On-In: 106 Dive Bar (106th & Amsterdam)
Hares: Mickey Mouth & the Mouthketeers (Mean Jean & Too Long)
If you attempted Mickey Mouth’s Riddle R*n last year, you would be forgiven for thinking that this year’s couldn’t be any worse. You might think that but you’d be wrong. For Mickey Mouth is not one to sit on her laurels and certainly wouldn’t miss an opportunity to lower the bar a little further.
A reasonably large Pack gathered on Central Park West and 72nd to listen to the Mouth’s Chalk Talk, blissfully unaware of just how twisted her mind had become since she left our fair city. A few FRBs (such as Hardman and FAD) had (wisely?) pre-determined that they would be having none of this riddle nonsense and would follow the more conventional-style trail set by Dave “Too” Long.
The rest of us were on our own with the initial clue: “New Amsterdam information” (1). With that the Pack dispersed apparently with differing opinions about what that meant. FMIG and Wet Connection led a group over to Amsterdam Ave with the idea that it might have something to do with 311 Amsterdam Ave. Mickey Mouth informed us later that she would never have been so transparent as to put part of the answer in the riddle. (Oh sure, now you tell us!)
Those who guessed correctly then had to find “where he became master of his domain” (2). We of the FMIG/WC crowd were still wandering aimlessly on Amsterdam when we saw either the FRBs or some more intelligent hashers (those groups aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive but, for those of you keeping track at home with a Venn diagram, we were neither in the “FRB” nor the “intelligent” sets) running West across Amsterdam. They had presumably passed the next clue: “High tail it out of Chumley’s! And where to find girls, according to the Pet Shop Boys” (3).
By the time we caught up with them in Riverside Park, they were already attempting to decipher “Tinker, Tailor, ______, ______” (4). Amid the snow and ice, we managed to lose the trail marks but we followed calls north into the high 80s and cut back out of the Park. At this point, most of us seemed to be following the conventional trail but the clue we were supposed to be solving was “Mouth’s High School. Or one year before Chris sailed the ocean blue” (5). The trail took us towards Columbus in the low 90s where some of those who had wandered astray from the start came across their first actual clue since commencing this wild goose chase: “Lost three red balloons when traveling to the Netherlands” (6). We surmised that this might be 96th & Amsterdam but Lesley who apparently only remembers the original German lyrics to that song was more skeptical. By now, the Pack is becoming, if not more intelligent, at least more familiar with the obtuseness of Mickey’s clues. At Amsterdam, we reached what turned out to be the antepenultimate clue: “The Milford Plaza and the square of 10” (7).
Immediately, we headed off for 100th Street, reasonably confident about our mathematical skills if nothing else. Here we got somewhat separated as we coursed along 100th looking for the next clue. Those who found it then had to find “Humphrey Bogart’s Place” (8). Finally, as we headed further north, the mensa members hit their ninth and last clue, “He took the A Train and dove into this bar” (9).
This seemed to be the most obvious clue, even if you didn’t get the Duke Ellington reference, as there were only a limited number of Dive Bars within a 10 block radius and the fractured Pack descended upon The Dive Bar on 106th & Amsterdam.
Which shenanigans bring us to the Down Downs.
First, as tradition dictates, the Hare for her diabolical trail. She should probably not be allowed to set this sort of trail unsupervised. Oh wait, she *was* supervised! Disably accompanied by the Mouthketeers, Mean Jean TDDM and Too Long,
Then came the obligatory Virgins and Visitors. I don’t think we’ve seen them since but, if there’s a trail which would dissuade either of those constituencies from returning to a New York Hash, this would be it.
Erica was asked to drink next. “Who’s Erica?” you ask. Well, exactly. Having taken a two year sabbatical from the hash she decided to put in a cameo appearance. Her extended absence had clearly taken its toll as she attempted to drink before we’d reached the appropriate part of the song.
FMIG had to drink for trying to drop into random bars en route and get the football scores. I’m not sure that he’s even a football fan so I suspect he was hoping randomly to stumble upon the On In without actually solving any clues. There were, of course, many of us who were clueless on trail but we could trust the librarian amongst us to utilize all available resources to divine the answers. To wit, Lisa was instructed to drink for use of a Blackberry on trail.
I have in my notes that Noah’s Dinghy was given a Down Down for stepping on a dead pigeon on trail. Apart from the unsanitary and generally unpleasant nature of this, I’m not sure what the offence was exactly but I suspect it was a slow news day for the JMs. Then came FAD. Now most people who know FAD would attest to his all-encompassing general knowledge. With that said, a trail like this one provides quite a clear barometer of one’s intelligence. The sooner you arrive at the On In, clearly the smarter you are. FAD was DFL. ‘nuf sed.
Lastly, special mention has to be made of Stewa’s contribution to the day’s festivities. In New York, most of us like to change out of our running gear after a trail. There’s often a line at the bathroom but, at the Dive Bar, there were two bathrooms on offer. When Stewa materialised from one (after an extended sojourn therein), FAD was kind enough to offer me the use of that bathroom while he waited for the other. My gratitude at such generosity was short-lived, however. The smell emanating from the bathroom cleared a five block radius and required the assent of the city’s Hazmat team before we could re-enter the bar. For which Stewa received the AOTW award having, as he did, possibly quite literally *the* Asshole of the Week.
We then turned our attention to the hot dogs, mac & cheese and, of course, the beer as we looked ahead to next year’s trail. Surely, we assured ourselves, it couldn’t be any worse.
1. NY Historical Society (76th & CPW)
2. Seinfeld’s Apartment (81st bet. Columbus & Amsterdam)
3. 86th & West End Ave
4. Soldiers & Sailors Monument (89th & Riverside)
5. 91st & Columbus
6. 96th & Amsterdam
7. 100th & Broadway
8. 103rd & Broadway
9. Dive Bar (106th & Amsterdam)