May 23, 2007
Start: NW corner of Madison Sq Park (26th and 5th Ave)
Prelube: Dewey's Flatiron
On-In: Black Bear Lodge (3rd Ave. between 21st and 22nd)
Scribe: Eager for Beaver
A Voyage for Madmen
Jumpin' Jack Gash has been gushing over a book about a sailboat race around the world. We've got enough trouble with hares getting out of the prelube. Tonight, Captain Blackout took his large crew of hashers on an odyssey around lower Manhattan.
Your humble scribe arrived late as usual to find an unruly mob of landlubbers loosely assembled in the park and fairly oblivious that there was a hash tonight. It was 7:15PM and our hare was still at the prelube, knocking back enough liquid courage to hit on one of the pretty waitresses. "Yeah yeah, I'm sure she's really a big Soundgarden fan – let's go!" I was now out with the pack waiting for Casanova to hoist anchor.
Right now I look like a little shipwrecked. I am, to put it delicately, 'between jobs' and have no reason to shower let alone shave. FMIG calls me Santa because either my beard has come in gray or he's into bears. Anyway, I'm looking more scary than usual.
I'd already scared a couple of virgins who'd heard of hashing in California from her boyfriend. I responded superiorly that 'you know, we New York hashers keep our clothes on a lot more than those west coast hashes.' This was met with awkward silence, which I realized was probably because her boyfriend had not provided a full picture of what hashing's really all about.
So it's now 7:30, instructions have been given to grommets, ollies and a circle up announced, chalk distributed and trail previewed. The pack was about to get their 'first mark is that-a-way' when Hardy comes over and says 'Arrr, it's past 7:30 already. When I was JM, we'd have the pack well on to the trail by now.' I'm charging a dime every time someone tells me 'when I was JM' because JMs at this hash are a dime a dozen.
Despite the trail being generally well marked and the sun still out, I still managed to get lost along the not-so-easy-to-get-lost-at East River. The pack went off, leaving me to complete the remainder of the trail on my lonesome.
I thought I was late again – this time to the on-in – but there were plenty of slackers dribbling in behind me. The trail felt longer than its 4 mile length, thanks to impossible checks and lousy pack-marks.
FMIG and I repaired to the back room to figure out what we were going to say in the circle and polish off the pitcher that we took off the bar for ourselves. Hashers would slink in and try to cadge our beer stash. FMIG defended the pitcher and said that we needed this beer for thinking, because beer has magic brain properties. I'll have to take that one on faith…
Got Wood? asked if we could find a partition so she could get changed. That was right after she announced that she "doesn't even know who the goddamn JMs are any more, let alone who's on the committee." FMIG handed her a damp write-up for privacy and offered to watch.
It's summer which means larger packs with more virgins than local, so no circle is easy to follow let alone lead. We had the bright idea to bring lyric sheets to learn some new songs. I appreciate the effort to broaden our repertoire but if the pack can't follow simple arrows once a week how can it be expected to read, let alone memorize?
Here's the manifest of down-downs:
* Too many virgins with… their… confusing names but we sort of blew through them. Marcus and Tracey were taller than me; the rest failed to register.
* Blackout got his down down after a tepid response from the pack on why the trail was sh*tty. No one mentioned his prior trail's 13 mark back-check.
* Virgin girl for teasing the pack with 'monkey in the middle.'
* Virgin dude who solved a check by himself.
* Alice and Katie received theirs for getting arrested after jumping a turnstile after last week's on-in. Katie said something that didn't have anything to do with jail-house experiences, so I didn't write it down.
* Basia drank because she forgot her trousers. Not sure how that's a new offense as she's forgotten her pants once or twice before.
* Katie got Assh*le of the Week. She does her down-downs with shots so as far as I'm concerned she can get AOTW every week. We'll light it next time so she can be our first Flaming AOTW.
The circle dispersed into its usual groups of elders, youngsters and virgins, and while your humble scribe set sail for the long voyage home, the remainder stayed along with the hash-cash deep into the night.