Motto? What motto? You know, “A Drinking Club with a Running Problem.” That motto.
In an earlier entry, I commented that other groups use the same motto, and that hashers most likely borrowed and adapted it, as we have so many other things. A fellow old-timer (not that she’s old!), Swamp Bitch from the Pittsburg HHH, sent some historical information that’s interesting in and of itself.
According to Swamp, a Pittsburg hasher came up with the motto sometime in the mid-1980s. She kindly did some research and found Chef, a Pittsburg hasher who was there at its creation. Here’s his account:
Apparently during an East End run or Apres somebody (not familiar with the Hash) asked the question “What is the Hash?” Someone else then responded that we were a running club with a drinking problem. Lasagna was there and quickly converted (corrected?) the statement to what we all use now.
And there’s more:
But this is all a second hand recounting of the story. Lasagna himself later didn’t remember having said it – BUT that is not a cause for surprise – or disbelief! But where it went from there is hard fact. Not long after the legendary conversation, the Pittsburgh H3 took 33 +/- hounds to the 1989Americas InterHash (held 4th of July weekend that year). Moon, who had heard the comment Lasagna made (or had heard of it), took a button making machine to and started cranking out buttons that said “Hash House Harriers – A Drinking Club With a Running Problem.” Not surprisingly, he could not make them fast enough even with a bunch of us helping.
Within a week or two we heard of the first Hash somewhere using the slogan on a T-shirt and the rest is history. (I still have my button from San Diego
Of course, none of this addresses the question of whether Lasagne invented the phrase or borrowed it from another group. But I will note that Swamp Bitch, like me, believes it was borrowed. So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
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About Flying Booger Hash House Harrier, man about town.