Hash 535 – Tawny Owl @ West Swindon

Date Hare Scribe
04 Mar 2018 Sue “Rocky”

About time I was asked to be guest scribe. I have been hashing for several years now, setting the pace, checking the quality of the flour, pissing against trees so the walkers’ dogs could have something to look forward to. I was shocked to learn it’s the first time a dog has been invited to be scribe. Yet another glass ceiling has been shattered.

Sue was the hare today. I don’t know why they call themselves hares. Sue, Jeremy and Master are the three fastest runners but they do a lot of gasping and I do a lot of hanging-about. So un-hare, if you ask me.

But back to Sue. She got up at 6am and was out setting the trail at 7:45am. Adam whispered later that in fact they had stock-piled flour around the route the previous evening. Now there’s determination. She also mixed in red poster paint so it could be seen in the snow (although Chris, who’s a beauty expert, may have had a say in the colour-coding as she was wearing the same coloured nail varnish).

The intro went on a bit as everyone wanted clarification. It’s always the same people with the same questions and the answers are always polite. If it was me I would say, NO, there are no cows but even if there are cows so bloody what, and YES, there are hazards, you pillock, it’s the bloody countryside.

Sue didn’t help when she said there were three short/long divides. Mike wanted to know was that a first, middle and end, and someone said that maybe it was a start and two middles, and someone else said why can’t it be a, b and c. Poor Sue’s chin started to wobble because everything had gone so smoothly up to then. Reminded me of that toffee-nosed twit in the Pet Shop recently who said: “If it wasn’t for all these customers we would have a fantastic business.”

See what I mean? Half a page and we haven’t even started out yet.

Sue introduced her son, Mike, who had a haversack with a week’s provisions in it. I wonder what kind of childhood he had. More immediately, I wondered if there were any treats in there. I sniffed around but Mike wasn’t sharing.

Master was wearing silly shorts with tassles. He said a few times (he does repeat himself a lot these days) that the centre red tassel should have been skin-coloured. Hilarious the first time!

Then Kathy said it was skin-coloured until she ironed it with a hot iron. She’s fast, is old Kathy.

Up to now, Kathy hadn’t said a word. I like Kathy. She always remembers my name and makes a fuss of me. Today she looked lovely in a pink scarf. And it’s nice to look a human straight in the eye.

Oh, we’re off. Well, about time.

I yanked Master along so I could get some feeling back in my limbs. We were well out in front in minutes. Master normally runs with Sue and Jeremy who are the fastest runners (oh, I said that already) so Master spent most of the route muttering to himself about how slow the pudgy runners were.

I thought that a bit unfair. Viv isn’t pudgy though she could do with a few handles if you ask me. Great pair of ankles though. I had my photo taken with them to show off the red flour.

In fairness it was a lovely route and we passed the walkers twice – that would have been the two middles. The markings were flawless and nobody got lost. But boy, was it slow. I had to gallop around in circles just to stay warm.

It was nice to see James back again. He walked with Mike which was very gracious as it wasn’t even his turn. They met some bloke who said he was ex-SAS and stopped for a long chat until Mike remembered they were on a hash. That was encouraging, that he remembered.

Master ran with Keith, our venerable GOM and the best GOM ever, though in fairness the other oldies were well before my time, most people’s time in fact. He also ran with Viv for a fair bit and they seemed to have a good chat about technical stuff to do with humans. I yipped a few times to let them know they were really boring but they ignored me. Typical.

Master also ran with David though I wish he hadn’t. David ran in walking boots. I don’t think they were an original pair because he ran lopsided like the ballast was loose and I came close to being trampled. At least in the summer months he will get out those tatty shorts and the vest with holes in it and his father’s running shoes and maybe then he might run a bit straighter.

Master ran with John the last few furlongs and then at the crossroads John said we should cross the main road. Master said we should go left, down the tunnel and under the road but John stamped his foot a few times and Master demurred. Though it turned out later Master was correct.

Back at the pub there was a bit of drama when there was no Guinness. The nice lady behind the bar tried to get Master to try Mustang which he said tasted like thick mud to which water had been added and the whole lot burned with a red poker. I foresee another letter to Arkells.

GOM stood up to thank Sue for a cracking hash, which it was. He apologised that the annual dinner had been cancelled the previous evening because of the weather and everyone clapped because he had done such a great job organising it. Someone explain human behaviour to me please!

Master awarded the silly shorts to John for not following the trail correctly which I thought was a bit harsh. Humans always want to get even. Mud thrown is ground lost, I say.

The bugle was given to Johnny because GOM said Johnny likes to blow his own horn. Must be some kind of human contortion. I’m not one for blowing my own trumpet but I can certainly get my tongue around a horn. Could be an opportunity for a masterclass to help Johnny.

And that was it, really. Well done on a great hash, Sue.

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7 Responses to Hash 535 – Tawny Owl @ West Swindon

  1. Kathy says:

    Whoops!!! I almost forgot to thank the fantastic hare, Sue (with able support from Adam the day before) for laying two delightful, very green trails, in somewhat challenging conditions… what a super trouper! Kxx

  2. Noodle says:

    Grrreat mag Rocky – made my tail wag with excitement. I’m ashamed to say that Jeremy was being a couch potato that day and I had to make do with chewing a few sticks – huh!

    I’ve not written a mag myself but I did contribute to one a few years ago when Colin the hare took us through a rubbish dump. Great smells that day. You can see what I wrote here: Hash 402.

    However, your mag was much better – and had pictures – so keep it up. Power to us dogs!

  3. Kathy says:

    A very witty and original account, Rocky, though I dispute your being able to look me straight in the eye…. and I ironed the new cod-piece “to get the wrinkles out….to improve its length”! Kx

  4. Mike says:

    Aren’t we lucky on our hash – not only do we get a conscientious girl like Sue to get up in the middle of the night to lay an interesting and well marked trail through an urban landscape – we get the dog to write the mag !

  5. Sue says:

    In my defence I did have lots of children and times were hard with the high mortgages in the 80’s, so I encouraged the kids to be prepared and fend for themselves…..

  6. Deirdre Spillane says:

    I would like to thank the Kennet Valley Hash House Harriers for putting up with my father for all these years. Our sympathies are with you!

  7. Keith says:

    Nice mag Rocky, you’ve got the job.

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