We’ve all seen the Michael Richards video by now. What, you say you’ve been living under a rock the past few days? Okay, here’s the link.
Over at Shakespeare’s Sister, Paul the Spud posted an entry on famous people he has met, with observations on who seemed nice and who didn’t. This is the kind of True Celebrity Gossip everyone loves (me too – I admit it), so I added my own comment to the thread:
Paul Newman walked by me in the pits during an auto race in Las Vegas and said “Hi” in a very friendly manner. He crashed and dropped out of the race shortly thereafter.
I presented a briefing on military readiness to James Webb when he was an assistant or deputy SecDef, back in the Reagan years. He struck me as intelligent and committed, also a great supporter of the military and veterans.
My wife and I met Frank Zappa backstage during a Mothers of Invention concert in Sacramento. Donna told him she thought his music was obnoxious. He said it was supposed to be. Then he hit on her.
My friend Richard Herman, Jr., a novelist who lives in Sacramento, is a hell of a nice guy too. Give you the shirt off his back, he would.
Okay, the last paragraph’s a plug for my co-blogger Dick. Yo Dick!
Later that night I thought of John Wayne Bobbitt, another sort-of celebrity I met and got to know somewhat, and wondered why I didn’t remember to include him in my comment. I suppose the reason is I think of him as a hasher first, and as a guy who got his willie cut off later.
He is a hasher, after all. Or was . . . but hey, once a hasher, always a hasher. JWB started hashing with the Okinawa HHH when he was a marine, and after a long break (filled with excitement, apparently), hooked up with the Las Vegas HHH in 1995 or 1996. That’s where I met him. He stayed with our hash a year or so, then drifted away. We called him Stitch, which was the short version of his hash name: A Stitch in Time Saved Mine.
He was a humble, friendly, down-to-earth guy. Not terribly bright, though, and he’d get really drunk, really fast, on just a couple of beers. Once, after he hared a trail, he invited us to his house for on-afters and played his porno movies for us, narrating the action and telling us juicy stuff about his co-stars (Oh, did I mention he brought Traci Lords to one of our hashes? She didn’t do trail but was there at the start and finish, standoffish and determined to show us that she was not having fun . . . and there’s another bit of True Celebrity Gossip for you). But yeah, he was a hasher, and I sometimes wonder what’s become of him. And if he still hashes.
So, anyway, last night I decided to write a blog entry about famous hashers I have met. When I say famous hashers, I mean hashers who are famous inside hashing, known to Hash House Harriers around the world. Stitch is one of only two hashers I know who is famous outside the hash; the other, Captain Zero, is also a porn actor . . . what’s up with that?
I’ll start with three: Tim “Magic” Hughes, Ian Cumming, and “Tumblin’ Bill” Panton. Magic was, until his untimely death, the publisher of Harrier International, the man who inspired me to start the Half-Mind Catalog. Ian founded the Singapore HHH, the second-oldest hash in the world, and knows more bawdy songs than anyone. Bill Panton is a second-generation member of the Mother Hash (Kuala Lumpur HHH) and the director of the Hash Heritage Foundation. Bill once made a special trip to Tucson just to hash with the men-only club I founded, and pronounced it Good. I treasure both the memory and his vote of confidence.
Others: Higgins, ZiPpY the Cyberpimp, She Mussel Bitch & Try a Fuck, Swamp Bitch, Eyefull, Mr. Jackson, Elephant Dick, La Bufadora, Swiss Piss & Goodtail, Mr. Spock (another hash publishing inspiration and mentor) & Manhandler, Walking Small & Mooner, Beaver Bam Bam Balls, Rose Eh, Sex Toy, Rong Jon, Polly from Dublin . . . hmmm . . . Patchwork Quilt, Hazukashii, Watergate, Hasher Humper & Spinal Tap, Gopher, Likk’mm, Aqua Lungs, High Beams, Low Beams, Willie, Burnt Sox, Catwoman, Thighmaster, Jock Trader, Dribble Dick.
Ah, damn it, the trouble here is I’m forgetting a lot of highly respected hashers. But I’ve met a lot of famous hashers, and here’s my point:
With one exception (which I’m not going to pursue here), they’re all great people. Friendly, outgoing, honest, helpful, generous . . . every one. Regular celebrities? Some are saints (I’m not the only one to report that Paul Newman is a genuinely nice guy), some are shits (witness Mel Gibson . . . or Michael Richards). But hash celebrities? They’re people you’d like to know. They wouldn’t be hash celebrities otherwise.
Which says a lot about hashing.
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About Flying Booger Hash House Harrier, man about town.