Date: 13th October 2008
Start: Graham Ave & Metropolitan Ave
On In: Radegast Hall und Biergarten (N 3rd & Berry)
Hares: Sorry, What? and Riding Big Jake
Our happy band of Hashers gathered at the corner of Graham and Metrpolitan, pleased at least that it wasn’t the corner of Lorimer & Metropolitan which has been frequented so often recently that there is now a “BH3 Start” plaque on the sidewalk. SW & RBJ gave us a perfunctory chalk talk which, it has to be said, is always preferable to one that involves too many complicated instructions since Hashers are not renowned for their short term memories. This also explains why we need chalk arrows every half block to lead us to a bar and why we often shout to each other while running; an absence of either of which would probably result in a meandering group of drinkers stumbling into the nearest bar they can find and demanding Down-Downs.
With that, we set off north in the general direction of the BQE and it’s at this early juncture of the write-up that I have to meander somewhat off-topic myself.
In programming folklore, there is a famous story about Mel. Mel’s story isn’t particularly relevant here but Ed Nather’s recounting of it is. His Usenet* post contained a general observation about programming as a discipline:
“I have often felt that programming is an art form, whose real value can only be appreciated by another versed in the same arcane art; there are lovely gems and brilliant coups hidden from human view and admiration, sometimes forever, by the very nature of the process.”
–Ed Nather (Usenet, 21st May 1983)
Hashing is nothing like programming.
When one lays a trail, one intends that the Pack should uncover (and be frustrated by) every ounce of evil genius that was required to set it. Every circle jerk, every back check and every superfluous false trail: not one chalk mark or dollop of flour should go to waste.
In fact, in order for there to be any resemblance between hashing and programming, you’d have to be doing one of them really rather poorly and since this is *not* a write-up about software development, you might be able to guess where I’m going with this.
If the reader will indulge me a moment longer, however, I’ll provide a bit of background.
You see, back in the day, Brooklyn Hashes used only to be once every fortnight but not because Brooklyn is a smaller borough than Manhattan (it isn’t**) but rather because it attracted a smaller crowd. Today, it’s patronised by a larger group of
r*nners drinkers. Unfortunately, it’s not always the same group. “Why is that unfortunate?” you cry. Well, I’m glad you asked. You see, if you’re a casual interloper who lacks the serious commitment that comes with consistent drinking r*nning, then you might not pay attention to minor details such as…oh I don’t know…say: where last week’s trail was set. Such an oversight can really bump the odds of a bad trail up into the “probability of a clusterf***” end of the range.
That said, let us return to the story of tonight’s trail, already in progress. True trail went under the BQE and led us in the direction of McCarren Park where we stumbled upon our second check. After much to’ing and fro’ing, marks were found heading west. We dutifully followed these until déjà-vu kicked in and it became quite apparent that we were running Crofty’s trail from the previous week. However, with a modicum of checking in the immediate vicinity, we found another set of marks and the Pack was off again.
But not for long: three blocks farther down the road, we were met with those trail-terminating words “On In” and on in to the Radegast Hall & Biergarten (N 3rd & Berry) we went.
Yes, that was it. We were nearly as surprised as the Hares.
We followed the London Protocol for Hash Cash and, after having selected our preferred beverage from the extensive list of German/Czech beers, we gathered at a long table for the administration of the Down Downs.
First the Hares, Sorry What? and Riding Big Jake who were still somewhat upset to learn that they had gone to all the effort of setting a trail only to have the entire Pack skip it and arrive at the On-In about half an hour early. They had only themselves to blame, of course, but that didn’t stop us blaming them as well. Their labour was, it turns out, not entirely in vain: apparently, Dogface Roy did the whole trail. If only he’d been an FRB with a piece of chalk in his hand and not, as was the case, DFL out for an evening stroll.
On to the Visitors, of which there was one, and Virgins, of which there were probably some but whose names escape me presently. The Visitor was Thurston Bowel the Turd from the Left Coast’s East Bay Hash in San Francisco). I understand that that he was quite the grabbler and prestidigitator but that several Harriettes were somewhat underwhelmed by his skills in this department.
We then moved on to the quiz section of the evening. Eh? What? Quiz? Who ordered that? Turns out that Nina and Laura had several questions about Oktoberfest and German beers. Turns out they should just have asked Splat since he seemed to know all the answers. (Sean made a valiant effort on a few occasions but his exuberance couldn’t make up for his benightedness.)
With those shenanigans out of the way, we returned to our excellent Bier, Wurst und Schnitzel. The Hares were able to drown their sorrows (on the upside, they can pocket that one away and cash it in when they’re next asked to set trail); the rest of the Pack had already forgotten about the trail (again, short term memory was never our strong point).
*For those readers who aren’t old enough to know what Usenet is, it’s a steam-powered version of blogging where posts are delivered by carrier pigeon.
**Though you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was, given the frequency with which we seem to start at the same subway stops and run through the same neighbourhoods; however, it’s actually seven times bigger.