Already the traffic was heavy and caution had to be exercised to avoid death by swoosh of passing cars and motorbikes. 25 hashers or thereabouts gathered. Two new comers, Sue and John, new to hashing, from Chichester were welcomed. Rolf returned. There was Sophie, from The Can Man’s stable and Sally from The Docs. Sophie didn’t run this time, but did go off and help by checking whether the ‘On In’ was still there from overnight. Guapa!
A short intro by The Can Man, described the forthcoming trail as picturesque, easy and well suited to runner, walker, hobbler and the severely inebriated ...well, in fact, just about any variation of hasher. The only thing he didn’t say was, how we were supposed to get to the first ‘on on’ which was beyond the road of fast flowing A29 traffic. The gods were with us, as suddenly a car stopped, then bikers from the other direction stopped and the whole pack was allowed to cross the mighty flow. It was like the parting of the waves story, biblical history all over again! Now, I’m not an emotional sort of guy, but I got a lump in my throat at this point. Eating an apple and running just-does-not-mix! On! On! Jo (not Rosy), bless her, got to carry the Hashit for the first half of the trail as she had defaulted on her duty previously.
Slow start, the first 500 metres took a quarter of an hour to sort. The second check of the trail was missing. A heavy dew was blamed. Then came a long stretch known as The Gallops which, according to the Hare’s promise, was a runners bit. This stretched out the pack with Patch, Bambi and the usual lanky buggers in the lead. A regroup was attempted. Not that Bambi cared, he was off, up and beyond, disappearing into the distance still yelling on bloody on! It was here that one of the greatest coups in hashing history took place. The whole pack fell for the cleverly laid long falsie. They were gone for AGES! The Hares were positively beside themselves..., they’re a close knit bunch, don’t you know. The next section of the trail proved to be a bit of a teaser for the pack and the hares. Some twisted, iniquitous individual had been busy scrubbing out the next two checks. Whing? My, did they whing! “Lost Traaiil! Lost trraiill”, echoed across the countryside. For a moment, I thought we were going to have to lay on a coach to get the pack home, such was the despair.
Anyway, despite all that, the pack jogged on and this is where the picturesque bit came in. Lovely. Next a check, which had most of the pack standing waiting to be told what to do. A cleaver loop had been inserted with a falsie being scrubbed after the pack had moved on. Devilish clever. On to the A29. We had to navigate the mighty flow again. The On In would soon materialise surely. No, we found ourselves confronted with steps and a wickedly steep climb to a long, straight path heading west. “THERE-IS-NO-TRAIL!” Cried the Spiderman. Tsk, tsk. But, to be fair, he was now carrying the Hashit for the last half. The strain gets to us all in different ways, I suppose.
At the chariots the pack gathered to listen to The Can Man explain that he had thought that only t’hoo wee bags of flour should have been necessary for the trail - Aye, a true Scot indeed!
The Hashit was awarded to Cheshire for muttering something about being on the Hash was preferable to being in Bognor. Bognor and the Hash in the same sentence? Good grief, get real! The Hash is much more rough-fined. Several said it had been a good day out, but that was after they had been to the pub and quaffed a few beers.