|8 Jan 2017||Brian & Keith||Maurice|
We had a good turnout for the GOM handover. It was Brian’s last hash as GOM and Keith assured us he was ready and able to take over. But first we had to meet the crowd.
North Wilts joined us which swelled the numbers but not the number of runners. What’s happening? All the old codgers are walking now and we have fewer and fewer runners. My daughter, Una, was with me today all the way from Ireland and as she had a crock knee I decided to walk with her and see what walking was like. It was interesting and absurd, felt like a care home had been emptied out and nobody knew where they were going, but more about that later.
I introduced my daughter to Paul and Di and got completely confused calling Paul Mark but Di said: “Paul is at the weekend, Mark is during week,” which explained the confusion. Clever girl, our Di.
I paid my due respect to Mike, our glorious founder, tipped my cap, slight nod of the head, good handshake. He was confused when I commended him on wearing a man’s clothes again. Well, Boxing Day is such a long time ago.
I reminded him about cross-dressing on that day but it was literally over his head. Eventually he got on message which was like tuning a cylinder radio when you wanted to hear the weather forecast in the old days. He said the dress he wore for Boxing Day was a bit skimpy and he got cold from his scrotum to his oxters which developed into a bad cough bordering on man-flu. This conversation on symptoms and distress could have gone on for a while but when Mike took a deep breath I jumped in and asked where Annie was.
Mike: She had an operation during the week. Not well atall.
Me: Oh Dear, sorry to hear that. Give her my best wishes.
Mike: I will
Me: What was the operation for?
Mike: Woman trouble
Me: What type of woman trouble? Is she ok now?
Mike: No, she was in dreadful pain this morning. I was almost not going to come but this hash is important.
I am sure Annie will enjoy being scribe for the next hash.
Brian and Keith rallied us around and went through a comedy routine on the dots and circles as if they were seeing them for the first time. It should have been a worry and it was. “5 miles for the runners, 3 for the walkers” Keith assured us and off we went, hapless little smilers with complete faith in the two GOMs.
The runners got lost at the roundabout which is about 10m from the pub but they made a marvellous recovery as one of the North Wilts guys said: “Do KVH3 know they’re supposed to use flour?”
We walked through the mist into Chiseldon Valley which was a shame as it is such a lovely area. Brian said there wasn’t much mud when he set the trail but, by the time the runners and walkers got there, it was:
Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me, follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud
Nobody thought it was funny so I stopped singing.
Adam struggled because of his hips and had to be helped up the hill into Hodson by Kay and Jackie. There was obviously nothing wrong with his eyesight when he chose those two lovelies.
Lynn at one stage got caught and bent over on her stick in rather a flattering pose from behind. I offered to play “leap-frog” but she wasn’t having any of it. And poor Rosie slipped and then did the splits, tried to go back, was yanked by the neck to go forward, got her bum in a complete mess of mud and her head went down as her big lollopping tongue hung out. Poor Rosie.
Rosie is a dog, by the way.
It wasn’t his fault, but even so, Brian smiled shyly at everyone as if nodding like a crazy guy might get him some sympathy. He focused on Rosie when she got off her arse and was given treats and all the women ‘cooed’ and ‘ahhed’. I have never seen Brian smile like that before. Maybe he was thinking treats are a new way to attract a partner. He needs counselling from the elders, that lad.
Kay certainly took a more senior role with the walkers, helping Adam for example, and saying: “now, now” in that lovely Punjabi twang when someone complained about the mud. It will be nice to have a First Lady GOM again and who better than Kay. I suppose she will stand in for Keith when he is ill and such. Should be a hoot.
We got back to the Patriots’ Arms and there was Olly removing muddy shoes and telling anyone who wanted to listen that the route was 6.88 miles and that he averaged 9.34 minutes per mile which was the equivalent of 1,562,235 steps. There were a lot more statistics but I haven’t the space for them, so I left him doing hand-stands with one hand.
Keith, obviously distracted by the onerous role he was about to undertake, said: “I think Olly has the length of the route incorrect as I checked it out on my PC.”
Then Glad (without the “ys”) from North Wilts came through. She’s no shirker, that girl, and said: “Fuck, Keith, that was the longest route I have ever done in a hash.” Keith disappeared before any more runners came through.
We gathered around for the speeches. Then I noticed Jack wearing a blonde wig. The KVHH has gone to the dogs in a hand-cart in only two weeks, starting with Mike and his running dress. Dear God, what next? Viv in shorts?
Brian thanked everyone and received gifts in a torn glittery bag left over from Christmas. He then nominated a charity for the money that was collected which was very gracious. Keith looked a bit down, probably thinking that Brian was going a bit far and now we have a precedent for when he hands over which may be shorter than normal.
Keith gave a rousing speech for a minute or so talking about being with the hash since 2001 until someone from North Wilts asked if it was going to be a long speech. Keith soldiered on and said how relaxed, laid-back and unflappable Brian is by telling the story of Brian moving into his house 16 years ago and finding an anti-tank missile. However, it wasn’t until just before Christmas last that he finally got around to sending for the bomb squad to check if the shell was safe or not. That’s unflappable!
We went outside the pub so we wouldn’t make a mess. The GOMs climbed up the side of the ship in the pub garden for the traditional hand-over. The North Wilts guys led us in the “Down, Down” song while Brian and Keith downed a pint of beer and, when finished, put the glasses on their heads. There wasn’t a drop spilled.
And that was it really. Two great GOMs, a lovely hash, a lot of fun, and plenty of poking. What more could you wish for?
Happy Days – On, On!
After the hash I got the full story from Brian about the missile.
“The bomb squadie made me leave the house while he x-rayed it and the result was that it was safe. Apparently it was American and he thought it was most likely brought over towards the end of the war for manoeuvers on Salisbury Plain. He said they had one in their armoury museum.
The funniest thing I thought about that morning was the army lorry parked outside my house with the words “Bomb Squad” writ large on its side. He and the police were there for nearly an hour and I thought “This’ll shake the neighbours up”. Guess how many of them saw it ….. none of them.”