Date: 5th September 2007
Start: TG Whitney's (53rd St bet 2nd & 3rd Aves., Manhattan
Hares: John Carey
On-in: Irish Rover Bar (37-18 28th Ave., Queens)
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
— Lao-Tzu (604 – 531 BCE)
With all due respect to Mr. Lao-Tzu, I don’t believe he ever had to do a Jon Carey trail. The truth is, one might not *take* the first step if one knew in advance that the journey was going to *be* a thousand miles. Instead, one might elect to call a cab and head straight to the bar. Hell you might not even bother with that if you knew that said bar was in Queens.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make that sort of judgement call as the Hare didn’t disclose the length of the trail and the “sine qua non” of the Hash sort of precluded him from disclosing its destination.
To be fair to Jon, the competition for Worst Trail of the Year had intensified in recent weeks, to wit Dave Arthur’s sterling effort to lower the bar further with his clusterf*ck the previous week. Not wanting to be outdone, Jon made every effort to disappoint. It would be fair to say that he succeeded… with bells on.
Our sorry and lengthy tale of woe begins on 53rd between 2nd and 3rd Aves where a decent summer crowd had gathered. It included a fair number of virgins, to whom apologies would later be offered for the second consecutive week.
A couple of points here:
A. Due to the constraints of physics, the space-time continuum and the limitations on the definition of the word “virgin” imposed by the English language, we were not going to be apologising to the *same* virgins as last week but rather to an entirely new group; and
B. The aforementioned apologies would be limited to those virgins who actually made it to the On-In.
I make the distinction because unfortunately the numbers represented by statements A and B are not the same.
I’m jumping ahead; first, a *brief* summary of the trail. We pottered about in Midtown East for a few minutes and then headed over the Queensboro Bridge. This was an ominous sign: there’s a reason why the Queens Hash is dead and either this was a futile attempt to resurrect something that rightfully belongs six feet under or we would have to return to civilisation via this or another long bridge. Neither prospect was particularly appealing.
Upon leaving the bridge, we were confronted with a Chicken / Eagle split. The Chickens were “blessed” with a “brief” 6 – 7 mile trail to the On-In. The rest of us headed south through the Hunters Point warehouses towards the Midtown Tunnel Toll Plaza. As the trail led away from and then back towards the Toll Plaza several times, we marvelled at the Hare’s creativity but mostly we cursed the lack of an EZ Pass lane to the On In. Oh yeah, we also cursed the distinct lack of marks but FAD, despite his usual habit of running over the marks, did a good job of solving the checks.
After faking a path over the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn, the trail turned north and followed alongside the LIRR tracks (or, if your name is Blackout, you had a go at running *on* the LIRR tracks) past the Sunnyside Yards which were distinctly lacking in sunshine, it already being past our bedtime when we arrived there.
We plodded on northwards. The pack was now fractured as FMIG and the Chickens had already arrived at the On-In and were considering calling for Search & Rescue, the FRBs were virtually in Astoria and the rest of us were r*nning / walking / cursing our way around Ravenswood. We passed several streets which included what seemed to be perfectly acceptable bars but, like a mirage in the desert, none materialised into an On In, presumably because they didn’t meet Jon’s strict standards for On Ins. So we were forced to continue, spurred on only by the prospect of seeing Jon separated from his genitalia.
Finally, in the early hours of Thursday morning, we arrived at the Irish Rover Bar (37-18 28th Ave.). The Hare, having considered the needs of his dehydrated and exhausted Pack, had laid on a good spread of Gatorade, bagels and bananas. Well, not quite but I’m sure in his mind “one ounce cups of water” *seemed* like a close approximation to said “spread” in much the same way as a 12 mile trail *seemed* like a close approximation to a 45 minute r*n.
And so to the Down Downs. The Hare drank to a chant of “A**hole” rather than the usual melody and accepted his punishment stoically. There were both visitors and virgins, none of whom are likely to grace us with their presence again and whose anonymity (because I didn’t write their names down) is therefore less concerning. At least they were the lucky ones who had actually made it to the On-In; some may still be out on trail.
Since the Queens Hash seemed to be making an unwelcome comeback and since around one fifth of its members were present this evening, it seemed appropriate that they should all be brought up for a Down Down. Swarthy Bahamonde enjoyed his moment in the limelight.
At this point we had a brief interlude for Eager For Beaver and Joe Pennsylvania who had just arrived and evidently needed some cool beer to alleviate the large amounts of steam emanating from their ears. FMIG was happy to oblige.
Anna, Josh and Courtney were asked to drink after having had intimate encounters with stationary vehicles. Well, at least Anna and Josh had. Courtney, it seems, needed a stiff drink to overcome her ochophobia. A weak beer would have to suffice.
Lexy’s Bitch was given a Down Down after having been the fortunate recipient of a motherload of pigeon sh*t. I know they say that it’s good luck but mostly “they” consists of those who get shat on and who are just trying to convince the rest of us to stop laughing.
Jerry and Red Headed Steve were given Down Downs for having decided that the trail wasn’t going to be long enough and that they would therefore, respectively, run the bridge twice and head over to Central Park West in order to get a few more miles in. The fact that they were mistaken was unfortunate; the fact that they were mistaken at mile two of a twelve mile trail seemed, at least in the eyes of the Pack, somewhat amusing.
With that, we returned to our extravagant Domino’s pizza and our cheap beer which has that magical property of washing away all sins of the trail. The good times were cut short only by the harsh reality that the bar was closing and we needed to be up for work in a couple of hours.