GGFM # 160

Stats:   G2FMH3 #160  December 17, 2004

Hares: Johnathan “the terrible” and Wet Willy

Start: 59th and Lex

On-In: Dublin House

Punk Ass Bitch (Scribe): Scooter


Schadenfreude.  It’s a word that I’ve often seen and always needed to look up.  When I read the definition, I always think, “Boy, that’s a good word.  I gotta remember that one.”  Inevitably, I see the word a couple of weeks later  and have to go look it up again.  Then I say, “This time, I’m gonna remember this.”  For those of you like me (and I trust there are thankfully few of you), Shadenfreude means a satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.


The weeks leading up to the last Full Moon offered the weaker among us – and I count myself proudly as one of that group – multiple opportunities for Schadenfreude.  Bernie Kerik’s misfortunes led the list.  At first, his was a real-life Horatio Alger success story.  Sadly for Bernie, it quickly degenerated into more of an Alger Hiss disgrace story.


Bernie was the orphaned son of a murdered prostitute.  But after being Giuliani’s driver in a mayoral campaign, Kerik ended up being appointed commissioner of NYC’s jails and then its police force.  He then had the great good fortune of being the police commissioner on 9/11.  Good fortune, because he was able to parlay that experience into a lucrative consulting position.  And that was when his problems began.


President Bush, it turned out, didn’t need a driver.  But Kerik stumped hard for his president.  Bush rewarded Kerik by nominating him to head the Homeland Security Department.  Sadly, it turned out that Bernie had a “nanny problem.”  So while the nanny was quickly and quietly returned to her country of origin, the rest of Kerik’s problems were dribbled out.  In addition to a wife, it seems that Bernie was keeping a mistress or two on the side.  And he had the terrible judgment to put her up in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero.  “Very bad taste,” the critics clucked.  It also turned out that he had made millions in ethically questionable ways.  And he might have had connections with the Mob.  Not exactly what you’re looking for in a police commissioner, to say nothing of a cabinet secretary.  All of this offered disappointed Democrats, still licking their wounds from John Kerry’s defeat, a substantial opportunity to allow themselves to sink into Schadenfreude. 


“So what does all this have to do with the last Full Moon?” you ask.  Simple.


December’s Full Moon offered hashers multiple opportunities to allow themselves to sink into Schadenfreude.  The start was promising for a nicely-laid, well-organized trail and a pleasant bar to wind up in.  Pre-lubers arrived en masse at about 7:20.  A nice-sized pack of a few dozen mingled as the hares quickly did their chalk talk for visitors and virgins.  They handed out chalk (always a plus), told us there would be a chicken-hawk split, and sent us on our way at precisely 7:30.


So far, so good.  The trail headed east and north.  The hawk split came early.  It was here that the problems with the trail first became known.  Although this was supposed to be a full moon trail, by the magic of the calendar and the power of the JM’s, this trail was run a week earlier than normal, so there was only a half moon out.  And the hares, using the judgment they must have borrowed from Bernie Kerik, chose to set the trail in blue chalk.  If you’ve never seen blue sidewalk chalk at night, well, neither have I.  You can’t see blue chalk at night.  To compound matters, much of the chalk handed out at the start was also blue.  I began to think of the Schadenfreude I would be feeling for the hares at the on-in.


The hawk trail led to 74th and Fifth Ave., the site of the recently dispossessed Pale Male,  the hawk who had taken up residence on a fancy-schmancy Fifth Avenue co-op about twenty years ago.  It seems that the wealthy residents were tired of dodging bloody pigeon carcasses and hawk droppings (I’ve never seen a hawk droppings, but I’ll bet they’re impressive.).  When word got out, it turned into an international news story.  This gave the huddling masses the opportunity to feel Schadenfreude for the now-notorious, publicity-shunning millionaires in their now-infamous co-op.


The trail then went south through the park, down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and past the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center (nice touch, hares).  We proceeded west and then north through the buildings between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.  Then up to Lincoln Center where the blue chalk turned out to be particularly treacherous.  The trail wound around the complex and then into the ground floor complex for about a half-mile underground before emerging on Broadway (another nice touch, hares).  From there, we went north and east and wound up at the Dublin House.


The back room at the Dublin House would be perfect for a hash if only it didn’t have any tables.  It does, so we mingled and mashed amongst ourselves.  We soon discovered that if you put several dozen runners in an enclosed space, it doesn’t take long for the heat and humidity of the room to rise noticeably.  And so it was that the bar patrons in the cooler, drier front room felt Schadenfreude toward us.


And speaking of Schadenfreude, it soon came time for the hares to have their down-downs.  It isn’t really all that important to know precisely why they were told they were getting down-downs, it only matters that they did many.  And they deserved all of them for the blue chalk alone.


As has been the custom with the Full Moon over the past years, the JM’s provided the Punk-Ass-Bitch with their list of the down-down recipients and a clue as to why the down-downs were awarded.  If the punctual start did not indicate the extent of the change of the character of the G2FMH3 in the Mean Jean and Kyle regime, then the list did.  All of the names were printed in clear, legible block letters.  In the old days, the most a scribe could hope for was a ripped, beer-soaked scrap of paper that looked as though it had been written by a doctor, with trails of blue ink dripping off the sides.


And speaking of Kyle, has he gotten a name yet for the “trampoline incident?”  Might I suggest, “Twinkle Toes?”


Despite the list being extremely detailed and legible, I will only mention the most notable down-downs of the evening.  Dave from LI was serenaded, as only hashers can serenade, for his birthday.  Loretta got one for twisting her ankle and sitting at the on-in with a bag of ice on a lemon-sized knot on her ankle.  It has been reliably reported that no feelings of Schadenfreude were felt for this one.  Magoo got a down-down for something, but now it can be reported the real reason he should have gotten one.  While running in a loose pack of about a dozen, it was Magoo who spotted the blue-chalk left-turn arrow and called the leaders back on to trail.


Mean Jean should have gotten a down-down, but didn’t.  It turns out that at the start, she heard the hares say there would be a chicken and hog split.  She spent the rest of the trail and a good part of the on-in wondering what in the world a hog split might be and why the hares wanted one.  Though called on it, Jean would not consent to a down-down, saying something about it not being proper for a JM or something.  So the lessons confirmed for our Joint Mistress that evening were:


  1. It’s hard being blonde.
  2. It’s lonely at the top.
  3. It’s good to be Queen.


Following a round of The Monks of St. Bernard, much wolfing of pizza, and even more quaffing of beer, hashers dribbled out onto the street, contemplating the many and varied ways they could experience Schadenfreude this Christmas season.