Date: 13th August, 2008
Start: 124th & St Nicholas Ave
On-In: Broadway Dive (101st & Broadway)
Hares: G’Dick & Just Connor
Those familiar with these write-ups will be aware of our long-running series-in-progress: “How Not To Set A Trail”. I know, dear hashers, it may come as a shock to you but, even after 1278 New York City Hashes, Hares still have a propensity for screwing things up.
To be clear, they are not necessarily original screw-ups. It seems repetition never goes out of fashion and, honestly, why would you bother dreaming up new mistakes when there is already a boatload of perfectly awful ones out there from which to choose. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, “live and don’t learn”: that’s our motto.
All of which preamble is to say that when one comes across a relatively faultless trail, it is something of a pleasant surprise. As the Scribe, one has a short bout of anxiety that there might not be anything about which to write but that soon subsides as one remembers that when the Hare doesn’t screw up, the Hashers do. That’s what we have Down Downs for, of course, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
First: the trail.
There had been a flurry of emails in advance to ensure that G’Dick understood the definition of the words “long” and “short” as they relate to Hash trails. That might seem obvious to you, but then you don’t run 50-milers before breakfast; G’Dick does.
As is the norm for the summer, a solid group of around thirty or so gathered at the start. As is the norm for the summer, I knew about five of them.
G’Dick gave a rather run-of-the-mill chalk talk, which is actually more positive than it sounds. Frankly, any chalk talk that doesn’t include the phrases: “I didn’t know it was going to rain”, “Well, I only had blue chalk” or “Oh, you’ll need your Metrocard” is something to be grateful for.
With that, the Pack was off. We started southbound but the trail quickly turned north running along the west side of St Nicholas Park and thence roughly west towards Riverbank State Park. We ran south through the park, enjoying the glorious sunset over the Hudson. Jersey never looked so good, which is to say its silhouette successfully masked a wild array of architectural monstrosities.
Checks on trail weren’t too difficult to solve and were considerably easier if you knew that G’Dick has a somewhat unhealthy predisposition for hills: if you were faced with a choice, “up” was usually the way to go. We continued south, weaving east through Columbia and then back west towards the river before finally turning back to the Broadway Dive (101st & Broadway).
And so to the Down Downs. This bit’s a little hazy on account of a) being asked to do the write-up *after* the Down Downs had been distributed and b) the one half of the bar that couldn’t STFU for the entre duration of the proceedings. How. Rude.
Anyhoo, the Hare and his accomplice (Just Connor) were asked to drink because, regardless of the trail’s quality or lack thereof, them’s the rules. There were three visitors whose names escape me (and escaped just about everyone else for the aforementioned reason b). One hailed from Nigeria and the other couple from across the Pond. Reasons for their presence in New York City were not forthcoming.
A second nameless group, the Virgins, were also called up for a beer. You should expect, however, to have another opportunity to remedy the anonymity of this group because they now have the wholly unrealistic expectation that all trails are as good as this one. They will therefore doubtless return to dip their fingers once more into that honey pot that is the Hash and, with equal certainty, taste the bitterness of a crappy trail and/or beer.
The two Brits had to drink a second time as it appears they nipped into an apartment on trail for a quick shag. It wasn’t made clear whether they had any right to be in the apartment, whether it was a local bordello they’d read about in Fromer’s or they just fancied a bit of early evening sex and burglary.
“Just Ian” was told to down a beer for body-checking some pedestrians. Again, no indication as to whether they were causing an obstruction on trail or were merely passers-by who gave him a funny look.
Then we had a couple of proxy Down-Downs. Firstly, Mean Jean was required to drink because she had indulged in a bout of shameless self-promotion for her NASS trail on Sunday. When I say “bout”, I mean a sustained marketing campaign with emails, phone banks of robo-dialers and an extensive field operation going door-to-door where necessary. Nearly as bad as watching FMIG promote a BH3 trail. Nearly. Unfortunately, MJ wasn’t available to drink having left early to meet with her NASS campaign strategist so Wet Connection was asked to drink in her stead.
Our second substitute Down-Down was for Tit-totaler who, in fact, had earned AOTW by incurring the wrath of some fire & brimstone hobo on trail who complained about her running through his church and who threatened to retaliate by running through her church on Sunday. Either Tit-totaler was hopelessly lost on trail or there is some new definition of the word “church” that I wasn’t previously aware of because there was a distinct lack or chalk marks leading into religious buildings on trail. Anyway, your humble scribe was required to drink for her because she had left to repent for her sins. Since Fast American Dave (Keeper Of The AOTW Plunger) had procured a plunger that would have struggled to unblock a tea cup, this Down Down was despatched in short order and without the usual spillage.
With such shenanigans out of the way, we returned to our beer and pizza except for the Can’t-STFU Crowd who carried on what they were doing and for whom a large chunk of this write-up will come as a complete surprise.