|13 Nov 2016||Maurice||Mike|
It has just dawned on me why people don’t read the hashmag these days. It is, I am sure, because since the Late Keith died the mags have become rather anodyne and polite and predictable. Then Maurice writes a lively, humorous, irreverent, warts and all mag for the 500th hash and an even more irreverent and critical mag for the 501st – and suddenly we all want to make a comment or complain or laugh. I think we should ask him to write a few more mags – provided, of course, that he doesn’t get pompous.
I was going to be ultra critical of Maurice’s hash today just as a skylark but the rotten sod spoiled that plan by deliberately setting a trail that was rather good – so you’ll have to put up with the usual old anodyne stuff from now on I’m afraid.
Picture the scene: Remembrance Sunday and a glorious sunny day with hundreds of people– 6 runners, 29 walkers and 4 dogs – and at precisely 11 am we stood in silence for two minutes in the sunshine to remember the dead of two world wars. There is something about that simple act of remembrance that is deeply moving.
Maurice explained the trail markings for the benefit of a dozen new hashers and then a few lonely runners and a great phalanx of animated walkers poured out of the car park. After about 100 yards we came to a Long/Short divide which led the walkers off to the left up a muddy path – and then all the way back again as it was a dead end. We did laugh. There were no more little jokes fortunately and the short trail opened out into an open area of scrub and woodland criss-crossed by paths and tracks. The trail was irritatingly clearly marked with lots of circles and arrows as we climbed to the top of a hill where you could see for miles out over West Swindon – not the most beautiful part of the world but surprisingly open and green for a vast housing estate.
As we were nearing the pub one of our new hashers fell and cut his face open and it took a while for Annie to staunch the blood and give first aid and for his family to get him off to A&E but we still got back to the pub at roughly the same time as the runners – and in just on the hour. I’m getting desperate to find fault. Luckily Maurice did make a fundamental error. For the last thousand years or so it has been a hashing convention that the trail should be laid on the right. Maurice laid his trail on the left. Whether this was a protest against the stultifying restrictions on our freedom in the modern world or whether he felt that blindly following a convention was only for the lower orders, is not clear. Personally, I think he did it deliberately just to start an argument.
And so to the Apres. The Woodlands Edge is a typical enormous estate pub so there was room for our unusually large number of hashers to sit together but conversation was difficult because the ‘background’ moronic pop music was at full volume – presumably to keep the vampires away – it can have no other purpose. GOM Brian gamely shouted our thanks to Maurice above it and the bugle was presented by the chap Maurice said we’d never see again and Jeremy told us about the parking for the next hash in Malmesbury – so it all worked out quite well really. A bit more practice and Maurice will, I am sure, become a reasonably competent hare.