I gave up drinking ten years ago this month. Not sure if today’s the exact day, but marking the on-oniversary on Saint Patrick’s Day seems appropriate, so I’m going with it. Erin go bragh!
I came to hashing as a member of a profession with tight camaraderie and similar drinking and singing rituals, flying fighters for the USAF, and felt at home right from the start. As fellow hashers, I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that when I decided to quit drinking my biggest worry was whether I’d have to give up hashing.
Happily, once I quit the desire to drink went away too, and I was able to keep hashing. Being around alcohol is a huge problem for many recovering alcoholics; believe me I’m thankful it hasn’t been a problem for me. I quickly realized I didn’t like being around drunks, though. Not because they’re contagious, but because they remind me of my former self. So I came to a compromise: I still hash, but you won’t find me at the circle.
Non-drinking hashers are the exception, but we exist. Please think of us when you stock the coolers (I’ve been to some hashers where the only options were beer and beer).
I’ve noticed that most hashers my age drink a lot less than they used to. Over the past ten years I’ve gravitated to daytime hashes where there’s less of an emphasis on drinking. Currently I’m in a bicycle hash that meets and rides in the morning. After the rides we go to a pub for food and drink, strictly BYO$, so there’s no keg, no circle. It’s the perfect kind of hash for a non-drinking hasher. Matter of fact, there’s one tomorrow morning, and I’m looking forward to it.
One thing I know better than to do is to lecture my fellow hashers about the evils of drinking. We all have to find our own way on-in; I’m happy with the trail I’ve chosen and wish you well on yours. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone!
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About Flying Booger Hash House Harrier, man about town.