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SWP in Blighty: Dog-Nappers or Terrorists?

SWP (suspicious white powder) strikes again!

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.38.00 PM

Hmmm. Looks like a hash mark to me. And of course that’s exactly what it is, as explained by representatives of the Bicester Hash.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.54.04 PM

You can click on the graphics to see the full items. The first one, the Facebook post about dognapping, is worth reading for the comments posted by alarmed neighbors and friends. The second one, the newspaper article, provides some additional detail, and ends with this:

Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We are aware the running club were responsible for some of the markings.

“However, there’s still an on-going investigation into some markings.”

Lest we all start ROTFL’ing at these British bed-wetters (who, over there, are called “Bangers and Mash”), let me remind you that marking homes and businesses for future retribution or violence is a real thing. If you’ve been following the news from Crimea and Ukraine, for example, you might have seen stories about chalk marks being placed on the doors of Kossack homes, presumably to help fascist thugs terrorize their targets later that night or the next day. The stories were probably false, but it’s not like there isn’t a precedent for such things (think Nazi brownshirts in Germany, who marked Jewish residences and shops in preparation for Kristallnacht).

In a previous post I wrote about the residents of a black neighborhood in Dallas, Texas who thought the chalk marks left on the sidewalks outside their homes by hares were meant to identify  their homes as targets for racist violence, and how the police took their fears seriously and launched an investigation.

So the Thames Valley Police took these residents’ fears seriously, too. It is to be expected.

Still, though, pretty funny.

And now  for something completely different …

Dear Flying Booger,

Just came across the Running for Brews Social Running Club in Tampa FL. They say they’re also in Tempe AZ as well which I think is in your neck of the woods. Should the hash community take notice? Should we feel slighted or proud that a group is jocking our style? If we feel ripped off should a group of half minds crash one of their trails, hijack it and divert the pack to somewhere we could circle them up and crash indoctrinate them to our ways? Or just lead them off onto MLK blvd and into a swanky strip club with queen sized ebony up next?

What say you hash elder?

On On,

Dear Dank,

Wow, I’m sorry I missed your message … I was on a motorcycle trip for several days and just got around to checking my hash mail account. I looked at the group’s website and like you have negative feelings about outside groups co-opting the hash, especially commercial entities, but don’t know what realistically can be done. Besides these guys there are running/walking events in many cities sponsored by downtown restaurants & bars, meant to get people out & spending money afterward. This group, despite a head nod to charity, is clearly meant to benefit local microbreweries. And similar quasi-commercial groups have started to stage red dress runs.

OTOH, the organizers know about hashing and what they’re doing is a tribute to the hash. We could recruit new members at these events. I personally wouldn’t attempt to hijack their trails … but I might talk next week’s hares into laying trail over parts of an upcoming Running for Brews route, then arranging for a few hashers to run the event in hash shirts and answer questions.

On On,
Flying Booger

p.s. I wonder if they mark their trails, and if so, what kind of material and marks they use. Maybe you can get them busted for terrorism!

© 2014, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.

About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


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