on Saturday morning, the trail was picked up again heading towards the West Drive. We headed north up the Drive until we came to yet another check around Tavern On The Green. This was evidently another Stewa Shag Stop™ as, once again, there were no markings within a one-mile radius (well, no markings that didn’t a) belong to an “alternative trail” or b) we hadn’t followed at least three times already). Finally the pack, having been denied beer for about an hour, caved in and Lisa called the hotline. You might think that that would be the end of our troubles.

You *might* think that but you’d be wrong (anyone sensing a pattern yet?).

A transcript of the hotline message appears below (reader discretion advised):

“The On-In is…who’s on first?….[something something]…..ooh yeah, baby, just there…..Avenue…..[muffled sounds. Grunting?] South East corner….OH YES, BABY! YESSS! [click]”

After several repeated calls to the hotline, the pack, with the benefit of some divining rods and a Magic 8 Ball, were able to establish that the On-In was somewhere on 1st Avenue in the 80s. With renewed vigour (motivated by fear that the bar might be closing soon & by the opportunity of giving Stewa a slap), the pack split up into two groups[2]: one heading round the north side of the Sheep Meadow and the other directly east towards Fifth Ave. Some picked up the trail around the Mall, others as far away as 3rd Avenue, but eventually we all arrived at the On-In, Tavern On First (1st & 88th). We were suitably impressed by Stewa’s organisational skills at having water, beer *and* food all immediately available at the On-In but this was later tempered by the realisation that the food was in fact free and had been sitting there since Happy Hour…the previous Tuesday. Such minor details did not, of course, prevent several hashers demolishing it in short order.

The Down-Downs were appropriately administered. The Hares remarkably got away with only three: one as Hares for the trail, one for shagging on trail and one for abuse of the hotline. (In future, lost hashers will be able to dial 1-212-HASH-NYC to get the On-In, while those with nothing better to do can dial 1-900-HASH-NYC to hear Stewa getting it on). Our sole Visitor, Industrial Entrance(?)(The Big Cup Guy) and the Virgins, Rob, Liz & Andy all received their dues. Scott and his better half, Ingrid, were given Down-Downs for foolishly ignoring the clear scientific evidence that marriage is the single biggest cause of divorce and deciding to get engaged anyway. Seth was awarded a Down-Down for fighting over some garbage with a racoon in Central Park. Since Seth didn’t have any garbage with him at the On-In, I think we can safely assume that the racoon had the upper hand in that tussle and was able to see Seth off the premises. The SmashMouth Award of the Week went to Wet Connection for her unintentional headfirst rendezvous with the ground (tripping over an angry racoon?). Scottish Andrew and Fairy Queen both received birthday Down-Downs and finally, Bruce received a Down-Down other reason than a “random abuse of power”.

Food arrived shortly afterwards and was polished off in about 0.68 seconds. Stewa, obviously new to either a) hashing or b) mathematics, had decided that four pizzas would be sufficient to feed the ravenous pack. A bloodletting was prevented by ordering several more.

I’d like to tell you, dear hasher, that that was the end of our eventful night, I’d like to tell you that things wound down into a civilised evening and that everyone made it home at a reasonable hour…I’d like to you that but that shit ain’t the truth…for there was Karaoke in our future…and when there’s Karaoke, no evening is going to be complete without Wet Connection leading a rendition of “Sweet Caroline”. The whole pack joined in and from there things pretty much went downhill as you might imagine. Well, at least, after that we pretty much had the bar to ourselves…

…Good times never seemed so good…So good!…So good!

On out.

[1] Feel free to reposition the compound adjective “somewhat unattractive” in this sentence as you see fit. Bonus points for using it as a noun instead.

[2] Technically three groups because somehow Magoo managed to get left behind. Kudos to him for finding the On-In without the benefit of trail marks, hotline info or a Magic 8 Ball.